My 2013 year in review

Hello!  I know I have been m.i.a. for a while now…we have been settling back into life in Atlanta and celebrating the holidays with family.  I follow a number of blogs who have all posted their year in review and thought I would follow suit…  My goal was to find one picture to represent each month of the year, but I just couldn’t do it…there were too many to choose from!  Until I look a looked back through this blog it had not hit me just how much we did this past year.  So here goes nothing…

January

The first of the year is really when RG and I made the decision to go to Thailand but we had to keep it a secret because of work and other obligations. Talk about a tough secret to keep!  We spent the month trying to see as many people as possible and taking road trips to Knoxville and Nashville.

My Nana...I know I already posted this one, but I absolutely love it!
This has nothing to do with January but it’s a shot I love of my grandmother when she was around my age now.

February

We were ready to announce to all of our friends, family and colleagues that we were packing our bags and heading to Thailand!  This month was spent making our trip come to fruition…and trying to do as much as we could in Atlanta before we boarded that plane.

Me and RG at Cafe Jonah
Check off the bucket list…lunch at Cafe Jonah

March

I officially had my last day of work, we packed up the dog and car and took a roadtrip from Atlanta to DC to Indiana to Nashville and back to Atlanta with a pit stop at a casino in West Virginia.  We said goodbye to our families and friends, threw ourselves a going away party, sent our dog to “college,” and boarded our first plane to Asia.  At the beginning of the month panic set it…”what are we doing?!?!”…but by the end we were so excited to land and begin our adventure with a weekend in Tokyo.

Geishas
Geishas in Tokyo!

April

We arrived in Thailand!  We spent our first week in Bangkok and made our way south to Phuket, finding an awesome apartment on the water.  We took a weekend trip to Patong beach to celebrate the Buddhist New Year, Songkran Festival, and experience true Thai culture!

View from our current balcony
View from our waterfront apartment
Songkran Festival, Patong
Songkran Festival, Patong

May

We kicked off the month of May with a long weekend in Singapore, drinking $18 pints of beer, and eating at Hawker Stations.  From there we headed back to Phuket to begin our job search.  I had heard it’s easy to find teaching jobs in Thailand, but nothing prepared me for just how easy it really is.  We had offers from all over the country… and after much consideration decided to head back to Bangkok.  But before heading to Bangkok we went island hopping in Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.

Us on the river cruise
Singapore river cruise
Our longtail boat from our excursion
Koh Phi Phi

June

June was spent acclimating to Bangkok…the heat, smog and millions of people…and getting into our groove of teaching.  We did squeeze in a quick trip to Laos though.

View from our Bangkok apartment at night
View from our Bangkok apartment at night
Laos
Laos

July

July was when I really came to appreciate Bangkok…I discovered my favorite place to shop, Chatuchak Weekend Market, my favorite place to grab drinks, Soi 11, and my favorite weekend getaway from the city, Kanchanaburi.  We settled in for a bit, made friends and tried to live like locals.

Kanchanaburi Death Railway Bridge
Kanchanaburi

August

By the time August rolled around I had decided I wasn’t meant to be a teacher, we gave our notice and planned the rest of our Asian adventures.  We spent five days in Chiang Mai and over two weeks in Cambodia.  This was probably my favorite time in Asia…I learned more history in these two trips than I did in an entire semester of college.  I saw people who had been broken but kept up hope and now live very simple lives but are extremely happy.

Making curry paste
Making curry paste in Chiang Mai cooking class
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

September

This was the last stretch of our time in Asia.  We spent the beginning of the month in Malaysia hiking in the Cameron Highlands, drinking tea and eating strawberries.  This is also where I came down with walking pneumonia and thought I was going to die.  Have no fear though, no prescriptions are needed for antibiotics in Asia, and after a couple of Z packs I was back on my way.  From Malaysia we spent two weeks hitting the islands and beaches in the Gulf of Thailand.  And our final week we had visitors!!  In the nine days they were there we covered a lot of ground from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta…

IMG_5670
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Jumping off a boat with our visitors in Koh Phi Phi!
Jumping off a boat with our visitors in Koh Phi Phi!

October

Early October we were on a plane heading back to the States, it came so fast.  We landed and headed straight to Nashville to pick up Marley then headed back to Atlanta for my brother-in-law’s wedding, with a pit stop in North Georgia.   After a couple of weeks in Atlanta we made our way to DC to see family and start looking for jobs.

Marley!
Marley!

November

November we put some miles behind us…making two round trip drives between Atlanta and DC and one from DC to Boston. By the end of the month we were back in Atlanta for good and moving into our new apartment.  We also managed to squeeze a quick trip to Houston in to see some of our very best friends, spend time with their kids, and take in the Patriots/Texans football game.

Fenway
Fenway

December

I would have thought the end of the year would bring a bit of calm after the storm, that was not the case.  I started a new job, we had the obligatory Christmas parties to attend, spent a weekend in DC to celebrate the holidays and a week in Indiana for Christmas.  RG accepted a job this month and all is now right in our world!  Maybe 2014 will be a bit calmer…but to be honest I like a bit of crazy and chaos in my life…so no complaints here.  2013 was perfect and I can only hope for another great year in 2014.

Cheers to 2014!DSCN4451

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