Sunday, October 22, 2017

Looking Back on a Year of Travel

This year has turned out to be a constant stream of travel for me:

  • Mid Last November - Guangzhou, China for work for 8 days
  • Late Last December - Cancun, Mexico for vacation for 7 days
  • Early February - Mexico City and Xalapa, Mexico for work for 4 days
  • Middle March - Ohio and Kentucy to visit family and meet my new nephew for 6 days
  • Early June - San Salvador, El Salvador for work for 6 days
  • Late June - Treviso and Venice, Italy for work for 6 days
  • Early July - Ohio for my cousin's wedding for 2 days
  • Middle July - Shanghai and Guangzhou, China + Hong Kong + Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia for work for 11 days
  • Late August - West Point, New York to visit friends and nephews for 4 days
  • Early September - North Carolina for continued education for work for 4 days
  • Late September - Rome, Capri and Naples, Italy for vacation for 10 days

Coming up, I'm already planning an "around the world" trip for work, including both El Salvador and Italy again before heading back home. And there have been several back and forth trips and a couple long layovers in Colorado sprinkled in there, too. It's safe to say that I'm feeling a little maxed out on the travel front. But the experiences, food and friends that you find along the way are always a perk.

The tough part about all of the back and forth everywhere is that it makes your time more precious than usual. Downtime becomes much needed recuperation time. So instead of recapping all of the trips in detail for you here, I'll just post up some of the best photos from the year.

 Holidays in Hong Kong for work, 2016

Mexico for vacation, 2016

Visiting Family, 2017

El Salvador for work, 2017

Northern Italy, for work 2017

Shanghai, for work 2017

Hong Kong


Indonesia, for work 2017

West Point to visit Friends, 2017

Southern Italy, for vacation 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Catching Up

I'm sitting here in my hotel room in the capital city of El Salvador, waiting to meet my team for dinner, and thought I would use a rare 30 free minutes to update our blog. But now that I'm sitting here typing, I'm not quite sure what to put in this update... Work has become crazy hectic for me these last six months. I took on a bigger role on our team back in March, and it has been a non-stop whirlwind of change and constant movement ever since. My brain gets filled up to its full capacity every single day, and the evenings are spent with the hubs, trying to make myself forget about the details of the day and relax. Traveling this week to San Salvador has proven to be challenging. When I don't get that evening time at home, I find myself working late into the night. It just never ends.

The funniest part about all of the stress and difficulty in this job, is that I love it. There are certainly days that are frustrating, and people that are frustrating. But it's been a long time since I felt so challenged and pushed to be the best that I can be in a work environment. I see the accomplishments of our work every day, and it feels very rewarding to be a big part of all this positive change.

I guess it's this busy work life that's kept me from feeling the need to send updates here. It's not exactly exciting to report on how well my projects are going at work or how a meeting turned out. And I've been making a specific commitment to myself to allow my free time to be non-regimented in any way. I have to be able to unwind in the evenings and on the weekends to be my best throughout the week. So I'm boring. haha  I spend evenings watching cooking shows, Jeopardy and whatever is new on Netflix. On the weekends, I lay by the pool, reading books and listening to music. One of these days, I'll be getting back on my bike to train for more triathlons. After almost a year off from training, I'm starting to feel "the bug" again... But it's taken me a while to get there after my 70.3 last July.

Maybe I'll have more to post someday soon. In the meantime, just know that all is going well out in California for us. We're busy, but happy. Drivers here are crazy, and the roads suck. Cycling is scary out on the crazy roads with the mean drivers, but we still go do it. And we can't complain about a winter that didn't have any snow... So life can't really be too bad.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vacation 2016

This year, we sent ourselves off to another all-inclusive resort in Mexico for some down time at the end of a crazy year. The resort was beautiful, but most certainly not one of the best we've ever visited. Despite it's shortcomings, the sun was shining on us every day, the ocean was warm and welcoming, and it felt so good to lay around and have no responsibilities to time or money for a full week.

Filling Our Small Space

San Jose area in California is one of the most expensive places to live in this country. So when we moved out here, it was necessary for us to seriously down-size. We went from a 2100 square foot house (not including our basement storage) to a 1200 square foot apartment (with no basement). We lost a garage space, and reduced our outside space by a ton! Before the move, I had take a few weeks to seriously clean out our closets, storage areas, cupboards and garage. I donated more than 50 giant bags full of items to Good Will, and we found new homes for many pieces of furniture that we weren't really using. It felt GREAT to purge all of the unnecessary items from our home, and I don't even know how we would have moved into this space without doing it.

The saddest part is that we're still super crammed into this place. (A tiny house would just not be for me, I guess!). We have closets stuffed full, and I've even stacked boxes in the guest bathtub that we never use as last-resort extra storage. On top of that, the apartment is very old with drafty windows and families of mice that like to come visit us. Ultimately, it was a great idea to move into this place to get familiar with the area. We live across the street from my office, so I walk to work every morning. There is a grocery store across the street the other way, so we can walk to do almost all our errands as well. I do love that about this location.

Eventually, we'll start looking for something that suits our needs a little better though. I miss a bigger kitchen for all the cooking that I like to do, and the lack of space for any guests is frustrating. The hubby's bike trainer is set up in the living room, and our dining table sits directly next to our living room entertainment center. It's just not as good as it could be. So we'll start doing some location research soon. If it would just stop raining, maybe we would feel like getting out to explore more...