So, it’s been a while, huh? I’m sure you’ve spent the last two months since I posted rending your garments and tearing out your hair, so I apologize for my absence. Call it a combination of life stuff, work stuff, and writer’s block – but now that we are entering into a new year (2014 already? Didn’t 2013 just happen?) I figured it was time to jump back in to narcissistically expressing my thoughts for the world to read.
I’ve had a weird last few months – nay, a weird last year. Was it really only a few months ago that I was living with my parents? That I was sunning myself on a beach in Thailand? Now I am piecing together a life in Boston, something that is more challenging than one would think.
As is my wont, as I sit on the edge of 2013 I can’t help but look back. And considering it is one of my most documented years, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Let’s jump in, gang.
Washington, DC; Virginia; Bangkok, Thailand
- I kicked off the year as a nervous wreck, preparing for my travels to Southeast Asia a mere 23 days later.
- Sometime in the midst of this, I turned 25 and celebrated with those nearest and dearest to me with a quick jaunt to DC and celebrations in Virginia.
- And then… Thailand. Between fainting on the plane ride over and discovering just how smelly I can get before I am disgusted with myself, I had an intense first few days.
Koh Lanta, Thailand; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Vientiane, Laos
- The not-so-glamorous side of kickin’ it back at a Thai island: crashing a motorbike and spending two weeks worried about leg amputation.
- Glamorous side of solo travel: doing whatever the heck you want. For me, February meant playing with the elephants, squeezing the cheese in Thai grocery stores, too many bike rides, and a surprise assault hairstyle.
- Best part of February: a very romantic Valentine’s Day spent at the Chinese consulate getting my visa. Sure, I’m tragically alone, but it doesn’t mean I can’t pamper myself.
Beijing, China; Siem Reap, Cambodia; Kep, Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Chau Doc, Vietnam; Saigon, Vietnam
- After a wonderfully relaxing week at Casa Pierson in Beijing (which included roaming a virtually deserted Great Wall on the clearest day you could imagine), I met up with Papa M in Cambodia.
- Along with climbing around thousand-year-old temples and exploring the coffeeshop scene of Phnom Penh, we did some glamping in Cambodia and landed on his favorite story to tell: the time a bat flew in my face.
- After a too-short trip to Vietnam, I said goodbye to Asia and started on a whole new adventure: unemployment.
Virginia; New Orleans, Louisiana; Emerald Isle, NC
- I returned to my parents’ home and went quiet for a while as I started job-searching, questioning myself, wondering what I am doing with my life… you know, the usual. It was a pretty fun time for those around me. In reviewing my Facebook timeline it looks like the most exciting thing I did was find my diary from when I was 14. Talk about embarrassing! I also went to the Outer Banks for the bachelorette party of one of my favorite people – everyone loves a rainy beach weekend!
- In actual exciting news: I traveled to NOLA for the law school graduation of one of my favorite people, with a bunch of my other favorite people coming in from around the country to celebrate! Let’s just say it was an appropriately New Orleans-y weekend.
- By June, K10 Unemployed became K10 Employed, as I finally convinced someone to hire me, much to the relief of my parents and friends who were sick of my belly-aching.
Charlottesville, Virginia; Boston, Massachusetts
- After celebrating the wedding of one of my best friends in gorgeous Charlottesville, VA (where both she and the groom went to university), I headed directly off to Boston. Like, I literally said goodbye to my parents on Friday, hitched a ride with two big suitcases to the wedding, flew to Boston on Sunday, and started my new job on Monday.
- I started my new job with a roar, as I jumped in to their busiest period of the year and worked the first seven straight days I was in Beantown.
- It wasn’t all work: I was lucky enough to land in the wonderful apartment of two of my favorite people as I apartment-hunted.
Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA
- I kicked off August with a quick trip to LA; while I was namely there to sit in LAX for twelve hours (the less glamorous side of working in international education – seeing off the group flights to faraway countries), I took some time with my coworker to hit up Santa Monica and indulge in some delicious Mexican food.
- Once I was back, I spent most of August exploring my new home of Boston, from test-driving Italian restaurants all over the city to forming hasty opinions. Mostly, I spent the month in a sublet daydreaming how I would decorate my new apartment in September – the first (semi) permanent place I would live in in over a year.
Boston, MA; Virginia
- More Boston explorations as I discovered my locations of choice
- I capped it off with a trip back to my parents’ home to move more of my possessions and, most importantly, finally be reunited with my kitchen supplies. For those keeping track, I’m still not completely moved out of my parents’. I’ve elected to take the ‘suitcase’ approach which means that every time I go to visit, I come back with two suitcases bulging with my belongings. It’s strangely effective.
- I continued to stick around New England as I faced my fears and attended book club, became an artist (kind of), and discovered The Moth.
Boston, MA; Athens, Greece; Thessaloniki, Greece; Virginia
- After six months in the same country, it was high time I broke out my passport again – and this time it was for baby’s first international business trip (unless you count the time I lived abroad for a job). While I spent most of my time in Greece in meetings, I managed to revisit the Acropolis after an absence of eight years, learn how to say ‘cheers’ in Greek, and eat more feta cheese than is advisable.
- I ended the month with a good old fashioned American Thanksgiving back in Virginia – and yes, brought up more of my belongings.
Boston, MA; Virginia
- By far, my favorite part of moving to Boston has been the fact that my dear friend Katie lived down just the street from me. So imagine my delight when Amanda, aka one of the greatest and most kick-ass friends you could ever meet, finally joined us in The Hub and landed an apartment right across the street! I spent most of December happily ensconced in their (metaphorical) bosoms as we helped Amanda move in, made the obligatory trips to Ikea, and drank a LOT of white wine. I mean, a lot.
- I finished up 2013 with – you guess it – another trip to Virginia for Christmas! I’ve definitely spent more time in my home state this year than I have in the past seven years of my life. That’ll be it for a couple of months as I’m not slated to return until March – just in time to start enjoying the beautiful weather, with sailing trips and beach bumming in my future.
And so for 2014? I want to take the time for activity. Not just physical activity, but actively doing things instead of passively sitting by. Whether that is indulging in my hobbies (and I do want to keep writing this blog in my life), continuing to grow my friendships, or exploring my home instead of sitting around, this will not be a year for sitting and watching the world go by.
As you read this (if you finished it, that is!) I’m headed back to Boston to celebrate the start of another year with my dear friends. 2013 was the year of K10 Travels, but I do resolve that 2014 will continue to be the year of K10 Explores.