One thing I’ve noticed about repatriating to the USA is that people are always asking me, “Are you okay?” Like they are so concerned about me, like they assume I hate being back in the USA. I do appreciate the concern – it was difficult to leave England, and I would rather have some acknowledge culture shock than ignore it! But on the other hand, it was my decision to move back to the USA. I wanted to come back for multiple reasons, and it’s definitely been the right decision for me.
Hi friends – a short and sweet one for y’all today, in (belated) honor of Valentine’s Day and my never ending love of Slovenia (oh…and the guy who drove me through the whole country). In August, Dan and I spent 11 days driving through Slovenia and it was one of my favorite trips of all time. Honestly, every time a Slovenian athlete comes on the TV in the Olympics now I’m like “I LOVE SLOVENIA!!!!”
Turns out, it can be really difficult to read when you travel! And not even just traveling, but any kind of busy lifestyle. However… I think I’ve finally cracked the code on how to read more on the go – I’ve read over 15 books just in the two months, including during a long trip to NYC. I’m not a speed reader, in fact I’m kind of a slow reader (I like to savor it!).
I have had a lot of ‘once in a lifetime’ travel experiences – and for that I am grateful. But more and more, the phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ and the ‘once in a lifetime’ mentality have been bothering me. Especially in how it relates to travelers. So I’ve decided that I’m swearing off the phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ – and I think you should too.
Just when I thought I was getting away with a mild winter in Michigan, I woke up to a full-on blizzard and 8 inches of snow!! I hope you guys are enjoying whatever wintery weather you’re having. ANYWAY. Welcome to the first monthly recap of 2018!
In 2017, I met my goal of doing a recap every month (you can see them all here), and I’m pretty proud of that! I want to keep it going for 2018 – but in an effort not to get bored, and also because things are changing around this part of the internet… I’ve introduced a couple new headings. Just read on to see what’s new!
Two days after I flew home to Michigan in December, I found myself sitting on a cold Doctors office table, being pricked with injection after injection of neon-red liquid. No, I hadn’t returned from some jungle expedition with a rare tropical disease. I was returning from three years of living in England, and four months of traveling within Europe. Every country I traveled to was considered “developed,” none had health warnings or required vaccines which I didn’t already have. So no, I wasn’t being treated for some rare condition…. unless you count the health impact of travel itself as a condition. Which, after dozens of painful injections, I was starting to.
It feels strange to longer be an “expat,” but in some ways I think I will always identify as an expat. Take, for example, how I perk up when anyone mentions they are planning their own move abroad. I love to give advice, hence the blog (or maybe this is one of those chicken and egg situations?), so I’ve been gradually compiling a list of practical tips for new expats in my head.
Add into the equation that one of my best friends from growing up in Michigan is imminently moving to Australia, and my head has really been buzzing with ideas. Over brunch the other day, Sydney (my friend) mentioned to me how she is wiring her money to her new Australian bank account, and all of a sudden all these alarms started going off in my brain. Like, Inside Out style. Imagine little Mindy Kaling-voiced elves storming through my frontal lobe with “practical tips for new expats” files under their arms.
If sleeping in a space pod in Iceland isn’t on your bucket list, well, now it is! The luxury Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik is not only the best hostel for a stopover in Iceland, but it’s also the introvert’s answer to hostels. During my emotional transcontinental move from England to the USA, I planned in a quick 2-night stopover in Iceland – partly because I’d been wanting to visit Iceland for years, and partly because I was in denial of my nomadic lifestyle ending. I spent ages looking for the perfect hostel for my layover: I love quirky, boutique hostels, that are super clean with a central location and low on cost… don’t ask for much do I?! Well, when I found Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik I was sold. Not only did it have great reviews, and was undeniably the cheapest option in Rekyavik, but I would get to sleep in a space pod. A SPACE POD.
Well, it’s a little belated, but I wanted to share with you guys what I was up to in December! It was one of my 2017 goals to do a “monthly recap” for every single month, and I managed it! The end of the year is already so full of reflective posts that I thought maybe I wouldn’t post my December recap, but I wanted to keep to my goal so here it is 🙂 It’s actually pretty crazy looking back on this month and seeing how many places I actually was – I can’t believe it was just one month ago that I was collecting donations for the refugee camp in Germany!! And managed to get to four other countries as well! Looking back it seems so long ago.
I can undoubtedly say I traveled more in 2017 than any other year of my life – from expat life in England, to living nomadically throughout Europe, I spent time in 16 different countries! In fact, it’s funny to look back on last year’s 2017 travel plans blog post and see that, wow, I really did follow through on most plans – which were only a dream when I wrote it!! But how can 2018 live up to that? If 2017 was the year of travel, I’m going to make 2018 the year of roots. Of slowing down, enjoying being in one place, reconnecting with family and friends in the USA. And not just because I have to, but because I want to.