I just have to say that 2017 was undoubtedly the craziest, yet also most unforgettable, year of my life.
My aunt told me that I had more life events happen in 2017 than people have in their entire lifetime. She’s totally right, because…
I Had Lots of Big Life Events…
In 2017, I planned and executed a wedding while concurrently completing an intensive graduate degree in international relations.
Graduate school, as I mentioned, was really hard but worth every penny. Learning about international relations changed my life for the better, and now I suddenly see the whole world with a new lens. I don’t regret grad school one bit.
Planning a wedding while going to graduate school, on the other hand, really sucked. I not only had a strict budget to stick to, but I also had to coordinate a Utah wedding from California. Yet thanks to my friends, family, husband and the best maid of honor a woman could ever ask for (shout out to you, H!), I survived my wedding.
I had my perfect dream wedding. I got married in the mountains of my home state with the man I love. I couldn’t ask for more.
Some of my favorite bloggers (Marta and Learn to Love Anywhere) were even more hardcore than me and coordinated two weddings on two continents (and with no complaints)! Autumn of East Dates West had not one, but ALL of her groomsmen drop out of the wedding! Props to you girls–and here I thought my wedding was tough!
….Lots of Moving….
In addition to marriage and grad school, in 2017 I moved a total of ten times. From Socal, to Norcal, back to Socal, to Salt Lake City, then Minnesota, San Francisco, and now Portland–I’ve been goddamn everywhere. Honestly, looking at my suitcase makes me feel physically ill.
My husband thought taking short-term contracts around the country would give me flexibility to look for a job anywhere in the USA. I thought it was a great idea, but in the end, our nomadic lifestyle put an immense amount of strain on our well-being.
In 2017, I realized just how important it is to have a home and some sense of stability. I never thought I’d say this (especially since my blog is called the Ruby Ronin ((wanderer)) but; dear, god, I just want to settle down.
…insane amounts of traveling..
I thought I would have few opportunities to travel after leaving Asia.
Oh, how wrong I was.
This year alone I went to Ireland, Japan, Vietnam and China–with the last three vacations happening in the span of one month! I’ve already written up some posts about my journey through Northern Ireland and Northwest Ireland, but more posts will follow chronicling our trips to Kyushu, Hanoi and Saigon.
…as well as many interviews on the road…
As I moved and traveled around the USA and world, I was also looking for a job.
I conducted an interview over Skype in a hotel in Fukuoka City, Japan. I completed another interview in Ho Chi Minh, City, Vietnam. Another interview was done mere hours after my landing in the USA from Vietnam. Two interviews were done in hotel rooms on the road.
If I have advice to anyone job hunting, it’s this:
Don’t travel (too much) while you’re job hunting
It was REALLY stressful to coordinate across different time zones, find a stable connection, and most of all secure a quiet place to conduct the interview. There were at least three instances where I spent money in Japan and Vietnam to book my own private hotel room to execute a Skype interview.
Don’t do what I did. Stay in one place when you’re job hunting. It helps… a lot.
Which, Finally, Leads to My Big Surprise of 2018
Just kidding! But believe me, this news is almost as shock inducing…
….I’m moving to Texas.
You know that platitude about “you never know where life will take you”?
Well, holy hell, coming back from China I could not even imagine that I would move halfway around the USA and end up in Texas. None. At. All.
Although I experienced some inner turmoil with the decision to take the Texas job, I went with it. I won’t go into details, but I will be working for a huge private firm in their Japanese business department.
Texas was definitely not high on my ‘places to live’ list, but I’m trying to be positive with the move. I think Texas will pleasantly surprise me and give me a kick start to a new beginning in 2018.
More than anything–after all these months of being a nomad–I’m particularly looking forward to one life change in particular:
Having a permanent home.
Happy New Year Everyone! 明けましておめでとうございます！新年快乐！
Wishing all of my readers, friends and family a very happy and joyous 2018!