Every once in a while, it’s wise to step back and assume a bird’s eye view of one’s own life. Over the past few months, I’ve struggled with a lot of big questions: What the hell am I going to do next? What the hell have I been doing? What the hell happened to my savings account? Etc.
It’s easy to get mired in the devilish details of everyday life, and to compare your success to others’. I’m the queen of “the grass is always greener,” even though I know how that sounds coming from someone who has graduated from Harvard and traveled the world for the past two and a half years. Actually, after rereading that last sentence, I want to punch my own face.
I’ve reached a point where my long-term travel and life as an expatriate might be coming to an end out of necessity. I’m not certain about this yet, and I don’t want to rule out the possibility that I might move to another hemisphere next week. But it’s very likely that I will settle down in the United States for some time and return to the corporate world. Naturally, that idea makes me a little sad.
But looking back at the past two and a half years makes me realize how very lucky I am to have had all of these experiences. On an average day, putzing around and filling out job applications, memories of La Paz and St. Petersburg feel very distant. I often have to remind myself: “Yes, this all really happened.”
Compiling these photos has been a bittersweet experience. I feel much more than two years older than I was in my photos from Peru. I miss the euphoria I felt in Cartagena. I’m less naive, I’m more aware, and I’m more comfortable deciding what I believe, what I won’t tolerate, and who I want to spend my time with. That may just be a consequence of aging, but I’m sure that living abroad has accelerated the process.
Here are some of my favorite photos from many of the places I traveled to over the past two and a half years, in chronological order. Thank you for following me on this journey, celebrating my happiest times, and picking me up when I’ve been low. This blog has been a source of encouragement and community for nearly three years of my life, and I hope you’ll continue to visit.