Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2011 in pictures

Since it's now January 31st and I haven't blogged in over a month I figured I should at least get something written before February. Being back in a familiar, routine place has sapped any motivation to write. Perhaps because I feel like I have nothing exciting to write about and I can't even keep track of the days of the week after taking on the role of surrogate mother/housewife for my mom.

Regardless of the monotony of my current life, 2011 was a pretty exciting year. Here is 2011 in pictures:

On New Year's Eve I flew from Hong Kong to Botswana to spend a lovely week and a half enjoying the summer sun, taking photos of elephant herds, white water rafting on the Zambezi, and marveling at the wonder that is Victoria Falls. The rest of the month was not worth mentioning. It involved marathon training in bitter cold Korea and freezing to death in my bitter cold classroom. 

While my western new year was not so exciting on the plane from Hong Kong to Bots, I did ring in the Lunar New Year in style. I traveled through warm and sunnyTaiwan and had my first Asian couchsurfing experience (success!). The end of February brought my last long run for the marathon, then boarding a plane for Osaka, Japan to meet up with a Valpo spring break group. 

Being spoiled and surprised by my wonderful friends for my birthday, completing my first marathon, and anxiously awaiting the return of warm weather.

Relishing in the joys of spring in Korea: cherry blossoms in Gyeongju, half marathons, and Seoul explorations. 

Coming to the realization that my time in Korea was ending and starting to get sad about it and more exploration of Seoul.

The month that started with sun, and ended with rain.

The month of never-ending rain, visitors, summer camp, and panic over what I was doing post Korea.

Rain, then beaches, teaching, packing and saying goodbye. 

South Africa, Botswana, sunshine, biking, and reunions with friends and family. 

The month where filling out applications became my job, I taught English to Koreans living in Botswana, and I marveled at the wonders of African wildlife in the Delta. 

Travel: South Africa, Germany, Seattle, New York and back again.

The month of two seasons. Glorious two weeks in the summer of southern Africa, then back to the surprisingly mild winter weather of Ann Arbor, MI. 

2011 was an epic first full year out of school. It was full of ups and downs and certainly not short in adventures. I'm excited to see what 2012 will bring!