Wednesday, 13 February 2013

~ On Hiatus ~



Hiya Lovely Readers,

Just want to start off with a massive thank you to everyone who stops by this little blog - it's meant the world to me!

Unfortunately, push has recently come to shove and a few aspects of my offline life have dictated that it's time for a little blogging break. At this point, I'm not sure how long the hiatus will last, but I'll be sure to shout back when things are ready to start up again :)

Until then, lovelies, I hope life treats you kindly!

xx Lady Expatriate

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Loveliest Links ~ February 7th Edition

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Hello lovelies!

How have things been ticking along for you, lately? I just got back from being pampered at The Dollhouse, and am prepping for a new term to start with my evening teenager English class. They're anxious moments, those hours just before the new term starts... I kind of can't believe that it's time for the massive cycle of homework checks and weekly quizzes to begin anew. And the To Do List grows.

In the meantime, here's some internet finery to make us all a little more well-rounded, if not temporarily less productive. Enjoy! 


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<3
As aforementioned, bungee jumping is really not on my bucket list. Having at 'er on a giant swing suspended over a canyon, though... THAT sounds awesome.

<3 It's never a bad thing to have a reminder about good posture.

<3 An English expat takes us on a tour of her neighborhood in Doha's West Bay

<3 Brilliant interview (conducted by my smartypants friend Charlie) about the future of Cambodia's royal family

<3 Hierarchy of airport crushes

<3
When/if I have little ones of my own, those suckers are definitely going to grown up bilingual. In... some language. Um, haven't decided which yet. Christine shares the method she will use to help her baby grow up bilingual.  

<3 Sarah's 5 Travel Splurges (Even if you're broke, says she!) 

<3 I would sooo be into starting a career group. Anyone keen!?

<3 A post for my Canada friends to read...! (Also good for anyone with a big ole' bucket list goal that needs crossing off.)

<3 Brilliant interview with an expat who's been kicking it in Cambo for quite some time.

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As for me...
Reading:
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson - I had no idea science could be so un-dreary!

Listening To: The Triple J Hottest 100 tracks for 2012... And what a good year it was.

Watching:
Girls, though I'm maybe starting to be a little over it? Also finally going to watch Mystic River this weekend. Know I'm years behind, but PIC and I both just read it as our 'book club' pick. (#HowWeRoll, etc.)

Excited About: Not one, but TWO live shows by The Cambodian Space Project this weekend! Friday night at La Croisette, Saturday at Equinox.

Hopefully I'll catch up with some of you lovelies at the Space Project shows, and otherwise hope everyone has a delightful rest of the week!


xx Lady Expatriate




Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Humorous Things People Have Googled To Find My Blog, Part 1


(This is Anabelle. She is my pet wombat.
She doesn't say much. Usually because she's too busy eating shoelaces.)
~ tutu wombat ~
~ wombat hugging ~
~ edward beers wwii mn ~
~ girls with smelly boots ~
~ crazy deer lady interview ~
~ chocolate need now ~
~ grand art deco apartment ~
~ girls stinky shoes stories ~


Oh internets. You're always good for a giggle.
I think my favorite is "tutu wombat", but of course I love "grand art deco apartment," too!
What's your favorite!?

xx Lady Expatriate





Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Final Farewell to Cambodia's King Father

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Over the past four days, Cambodia bid a final, mournful farewell to His Majesty King Father Norodom Sihanouk. The ceremonies began with a 6km procession on Friday February 1st, and ended with the cremation of his remains on Monday February 4th.

Avoiding the crowds and feeling as though my presence as a fairly new barang expat wasn't appropriate, I spent a quiet long weekend reflecting and lesson planning. While I was on my oasis of a balcony, though, many journalists, bloggers and photographers were out and about, working hard so that others could see and get a feel for what was going on during this solemn but momentous time.

For anyone who fled the city and the crowds, or for those not living in Cambodia but interested in seeing how one properly mourns a King (complete with cannon blasts), here's the best of the best of coverage from the past four days.


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Casey Nelson at LTO Cambodia did a fantastic job covering the past weekend, with a post summarizing each day

The Phnom Penh post had good coverage, including a summary with a slideshow.

It's no surprise that the most stunning photography coverage of the event comes from Kampuchea Party Republic. Phenomenal. MUST check these snaps out - they really capture the epic and grand nature of the event, as well as the emotions that ran high all weekend.

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My thoughts are with the King Father's family, and with the Cambodian people as they attempt to recover from this loss. May the King Father rest in peace. 

xx Lady Expatriate




Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Nine Best Podcasts. Ever.



You guys, I am a podcast FANATIC.

Just blows my mind that podcasts are not only one of the most educational and entertaining of all of the potential things you could slap on your iPod, but they're also free. Free as in, like, zero dollars. How crazy is that?

I remember the first time I was rambling around the iTunes store and decided to explore that unknown button on the top menu panel - revolutionary. Bus trips and chores were forever improved!

Basically, if you catch me while I'm updating my class spreadsheets, doing laundry (by hand in our kitchen sink, but that's another - glamorous - post), or walking to grab groceries, chances are I'm listening to one podcast or another. Love the natural bit of multitasking that comes with learning something with your ears+brain while your body is working on a different To Do List item. Bonus points, all around.

As you can see above, my iTunes gets quite the workout keeping up with all of my subscriptions, but I've narrowed it down to the best of the best: the nine podcast series that rock my audio world. Behold.

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1. NPR Planet Money (A light look at current events)
Let's just say that economics classes did not bring about my top marks in uni, which makes me love the Planet Money crew even more for making complex topics, like the whole Eurozone mess, ever-so-accessible. They also have a lot of fun examining the economics behind pop culture topics, like the rise of K-pop. I never miss an episode.
Fave Episode: Why Preschool Can Save The World


2. Stuff You Should Know (Trivia night prep)
I know everyone already listens to this one - you do, right!? Just in case someone has missed out on the genius that is this podcast's roundabout explanations of the most random of subjects, SYSK absolutely must be included on the list. Also: for posterity. Hosts Josh and Chuck banter and babble and tackle topics you assumed you knew all about and others you've never thought to even think about.
Fave Episode: How Barbie Doll (c) Works


3. Triple J's Live Music Podcasts (Ridiculously good tunes)
From the best radio station in the world comes these recordings of two different shows: 'Live at the Wireless,' which is basically live sets plus short interviews by brilliant bands, and 'Like A Version,' which is the coolest music podcast idea ever. Basically they get some of the hottest artists around to come in for a chat, play an original tune, and play a cover they've prepped. The covers are seriously so good that some usually end up on the Triple J Hottest 100 Lists.
Fave Episode: Like A Version - Owl Eyes
(Bonus: Subscribe to Triple J's New Free Music for a new and delightful free track from an up-and-coming artist every couple of weeks. Perfection.)


4. BBC's A History of the World In 100 Objects (Anthro lovers unite)
This has to be one of the coolest concepts for a podcast series in the history of humanity (get it!?). The first episodes start way, waaay back, covering items like a Clovis spearhead; then the episodes progress in chronological order, using various historical objects from the British Museum's collection as storytelling devices. The end result finds you winding your way through the cultural, economic, biological, and technological evolution of humans to explain how we all got to where we are today. Addictive.
Fave Episode: Object 95 - Suffragette-defaced Penny 


5. KEXP Live Performance Podcasts (Lush live sets)
(Loss of hipster cred in 3.. 2.. 1..) Got to admit: I've never heard of a bunch of these bands. But after I listen to the recordings they've popped up on this KEXP podcast, I usually end up seeking their other stuff out. Mixed in with the more eclectic selections are a few sets from well-known indie darlings, and they sure don't disappoint either.
Fave Episode: Alt-j


6. This American Life (Soulful miscellaneous bits)
Again, not the most original choice, but needs to be on this list. I could listen to Ira Glass' voice for afternoons on end. Have, in fact. These hour long podcasts are usually themed with a few different stories, each exploring a different aspect of the topic at hand. Subject matter ranges from the seemingly mundane, to the heavily emotion-inducing, and sometimes even to the side of controversial. 
Fave Episode: Red State Blue State


7. BBC Witness (History from the horse's mouth)
Pretty cool to hear about epic and/or mostly unknown events in history from people who were directly involved. These ten minute long episodes provide ample background on each topic, and are formed around interviews that get right down to brass tacks. Definitely feel like I've got a more well-rounded view of world history after getting a year or so worth of these under my belt.
Fave Episode: The M Room


8. Stuff Mom Never Told You (Ladies be researchin)
These extroverted gals don't shy away from dissecting hot topics in gender politics, the sociology of what crazy nonsense is going on in society, or the biology of what's happening 'in there' with the hormones and such. Witty and chock full of research and random facts, I always enjoy these, even when the topic sounds like it could be a bore.
Fave Episode: What is Femmephobia?


9. The Economist: Editor's Highlights (Makes me feel smart)
Sometimes I go a day or two without catching all the international news that's about, and these weekly sets of short opinion pieces catch me up while supplying ample critical analysis opportunities. They're full-on about current events, not just about straight-up stats and figures, pinkie-swear!
Fave Episode:
China's Population

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Do Tell: Okay - I told mine, now it's time for you to tell yours! Only fair. Please do share your fave podcasts in the comments - I would love to find a few new ones!

xx Lady Expatriate


P.S. Enjoy this post? Beauty! Dance your way on over to the Lady Expat facebook page and join the party!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Loveliest Links ~ January 29th Edition

Some cows. Doin their thing. Just moseying along.
Snapped on the road to Phnom Tamao, Kandal Province.

Hiya lovelies!

How's January treating you so far? Not gonna lie - I've had a bit of a sloooooow start to the year, especially on the blog-writing side of things. I've got a good feeling about February, though, and heaps of post ideas that just are just begging to be explored. Now if only life would just slow down for a minute...

So, true story: felt so sick and rubbish that I didn't leave the house between the time I got home from work on Friday night until we ran out of orange juice on Monday morning. Yup, pretty boring. But in my less bleary-eyed moments, it meant I was even more grateful for internet goodness. Here's the best of the best!

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<3 Thinking about teaching at a public school in Korea? These 10 facts are a must read! 

<3 I like garage sales and I love (love!) wine, and thus am pretty excited about the Wine Garage Sale at The Living Room on February 16th. 

<3 This Aussie bloke has hitchhiked around Japan, China, Singapore, across oceans...

<3 Super interesting look into the lives of Cambodia's young royals.

<3 Move to Cambodia offers some street food suggestions for those hoping to ease into this cheap eats scene. 

<3 These photos of abandoned buildings are perfectly stunning and creepy.

<3 Did not know any of these 10 "shocking" things about flight attendants

<3 Also didn't know these 25 things about San Fran! New knowledge abounds this week.

<3 Unknown but obscenely fluffy and cute animal. 

<3 10 ways that travel permanently changed Ashley of Ashley Abroad

<3 Real life stories behind 10 famous love songs... including one of my faves, "Chelsea Hotel No.2" by Mr. Leonard Cohen himself.

<3 Loving Katy's thoughts on Phnom Penh from when she traveled through a few weeks ago. Her description of the city as "beautifully messy" makes my heart flutter - too perfect!


..................................
Wow! That was seriously massive. Apparently I've been doing a lot more consuming of internet goodness than contributing to it... whoops.

Anyhow. Bring on February! I call shenanigans on January - feels like a false start. Who's with me?

Do Tell: What link is your favorite? Which love song did you most like reading the story behind?!

xx Lady Expatriate 



Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Favorite Thing: Triple J Hottest 100



Ladies and Gentlemen, we are mere hours away from my favorite day of the year:

Australia Day, also known as Triple J Hottest 100 Day!

When I was living in Australia back in 2010, the nationwide radio station Triple J was my everything. The living room stereo in our party house was permanently tuned to the kickass tunes they were sending out across ze airwaves, and my iPod was filled with old 'Like a Version' podcasts. Couldn't. Get. Enough.

Still can't. One of the best things about being on this side of the world is that when I stream Triple J on sunny Cambo arvos, the timing lines up with the awesome daytime programming, instead of just being able to tune in to the middle of the night B List sets like I had to resort to in Canada.

Lucky you're reading this now, because it just so happens that TOMORROW is the best day of the year to listen to this best ever radio station! Tomorrow is the day that the music heroes of the past year are crowned kings and queens of headphones across Australia and around the world. Tomorrow is the day that the Hottest 100 of 2012, as voted on by listeners, is announced. Tomorrow is going to be wonnnnderful.

Streaming kicks off at 8am Cambodia time, and you can catch all of the goodness here.
Are you going to tune in? Got a prediction for number one!? Give a shout out in the comments!

Happy Almost Australia Day!

xx Lady Expatriate

***Updated! Want to find out what songs made the top 100?! Check out the full list!***



Sunday, 20 January 2013

We Are Infinite

via
"Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17.
I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories.
This is happening, I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder.

And you're listening to that song and that drive with the
people you love most in this world. 
And in this moment I swear, we are infinite."
 ...........
 
It was a slow and sweet day after a rocker of a night, and PIC and I cuddled in to watch 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower.' It was beautiful and devastating and it made me feel All Of The Things. 
 
Just so beautiful. Watch it with someone you love (pets are most definitely applicable here) so that you can hug them after. And go easy on the mascara. 
 
Hope that your Sunday was full of beauty. 
 
xx Lady Expatriate 
 
 
 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Another Month, Another Wonderful WUPP

Stunning snap of spoken word artist Kosal Kiev, taken by the one and only Nick Sells.
Have you grabbed a copy of the January edition of What's Up Phnom Penh yet? If not, you can get one... well, basically EVERYwhere now. Honestly, it's been kinda crazy to watch circulation go from a couple spots around the city for the first issue to, now, having a chance to pick one up in just about every cafe/hostel/restaurant. It's also been fun to watch the issues get progressively chubbier, plumped up by your humble writers and editors as we happily pile on the feature content.

I was stoked to have two pieces in the January issue: my regular "Your Day" column, complete with a theme common to many NYE resolutions, and a feature piece on the brilliant graphic novel "Eugénie" by the fantastic Patrick Samnang Mey.

I can't believe that a month has passed since I tracked down the healthiest spots in town and later sat opposite Patrick in the noisy Brown's on 51. (Sidenote: Patrick is just about the sweetest guy in the city  - apart from PIC, but of course! Proof: HE treated ME to a coffee, and then gave the WUPP team a copy of each of the French editions of Eugénie! Yeah, wow.)

I've actually got to get going on my articles for the next issue... deadlines: bah!... so I'll leave you with these two written-thought-chunks. Let me know if you have any critiques, suggestions, additions... give a shout in the comments :) 

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Your Healthy Day 
"Lunch is obviously a big plate of veg. Flip a coin to decide whether you’re off to Le Jardin for their vegetarian club sandwich, or Vego for a salad the size of your head."
Doing a roundup of the best 'healthy' places in the city has (hopefully!) helped to put a theme in place that will last all year. I've been loving my VIP Sports Club membership so far (review to follow), and there's some other great ideas for upping your veg intake and creating a stressfree nest for the new year.  Check it!


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Our Dear Lady Fangirl + Patrick + Graphic Novel Extraordinaire

'Eugénie' by Patrick Samnang Mey
"Eugénie is a perfect graphic novel for both longtime lovers of the medium or for beginners. It can be quickly read as a story of a relationship, though the better idea is to dwell deeply. Take time to ponder parallels to the Greek myth of Orpheus and the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray, ” both of which are woven throughout the plot, while keeping an eye out for homages to Gustav Klimt, X-Men, and Haruki Murakami, among others. Multiple re-readings truly are warranted in order to savor every detail in the visuals and appreciate the depth of the narrative. "
Back in November, I attended the book launch for the English edition of this amazing graphic novel, part of which is set in this here city, with PIC and my lovely buddy Corie. I remember meeting Patrick and wishing that I could sit down and chat with him in-depth about his work. Thus, when my WUPP Editor, Pierre, asked if I'd be keen to write the piece, I'm pretty sure I responded with a rather unprofessional level of exclamation points!

It was fascinating to plunk down with Patrick and have him flip through the book opus that took over 6 years of his life to create. He was so excited to show me parallels between panels and storylines, and I was more than eager to take in each one. There are actually some photos on his facebook page that show a couple of these, and I definitely recommend checking them out.

My only regret about this article is that I didn't have quadruple the word count to work with. I would have loved to have shared more about Patrick's creative process (awe-inspiring) and about his views on the artistic community in Phnom Penh (eye-opening). I've been chatting with Pierre in hopes of doing another article on Patrick in the future... this fangirl has her fingers crossed.

Definitely do check out the article link to hear more about this ridiculously good book in the full piece and to feast your eyes on a stunning panel from Eugénie. There's a list of places to grab your own copy, too, which I do so highly recommend. And not just because he bought me a coffee.

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Hang out awhile on the website, but be sure to grab a paper copy, too. There are so many brilliant articles in this month's issue of What's Up Phnom Penh... as well as some handy-dandy coupons for kickass places like Paperdolls, Le Jardin, and Miss Laura's Dance Workshop

Cheers, my dears!


xx Lady Expatriate

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Loveliest Links ~ January 13th Edition

Beautiful Quin is available for adoption from PPAWS, the Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society.
This pretty girl's back legs are paralyzed, but she's a trooper and is said to be able to move along quite well.
Just from looking at the picture, I've no doubt she's a total sweetheart, too!
Be sure to check out the PPAWS site to find out more about adopting animals in need of a home in Phnom Penh.


Had my hand in an elephant's mouth yesterday, minutes after I coaxed a gibbon into a backscratch. Just met a buddy for afternoon wine in a sunny cafe and am prepping for my first Khmer lesson. It's been a grand weekend! Do so hope that you're all swimming along in sunshine, too!

OH how long it's been since I've posted a round up of my favorite recent parts of l'internets. There's a slight disclaimer in that I put myself on a partial media diet over the holidays, but am still of the opinion that I've ended up with some good stuff. Please do indulge!

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<3 Love hitting up The Flicks cinema, not least of which because it's fun to chatt with the man behind the curtain/bar. Move to Cambodia has posted a brilliant piece by Ramon Stoppelenburg about his adventures living in Cambo since 2010 and just how, exactly, he ended up owning a movie house.

<3 Feel like this piece gave me such a good idea of what Dengue Fever is like that I don't even need to ever experience it myself. Hear that, universe!?

<3 Of COURSE the Nat Geo Photo Contest winners are uh.ma.zing.

<3 One of my best bloggy friends, Whit B Nimble, came to Cambo and made some beautiful memories! Sure do wish she'd come back, but will settle for now with a post telling about her travels in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap and Vang Vieng (Laos).
Bonus: includes a fun "assignment" idea for when traveling with a partner!

<3 Neil Gaiman has been dropping more and more info about his new book... *happy dance*

<3 One of the most interesting chats about Paris I've yet to have/read, and it's not even from a travel site. Almost enough to make me want to hop a plane to someplace chilly. But not actually.

<3 I, for one, am not at all surprsied that a piece about the backstage bits of the Sheffield production of the musical My Fair Lady would be insanely interesting... complete with mentions of cursing and nudity, though you should still go ahead and open it at your workspace. Doooo it. Do it.  

<3 The idea of dropping over 200 bucks to stay anywhere for a night is enough to blow my Phnom-Penh-wage-earning mind, but if I was going to do it, this themed trailer park seems pretty neat-o.

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Do tell: which link is your fave? Got any internet gold I might enjoy? 

xx Lady Expatriate 


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

26 for 26: Angkor Wat Half Marathon


Straight talk:  This is just one of those posts that didn't seem to want to be written. I tried at least twice in early December: laptop shutting down mid-edit, pictures refusing to appear - it's been a struggle, though not nearly so much as the bloody 21K it attempts to describe.
In any case, shall post it a month and a bit late, if only to get to check it off my 26 for 26 list. Because I'm a little obsessive that way.


Ever since we signed up for the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, way back in July, Partner In Crime and I have been alternately getting excited / dreading it. There were periods of dedicated training, though those tended to be outnumbered by periods of intense denial. I think that neither of us were really convinced that it would actually happen ... that is, until we were both physically standing at the starting line as the sun rose on December 2nd.


To be blunt, we were entirely under-prepared. Whoops. T'was a hard slog that saw us turn in our running cred for tourist appreciation moments round Km 16, and had us throw our bodies cross that blessed finish line, essentially catapulting ourselves into the nearest tuk-tuk. We were ready for a sit.
I'm not entirely convinced that Partner In Crime had fun... but as my new neat-o running friend from Battambang explained whilst we ran alongside him, there's Fun A and Fun B. Fun A is something that is fun while you're doing it, like eating ice cream while petting fluffy puppies, and then there's Fun B: something that is no one's idea of a good time in the moment, but that you remember and revel in for years to come. 


This was definitively a Fun B. A really effing cool and difficult Fun B.
The 6:20 am start came far too early, as you might suspect, but the pre-race
excitement got us giddy regardless.
Yep. Basically most beautiful running track in the world.

First race I've ever run with a dedicated elephant lane. Just look at those lazy kids hitchin' a ride.
Did I mention most beautiful running track in the world!?
Running through an ancient gate carved into a massive face of rock was probably the
highlight of my running career.

SNAKE! Seriously people, there was a snake skin in the middle of the road.
And PIC promised me there would be no snakes!
These lovelies, hanging around with their wonderful signs near the 19 Km mark, made my heart happy and did indeed give my trainers a bit of a kick.
The tuk-tuk back to the hostel was just about my fave tuk-tuk ride of ever.


A Few Battle-Won Tips:


  • There seem to be a severe lack of washrooms en route, which will likely lead you to jump into the sparse foliage not too far off the path. Relieving oneself on the side of a site of an ancient wonder is an awkward feeling, though perhaps not as uncomfortable as running for a few hours with a full bladder. 
  • Be ready to have your palm skinned raw with high fives from the local children as the sun climbs a little. ("And her heart grew three sizes that day. And then exploded.")
  • Don't be super slow like us: you'll end up behind the water-handing-out folks. At the same time, you'll still be on the road when the coach buses and mega vans pull up mid-morn and idle as passengers hop off, snap-snap-snap, and embark once more. A real yucky middle ground. 
  • Pre-booking a bus trip that departs in the hours immediately following your finish line crossing is - no sarcasm - a brilliant idea. It will not only act as a motivator to "move, you bipedal pieces of nonsense, move!" but it will also basically not exist. I'm told that I took a seven hour bus trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh later that day, but I can't recall a thing. Perfection.   

Honestly, I'm not sad that it's over with, and I'm also not perhaps as humble as I should be that this is a goal now under the heading of Done and Dusted. If in about a year I prove to be up for it, I'd love to give this race a go again - though perhaps I'll treat the training with a little more respect next time


Because as far as Fun B options go, this is a pretty cool one.  
 
xx Lady Expatriate


Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy Returns and Resolutions

Watching the sun come up over the river surrounded by my fave people in the
country = a pretty good start to 2013.

Hiya Dear Readers!
Happy New Year! Know I'm only 7 days late in saying so...

Truth is that I needed a couple of extra days to really figure out what I want out of this year, where my priorities truly stand, and to just enjoy a few beautiful, quiet moments with my Partner In Crime. (True story: tomorrow is our six year anniversary! <3)

So here I return, excited for all the beauty and adventures and challenges that 2013 is sure to bring. I've loved reading everyone's resolution posts (list+goal-setting maniac alert!), and have of course given my own thoughts a heap of pondering.

They go something a little like this:
1. Keep exploring Cambodia and sharing thoughts and experiences with this delightful little blog.
2. Start Khmer lessons (next week!)
3. Get healthy and strong.
4. Remember 'progress not perfection'.
5. Make it home for my baby cousin's wedding.
6. Rock all of my 26 before 26 adventures!
7. Be a heaps good teacher at each of my three teaching jobs.
8. Be a wicked good Partner In Crime.

Should be easy- as, right? Just got to remember number 4...

Hope you all had a gorgeous holiday season and are getting into the swing of 2013!

xx Lady Expatriate