When I Look Back at 2013

Happy New Year, friends!!! Where did you spend the Eve and the Day? New Year’s Eve is one of my very favorite holidays, and this time around – well, “last year!” – I spent it in one of my very favorite places: Chiang Mai, Thailand! An excellent holiday and an excellent location make for a great combination indeed. The Day was a little less exciting, as it began with a 5:30 AM wake-up only to greet a delayed-until-the-afternoon flight (boo). But I’m past it, I’m past it. Overall, I was able to spend five nights in Chiang Mai, where I met up with old friends, explored some of my favorite sights (I lived there for a summer back in 2011), and ate a lot of spectacular food. I also spent too much money on things like Soap and Glory lip gloss, a Hmong (hill tribe) quilt, and a giant Hmong purse, but what can ya do. (Well, you could save your money, I s’pose.) New Year’s gifts galore! Happy 2014!

Last year, I posted two “year in review” posts: one called When I Review 2012 + Vision Cast for 2013 and one complete with photos, called When I Look Back at 2012. Today’s and tomorrow’s posts will follow suit. Let’s start with the photos today. We’ll take a look at one photo {or more – lotsa memories!} per accompanying month from my 2013. A walk down memory lane!

January
My best friend, then living in Moldova (now in Russia), comes for a visit!
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February
I start settling into the best small group on the planet. Seriously, I miss these girls. 
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March
I spend ten days in Wales and London! And I spend Easter at Ava Monastery. 
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April
Several things: I apply to teach English in Thailand, I finish my term as Assistant Director of Missions, I say goodbye to one of my best friends, and I take my first ever mindblowingly awesome fitness classes
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May 
I graduate from college!! I visit friends and family around America. Then I spend two weeks at the beach before moving to Thailand.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

June 
On June 1, in fact, I head to the airport and begin the two-day, transcontinental trek to Thailand. I spend four days at orientation in Bangkok and then move into my apartment in a new city. The next day I start my first job as an English teacher abroad. A tiny hedgehog becomes my pet. I travel around Thailand.
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July 
More traveling ensues, including a trip to Elephant Island (Koh Chang) during our break for Buddhist Lent.

Lookout point on Koh Chang / long weekend
Lookout point on Koh Chang / long weekend

August
Travel, travel, travel.

Lookout point at Khao Yai / all-day hike
Lookout point at Khao Yai / all-day hike

September 
I’m in love with teaching, but then finals happen and it’s time to say goodbye to the students + hello to a 13-day vacation. 
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October
I finish up with my long, between-semesters trip, move into my first ever townhouse, and start a new job. 
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November
I get the house together, I make new friends at work, and we have a full American Thanksgiving dinner in the neighboring town! 

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December
I adopt two tiny and utterly adorable kittens + suddenly become a total cat lady. I’m stuck at home for a week with tonsilitis and learn how painful the waiting can be {appropriately, it’s also Advent}. I attempt to figure out how to “have the holidays” while abroad. My dear roommate from orientation comes for a visit. And then it’s New Year’s break in Chiang Mai! Woohoo! 

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Thanks for looking through my “blast from the past” (aha) with me! What are some of your favorite memories from 2013? What are you anticipating in 2014? Check back tomorrow for a little ditty about resolutions!

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