21 January 2020

Happy New Decade, Everybody!

For me, 2019 was a year full of new and old friends, teaching, and a lot of travel! 


I traveled to England and Scotland for Chinese New Year (Year of The Pig!!!). I went on a food tour of London via bicycle and I saw Hamilton with Emily from You’re Maker. I had the best time hanging out with her and Sean learning about the history of graffiti in London, eating amazing foods, and drinking lots and lots of coffee! Then I took the train to Scotland and stayed with Chris Kmita and his family. We had the best time reconnecting after 19 years! Dunbar, Scotland is the cutest little coastal town . . . I really fell in love with Scotland! The skies were so blue! What a beautiful place!

I traveled to Mongolia for Spring Break and I was blown away by the landscape. The people were incredibly kind, there were billions of animals everywhere, and the air was clear, crisp, and clean. Mongolia is virtually untouched by mankind and made me feel like a true adventurer. It remains to be one of my most favorite trips EVER. Don’t even get me started on my love for playing with baby goats!

During the summertime, I managed to get back to the United States. I landed in Cleveland, Ohio and stayed with my best friend of 39 years. Then I traveled to New York City; Raritan, New Jersey; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin, Texas for an IB/MYP conference (where I got to hang out and stay with many friends from my college days); and, finally, to Palm Springs, California where I admired modern era things, the desert landscape, and I got to see my Great Uncle David who is 80 and in impeccable shape!

In November, I met my friend Anjali in Kyoto, Japan. It was a whirlwind weekend trip, but I fell in love with Kyoto! What a beautiful city! It was *PRIME AUTUMN*, so the leaves were changing! We visited Fushimi Inari-taisha and I fell in love with orange and black. We drank tea and ate lots of amazing foods. We visited a bamboo forest and an enchanting garden. We also went to a magic bar and watched people serve us drinks while performing tricks. It was great fun and there were lots and lots of laughs. I will definitely be going back to Japan in 2020!

In China, I climbed the Great Wall in Beijing, I learned how to make Sichuan food with Angela, I took a weaving class and a marble stamp cutting class, and I biked through Suzhou twice (one of the trips traveling alongside my friends William and Pejay). I traveled to Lijiang, China for yoga and mountain gazing. We held our Thanksgiving this year at a restaurant in downtown Nantong. And, I met my friend from Singapore, Shayne, in Shanghai where we had a fun-filled Chiristmas-y weekend, complete with pizza and mulled wine. 

For Winter Break, and my last travels of 2019, I went to two different yoga retreats in Pokhara, Nepal and met the most AMAZING people of my life. *KEEPERS* People I shared memories with and people who will be friends for a lifetime. I feel all stretchy and bendy after being in Nepal, and wish that I could live there forever. It’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, and it’s full of some of the nicest people I have ever met. Plus, Buddha was born there!

I also found a new job and a puppy towards the end of 2019. I am excited about both, but the puppy is a lot of work! My new job starts in August of 2020, and it's only about 3 hours away from where I am now. I'm kind of thrilled to not be making a cross-global move right now with both the cat and the dog. I will be in Shanghai for the next 3 years! While my job post in Nantong has been nothing but difficult, I am so thankful for the friends I have made along the way! I will miss them dearly . . . 

2020 is HERE! Be bold and brave and READY!

If you are a United States citizen, regardless of where you are on the globe: register to vote!

Plan things! This podcast has inspired me to start taking new directions in the coming year and the years ahead! Listen to this three-part series to get started . . . 

This article was very encouraging in it's message about ACTION . . . Here's a quote below.

"As I mentioned earlier, if we want to tackle these and other social problems, we need focus on a few critical levers of power:
  1. Elect more women of color into office 
  2. Ensure marginalized people can vote and have the resources to do so 
  3. Remove the influence of corporations and money in general on politics 
  4. Change the tax code so rich people pay their fair share of taxes 
  5. Control the public’s perception on important issues (to align with facts, not fear)"

As always, if you are looking to learn new things and laugh along the way, visit this podcast. I can't recommend it enough! PS: Ronan Farrow BLEW ME AWAY . . . 

And, just for fun. ⇩ Because people lead such interesting lives!

Happy New Decade, everybody!!