As I get ready to leave Guam this year in August, I am feeling nostalgic about places I have lived and visited.
I have been so lucky so have had such cool adventures. I thought I would tell you about some of my favorites.
I grew up in Arizona. People think that it’s all desert, and some of it is. However, a lot of Arizona is also forest. It’s a very diverse state.
Then, there was South Korea. I loved it there so much! I got to experience seasons for the first time. I also got to teach cute kids and make lots of friends that I still keep in touch with.
I also learned to read and write Hangul, which is the Korean written language. My spoken Korean is not as good as my Spanish, but I did my best.
South Korea is an amazing country. If anyone is thinking of visiting: I recommend it!
I also went to Japan and spent some time there. I really liked the Shinto cemeteries, which have clapping sticks to keep the dead company.
I went to a Cherry Blossom Festival, enjoyed the night life, had tea at a traditional tea house, and in general just enjoyed Tokyo. It was a beautiful place to visit, and I hope to go back some day.
France was amazing as well. The food was so good! I know it’s a cliche to say that the food was the best part, but it really was impressive.
I went for Christmas, so I got to see Paris all decked out for the holiday. It was cold, but thankfully there was no snow. I get cold so easily since I am from the desert…
I also went to England to visit my cousin Stacy. It was really lovely.
Being an American, I guess I think of the U.K. as where most of our culture came from. It certainly has a certain amount of familiarity to it.
The British Museum was a lot of fun, and I tried my first fish and chips after! I also saw all the London Landmarks.
As for Thailand, I always wanted to go there, because I worked at a Thai restaurant in High School and they made it sound so amazing. I have to say, after 20 years of wanting to see it, I was not disappointed! I got to meet elephants, swim in the ocean, and check out several temples.
I only spent a month backpacking around in Thailand, and it left barely long enough. Definitely plan a long trip if you go!
Australia is fabulous! I really fell in love with the land and the people.
I went to visit my friends Melissa and Shari, but I had always wanted to see the country as well. I felt drawn to it because most of Australia is as dry as Arizona. They could also easily rival each other in terms of dangerous animals.
I highly recommend visiting Australia.
I lived in Oregon after South Korea and before Guam.
It is where my family still lives. My mom is in Gresham, which is right outside Portland. And, my aunt is in Hood River. We have our family reunions in Seaside.
I love the Pacific Northwest. Even though I didn’t grow up there, having my family live there makes it feel like home.
Guam has been fabulous.
At first it was a little hard to move to an island. Islands are so small, and it’s a challenge to find anything on island (food and clothes, for example.) Sometimes all the stores are just out of everything. And no one delivers to Guam!
However, I really came to love the reefs here and the whole underwater world. It’s been so much fun, and Rich has liked his job here on the USS Emory S. Land.
And now we are off to Oahu. I have visited several times, since we need to go through Oahu to get anywhere from Guam. So far, I have really enjoyed it. I am terrified about buying a house there and finding a job. But, I know I’ll be able to do it.