Annnddddd We’re Back – Happy Freakin’ New Year

It’s January 1, 2012. My sister is driving and I’m fading in and out of consciousness in the passenger seat. In front of us, the rolling hills of Texas fly by at some speed above 100Kph. I’m in the middle of recovery from the long and blurry night we had down on Sixth Street in Austin the night before. Vague memories of dancing on unstable tables and inebriated conversations with police keep sneaking up on me. Even an outstanding breakfast from Magnolia’s Cafe couldn’t completely bring me back to life (although it was delicious). Still, spending my first New Year’s Eve with the best sister I could have ever asked for totally makes up for the killer hangover I am fighting.

My Sister and I - NYE 2012

Suddenly, a wave of memories not related to the previous evening come pouring into my head. It’s not often that you can look back over the past year of your life and say that you had spent time in over ten countries. It’s even harder to say that you financed five months of travel all by yourself from a few teaching jobs.

My kindergarten students in Korea

In the year 2012, I was at some point in all of the following countries: South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, New Zealand, and the United States of America. I worked as an ESL instructor in both South Korea and New Zealand. I spent five months out of the year traveling with no source of income. I met a wide variety of people, some of whom have become very good friends. I ate some incredible foods in each country that I visited. I traveled by air, automobile, train, boat, bicycle, taxi, tuk-tuk, and on foot. I walked on the Great Wall of China, surfed on the beaches of Indonesia, worked on an organic farm in Japan, explored the temple complexes of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, spent three days in a Vietnamese hospital from a severe case of food poisoning, sprayed water on locals and tourists alike on the streets of Thailand during the Thai New Year festival, celebrated July 4th in Singapore, watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup on the streets of New Zealand, and made it back in time to celebrate Christmas in Texas with my wonderful family.

2011 was by far the best year of my life, laced with memories that will stay with me until I breathe my last breath. Now I sit with my family enjoying a wonderful holiday vacation. The fire is roaring. A wondrous meal has been prepared and set up in immaculate beauty. And all I can think about now is getting back out of Texas and start the adventures all over again….

Canyon Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand

Stay tuned for all kinds of updates. Until then, enjoy this preview of my travels in New Zealand.

Peace, Love, Respect to you all. I hope that you find happiness in every aspect of your life and that each day is better than the last.


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