Posted October 9th, 2014 at 10:26 am (UTC-4)
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Hello everyone!

My name is Ashley, and I’m new here at VOA Learning English. I’ve already met some of you on Talk2Us, but I would like to introduce myself here.

Ashley in Turpan, China.

Ashley in Turpan, China.

I grew up in Kansas, a state in the Midwest region of the United States. Its nickname is ‘Sunflower State,’ because of all of the wild sunflowers that grow there.

In general, most Americans know two things about Kansas: it has good barbecue (a method of cooking meat), and it has tornadoes. If you’ve seen the famous American film The Wizard of Oz, you will understand the tornadoes.

After Kansas, I lived in France and several different cities in China. Now, I live in the U.S. capital city of Washington, D.C.

I’ve studied six foreign languages and I completely understand the difficulties — and joys — of learning a new language.

Every Thursday on this blog, I will combine two of my passions, travel and language, with a weekly series called #TravelThursday.

Each week, I will write about one of my trips or a travel experience. This way, you can learn a little bit about different cities and regions in America. You will also learn some common travel-related vocabulary and expressions in American English!

I love traveling and experiencing new places. But I also love finding new “off-the-beaten-path” places here in Washington, D.C. In American English, we call this a “staycation.” It’s a combination of the word “stay” and “vacation,” and it means you act as if you are on vacation, but are really just exploring the place in which you already live.

In next week’s #TravelThursday, I will take readers on my trip back to my hometown in Kansas. I leave this afternoon, so wish me bon voyage!

What would YOU do on a “staycation?” Describe a place or experience you would recommend to tourists who are visiting your hometown. Try to use some of the “Words in this Blog” that may be new to you. I will provide feedback on your use of vocabulary and grammar.


Words in this Blog

trip – n. a movement from one place to another, usually a long distance.

off-the-beaten-path – phrase. a place in an isolated or lesser known area

‘staycation’ – n. a vacation spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions

explore – v. travel in our through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about or get familiar with it

bon voyage – phrase. used to express good wishes to someone about to go on a journey (from French language)

tourist – n. a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure

Ashley Thompson
Ashley Thompson works at VOA Learning English. She is a fan of languages, waterfalls and dogs.



Confessions of an English Learner is a place for you to practice your writing and share the joys and pains of learning the language. We will post a weekly prompt, to give you a chance to practice your writing and to comment on others’ writing.


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