On July 5, 2012, my two-year journey to Hong Kong was over. I stepped off a plane onto U.S. soil sad that my adventure was over, though excited about where my life was going next. I’ve skipped a gratitude post the last few years at New Years or Thanksgiving, so here’s a make-up covering the last 5 years:
- My family. I remember the few days before Elise was born waiting impatiently by my phone; it’s hard to believe that she’s going to be six and starting Kindergarten soon! My family and I have taken vacations (Canada, Tucson, and Seattle), been to family weddings, walked on trails, and ate endless meals together (it’s all about the food!).
- My friends. I’ve kept in contact with my girlfriends from Hong Kong and spent multiple holidays together. We’ve traveled to New York, Dallas, Paris, London, around Chicago, Spain, Portland, Mexico, and New Mexico. I’ve met some lovely friends in Chicago, too, and continue to keep in contact with friends from before I lived in Asia. Shout out to my crappy dinner party gals, Karen and Kristin, who I knew in HK and now live in Chicago!
- My job. I love my job at Girl Scouts; I enjoy what I do on a regular basis and have taken girls to some amazing places including Mackinac Island, Michigan, Colorado, England, and Switzerland. I’m off to Mexico in two weeks, as well!
- Yoga. When I returned from Hong Kong, I spent a month in California earning my 200-hour yoga certificate. I’ve been to yoga retreats in Cambodia and rural Illinois. I also started teaching my own yoga classes, most notably at 360 Chicago, the 94th floor observations deck at the John Hancock building.
- Travels. Besides the travels I’ve mentioned above, I took a 3-week trip to Cambodia and Laos, as well as a 2-week trip to Hong Kong and Thailand. Can you tell I’ve spent a lot of money and love on traveling?!
- Chicago. Within these five years, I wouldn’t have always said I was grateful for Chicago. I found parts of it particularly challenging – the dating scene, finding friends, etc. I still can’t say I totally LOVE Chicago, but I am appreciative of all of opportunities it’s afforded me, as well as the friends I have. I can honestly say now that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I ❤ you, Chicago!