Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hello, Vacation!

4 weeks of vacation! What an adventure to come. 

The packing is complete, the dishes are done, the garbage is taken out, my fridge is bare. Now all that's left to do is get myself to the airport and take flight! 

Tonight I am leaving for a 4 week vacation in Southeast Asia. I'll be traveling through Southern Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. This vacation has been in the planning stages for the last 3 months and now it's finally time to go. I can't believe it! And I can hardly wait!

Things I will be doing while I am away:
      * visiting the Chu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam.
      * riding along the Mekong Delta and visiting the floating markets in Ho Chi Minh City.
      * Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia.
      * possibly horse back riding through the rice fields in Cambodia.
      * cooking classes in Vietnam and Thailand.
      * eating ALL of the Vietnamese & Thai food. (FINALLY eating ALL of the authentic Thai curry).
      * washing, feeding, and riding elephants in Thailand.
      * visiting a tiger sanctuary (my favourite animals!).
      * beaches, beaches, beaches. Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. Reading, reading, reading. *sigh*

I know I am probably forgetting some things, and I know there will be other things we get ourselves in to while we are away. I'm just so excited to be on vacation, to be seeing another part of the world, and to be traveling with some great friends!

Oh, and for fresh CLEAN air and sun. Man, did I ever take that for granite before coming to Beijing! 

I'll be posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter while I am away. If I can get good internet service at some of our hotels, I'll be sure to post on my blog for family and friends as well. 

Bon Voyage!
Or I guess as they (or I, because I probably say it wrong or in the wrong context) say in Beijing: huí tóu jiàn (see you later!)

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Before you read this post, please take a look at the blog post I wrote for my twenty-fourth birthday. I think it will help to put this one into perspective: click here.

Ok, so I am curled up on my bed with a blanket and I'm reading my blog post that I wrote for my twenty-third birthday and then the one I wrote last year for my twenty-fourth birthday. And I've got to say, I have changed a lot over the last two years. And I am so fortunate, blessed, and lucky to be able to have had the experiences I've had over the last year and a bit. Like, SO FORTUNATE! 

In my twenty-fourth birthday blog post, I wrote that my year's theme would be "surprises." Well, this year folks my theme would have to be "changes." Last year I found myself in an emotional place about my birthday. I had just returned back to my home in Calgary after being home in New Brunswick for Christmas vacation. I had reunited with family and some of my closest friends and I know I was feeling nostalgic, a bit home sick, and resistant to the change I had decided to make: moving to the other side of the country. I felt that my birthday would be lonely and that people would forget about me. I know I was being foolish and insecure, but that's me. I come up with these scenarios in my head that are insanely unrealistic. I know I'm not the only one out there that does this, right? (right?) However, I was so wrong. I had a wonderful birthday. Of course I did. 

This year I am feeling proud. I typed that and I then I said in my head: "...yeah." And I smirked and I nodded. I am proud of myself people! I can be so hard on myself, and after reading my twenty-fourth blog post I said to myself "Girl! Look at all of the things you have gotten to do! Look at all of the people you have met and all of the things you've seen. Stop moping around and start being thankful!" 

I never wanted to be one of those people who settled. I was so afraid that I would be comfortable with my small town life that I would never leave or get out. There is a big world out there and it's meant to be seen. In my life I want three things: love, experiences, and happiness. I mean - I want MORE than just those things. But I feel like if I have those three things surrounding myself at all times then I'll be the best person I can be. Today, I can say that I've finally accomplished things and begun to do things that up to this point I had only imagined of. Currently in my life, I have love, I am gaining amazing experiences, and I'm happy. So happy. 

My twenty-fourth year saw laughter and tears, weight loss and lifestyle changes, a relationship, new friends and reuniting with old friends, kicking an old habit (bye bye nail biting), an amazing summer that included a road trip to PEI with Amanda, a family reunion in Ottawa, a drive along the Gaspe Peninsula, picking up an old sport (golf with the family), camping in Fundy with the best friend, and then a big move to another country. As my twenty-fourth year began to wrap up, I also accomplished a lot of firsts and ticked a lot of things off my bucket list - I moved to another country, I walked the Great Wall of China, I zip-lined and rode a tuk tuk, I gained new experiences in a new and interesting culture, I started my first teaching job and I spent my first Christmas away from home. 

So, thinking back to the theme of change in my twenty-third year I can positively say that I have changed in a number of ways. I try to see things optimistically and I try not to limit myself. I feel as though I have matured and become a little bit more confident in myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. As much as I despise myself for using this saying right now - YOLO. You only live once. I gotta see it all now while I can. And that's exactly what I am doing. 

Twenty-five. A quarter of a century. I imagined myself dreading this birthday just as much as I dreaded my 20th birthday. But, it's going to be great. I think it has a lot in store for me. 

Listen to me...I sound so grown up! 

Here's to life, love, experiences, happiness - Always & Forever!