Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life at Twenty-Three... is hard.

Oof, this year has been such a challenge.  Thank goodness that I committed to this blog!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Day Before International Travel!!!!

If you know me, you know I love to travel.  At least every year since I was born I've left the country (hahah, mostly to Canada).  But when I was16, I took my first solo trip abroad to Argentina.  Since then I have traveled internationally at least once each year; some years, much more.  But since returning from Morocco TWO YEARS AGO (I cannot believe it!) I haven't left the country.  BIG SAD FACE!

I've been stuck in real life- graduating,  trying to find a job,  moving (a few times), finding a job, quitting job(s)...  Travel didn't seem to fit in.  But, it's in the very thread of my being. And so, I'm very happy to announce my return to the international circuit.

My trip to Costa Rica, lasting 10 days, will be one of my shorter stays in-country.  I tend to pride myself on longer trips where I get to know the place a bit better.  But, despite being bummed that I won't have more time to refresh my language skills, this time it's all about getting out of the US. 

This is my second attempt at going to Costa Rica.  Back in Summer 2007 (after a treacherous year in Indiana), I purchased a ticket to Costa Rica, only to cancel it a few weeks later. As you know, I almost canceled this trip as well.  But even though I'm amidst a move, a rekindled relationship, and unemployment, now is the perfect time to go.

As I mentioned when I updated my list, chances are I won't be able to cross Brazil off the list.  (Brazil was the first country I ever expressed an interest in at the mature age of three).  But going to Costa Rica is an accomplishment in its own right.

As of now, less than 24 hours prior to departure, I do not have an itinerary.  There are places I would like to go: Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Jaco... But I'm challenging myself to keep it unstructured- we'll see where the trip takes me! 

And yes, I will be taking my camera!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Update on the List!

Hold a 1 hour conversation, entirely in Arabic
---- So I don't think I had a blog post dedicated to this topic, but I can honestly check this one off the list.  Thanks to a few friends that I made through the Arabic language meet up group, a lot of flashcards, and listening to more BBC Arabic podcasts than I can to admit, I was successful at speaking for an entire hour in Arabic.

Now, I don't think I could do it again now, which is discouraging, but OK.  I don't know if I'm meant to use Arabic in my professional life.  But I do know that those roots, grammar rules and countless words are buried somewhere in my brain.

Plan an anniversary party for my parents
----  Success!  It wasn't as glamorous as I once hoped, but what ever is?  It was a great party, lots of people, and wonderful food (which I helped put together).  Check out the post here

Get personal training
----  This is EXPENSIVE, and with my life now paycheck to paycheck, it isn't feasible for the long-term.  But I did purchase a LivingSocial deal back in February for Fitness Together which is a one-on-one training facility.  Rates are around $90/hour, woof.  But the two sessions that I went to were both great! For now, I'll stick to running and yoga.  

❒ Run a half marathon

❒ Complete my yoga teaching certification; film myself teaching a class

❒ Go to Brazil
---  I may not make it to Brazil, but I leave for a week in Costa Rica this Friday!

Move in with Ben
----  We moved into an apartment this weekend!  The place is really cool, right near the Capitol.  In fact, I passed it on my way to work this morning.  I don't know that I'll ever stop thinking the Capitol building is super cool. 

❒ Take either a dance or computer class

❒ Take an art class of some sort

❒ Take 3 pictures (or create 3 new art pieces) and frame them for wall art

❒ Try 5 meet-up groups

❒ Read 5 books, that aren't romantic comedies

Start a spice garden
----  I did!  Actually, it was an herb garden, and it became a vegetable garden as well.  Little did I know how horribly hot DC would be- most of my herbs and veggies were unsuccessful (because they were in containers and dried out WAY too quickly.  But, it was definitely a learning experience and I feel much more qualified to try again in the future. 

Host a fancy dinner party while my friend on the West Coast, Alice, prepares the same meal
----  Check!  I cannot believe I never blogged about this.  But we both prepared an excellent Moroccan stew that I ate for weeks.  We even had Moroccan guests that made awesome (and authentic) mint tea.   

❒ Try 15 new restaurants around the DC and share the experience

❒ Find 15 new recipes to try, prepare them, and document the successes (or failures)

❒ Start a blog, and write in it at least twice a month

And the quest continues....