After moving abroad I started compiling monthly roundup posts about life as an expat in Asia and all the nitty gritty that goes on behind the scenes here at Travel Lush. You can find all of my previous monthly roundup posts here.
So I’ve officially been an “expat” for a year and a half! That’s kind of crazy to think about. Not only did January mark a huge milestone in my life as an expat but it also happened to be a super-eventful whirlwind of a month. Obviously, following my BIG announcement, it’s no surprise that a lot of changes took place last month…
I bade farewell to Phnom Penh
I spent the first couple weeks of January trying my best to relish all of the chaos and craziness that made me fall in love with Phnom Penh in the first place. I took more tuk tuk rides and thoroughly enjoyed them. I ate at all of my favorite restaurants (expect another food post next week!) and probably gained a couple pounds in the process. I took extra time to appreciate the beautiful temples and old buildings that dot the streets. And I said my goodbyes to the very few friends I’d made in the city.
I packed up my surprisingly few possessions – my clothes and kitchenware – I scrubbed my apartment clean, and on January 18 I left Phnom Penh.
Oddly enough I’m finding it easier and easier to just up and leave places. So far I haven’t really missed living in Phnom Penh. Perhaps it’s just a side effect of this semi-nomadic life I’ve been living for the past year and a half, or maybe it’s just because Phnom Penh and I just didn’t click in the way I’d hoped we would. Whatever it is, I’m not sad about it. I’m actually at peace with the fact that I’ve moved on and excited about what’s to come.
I went home to California
After a 24-hour travel day I finally made it back to my home state of California. Considering it’s only been six months since my last visit, it kind of feels like I was just here. During the past couple weeks I’ve mainly been hanging out at my childhood home in San Diego. Of course I’ve been taking full advantage of being back home. I’ve eaten at most of my favorite taco shops in San Diego, I’ve made a conscious effort to appreciate the beautiful San Diego beaches (I miss living near the beach desperately), and I’ve spent some real quality time with my mom, dad and cat.
Last weekend Aaron and I also took a quick trip up to one of my favorite little cities called Ojai to visit his side of the family. We got to hang out with some of our best friends and spend tons of quality time with his parents and brothers. Considering I probably won’t be stateside anytime soon, I’m trying to make the most of family time while I’m here.
I attempted to pack for Beijing
Ugh, I have no idea what I’m doing in this department. I bought my first winter coat, though I’m totally unsure of whether or not it will keep me warm in the 20F weather that Beijing is experiencing right now. I also ordered dozens upon dozens of anti-pollution masks (a sad necessity for life in Beijing). Yep, that’s pretty much as far as I’ve gotten. I’m going to be ridiculously unprepared for Beijing…
Blogging in January
I mentioned before that I was in kind of a rut in Phnom Penh. And looking back I’m realizing just how much this rut impacted my blogging. Blogging had been an obsession of mine since I first launched Travel Lush nearly two years ago. But for some reason when I moved to Phnom Penh all of that passion and enthusiasm diminished.
Looking back over my posts the past few months I’m realizing what a bad blogger I’ve been. When I started blogging I always aimed to write at least one post a week. Clearly I haven’t stuck to that schedule. Sorry guys! The good news is that since leaving Phnom Penh I’ve felt rejuvenated. I’m planning on, and looking forward to, being much more prolific from here on out. I mean I am moving to China, and something tells me that I’m going to have a lot to say about it. The pollution, the culture shock, the history, the art — there will be no shortage of crazy and amazing stories about my life and travels in China and East Asia. And I am excited to write all about it!
Despite my not-so-stellar recent blogging habits this site is still slowly, but steadily, growing. And I did see a pretty sizable spike in traffic last month from one of my older posts, 6 Kickass Places to Visit in Bali. Thanks Pinterest!
Instagram in January
My most popular (and personal favorite) photo from January:
How did your January shape up?