As I continue to try to figure out how to build my blog and while trying to decide exactly what I am doing with it, I often turn to Adventurous Kate. She has been traveling, writing, and actually making money off of it for over 5 years. Not only that but she is often offered sponsored trips in order for resorts and tour companies to get advertising. How awesome is that!? She is a huge inspiration to me. So I’m stealing one of her ideas (sorry Kate! You’re just too awesome). At the end of every month Kate writes a post recapping her month and also identifying her goals for next month. (Read her February Recap) I think this is an excellent way to reflect on everything that’s happened this month and also set myself up for an awesome upcoming month. I am stealing a little bit of her format but also adding or cutting some things.
Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand
Siem Reap, Phnom Phen, Kampot, and Kep Cambodia
This has definitely been my most busy month in terms of travel since I moved here. Thailand as a whole was amazing! I’ve been dreaming about going to this country for a solid 6 years. I’m so happy I could go and that I went with some of my awesome coworkers. I also met up with an old friend from college who took us around to several bars/clubs that I probably would have never ended up in. Chiang Mai was such a nice change from hot, humid Malaysia. It was nice and cool and I would have been perfectly content sitting outside reading a book, and people watching for the next month.
My mom, her boyfriend and my brother had the chance to visit me in KL and we went to Cambodia together. It was awesome talking them around KL as well as being able to see Cambodia together. We ended up with a really exciting and busy trip, with things planned every day. This was my brother’s first trip outside of North America, even though he pretty much flies somewhere within the U.S. every weekend for work. While I was excited to show him a different culture I was nervous that he’d find everything too different. For the most part I think he really liked it and was talking about how he wanted to burn through his frequent flier miles when he gets back. One I think his fourth or fifth day here he said “I’ve already learned so much from this trip about other cultures and stuff.” Awww yay!! I’ll post a longer post about everything we did soon.
Every month of working and teaching here has been great but I do feel like I had a lot more excellent teaching moments this month, every though I did take a good amount of time off this month. Two specific things come to mind.
1) I had a student ask me “How are you always so positive? Seriously, your like the most positive people I know.” If you know me at all, especially if you know me from college or before, you know that I have not historically been the most positive person. This was such a huge compliment!
2) I was working with one of my younger math students last week and I realized that I forgot to give her a break halfway through class because we were just so caught up in math. She says “It’s okay, this is fun anyways.” I don’t even think she had realized I didn’t give her a break. After two straight hours of doing math, she’s still engaged, enthusiastic and wanted to keep working, as this is a student who has a history of struggling in math. That’s so awesome!!!
Actually I have one more 3) One of the girls that works in our California offices was visiting this month. She is so full of positivity that it can’t help but rub off on those around her. It was awesome to see her teaching methods in action and talk to her about some of my students that are having a hard time. Also it was great to help her build her confidence for a parent talk she was giving. It’s always nice to help people after they’ve helped you so much!
Feeling sick in Bangkok
Unfortunately I felt sick for most of my time in Bangkok and was fairly grumpy (sorry!!!) but it was still an awesome trip. For a full day I just felt horrible, like I was getting a sinus infection, I probably should have just chilled in the hostel instead of being a nuincence to my friends. Boo.
Falling off a Motorbike
Whoops. Ya. I fell. I was very lucky that I wasn’t badly hurt, just some scraps and bruises.
Family always seems to bring out the worst in people. And we bickered quite a bit even though overall we had a good trip. I needed to find a way to keep the positivity going from the week before. Also my mom just had bad luck for this trip: she broke her glasses, lost her phone and got really bad food poisoning (my brother also got food poisoning.) Ugh. Traveling has its ups and downs.
I never thought I’d have this problem but getting drinking water has become a huge struggle. There used to be a store in my building that sold huge water jugs. They are no longer open, I can buy them from the grocery store but I don’t want to carry them home. I bought a filter to hook up to the sink but it didn’t fit on my sink and I had to return it. I’ve been buying bottles of water recently which is neither cost effective nor environmentally friendly. Grr.
Blog Posts from this month
Most Popular Photo on Instagram
The beautiful sunrise over Angkor Wat.
What I read this month
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson: A story about a climber who decides to help build and restore schools in Pakistan. I would recommend it to anyone who is in education. The hurdles that this man overcomes in order to help children in Pakistan is amazing.
My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinman: This book makes me want to go back and travel everywhere within the U.S. Steinman is a journalist and a leading feminist activist. Her stories of connecting women together to bring about social change while also traveling and learning about people in the U.S. is incredible. My favorite quote, that’s within the first few pages
Taking to the road-by which I mean letting the road take you – changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of statistics and into stories-in short, out of heads and into our hearts. It’s right up there with life threatening emergencies and truly mutual sex as a way of being fully alive in the present.
I only read this book because Emma Watson’s book club read it in January, but I loved it, and will probably try to keep up with Emma’s list as the year continues.
What I watched this month
A bunch of TV shows came back this month. Yayyy! Including Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal.
I’ve also now watched most of the episodes of Jessica Jones twice in the last few months.
And I finally watched The Martin which was so incredibly good.
I also watched Emma Watson’s interview of Gloria Steinman, honestly after reading her book it really just repeated what I already knew. Also Emma Watson needs to work on her interviewing skills, which is ok, this is probably the first person she’s ever publicly interviewed, she doesn’t respond back to Steinman’s answers at all which makes it very rigid.
What I listened to this month
I finally signed up for Spotify Premium! It’s really cheap here, and I probably should have signed up sooner since my uncle and I keep bumping each other off of his account. I haven’t listened to much new stuff this month but I am officially obsessed with Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself song. It’s horrible and amazing all at the same time. Now that I have my own Spotify I plan on finding some new music to listen to soon. Oh and I’m loving White Privilege II by Macklemore, so thought-provoking and awesome.
Goals for next month:
I really want to work on my blog more, specifically I want to get a hosting website, set up an email list and write more.
I joined a rock climbing gym last month and I really need to push myself to get into a routine of actually being motivated to go.
I need to make time to skype and catch up with some people from home, since I was gone so much this month.
Currently I don’t have any trips planned, so I want to focus on writing up some of my recent trips. I even still have posts I want to write from when I was in Vietnam in December. I may end up either in Singapore or Langkawi for a weekend sometime soon.