Today I turned 24. This is my second birthday that I have spent abroad. I turned 22 in Thailand and ever since then made myself a promise to celebrate the passage of time in different locations every year. Ok, my 23rd was an exception… But hey, here I am, under the hot South American sun eating cake and thinking about life.
My students, colleagues, family and friends showered me with bilingual birthday songs, presents, chocolate, cupcakes, surprise morning breakfast cake, and , most importantly, BALLOONS (I love me a good batch of balloons). It’s been a pretty great day. It’s amazing how much different everything is compared to this same day last year. I’ve since moved to the completely opposite side of the world. I’m working in a job that has absolutely nothing to do with what I studied at university and something I’d never thought I’d do, but somehow I happily get up to work at 5am every day. I’ve been exploring a new and exciting country that has an abundance to offer. I’ve done a lot of new things for the first time. I’ve refreshed and learnt a bunch of new stuff in another language. I’ve made friends with amazing people from all over the globe but I’ve also lost touch with some old ones… Life keeps going though.
As I am writing this, I have only 59 days left in Colombia, a place that I’ve been calling home for nearly a year now. What happens after that? The closest thing I have to a plan is a dauntingly long bus ride to Ecuador at the end of November, where my adventures in South America shall continue. I have an entire bucket list of places and experiences I want to see and have before I leave this continent. That could take me a few months, or knowing my inability for going back home, a few years. However long that may be, I hope by this time next year I will have ticked off at least a few of those goals. We will see…