334. Even though no one, not even really myself liked my ultra short hair, it was totally worth it. I’ve gone this entire year without doing anything to my hair other than wash and brush it.
335. The more I talk with people the more it becomes clear that a lot of people truly misunderstand what it means to be a feminist.
336. Suggested reading: “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
337. Not everyone needs to understand the decisions you make. I’ve learned we all spend too much energy trying to explain ourselves to people.
338. Amazon is a wonderful thing; did you know you can find things like bug spray and sunscreen in bulk? #thethingsInowshopfor
339. People often would joke with my family that I was probably an only child because there’s no way my parents could handle more than one of me.
340. At some points in my life, this was sort of hurtful. Now I’m thankful my parents never tried to “tame” me. I believe my “wild side” has given me the courage to go places and do things I wouldn’t have otherwise.
341. When I was a young girl I developed an obsession for palm trees vicariously through my grandparent’s travels. I had my grandpa take pictures of himself hugging palm trees in various places around the world to give to me. Now as an adult living among palm trees, I’m happy to confirm they are indeed my favorite tree!
342. Trying to take a decent picture of a butterfly is no small feat.
343. I maintain that some of the best times you’ll ever have are impromptu, unplanned occasions; always remember this before turning down a last minute invite.
344. If you’re traveling in a volcanic area and searching for hot springs, I encourage you to ask a local where you can find actual, natural hot springs.
345. The natural hot spring pools that have been created by resorts and national parks are cool, but if you can step into a natural spring or river and find the different hot pockets and varying temperatures yourself, you’ll really appreciate the magic behind hot springs!
346. Don’t be shy to take a noodle when offered. It makes snorkeling so much easier and more relaxing!
347. I would have never imagined the sheer size and glory of humpback whales without seeing them with my own eyes.
348. In a year completely removed from any gift giving, I realize I’m not much of a gift giver.
349. I would much rather buy something nice for someone randomly, for no reason or just to let them know I appreciate them. Or buy someone dinner or pay for them to do something fun with me – than force this gesture through a holiday shopping frenzy, or feel like I have to look at someone’s wish list to figure out what to get them.
350. I’m so sold on the philosophy of this value that I admittedly sometimes forget not everyone feels that way.
351. Terrorism has struck around the world this year. Witnessing this from a place that might be one of the least likely places to ever be involved in an event like this has been eye opening.
352. Governments, leaders and media outlets around the world, but particularly in the U.S. seem to feed right into what these “terrorists” want. Do your own research, beyond the mainstream. And as you’ve probably noticed a common theme throughout my lessons this year, don’t let fear rule you.
353. For the record, this is not a bash on the Obama administration. Despite some flopped policies, and with my opportunity to observe from the outside, I’ve been able to determine that I think he did a damn good job as President. I’ll be sad to see him go especially with the current successor options.
354. All my life I’ve been hesitant to “identify” with certain titles, groups, etc. And still not much has changed. I’m more liberal than I ever even realized, but I would not call myself a democrat. In fact I think the distinction between the parties is one of the biggest parts of the problem.
355. I have learned to appreciate a good rainfall. In a previous life I used to say I “hated” rain. But now, I rather welcome and enjoy it.
356. Cheese has been probably my most missed food item. You can find it here, but to find and buy really good cheese is a bit of a treasure hunt and it’s quite expensive as of course, much of what I would consider good cheese, is imported. Wah!
357. People said I would miss seasons and maybe snow around the holidays, I thought maybe I would.
358. I learned, I didn’t miss those things at all.
359. In attending Spanish school here I discovered there’s things I do miss about being a student, but doing homework and making time to study is really tough when you work. I admire people who go back to school and also work full time, now THAT is dedication.
360. Building a home, potentially here, is now something I have an interest in; this desire has surprised me.
361. Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. Instead of trying to “fix” this habit though, I’ve come to terms that I really do my best work under pressure.
362. I love chatting with people, always have. By letting go and opening myself up to new possibilities I’ve manifested an opportunity where now this is actually part of my job.
363. Turning down work is almost as liberating as signing new clients independently. It reiterates the freedom to take on work that inspires you.
364. Did I mention my new found love for monkeys?
365. While this experience has brought me some of my greatest life challenges to date; career, lifestyle, social, relationship and otherwise. While it has tested my emotional bandwidth, patience and problem solving skills. While it has literally had me questioning life as I once knew it at times. Getting the chance to go through this experience with my husband by my side has made it all that much more powerful, making our bond and understanding of each other greater yet. This year, this experience, moving abroad and really starting to look at the world with a refreshed perspective has been the very best of my life.