That moment when you’re in an Audi, giving your Uber driver directions in Chinese. And the driver understands you.

 

 
Proper Cafe and Latte Art.
A typical afternoon for a teacher and grad student.
Deep House Music.
and my post-its.
A few weeks ago…

I read a dear friend’s blog post over my lunch break. “I recently heard author Michael Hyatt say that rather than escaping his life, he wanted to create a life he didn’t want to escape from. Brilliant.” So now this quote has transferred from Mr. Hyatt to her to me- to you, dear readers. I feel.the.same.way. My life. Is. Brilliant. and each year it’s Brilliance makes me stand in awe…each experience. each challenge. Why would I want to “escape” from the raw beauty of eclectic- ness and character? 
My life isn’t considered mainstream, 9-5, but that doesn’t work for me. If it works for you, embrace it. Find something to stand in awe about each day. Because really from afar not working 9-5 seems glamorous, but really I do the same things as you, only in a different order, in a different way. But why would you want to copy someone else’s lifestyle? For example, this morning my alarm clock rang at 6:17 (I have a weird thing about times. Never an even number, but never a 5 either.), I got up, got ready, and was on a bus by 7:40 to ride for an hour to the school’s second campus. Then I struggled with my phone/internet to talk to a friend, but it failed. Life abroad? Perhaps. Taught my students then had a lunch break, before teaching another class. Back on the bus to the main campus, yoga tonight, then paper writing, and to bed early because the bus leaves at 6:45 tomorrow morning. 
Escaping life isn’t an option. Embracing life, embracing culture..now that is. My holiday trips consist of experiences, personal development, and rejuvenation for the.next.thing. Don’t escape life. Live it. “Invest in it.” My friend mentioned a “growth getaway” in her post… even though I’m not married, I think self-improvement, development, and establishing goals for myself is key, and recognizing the time to take to spend on these aspects will make a better me. 

*****The other day when I came back after yoga class I had this amazing idea of a Yoga Journey Around the World. It had been a great practice after a rough day and I haven’t had the opportunity to write for fun lately, so I wrote it. Then the internet and my VPN decided to fail and I lost the whole article and photos…and my time. Insert a mass amount of frustration here. A few days later I have composed myself to write again and hopefully the post is just as good as the first… 🙂

It started in Kenya when I was first introduced to my friend (who now has her own studio, so if you’re ever in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area check out: 3Tree Yoga ) who would practice most days. She had a mini yoga class with the other students studying abroad, but I was unable to attend because I had class. One morning I was able to observe her practice and just thought “oh my goodness I will never be able to do this…” and now 9 years later I can do some of the same poses!

After that I started taking 6 a.m. yoga classes at UNL and somehow convinced my non-morning person friend to join me! (Thanks Meredith!) Even on those freezing cold mornings we would go…and always thought that Sunday afternoon classes were so much better.

Once I graduated, I moved to Arizona and started taking Bikram yoga classes. Now looking back I wonder “why the heck would anyone do HOT yoga in a DESERT?” Simple. The 120 temps outside felt cool compared to the heated humid room. Talk about a breath of fresh air. And we never paid full price nor actually joined a studio during those days, did we Daniella? It was Groupon all the way. Free weeklong trials? Pay 20$ for one month unlimited. Sold. New member discount? Done. Every time. Over and over again. Nothing like going to every studio in the valley.

Then I moved to Korea. Now this was the most convenient studio ever. It was also where Sarah and Taryn and I bonded over trying to do the crazy poses that our 50 year old teacher could do without so much as batting an eye. My yoga teacher and my Korean mother who gave me herbal medicine when I was sick and made dinner for my own parents during their visit. This place is still dear to my heart. The fresh fall or spring breezes through the open window or the heated floors on those frigid mornings when we would bundle up to cross the street. 요가. One of the first Hangul words I read…kind of like a lightbulb moment, of ohhh I get these symbols and sounds now! 
음 지 금 지 친구.

 




visiting after one year!
 

 

My friends and I vacationed to Boracay after completing our contracts in Korea. Here was where beach=yoga=magic. Not to mention the yoga studio was above the most delicious Indian cuisine ever. Sunsets. and Relaxation. and Laughter. Repeat. 

 

 

 

 

 



Between Boracay and Chile I did yoga at our family’s YMCA and I dinked around with the yoga routine I tried to memorize in Korea. But nothing too intense or stable.


In Chile as a part of the government’s English initiative the volunteer were required to conduct an extracurricular activity after school in English. So I taught simple yoga poses to those interested. How fun!


After Chile, came Taiwan. I did yoga at the gym with my gym “family.” I had a variety of teachers and types of yoga including “dancing yoga.” It was here that I developed an actual routine of doing yoga on a daily basis. Yay~ What a fabulous year of yoga! And a Acro-yoga experience in Cambodia during a quick trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 



I did yoga in Bali, on the top of a mountain in Padang Bai, next to the ocean on Gili Air, and among jungle trees in at the Yoga Barn in Ubud (with Laura…we both agreed that it was a “slightly” intense practice followed by hippie organic energy snacks and fresh juice). Sometimes the classes are full of too serious people who can’t laugh at themselves. Because let’s be real, if I fall out of a pose, I’m pretty much guaranteed to be cracking up and get fits of giggles. Life is too short A. not to laugh and B. not to laugh at yourself! And a headstand in the sand on Bira Beach on South Sulawesi courtesy of Ms. Lini!


 

 



Yoga Shakti kept Katie and I sane this summer in between all of our grad school assignments and group projects! A true escape from campus and a time to zennn out…or at least try! Nonetheless, we were thankful for a new member discount package and a variety of classes to get us moving and out of our desk postures and craned necks. 

And now. Japa Yoga in Shanghai. I love it. I may be slightly addicted/obsessed motivated/ecstatic …whatever you want to call it. My teacher, Vanessa, is amazing and my friend and mentor Ann, also assists and has her own class on occasion as well which is so special to me!  I also invited Jazmine to join me…so we have our Mind.Body.Soul. Sundays. It’s been a solid three months now that I have developed my own Ashtanga yoga practice. Everyday I’m getting stronger, both physically and mentally. Everyday I prove to myself that yes, I can do this. It’s such a revitalizing experience. My body is healthy and so is my mind. Dedication at it’s finest as I am traveling an hour each way to practice. So no matter the weather, or how tired I am, I go. Because I know that after 90 minutes of work that I will feel so much better and I owe that to myself. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



I have been blessed by so many incredible teachers, breath-taking sceneries, unforgettable accomplishments, and worldwide friends throughout this yoga journey of mine. That is why I talk about it so much and why it’s so important to my daily life. 

*****


Also there are songs that should never be listened to while it’s raining and you’re feeling sentimental…such songs include: Ellie Goding’s “How Long Will I Love You,” and Lee Brice’s “That Don’t Sound Like You.” Insert weepy tears that match the window pane on the bus. Such descriptions should not be allowed when focus is needed for the paper due this weekend and a dozen other things needing checked off my to-do list. Focus self. Focus Focus Focus. Because now a walk in the pouring rain to buy chocolate to go with my wine is probably going to happen. Thank you hoodies and sweatpants to make me look “out of place” among the finely dressed people here in China on this miserable weathered night. (Sometimes I miss the casualness of American dress…especially when I just need to run into the convenience store…I just can’t bring myself to wear heels and put on makeup to buy chocolate…) Nothing like standing out in crowd.

Bottle of Wine and a pumpkin shaped cookie and a box of orange PEEPS. Happy Halloween to me. Mind. Body Soul. Sunday. Great flow yoga class and productive study day. Sunday Worship, brings me to tears. I Want To Know You Lord. In the secret, in the quiet place… Pull me a little Closer. Thought of a creative lesson to demonstrate Inquiry-Based Learning. I’m doing a literal inquiry lesson by teaching students how to ask questions to continue the conversation. Great idea, huh? To introduce the main question words I’m doing fill-in-the-blank lyrics of brief song snippets: “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking?” (Blake Shelton), “What Do You Mean?” (Justin Beiber), “When I See You Again?” (Wiz Khalifa), “Where Is The Love?” (Black Eyed Peas), “How Do I Live? (LeAnn Rimes), “(Why) you gotta be so rude?” (Magic!)


My goodness. It’s already November. My birthday month. The past two weeks have been filled with writing my pilot thesis study, teaching on the “Good Life,” usual yoga and city life. It’s been rainy and cold here. I chopped my hair short and dyed it dark. Starbucks now has red holiday cheer cups and I bought a Shanghai city Christmas themed mug. White roses were being sold on a random flower cart outside church today. I couldn’t resist. Ten beautiful white roses for less than $5. The vases? Empty almond milk glasses from my organic store I order online from. Brilliant. Today (Sunday the 15th), two of my best Shanghai friends surprised me with pumpkin caramel cake, chips n dip, and wine…so wonderfully blessed by their friendship and kindness! So happy…happy 29!!! It’s sure to be a fabulous year. Cheers~ Monday brought family FaceTime, Thai lunch with a dear Chinese friend, Coffee and call from an Indonesian friend, and yoga zen time. Really the most perfect birthday celebrations. Tuesday continued the birthday fun with tapas and happy hour Sangria. Yay! 


Saturday November 21st.
A recent song played on my “Acoustic Afternoon” Spotify mix…by Brandon Rhyder.
It’s a beautiful morning, to see the sun rise
It’s moments like this that make me wish I could freeze frame time
I got a hot cup of coffee, gonna watch the world come alive
Surrounded by nature likens the innocence of a new born child

Sometimes we laugh, and sometimes we cry
Some days it’s hard to figure out our way in this life
But it’s moments like these that make me wish
I could freeze frame time.

I got a picture in my pocket, of my baby boy
He’s growing up so fast I swear he thinks he can conquer the world
Just yesterday evening, he come running up to me
He said he made his momma mad and that she said he was just like me

And I laughed until I cried, all swallowed up with pride
You should have seen the concern in that little boy’s eyes
Yes it’s moments like this that make me wish
I could freeze frame time

You are and angel, you taught me how to fly
You picked me up when I was down turned me around and you made me fly high
We’re a little bit older now, together we’ve seen some change
But I love you more now than I did on that very first day


Sometimes we laugh, and sometimes we cry
Some days it’s hard to figure out our way in this life
But’s moments like this that make me wish
Yes it’s moments like this that make me wish
Yes it’s moments like this that make me wish
I could freeze frame time
 

But really if we could freeze frame time, what would it look like? I took the day off teaching today…though I will make up the lessons next Friday. It’ll be fun to show Thanksgiving clips and do I’m thankful for…activities. Sometimes life just needs to be paused. To savor a heartfelt moment, or simply to “catch up” on life…it was wonderful to take that time this morning to talk with family and friends in three different countries, pick up groceries from an organic market that delivers, make coffee and listen to Country Coffeehouse tunes, clean, light candles with a match…and watch the drizzle fall from the sky. I will do lesson plans and celebrate a friend’s birthday in the city later today. And yoga, church, Thanksgiving dinner with the MAIS grad students. Only 3 weeks left of the semester!!! Phew what a fast and furious three months this has been…challenging and fulfilling! 

Thanks for being my friend!

 

Awake at 5 am.! Coffee and Half Marathon time!

 

Sunday yoga time!

 

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE IN SHANGHAI
life is good.

 

 

 

 

green smoothie and honey ginger tea!
gotta stay healthy.

 

Ahh love our Sunday routines! Yay friend!

 

Saturday class
Listening and Speaking: Kenya presentation
Saturday class:
Listening and Speaking: NEBRASKA presentation

 

Pronunciation class Learning Journal
#findthehumor
Christmas time at Starbucks!

 

one of the last blue sky sunny days for a while…

 

 

 

Reasons to love Asia…
Fruit Markets.
A bag of fruit for less than $5

 

hair salon

 

new hair

 

I have amazing friends.
Surprise!
Happy 29th!

 

beautiful white roses

 

Thank you Google.

 

Study sesh before tapas…love this coat…
Allison has a match one!!!

 

Tapas AND Dessert

 

 

Simply Thai. Already sunshine and beach dreamin!

 

birthday nails and caramel macchiato
study sesh with MAIS cohort!
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