I’ve been away from my blog for several months. What have I been doing, you ask? Reading two hundred and forty-four (yes 244) books and articles for my qualifying exams for my Ph.D. Occasionally, when I wasn’t reading for my exams or teaching – or prepping for teaching – I would think about why I liked the things that I did. Why did I love traveling? What were the things I found fun in life? When was I ever going to bake again? How did I want to spend my time with friends and family… when I saw them again, IRL? Since passing my exams (on December 4th), I have returned to these thoughts and listed some of them here in my 2019 concluding blog post.
- Food has always been a major part of my travels (see any of my TEAtimes), and I actually like to cook and bake. In 2020 I want to be more purposeful and intentional about learning how foods became a part of different cultures and learn how to make some of these foods, so I always have a way to remember my travel experiences.
- Speaking of remembering my travels… Two of my trips in 2019 were family-related and stand out as trips I also want my family to remember. So far, we started collecting Christmas ornaments from all of the places my brother and I have traveled together. Hopefully, we can continue this tradition and maybe start a few more. In the future, perhaps we can have a separate little travel Christmas tree.
- Chicago deep-dish pizza is the best pizza. I’ve tried a lot of different types of pizzas in between my first trip to Chicago in 2016 and my second trip in 2019. I think my decision is sound. Maybe I’ll change my mind after going to Italy and trying authentic pizza. But for now, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.
- I won’t love every trip to every place. There’s an SNL video about traveling to Italy that I love. My favorite quote from Adam Sandler in that video, “if you are sad where you are, and then you get on a plane to Italy, the you in Italy will be the same sad you from before, just in a new place.” It’s not that I genuinely thought I would love every place I visited. Instead, travel usually helps me recharge and return to my day to day life with more energy. However, I was super stressed before I went to London. I was already struggling under the pressure of preparing for my exams, then I had some hiccups in London… Granted, London was a work trip, but the fact that I was somewhere else didn’t alleviate any of my stress. I was just stressed me in London.
- I want to travel somewhere unlike the places I visited in 2019. Since I went to South America and Europe this year, that may mean traveling to Africa, Asia, or the Middle East in 2020. I’m saving Australia and New Zealand for my Ph.D. graduation gift to myself.
Here’s to many more travels in 2020. Not sure where I’m off to next, but the sky holds no limits. (Though my bank account does.) Let me know what you learned from your travels in 2019 and where you plan to go in 2020. And stay tuned for my regular posts now that I’m free to write again.