I’ve noticed that my favorite bloggers have updates every month. I really enjoy the everyday insight into their lives and the cool things that don’t necessarily make it onto the blog. And I love the idea that I can go back and look at what I was enjoying and doing during any point in the month. So monthly recaps are here!
What I Was Up to This Month:
If you’ll remember, I traveled the whole month of November. December wasn’t much different! I went to India for three weeks with other Peace Corps friends. What is my life lately?? I did Christmas at home with my family. Then we went down to Big Bend for New Year’s together. What a great way to end the year!
Where I Went:
New Delhi, India
Big Bend National Park, Texas
1. Seeing more Peace Corps friends
These Peace Corps friends were in my Community Economic Development program and we were supposed to have sites together. It’s funny how close I got to so many people in the Peace Corps so quickly. They feel a lot like family. Shavina and Nacho are going back into the Peace Corps but it was great to be able to explore India with them.
2. Eating all the amazing Indian food
I was delighted by all the amazing street food and Punjabi food we got to eat every day. Especially because it was so cheap! I also loved that there were plentyyyy of options for vegetarians in India. Would consider moving to India just to eat all day.
3. Spending Christmas with my family
My parents have a new house that my mom has painted many different colors. And they painted the fireplace purple! I loved chilling at the house and relaxing with my sister. And Christmas morning mimosas were excellent.
4. Going to Big Bend National Park for NYE
One of my best family traditions is getting a cabin with family friends in Big Bend. We hike and play board games together in the evenings. This year I got to bring Henry which made the trip even more special! Ringing in 2018 with family, good food, friends, and hiking is literally the best thing in the world.
1. Moving around a lot
In traditional me fashion, I got sick and puked in India. Although it only happened one night and it thankfully, didn’t last. I suspect moving around all the time didn’t do anything for my immune system. By the time I got home I was utterly exhausted. I think I pushed my limits a bit going from a road trip in the PNW, to Hawai’i, to home for Thanksgiving, to India for two months. I’m ready to get settled in somewhere!
Most Popular Post:
Overcoming Fears and Flying High – I’m afraid of flying! Which is crazy because I fly a lot. This post is about working to conquer that fear and not let it keep me from doing cool activities-like taking helicopter rides.
My Favorite Photos from 2017 – 2017 was a good year for photography. I traveled a lot and worked on composition, manual settings, and editing. I think the results speak for themselves!
New Year, New Me: 8 Resolutions for 2018 – I love making New Year’s Resolutions. And by publishing these on my blog I’m announcing my intentions. That makes me more accountable right?
Most Popular Post On Instagram:
174 Likes, 11 Comments – Phyllis Goode (郝紫霞) (@phyllismgoode) on Instagram: “Third wonder of the world-✔️”
No surprises here.
What I Listened to This Month:
Lemon, a song by N.E.R.D, Rihanna on Spotify
New N.E.R.D. album and specifically this song that Henry showed me has been stuck in my head all month.
Our fears have roots. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction. by Aaron Mahnke
I’ve been listening to Lore for awhile now but I probably listened to 20 episodes or so this month. It’s fun, spooky, and creepy. In a good way.
What I Read This Month:
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (2015) – OMG I LOVED this book. I generally like books that teach me new things (particularly about people I already admire) but these types of books are rarely page turners. I usually read a chapter and then put it down and come back the next day (hopefully). However, this book completely captured my attention. I learned so much about the women’s rights movement and RBG’s early work. There were also times when I was laughing out loud. Great read.
The Revenant by Michael Punke (2015) – I picked this book up in a used bookstore because I loved the movie so much. The book follows the same basic premise of the movie but splits at key points. I was utterly absorbed. It’s suspenseful. And it’s all based on a true story. I’ve never read many books about exploring the West but I get why it’s romanticized. The stories of the trading post, danger of attacks, and harsh physical winters were crazy. This is a fun quick read and you won’t be disappointed.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (2016) – This book was a little hard to get into. To be frank, I was a bit bored of the dramas the main character goes through. The story is told through flashbacks into the main character’s childhood and recent past. When I was done I closed the book thinking what did I just read? As much as I didn’t enjoy the story persay, I enjoyed Zadie Smith’s writing. Her descriptions about West Africa were particularly beautiful-I felt like she captured the essence of my observations about Burkina Faso and the region. I’m ambivalent on my feelings towards the book as a whole.
“Fill your heart with the creative power to accept the past, decorate the present, and transform the future.” -Osho