Hello! It’s been several months since my last post – have I mentioned I am a procrastinator?
As of May 15th, I have been home for a full year! I’m still very happy with my decision to stay rather than return to teach in France again. There is just something about financial stability, am I right?
The past year has flown by! Especially once I became employed again. I’ve been in my current job for six months, and I really enjoy it! I’m excited about the work that I do and I am learning a lot – in my preferred career field, no less! Thinking back on my year as a teacher’s assistant is almost like a dream. Did I really visit 11 countries in 8 months?? It seems like a different lifetime. My brother asked me recently if I missed traveling all the time and living abroad. I remember being deliriously happy with the ability to travel as much as I did, but the realistic part of me knows that my experience wouldn’t have been the same the second time around. It is very limiting without money to fund your adventures!!
I do get nostalgic pretty often, but I am also very happy to be living in VA. When I mentioned to my mom that I was considering staying last summer, I told her that I’d forgotten how much I also love Virginia and DC. She told me that I find a way of embracing my surroundings no matter where I am. I quickly realized that she’s right – a city is only as good as you make it. You just have to take advantage of the opportunities and adventures around you!
This year I have refocused on taking advantage of living in Virginia. Europe was very easy to travel with all the spare time I had and the abundance of public transportation! However, it’s pretty liberating to have your own car. I sincerely missed the ability to spontaneously make plans! While abroad, I had to ask for a ride or book transportation in advance unless I was going somewhere in the city. Of course, I still have to plan ahead for a lot of trips, but it’s great to have the option to randomly decide to drive into the country or wherever!
Since returning to the states last summer, I’ve traveled to Boston, Portland (ME), NYC, Lake Mohawk, Richmond, the Bahamas (!!!), Shenandoah Woods, and Bethany Beach. All this aside from the little visits to locals parks, museums, breweries, or what have you. Don’t get me wrong, this was all over the span of a year and I am also a professional lounger half of the time. Working full-time makes it difficult to take longer trips, but I try to take advantage of holiday weekends and take leave every so often.
I will be posting soon about some of these recent trips and adventures, so keep an eye out. My goal is to catch up on my writing before my next big trip… Oh, by the way, I’M GOING TO MOROCCO!!! Unfortunately, I’m only going for a week and a half due to my limited leave at work. But I leave the last week of August and I am beyond excited! I get to visit my boyfriend’s family and see some of his favorite cities. I can’t wait to be shown around by a true local and experience his culture. Stay tuned on my preparations for the trip!