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Hello, 2017!

January 27, 2017

You guys, where did 2016 go? And where have I been lately? I know, I know, sorry I’ve been MIA for a while now.  It’s not that I haven’t been writing it’s just that I’ve been trying to crank out 50 articles for ExpatPost and so have been devoting all of my writing time to that. Only 19 articles left to write! Then hopefully I can write a bit more here from time to time.

2016 was challenging

I can’t believe another year has come and gone already. 2016 in many ways was one of the more difficult years I’ve had in a while, and in other ways was one of the most incredible years. Living in Fiji wasn’t easy for many, many reasons. But I learned a lot about many different things, and I experienced things that certainly make for good stories and that taught me I can go through certain things and survive. It also made me extremely thankful for all the other places I’ve lived and all the other jobs I’ve had.

2016 was also incredible

2016 saw me visiting my 50th country, what?!!!! (Also my 51st).  I certainly never in a million years would have guessed that life would lead me this direction, but I am so, so thankful for all these adventures God has allowed me to go on. What an amazing life and journey He’s given me! I also got to experience three of THE coolest things I’ve ever gotten to see. In that aspect, I don’t think any year will ever surpass the incredibleness of this past year.

  • Climbed an active volcano

I got to climb Mt. Yassur on Tanna Island, Vanuatu and watch the volcano repeatedly erupt while the sun set behind us. Hands down if you are able to do this you MUST. One of the most amazing things you will ever witness in your life. Totally surreal experience.

  • Saw the northern lights

I also got to experience the northern lights in Alaska. Another AMAZING experience that MUST be on your list of things to do. I cannot put into words how awe-inspiring they are.  Seriously, just go see them. If that was the only amazing thing I experienced this year it would have been enough. I can’t rave enough about that experience. Worth every penny you will ever spend on the trip, AND my trip was basically free!!!

  • Kayaked the Bio Bay in Puerto Rico

The third incredible thing was getting to experience bioluminescence in Vieques, Puerto Rico. I didn’t know that much about bioluminescence/dinoflagellates before I went to PR this last time, but I do now! And they are incredible. Think glow-in-the-dark water that only lights up when you touch it. It looks like you are putting your paddle or hand into a glow stick.  And if you splash the water into the kayak, little tiny dots of glowing bright blue will cascade all around you and then disappear. It’s amazing. And should definitely be on your bucket list.

You guys, God is an AMAZING artist. All those surreal experiences I got to see last year were all natural phenomena that He created! The more I travel, the more I am in absolute awe of what a majestic designer He is. I am often simply overwhelmed by it all. He is such a good God to give us so much beauty to enjoy.

I don’t know what 2017 holds for me. (I say that pretty often these days, don’t I?) But I know that something amazing will happen and I’m just waiting for it. While I hang out and wait for where to go next I am throwing myself into trying to learn Russian for real. In the past I stopped trying when I ran up against the brick wall that is called confusing Russian grammar. But this time I am determined to push through it and really master this unique and challenging and beautiful language.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever try to learn a foreign language. And certainly not one as difficult as Russian. But it’s exciting and the more I learn and see progress, the more excited I become. Someday I will return to a Russian-speaking country. At least that is my dream.

I hope that each of you has a fabulous 2017. Don’t let fear hold you back from chasing big, bold dreams. There is so much out there in this big world we live in. Go do it!

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