Saying Goodbye to 2017 and Hello to 2018! (Also known as how I turned my life upside down in 6 months.)

“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Enjoying the views in Sedona, Arizona

Where do I even begin?

Some people said I was brave.  Some people said I was crazy.  Some people said that they wished they could do the same thing.  I am of course speaking about leaving my career of six years as a school librarian to pursue my expat dream of teaching English in Vietnam.

I made it to Vietnam, but did have to return to settle affairs in the States.  (Turns out it is much easier to live the expat life when you’re 23 than 33.)  I attempted to resume life as usual upon my return until the house has sold.   However, changes come swiftly and I am looking onto 2018 to change my direction once again.

Lessons I Learned in 2017

Uncle Ho and I in front of the Ho Chi Minh City Town Hall, Vietnam.

In 2007, I set out for Edinburgh, Scotland for University at my dream school.  I guess the circumstances along with the ten year set me on my path.  My favorite highlights were completing my CELTA in Phoenix, Arizona, moving to Vietnam, and realizing you can love where you are from while still ready for big changes.  Here is a list of my top lessons learned this year:

*Stop and see the manatees even if you have to get up early.

My new manatee friends at Crystal River, Florida

*If you carefully consider your plan and save it is much easier to pull off the bandaid, and change jobs.

*It does not matter if it is a “dry heat” if it is over 105 degrees it is hot!  (Thanks for the Summer Phoenix.)

*The craziest people I have ever crossed are on the Phoenix area public transit system.  (Seriously, I have traveled to over 16 countries and 30 states.)

*I love teaching, and especially love teaching English as a second language.

Teaching public school could be exhausting, but fun!

*My students in Vietnam taught me most that you do not have to have many material things to be happy.

*The Vietnamese people taught me that kindness comes in many packages.

*Cafe su das are life.

*It is alright to transition through jobs if it’s not the right fit.  Especially if you do something that is in demand.

*Take a deep breath, and hop on the back of that motorbike.  Just make sure to invest in a good helmet.

My 2018 Resolutions

  1.  Read over 80 books.  (This is my ongoing resolution.  I have not accomplished it yet, but maybe this year will be my year!)
  2. Move overseas with Ed.  (Yes, I am planning to go back.)
  3. Have a daily journal that is either personal, writing prompts, or gratitude.
  4. Monetize my blogs including The Rugged Bunch.
  5. Learn to play my ukulele.  (I would especially love to play La Bamba and The Cups Song.)
  6. Get my weight back down to 125 pounds since the holiday binge.

Crepe Stand at the San Diego Little Italy Farmer’s Market

What I look forward to the most in 2018

I am beginning this year by woking as an independent contractor with VIPKID.  Today was actually my first day!  This should help me practice my ESL skills while applying back overseas.  If the house can be sold quickly, Ed and I will begin our new journey in May.  I have a spot at an international school in Vietnam, but am leaving my options open as well.

Hiking with Ed

I hope to spend a lot more time with Ed as we embark on a new adventure.  I hope to use the lessons I learned Vietnam in order to value experience over things.  Mostly making great new memories!

Let’s see what happens when we stop living the life we want instead of the life that is expected.

Enjoying the summer and happy hour in Tempe, Arizona

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