You know what’s fun? When you schedule a blog post for your half birthday, and realize that your half birthday falls on the most perfect date of the year (anyone catching my Miss Congeliaty reference here?!).
Rain is streaking the kitchen windows and I’m surrounded by the rumbling of an early April thunderstorm. I’m writing this as I eat a salad pieced together from leftovers – a late dinner because I went for my training run after work. The dog snores at my feet. Various to-do lists lay crumpled on the counter. These moments are mundane, normal, domestic, and…sweet.
I now live a life with a job, to-do lists, a kitchen table, a dog to walk, and a car to pay for (as of last week!). But these moments also feel bizarre, when I think back on where I’ve been. Four months ago I was driving out into the wilderness of Iceland with a guy I’d just met that morning. And before that there were the refugee camps, my graduation, countless flights and cross-country buses. Life was wild and anything but normal. When I moved back to the United States and gave up my expat and nomadic traveler titles, I thought I’d be giving up my freedom. I wasn’t thinking about what I would gain: A home base, a routine, a schedule, an income, and more.
It’s been a while since we talked. I mean, really talked. So this month, let’s have a coffee date (and a giveaway, because, why not).
I mixed up my monthly recap last month, and thought I’d try a new style again for March, in the style of Carolann’s monthly coffee dates. As a treat for you all, I also have a giveaway at the bottom of this post! I’m giving away a piece of handmade (by me!) pottery, as well as 10 free subscriptions to the popular GPS My City app. Just scroll to the bottom to see the details. Otherwise, sit down and have a coffee with me 🙂
Usually I write my monthly recaps gradually throughout the month. They’re the blog posts that I pretend-write in my head on long runs, or quickly jot sentences down in my phone for. So it’s unusual that it’s taken me this long to sit down and write my monthly recap for February. That’s why I’ve decided to go with a different format for this month’s review – I’ve used the same basic format for the last two years so this will be refreshing!
So recently I came out to y’all about some of my health problems, and that I plan to bring increased wellness content to le blog! Yay! I’m really excited about this – I hope you are, too! A combo of wellness and travel content was actually my goal when I originally created this website, but well, as you can see travel took over. As I’m working on getting healthy and bringing some balance into my life, I’ll also be bringing some balance to this blog. Which brings me to…
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.
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!).
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.