My head was a condemned church

We’ve booked our flights. D-Day is May 17; 57 days from now. Every time I think about leaving this strange mixture of sheer joy and anxiety just washes over me. I think about my family, my friends, my dog, and I feel like crying and laughing at the same time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about flexibility lately. Not so much in terms of physical flexibility but emotional and mental flexibility. The type of stretch that’s required for big changes, like moving to a new and unfamiliar country, for example. And I think about all the times I’ve had to do something I didn’t think I could do, and how wrong I usually was about my perceived inadequacies. More often than not, I managed, I adapted. If you know me well, then you know I have anxiety issues. I worry a lot, about everything, really, so much so that it’s given me a whole slew of wonderful conditions I’ve had to deal with on top of the already debilitating anxiety. Some days are worse than others, but lately I’ve been having more good days than bad ones. And I think it’s the thought of leaving that’s been carrying me through it all.

I know that whatever happens, I can adjust to the situation, and I’ll learn. However long it takes, I’ll get there; I just have to keep reminding myself that everything will be okay, and that I’m not doing this alone.

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Ch-ch-changes

Hi. I know it’s been a while. I am terrible at this, obviously, and I doubt I’ll get any better. Not that it matters! I know there are three, maybe four people, who periodically check this. And maybe that’s enough? IDK.

A few life updates:

Joff and I went on a two-week vacation across Southeast Asia in December to January. It was amazing and, as cheesy as this might sound, pretty darn life-changing. But I’ll get to that part later. In two weeks, we visited four cities, first starting in Bangkok, Thailand; then Vientiane, Laos; Luang Prabang, Laos; and finally, Hanoi, Vietnam. It was my first time visiting all three countries so I was thrilled to say the least. Any initial anxieties I had about this trip turned out to be unfounded, thankfully, and it went on without a hitch.

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I learned SO MUCH, food-wise. I’ve never really been that big a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, but I realize now that it’s because I was never really exposed to good Vietnamese food. Hanoi totally changed my perspective on the cuisine and I am smitten. Laotian food was also a big game changer; their sausages are the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been trying to recreate them in my kitchen – operative word here being ‘trying.’ It hasn’t been a complete failure but it’s also not quite there yet.

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Asian food is the best, y’all. There’s just no two ways ’bout it.

Anyway, onto the ‘life-changing’ part of my update: We are moving to Hanoi! YEP.

Before you start laughing at what an embarrassingly ‘white touristy’ thing that is to do after only visiting the city for four days, well then, you’re only partially right. 😀

We obviously know it’s a BIG DEAL to just be up and moving to some exotic city, which is why we’ve given this A LOT of thought. We also consulted people who already live there (friends of Joff’s) who are all really encouraging and are already helping us slowly make the transition.

We’re moving in May, which gives us some time to tie up any loose ends here in Manila, save a little bit more, and look for a job and a place in Hanoi. Sure, I’m freaked out, but I’m more excited than anything. We’ve been looking to move for a while now and this decision couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. My family is also incredibly supportive of the decision (thank glob), so that makes it a little easier.

So, here’s to the last few months in Manila! And to anyone who’s reading this: If you and I are homies IRL, let’s grab a few beers before I leave, alright?