2014 is the Year of the Horse, under the twelve animal signs of the Chinese zodiac. Were I still in Shanghai, I would see red lanterns and giant horses strung up all over the city in celebration of the auspicious occasion. Last year was the Year of the Snake, supposedly a period of great change and the shedding of old skin. As someone born in a Snake year, I thought I would feel this growth and rebirth most acutely. I was hoping for a great epiphany in which the purpose of my life would finally be revealed and I would set off on my clear new course.
Needless to say, this didn’t happen.
While 2013 had some incredible moments, it wasn’t profound on that level. I’m still struggling to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and define my goals as an expat/blogger/writer. But during my two weeks home with family, I had plenty of time to ponder these issues and am now chomping at the bit to sort them out.
I recently read a post that resonated with me, about embracing our own quirks and owning who we are. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that I can be something of a goofball. I like to have FUN! The whole point of this blog has been to show my friends and family all the fun things I was doing across the world while based in strange and wonderful Shanghai. But I’ve come to realize that my blog has lacked a key element – photos of myself in action. That changes right now. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to, well, ME!
From now on, I plan to incorporate more photos of me being my silly, authentic self. I will try also to share more personal insights into the places I visit rather than just the facts, ma’am. Maybe I’ll go back and tell you why I wasn’t crazy about Beijing, or how I felt taking my first solo international trip to Hong Kong. Or maybe I’ll just move forward and share new experiences as they happen. If there are specific things you want to hear about, please let me know.
I’m hoping that by opening myself up a bit more, I will make more heart-felt connections with like-minded travelers. I met some fabulous ladies in Shanghai who enriched my time there and continue to inspire me from afar. As I prepare for my next expat adventure, I am also setting the stage for new friendships with people who will introduce me to new foods and experiences, motivate and challenge me in equal measure and, most importantly, make me laugh.
I’m getting ready to move overseas again in a few months. (Stay tuned this spring for more!) I can tell you it’s a place I’ve never visited before and one I’m extremely excited to explore. I hope to become an expert on my new home, establishing favorite spots around town and sharing recommendations and cultural tidbits about this up-and-coming destination.
In the meantime, I plan to enjoy my time in the States, reconnecting with friends and family and playing tourist in my backyard. I’d like to visit a few new-to-me states while here and take my first trip to Canada, our great neighbor to the north.
I also want to reestablish my yoga practice, something I enjoyed while living in NYC but haven’t done for years. I took a sunrise class on the beach in Thailand, and while I felt great afterwards, I ultimately never sought out a Shanghai studio. Here, there’s one just up the street so I have no excuse aside from laziness. I don’t intend to curtail my food adventures, so more exercise is in order to make sure I’m in prime condition for future fun-doing!
What dreams do you want to gallop towards in the Year of the Horse?