After moving abroad I started compiling monthly roundup posts about life as an expat in Southeast Asia and all the nitty gritty that goes on behind the scenes here at Travel Lush. Head here to read Month 10, Month 11 & Month 12.
Here’s what I got up to in August…
Moving to Cambodia
Duh, clearly moving to Phnom Penh was the biggest thing to happen to me in August. Last month I moved into my apartment (full post coming soon), saw a man get hit hard by a tuk tuk, made homemade pizza in my very own oven, and sweated out of pores I didn’t even know existed. Oh, I also bought a houseplant and killed it, was offered a job and turned it down, and had a mini-breakdown and recovered from it.
It’s been a wild ride already! And in case you missed it, I wrote a full post about my first impressions of living in Cambodia here.
Admittedly August was a slow month for travel. Although does moving abroad count as traveling? At the very beginning of August, I bid farewell to California once again and hopped on a plane back across the world to my new hometown…
So far I’ve had a blast rediscovering this crazy city. And I’ve tried my best to look at it through the eyes of both a tourist and a newbie expat. That’s the thing I love about being an expat in Southeast Asia – every day kind of feels like you’re traveling, every day brings new adventures and new challenges.
Also, now that I’m back in Southeast Asia I’ve started to make some travel plans for the rest of the year. So far I have two trips to Bangkok scheduled. In a couple weeks I will head to the city to meet up with a dear friend from college, and in October I will return to the city for my first travel blogging conference, TBEX.
Oh work. This has by far been the biggest source of stress for me this month. July was a decent one for me freelancing-wise, but the workflow was uncomfortably slow in August. It’s the first time I’ve ever looked at my bank account and actually felt true panic. While I had always intended to freelance in Phnom Penh, seeing that my savings had dwindled to such a low level made me realize how nice a full-time job and steady paycheck would be.
In the past few weeks I’ve sent my resume out to magazines and newspapers in the city. I even got a pretty decent job offer a week after moving here! But after careful consideration I turned it down…
It’s a decision that was painful for me, especially because I need the money so badly. But when it came down to it it was the right decision for me. Turning down a regular paycheck was a big challenge for me last month. And I’m pretty sure that it was part of the reason for my mini-meltdown.
So instead of committing to a normal, full-time job I spent the better part of last month trying to navigate the world of freelancing. It’s time consuming, it’s daunting and it’s hard work. But I do feel confident that with hard work and determination I’ll be able to make the freelance writing and editing thing work for me.
In August I spent most of my time coping with jet lag, job hunting and moving into my new apartment. I’ve had a lot on my plate but I’ve still managed to blog fairly regularly. But once I get a little more settled in Phnom Penh I plan to focus on this blog more and more.
While blogging has always been a hobby of mine I am intrigued by the idea of making this site more professional, reaching out to companies that I love and potentially trying to monetize this site. I have no plans of making my blog a primary source of income, but it would be nice! I’m mean I do pour my heart and soul into this site!
At this point that dream is definitely on the back burner while I pursue freelancing as a career. But I plan to continue blogging for the sole reason that I love doing it! And we’ll just see where it takes me. I am, however, getting really excited about TBEX, where I’m hoping to not only learn a lot more about the art of travel blogging but to learn a lot more about the freelancing world as well.
Also, blogging-wise, for anyone who’s interested, I just wrote a Luxury Guide to Jakarta for Hippie In Heels. Check it out not only because I’m a big admirer of Rachel’s site and her business savvy, but because the guide is really awesome if I do say so myself!
Most Popular Posts in August:
9 Fun & Weird Things to do in Jakarta – This post is now officially my most popular post ever, which makes me happy because Jakarta is such an underrated destination!
A Guide to Motorbiking Nusa Lembongan – This is one of my first-ever blog posts. I haven’t thought about it in forever but it received a bunch of views this month! I should probably create a Pinterest image for it…
What I Wrote in August:
Most Popular Instagram:
Thanks to all of you who are following me on Instagram and if you’re not on the bandwagon already what are you waiting for?! You can find me at thetravellush!
How did your August shape up?