I started this blog in July of 2009, the summer I traveled alone through Spain and Italy. The blog’s original purpose was for my mother’s and friends’ peace of mind as I went abroad. I posted updates as often as I could and the experience of documenting my trip on a widely-read blog enriched my trip more than I ever could have imagined. (See Archives for those posts!)
When I got home from that trip, I missed writing about my days, so I decided to keep writing my travel blog, even if I wasn’t getting on airplanes all the time. See, I want to live in a way that makes most days feel I am traveling through life, being adventurous, feeling in awe of my surroundings, and soaking up the culture of whomever I am surrounded by.
Last summer, I again traveled alone, but this time instead of going abroad, I went to California. What a gorgeous part of our country! Then in August I went to Colorado with girlfriends. And again, I blogged about it and felt that my travels were richer because of the posts. (See Archives!)
And this summer…well, things have been different than the last two years. First of all, I’m not embarrassed to say that I just didn’t have the money to go on a Grand Adventure. Fulton County teachers had even more days of pay taken out of both summer checks this year. In addition to that lost income, I moved apartments at the end of May. Not cheap. And did I mention that I live alone now instead of with a roommate? Man, it sure was nice to split rent and bills for a couple of years. (I miss you, Josh Armentrout. And your monthly check.) So where did that leave me? In my new one-bedroom apartment, that’s where. I did take a little jaunt around the Southeast to Charleston and Savannah and PCB with Boyfriend and family, and while that was a lovely time, I struggled with longing for a big trip, a solo adventure.
So, what did I do with myself all seven weeks of summer? I cooked great meals. (Ask my boyfriend!) I lunched with friends. (Remember teachers eat sack lunches on a 20-minute break during the school year.) I read books, magazines, NPR articles, and cookbooks. I discovered new music artists. (Favorite find: Matthew and the Atlas) I watched The Bachelorette on DVR with Kimber every Tuesday afternoon. (Team Ben) I adopted a kitten named Pepper. (Cutest kitten ever.) I went to the lake every chance I got. (Thank God for friends with family lakehouses.) I did projects I never seem to get to on weekends. It was lovely, and I was never ever bored.
But you know what my favorite summer activity was? I started running again. I fell out of love with running a couple of years ago, but I felt a craving for it this past spring, so as soon as I faced luxurious weeks off, I knew I had no more excuses. I set a goal to be able to run five miles by the end of summer. And I’m so excited to report that today, on my last day of summer break, I did it! I ran five miles in 50 minutes! Running is a cure-all for me. If I can get a good run in three or four days per week, I sleep better, I eat healthier, I feel less stressed, and my self-confidence soars. It will be a struggle to keep it up with school starting back, but as long as I can remind myself of all of those benefits of running, I am sure that I will maintain my endurance and love of running.
And here I am at summer’s end, goal accomplished, rested, rejuvenated, and looking to start a new position at a new school tomorrow. I am still too emotional to write about how much I will miss Hopewell Middle School, so right now I just have to focus on the exciting career changes that are ahead of me this year. I can’t wait to work in the lives of these high school kids! It’s going to be an awesome year…