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Monthly Recap: October and November 2017

Monthly Recap: October and November 2017

Monthly Recaps

I’ve been traveling all over the place and didn’t want to worry about my laptop getting broken or stolen. So I’m rolling in October and November together. Even though November isn’t technically over, I’ll be leaving soon again so this will have to do!

What I Was Up to These Months:

I just got back from a month of traveling! I met up with some Peace Corps friends in Oregon, roadtripped to Washington, and then had an epic three weeks in Hawaii! It was the perfect trip and I’m so happy I did some traveling while recuperating from the Peace Corps blowout.

Where I Went:

Ruidoso, New Mexico

Portland, Oregon

Oregon Coast

Olympia, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Hawai’i Big Island



1. Getting an awesome cabin for my bday in Ruidoso

Me and Henry went to Ruidoso for my birthday. We splurged on a comfy cabin which was the perfect fall feeling. I loved spending a few days with Henry before setting off on my big trip. And I turned 25!

2. I got to see my Peace Corps friends

It was so good to reconnect with my friends after the evacuation. I don’t think any of us had time to really process anything during the evacuation and it was so great to talk about what it was like being back home and having someone understand my recent experiences. Plus, they’re tons of fun!

3. Eating delicious food in Portland and seeing an old friend

In Portland I got to see one of my childhood friends-she brought me to some great breweries and showed me the best spot in town for ice cream! I was in love with the foodie scene in Portland. And Portland in general! People compare Portland and Austin a lot but I was pleasantly surprised-I don’t think they could be more different! I loved Portland and could definitely go back for a longer trip.

4. Playing with a mischievous Labradoodle

We stayed with my friend Ashley’s grandma for a few nights when we were visiting Seattle. Her grandma was so lovely. And she had the cutest Labradoodle puppy who chased us around the house! It was so peaceful and fun.

5. Everything in Hawaii!

Seriously, Hawai’i blew me away. I thought I’d have fun but I was surprised at how much I loved Hawai’i-especially the big island. There was lots of road tripping through seriously beautiful landscapes, snorkeling, and adventure sports! I’m going to have to write a few posts on Hawai’i. And I have a lot of photos to go through and edit!

6. Headspace

I’ve started meditating daily with this app and I love it. I feel like my anxiety has definitely been reduced and I love the set-up of the app. I’ve finished the three foundation packs, a pack on acceptance, and singles like fear of flying. I’m currently working through a pack on change! If you’re looking to start meditating, I can’t recommend this app enough. It’s kind of pricey but worth the investment.


Luckily, the past few months have been mostly challenge free. I think life is giving me a bit of a break since everything has been so crazy recently!

Most Popular Post on Instagram:

Smiling because I❤️Hawaii Big Island

133 Likes, 10 Comments – Phyllis Goode (郝紫霞) (@phyllismgoode) on Instagram: “Smiling because I❤️Hawaii Big Island”

This was taken in Hilo on the Big Island! I love how happy and carefree I look after months of a bit of a rough time.

What I Listened to this Month:

Call It What You Want

Call It What You Want, a song by Taylor Swift on Spotify

I’m so glad Taylor Swift is on Spotify now!


PERSONAL JOURNALS – Dirty John – Ep.#1 | The Real Thing

PERSONAL JOURNALS – Dirty John – Ep.#1 | The Real Thing Debra Newell, an interior designer in Southern California, meets John Meehan on an over-50 dating site. His profile looks exciting: Anesthesiologist, divorced, Christian. She falls in love fast. But her children dislike him and warn her that his stories don’t add up.

I binged through Dirty John in October! It’s a real nail-biter. However, the main character Debbie annoyed me so much-how many red flags does one need? What’d you guys think?

What I Watched this Month:

Stranger Things 2 | Final Trailer [HD] | Netflix

The world has turned Upside Down. Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Watch Stranger Things on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 100 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen.

I think Season 2 lived up to the hype. I especially loved the new character Bob the Brain.


Coco for Kauai 🥥

111 Likes, 5 Comments – Phyllis Goode (郝紫霞) (@phyllismgoode) on Instagram: “Coco for Kauai 🥥”

I ate so much good food this month! But I was super pumped to be back in Hawai’i drinking fresh coconut water and eating the young fleshy coconut. It reminded me of my time in Bali!

What I Read this Month:

I’ve been reading a lot lately. So I’ll try to remember everything!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – A great story about life in Germany during the Holocaust and World War 2. Told through the eyes of a young girl who has moved in with a new couple-her mom is a Communist and takes steps to protect her-and Death who is weary from all the work he’s doing during the war. It was a creative and effective way to tell a story about life during the war and I loved this book.

The Dim Sum of All Things by Kim Wong Keltner – I bought this book because it had an adorable cover and promised “a sumptuous Chinese banquet” of literature. I hated it. I found the book very superficial and boring. Keltner spends half of the book obsessing over the main character’s boss. The other half is random and not well strung together. And the love story wasn’t even compelling.

Mischling by Affinity Konar – Another book about the Holocaust-sorry for being a bit of a downer. It’s about a pair of twins who were in Auschwitz. If you know much about Auschwitz and twins, they were experiments of the infamous Josef Mengele. The book is captivating, heart-breaking, and ultimately hopeful. 10/10 recommend.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance – J. D. Vance’s memoir walks you through Vance’s life growing up in poor Appalachia. Don’t read this expecting broad insights into why Trump was elected. But I liked it for opening my eyes to a portion of America that is often overlooked-and the cycle of abuse and drugs that is hard to escape from.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling – I’d heard from a lot of people that they didn’t like the newest addition to Harry Potter but I enjoyed it! It’s written like a play and while I won’t say it equals any of the Harry Potter books, I thought it was a quick, easy, and ultimately fun throwback.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Winner of the Wright Literary Fiction Award, the Underground Railroad was phenomenal. An actual train with underground stations brings Cora to different stations-all with varying degrees of freedom and different forms of oppression that mirror struggles African Americans have put up with since becoming “free”. This book is beautiful and lives up to the hype.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer – Author of Everything is Illuminated, Foer takes a look at his eating habits when he has a son. He delves into an investigation of where the animals we eat come from, how they’re raised, and the implications for us as a society. Foer strictly looks at the business behind eating animals, which he says isn’t a case for vegetarianism. To his credit, he looks into factory farms, but he also interviews farmers working to raise their animals ethically (think free range). However, I don’t think you could read this book and not do some soul-searching on your eating habits.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I’ve been meaning to read this true-crime story for forever. And ever since seriously considering applying to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in high school, I’ve been wanting to visit Savannah. This book was like nothing I’ve ever read, following residents around the community. There were times when I was literally laughing out loud at Berendt’s accounts. High praise for a book to illicit physical responses. Especially humor!

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – This book was an interesting insight into Malala’s life. I knew she had been shot by the Taliban and was an advocate for girl’s education around the world, but I didn’t really know anything else. This book was cool to see her involvement in Pakistan, how the ideology of terrorism is spread, and Malala’s own personal courage.

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza – To be honest, I was very hesitant about reading this book as it’s about finding God in the Rwandan genocide. While I love history, after being raised in the Bible Belt and going to church three times a week until I was sixteen, I’m at best hesitant to read any more books about Christianity and God. But Henry’s grandmother recommended it to me and gave it to me to borrow, so I thought I better knock it out. However, I ended up finishing the whole book in a day! Everything was so suspenseful. I remember watching Hotel Rwanda which is honestly where most of my knowledge on the genocide comes from. I learned a lot more from this book. Ilibagiza’s enduring faith, ability to forgive, and work to heal her country was also so beautiful. This book is not for the light of heart. But I think it’s remarkable-especially as a piece of literature from someone actually from Rwanda.

Coming Up in December:

I have a three week trip to India with some other Peace Corps friends that I’m stoked about! I leave tomorrow. Then I’ll be home for the holidays before going to Big Bend for New Years with my family and Henry.

Happy holidays!

About the author

I got my first taste of long-term travel when I took a gap year before beginning college. I lived and worked in Australia in one of the most transformative years of my life. Like many others, I caught the wanderlust bug and now I'm always busy adding to my bucketlist. Besides traveling, I'm into hiking and photography. I'm currently finishing up my senior year in college and planning my next big adventure!

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