Over the past week, I’ve seen a lot of people post about how they are glad that 2019 is coming to end because it was such an awful year. At first, I was like ‘yeah! Me too!’ but then I stopped and thought about and realized 2019 was actually a good year.
I brought in the new year in Odesa, Ukraine with a friend and then continued to travel through Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus for two and a half months. Most of this was solo travel and I learned a very important lesson – I LiKE to travel solo! I then spent six months in the US hanging out with my family and friends and trying to figure out the next phase of my life. I spent a few weeks road-tripping with a girlfriend and hanging out on my cousins’ boat. I ate all my favorite foods that I missed while living in Morocco and drank way more Dr. Pepper than I should have – but it was worth it. I moved to Hanoi to earn my CELTA teaching certificate, met some really cool people and saw lots of cool things. And I read A LOT of books over the year (81 to be exact).
The bump in the road was my Mom being hospitalized and finding out she has advanced pancreatic cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy and it seems to be working – it’s just extremely difficult on the body. I’m currently home helping take care of her and spending what may be her last holiday season with her.
Is 2019 the end of the decade or do we have one more year? There seems to be a lot of debate about this. All I know is that I’m looking forward to what the new year will bring. I don’t necessarily have resolutions, but I always have goals and a never-ending bucket list. My goals are to make healthy choices in all aspects of life, read more books from around the world (especially by female authors) and travel to new places. I move back to Vietnam in a couple of weeks to start my new teaching career in Vinh, a coastal city. I hope I make an impact on those I teach and others I come in contact with.
Life is full of ups and downs. It’s what we learn from each of these that determines our outlook on life and our future. I’m thankful for the good and the bad – that’s how I grow as a person.
2019 is in the books and 2020 is a new story waiting to be written.