It’s been a minute since I’ve posted about what’s going on in my life, but that doesn’t mean life has been uneventful. I just haven’t taken the time write a blog post. So here’s a quick update to get everyone up to speed.
As you may know, I COS’d (Closed Service) from Peace Corps Morocco in December, 2018. Over the next 100 days I traveled to 35 cities in 20 countries. And I had a blast. Honestly, I didn’t want to come back to the US. Curious of where I went? Here’s a quick list of where I traveled to: Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), Prague (Czech Republic), Brussels & Bruges ( Belgium), Dresden, Berlin, Frankfurt, Nuremburg, and an undisclosed location near Frankfort (Germany), Odessa (Ukraine), Chisinau (Moldova), Bucharest (Romania), Sofia & Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Thessaloniki, Lesvos & Athens (Greece), Dubrovnik & Zagreb (Croatia), Perast, Kotor & Budva (Montenegro), Mostar & Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Milan and Turin (Italy), Tbilisi (Georgia), Alaverdi (Armenia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Istanbul (Turkey), Utrecht, The Hague & Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I don’t really like to re-visit places because there are so many more places in the world I want to visit, but there are definitely places I traveled to during this trip I want to return to.
For the next six months after returning home I spent a lot of time visiting with family and friends, reading, eating all the foods I missed, and readjusting the life in America. During this time, I also was planning my next phase in life. I had initially planned to do a second Peace Corps stint, but when that fell through I started researching teaching options to be able to teach English around the world. I decided on a program in Vietnam and began the application process.
So now I’m living in Hanoi, Vietnam and earning my CELTA Certification in order to teach English as a foreign language. The course is four extremely intense weeks with tons of new vocabulary and very long days. There are eight of us in the course: 2 Americans, 3 Brits, 2 Vietnamese, and 1 Indian. We are divided in to two groups and each of us teach twice a week each week. We are being evaluated on how well we write lesson plans, our knowledge of grammar and how we manage a classroom (among many other things). The course is affiliated with Cambridge University and is part of International House World Organization.
Just before I left the US my mom became very sick, was hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer. It made the decision to continue on with my life plan very difficult, but my mom insisted I move forward. While this has been much appreciated, it has added additional stress to me as I am concerned about her, how she is reacting to the treatments and her overall mental well being. I’m also aware that not everyone agreed with this decision, but I’m trying not to think about that as I know this is what my mom wanted for me.
I arrived in Hanoi a few days early so that I could adjust to the time difference (they are 11 hours ahead of where I lived) and familiarize myself with the area I would be staying in. I also visited a few tourist sites. I’m slowly learning more about the culture and the food and even a few key phrases. It’s exciting to be in a new place and experience new things, new sounds, new smells. Ideally, I will live here for a minimum of one year (maybe two) and travel the region during down/off time. I look forward to seeing more of Vietnam plus traveling to Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Do you have questions for me? What would you like to read about in future blogs?
Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!
Here are a few of my favorite photos from my travels: