By the way, I’m in Asia now.

Writing from 18.706° N, 98.982° E

Surprise, surprise: I left the country again! For those I didn’t have a chance to catch up with while I was home in the US over the past six months, here’s the deal:

My year of travel in Africa and Europe from September 2017 – September 2018 was incredibly life-changing. It was also exhausting and taught me more about self-sufficiency than I ever thought I’d need to know. Over the course of that year, I was able to continue building my client base enough to make a travel lifestyle even more sustainable in the long-term.

Woohoo!

After returning home, I bounced around the US between family, friends, with a few extra trips to feed my travel itch. The timing was all about being home for the holidays, which was a welcome change from the absence of family (besides my brother!) for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year while I was living in Tanzania.

This time at home also gave me a chance to recover after the craziness of the last year. My five months in Europe were especially taxing as I was moving around way too quickly (sometimes as often as every two or three days) – a mistake I will be actively trying to avoid in the future. If you ever have the chance to travel slowly with little to no plan, I highly recommend it. Your mental health will thank you!

So, when it felt like the right time to head out again, I booked another one-way ticket – this time to Chiang Mai, Thailand. My “plan” is to work and sloooooow travel around Southeast Asia for the foreseeable future, but I know better than to take any plan of mine too seriously. At this point, winging it is not only more realistic, it’s also better for my sanity and my sense of adventure.

For those who have asked, the amount I was writing dropped off a cliff because 1) work got busy and 2) work turned into a lot of writing on its own. Whereas my first year post-grad largely revolved around marketing strategy, websites, and social media, I am now working about 70% of the time on copywriting projects. As you can imagine, when much of my work week is spent attempting to fill blank pages using my very tired brain, writing blogs is not at the top of my list for free time activities.

(If you’re ever curious what else I’m writing about, feel free to check out my work page. Fair warning, though, the topics tend to be a little more technical and a little less Lauren-opinion-spouting.)

Thank you to everyone who reached out during my time abroad and my time at home – the support means so much to me, and all the visitors are great, too!

All in all, my first year abroad was extremely fulfilling and I can’t wait to do it all again. I am always open to recommendations of places to visit, so feel free to send them my way. That being said, I’m not someone that does checklists of the “must-see” spots; my only requirements are strong WiFi for work, new foods to try, and a beach every once in a while.

Now, I’ve only got 10 days left to explore Chiang Mai before I head to Sri Lanka, and lots of work to do (as always). If anyone needs me, I’ll probably be riding my moped. Or eating. Or riding my moped to go eat. See ya!

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