2013 has been one of the most eventful years in my life. I feel that I couldn’t let it drift into the past without a quick reflection.
We began our year in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Though some people despise Rucker, we loved it. We lived within walking distance of some of our closest friends, Jared had a relaxed work schedule, and there was a Mellow Mushroom in town. We had just found out before Christmas that we would be moving to Korea, and we were still trying to figure out what that meant for us. The first three months of the year flew by- planning, packing, and filling out a lot of paperwork for the Army.
In April, all of our belongings were scattered around the world, and we spent a few weeks visiting family and friends for farewells. Jared took off for Korea, and I remained with my mother in Tennessee anxiously awaiting Command Sponsorship approval, and for Jared to rent a new home for us.
On April 27, I said goodbye to our sweet Winston (and also to my mom), and jumped on a plane to meet Jared. I remember how wonderful everything seemed those first few weeks. Everything was different, and, therefore, perfect. We instantly started exploring our new city. We went to festivals, tasted a lot of food, and found some favorite new spots.
Within the first month of being in Korea, we left to visit Kyoto, Japan. Our travels didn’t stop there. We visited Jeju and Busan in Korea, and went to Cambodia and Thailand by the end of the year. Not too bad for our first year in Asia! I think my favorite place was Chiang Mai in Thailand, but Cambodia is a close second. I have so many happy memories from our travels: giving an elephant a bath, a candlelit dinner in the midst of a raging storm, a dart tournament with complete strangers, and many, many more. Even when I look back at the pictures, I cannot believe that we have been so lucky to have all these wonderful experiences.
In August, I started a photography challenge. I try to make myself pick up my camera more often and find new subjects to share. I have had varying levels of success with this project, but I continue to enjoy it and several friends have mentioned that they look forward to the monthly photo set. Here are some of my favorites from the past few months:
Has the past year been easy? Absolutely not. There have been some very frustrating and sad moments in the midst of all the excitement. There have been times when it is really difficult to be away from home (though I love living abroad, the US is still “home” in my mind.) However, I know that the blessings outweigh the challenges this year. Thanks to you for being a part of my 2013!