My first post of the year is somewhat boring! After a lovely Christmas in New York, I have now made my way back to Iowa to continue writing and planning my trips. There are a few things that I’d still like to talk about for my upcoming plans so let’s hop to it!

Exciting Writing in the Works

You may have noticed that for the first couple of weeks of the new year, I was finally getting caught up on some posts I’ve let linger for years (and yet…Tokyo still eludes me!). And then I stopped.

There are two reasons for this. One is that I enrolled in supplementary and accelerated courses to assist in getting into graduate school. Two, is that I have made a decision with my friend to write a guidebook to Korea! Or rather, several small regional guides culminating in one larger guide in the end.

We have both traveled Korea more extensively than most, and find most of the guidebooks lacking. We want to give the inside scoop on everything! And photos, lots of photos (Why are there never enough photos??).

A field of green tea against a forest backdrop

Not only is a fun project for us, I’m hoping it will be able to help out my writing career to have a few self-published credits under my belt.

I’m also doing more guest posts to help get the blog actually off the ground.

Perhaps understandably, though, that means a lot of commitment that will be taken away from this blog. I also don’t want to repeat too much information, so that means scrapping some post drafts that would have given a bit too much away. I don’t expect it will impact my ability to make new posts by that much, it’s just something I’ll have to keep in mind for future.

First Trip of the New Year

Sluggish though it may be, travel is happening. I finally got to explore Minneapolis this month. It feels good to know that I’be been able to see at least one new place this year!

I absolutely loved it. I’ll be honest, I’m shocked how much I enjoyed this city. It has a fantastic mixture of East-coast feel, with the friendliness of Iowa. The fantastic selection of food and fun events doesn’t go amiss either.

There is a distinct possibility that I will be moving to Minneapolis in the next year or so. It would open up a far broader range of places to visit and things to do. There are tons of direct flights for reasonable prices, and there are two national parks nearby.

So, fingers crossed that everything works out!

Progress Towards the Future

I’ve been working on reframing what the past year of my life has done for me. My instinct is to brand it as a failure. So many things went wrong this year, I had so many disappointments, and experienced some things that will probably scar me forever.

At times, there is simply nothing more I longed to do than to pack a bag and run away – something that’s worked well for me in the past. But it’s not so easy. I’ve had to fight against that to accomplish the goals I have for my future.

One of the things I’m working towards is graduate school. I love learning – and learning can only help me secure a job that would allow me to travel as I wish. Studying a subject in depth at an advanced level has been a dream of mine for awhile. And the path towards it has been difficult but also a great learning experience. I’ve finally learned how to write a personal statement quickly (my least favorite form of writing), and taken some courses and even joined a very cool language project. It may not work out, but I’ve been able to find some alternatives that I like just as well.

I also started horseback riding. Not only is this great for my health, it’s been a dream of mine since I was 7 years old (I had way too many My Little Ponies). As I’ve gotten older, the dream has shifted to wanting to ride a horse across Mongolia. I finally figured out how to lope the other day and I’m feeling so confident about my future trip.

Wicklow Mountains Horseback Riding

In the past month I’ve started yoga fairly seriously. And man, has it done wonders for my mental health. Another “bucket-list” thing I’d like to do is attend a yoga course in Guatemala – this is technically preparing me.

I bought a camera just before my summer trip, and I’m slowly learning to use it (Although, Olympus, if you could pretty please update your software for the latest Mac version? It’s been months) which means I’ll be able to take more satisfying photos for myself and for the blog.

So, I just need to think of this year as a training run. Slowly preparing to someday move abroad again and start living the life I enjoyed previously, but with a more secure future.

Upcoming Travel Plans

Unfortunately, everything is still pretty in the air regarding future travels. I am hoping to make it to Chicago towards the end of March or early April, but this remains to be seen.

If I can’t make it to Chicago, I am planning some local trips. Not much has been written about Iowa so I want to try to make this blog a bit of a resource. In-between the international travel posts, expect a few more local options!

And that’s it for January and February! Stay tuned for where life takes me next!

Liked this post? Check out more!

Dingle Peninsula
Two Idyllic Weeks in Ireland
Haeinsa Gayasan temple
EVERY Place to Visit in Korea

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