Sunday August 4th, 2013
There is no place like home. There is no place like home. Sometimes I feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz clicking my converse shoes on the streets of a foreign city…anxiously awaiting for my next flight…and in 9 hours and 36 minutes I arrived back in the US of A. In HoTLanta, I sleepily went through immigration and admitted to having an orange from the market in my purse. Waited for my bags, went through a checkpoint and got redirected to a second screening for bringing an agriculture product into the country. Never again will I spend an extra 30 minutes in line for an orange that I should have eaten on the plane. (Really, Megan?) Security also took a long time. And in total, before 8 am, I had stood in lines for about an hour and half. Get me on that plane. Changed clothes and put on make-up and got my first iced coffee of summer. Not gonna lie I felt pretty good after 11 hours of traveling so far. 2 more hours to go!
I arrived in Omaha to my cousin and friend’s smiling faces! The best ever! We had brunch, then sat on a bench outside and played scattergories, saw a movie, and caught up on life. Later we went to my grandparents’ house for a delicious Welcome Back to America dinner of chicken garlic pizza and homemade peach berry pie. Being home is wonderful…summertime heat, evening walk with the family, country music, laughter, Sunday morning coffee with another dear friend, family, and friends…I could not ask for more.
Eighteen days until my next ESL teaching adventure to Hsinchu County, Taiwan. I am helping mom out during this time as well as catching up with friends. I head to St. Louis two weeks from today to spend time with Timmie before flying to Taiwan.
I’m so happy to be home in Nebraska during this time and am soaking up all the love and hugs from the amazing people here!
Tuesday August 13th, 2013
the secret to island juicy mangoes is to let them sit on the counter in the warmth of the sun for a few days…melt.in.your.mouth.
Last Saturday, my friend Angie and I woke up at 6:45 isn to head into Kearney to get our hair done and have a girl’s day. Beautiful country sunrise. Coffee. Morning chatter as we cruised the interstate. Arrived at the hair salon…5 hours later we had fabulous hair! A little TLC, dye, and cut goes a long way for a new look and uplifted attitude. After lunch and a few shops, we headed back to town and went on an evening walk. We have been walking every night and our two hour long conversations have been much needed, I am so blessed to have her in my life!
On Sunday, another dear friend, Mandy, drove down from Lincoln. We had a lovely brunch and coffee and caught up. It was a crazy busy summer for her, and it was so so wonderful to spend the afternoon with her. What a special friend she is to me…very motivating and inspiring! My grandparents also stopped by Panera to say hello before heading out to California for a summer vacation.
The past couple days of country highway driving back and forth to Kearney reminded me how much I love driving in the wide open spaces with the windows rolled down and the radio up, wind blowing through my hair… so many thoughts whipping through the strands, but I know that everything’s gonna be alright… summer jams on the radio…wishful thinking…so much excitement…in love with life…and then I remind myself that I really shouldn’t sing, but I continue to blast the radio so it drowns my off-key notes out.
Now that I’m in the single digits (9) before flying to Taiwan, I’m trying to pack and prepare for another year of new sites, sounds, language, and people. I have had great conversations and hang outs with close friends here and I’m focused on enjoying those before focused on the upcoming newness…but it’s hitting me now! 🙂
Summertime rain this morning, and dad and I drove to Lex to get groceries…have a few errands to run and things to do for Mom, but gotta love an early morning workout…coffee and cookies…and little bit of laziness with the clouds.
|love this little girl!
Monday August 19th
A quick recap…
Phew! What a blur of activity the past week! Finished helping mom with her classroom projects. On Thursday
, Dad and I drove to Norfolk to have dinner with Grandma, Uncle Mike, Aunt Laurie, and Jason. It was great seeing them for the evening. We drove to Omaha that night. Friday
was spent relaxing at Stories Coffeehouse
with a good book and an iced coffee. Went to Lincoln that night to hang with Lori. We ate at Leadbellies,
one of many new restaurants in the Haymarket area and visited an old college bar hang out as well. Good times. Saturday
morning on my drive back to Omaha I saw the most electric sunrise, what a beautiful drive, in the
afternoon I went for a lovely summer walk, got my nails done, ran some errands, and visited with another sweet friend, Liz. That evening Dad and I went to California Taco
for tacos (duh!) and margaritas. It’s been nice having time to myself with both Dad and Mom this past week. 🙂 Sunday,
I met up with my friend Ann, who was also in Korea at the same time as me, and is now headed to China to finish her Masters and teach English…what an inspiring conversation about teaching and traveling! Allison took me to the airport…my cousin is the best…so lucky to have her in my life. My suitcase only weighed 49.0 lbs! Yay! The first time for not having to take stuff out on the airport floor. One bag, one small rolling carry-on and a shoulder bag. Think I’m getting this packing thing down! Had a interesting chat with the girl sitting next to me on my flight to STL…her sister had just gotten back from teaching in China a couple months ago. Of course you tell each other your life stories in just one hour…! 🙂Four days to Taiwan!
I feel like I’ve had a lot of thoughts to share, but I can’t remember them now…One thing never ceases to amaze me is the amount of love and support I have from family and friends back home in Nebraska. I cannot express enough my gratitude for each and every person in my home state. I had the most wonderful 2 weeks back home and now I am in Missouri, spending time with Timmie before I fly out on Thursday.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
I was asked the other day…”So..why Taiwan?” I honestly cannot answer that question. I was applying for jobs and apartment hunting in Chicago and an ad popped up on the side advertising the website: asiateachingjobs.com. (I googled searched a few others as well). So I filled out a generic application that gets blasted to different recruiters in various countries of choice. A school in Cambodia contacted me, and my school in Taiwan. I went through interviews and within two weeks time had switched my Chicago mindset to Taiwan. In 2013, I have experienced two winters, warmth and sunshine would be welcomed! and I haven’t received a paycheck since September of 2012. My financial stability was counting on a good job and cheap apartment. With my desire to still complete my bucket list of travel experiences and countries, I knew I had to save as well…at this point in time Chicago was not offering both. As much as I told myself I would never sign another full year contract…and the chance of going back to Asia to teach was slim…the pull was there…the pay, the conveniences, the close vicinity to other dream destinations, the opportunity to gain more teaching experience…and attempt to learn a third language. So off I go. Something totally unexpected and somewhat out of the blue…but I am ready…(even though the turn around time from Chile to home to Taiwan was short)!!! I’m excited for this next adventure: learning another way of teaching, developing myself, getting my healthy routines back, and adapting to another culture and corner of the world!!!