To travel or not to travel

Hey all!

Remember how I was talking about my public speaking competition in school? We had our finals! Sadly, I didn’t make the finals but I did get 3rd place in the in class competition. I’m still really proud. Here’s the speech I wrote and preformed in case you want to read it.

An adventure, a learning experience, an opportunity to explore the world. What better way of embracing the beauty of new, getting outside of your comfort zone, and seeing things you’ve never seen before, than travel.

But the real question is: “How does travel speak to you?” Maybe you had a stunning vacation that left you hungry for more. Or maybe a lousy one that left you with a bad impression. But regardless, travel is a story that you can tell to your children some day. It’s an adventure that makes you feel the pounding of your heart or the rush of adrenaline. It’s an eye-opener that changes the way you see the world, forever

Picture a little two year old girl, eating curry in England, having bratwurst in Germany, and nothing but paella for a week in Spain. That little girl was me. I was blessed with the chance to live abroad at such a young age that it changed how I saw the world. Living in Germany for five years really helped me to be an adventurous eater and began my journey as an avid traveler.

Although some benefits of travel include, being able to explore, enjoying local food, and sightseeing. The best part of travelling for me, is meeting new people along the way. Whether it be locals or tourists, it’s always fascinating to hear other people’s stories.

It’s not just the locals that really make your trip enjoyable. It’s also the tourists. They’re in the same situation as you; sightseeing, learning, exploring. Maybe they’ve been there before and they give you some ideas of things to do. Maybe they’ve travelled to places you’ve never been and inspire new travels. Maybe you’ve been somewhere that they haven’t. Either way, you can swap stories of your adventures and receive some back. Who knows, you may have even made a lifelong friend.

The locals are often eager to share their culture with you and excited to learn yours as well.

Like in France for example, the head chef took an infant Bailey away from her parents insisting they should enjoy their meal. Although I don’t remember it, this is a really special memory out of all the time we spent in Europe. This shows how the chef truly wanted us to embrace our travels, carefree and without worries.

Now, imagine you’re the same restaurant two years later. You look at the wall and see a picture of a small baby who looks vaguely familiar. At a closer glance, you realize it’s you! You’re a bit surprised, but also touched. This goes to show how locals really enjoy sharing their culture with you and are excited to meet people from around the world.

In total, I’ve lived in three different countries and have visited more than I can count on my fingers. Lucky? Yes. But more willing to travel than anything. I believe that every place you visit holds a special place in your heart. So if you get the opportunity to travel, take it! Because in the words of a seasoned traveler: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

Thank you.

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One Year Later

Wow, what a difference a year makes. It’s impossible to believe that we’ve been here a year already. To celebrate our anniversary, I bought myself some flowers. You know, I’m thoughtful like that. 😉

When I think back to getting on that plane a year ago, it was impossible to imagine what our lives would look like. It’s taken a while, but I think we’ve gotten into the groove of things.

Tony’s settled into his role & is enjoying the challenge (but wishing there was more a/c). Bailey’s finishing up her first year at BIS. She’s just received her final year end report and we couldn’t be happier for her marks. She’s scored above the national average in many of her subjects. Considering that we’ve uprooted her and thrown her into a much more difficult school, we couldn’t have hoped for anything better. She’s had some memorable moments this year & is finishing strongly

As for me, I’m still clicking along trying to figure things out and still grocery shopping every day.

Now, we’re two weeks away from coming back to Portland for a visit. We’re looking forward to seeing friends, eating at lots of our favorite restaurants and enjoying some cooler weather.

Hope to see you in Portland. Remember, our doors always open & we’ve got lots of space!

XOXO, April

Stress of exams

Hi everyone,

I have just finished up my end of year exams. I did exceedingly well on most of them actually. My math result turned out to be the best in my class! I thought it would be a lot less stressful now that exams are done and out of the way but NO. More stress. I have several group projects that I have recently been assigned. Assignment 1: Make an a cappella version of a complete song. So far so good. My group is about half way through the song and should be finished soon. We are doing the song Pompeii by Bastille. Assignment 2: Geography poster. We are actually doing well on this. We have to make a poster and present it to the class. Assignment 3: Drama final. We have to make up a drama piece given certain criteria and perfect it by next week. Assignment 4: Speech for public speaking competition. This is certainly the most stressful and nerve-wracking out of all my assignments. We were given a topic and have to do a speech on the topic (To travel or not to travel). I’ve finished my speech but I’m now working on how to present it. I’ll post it on the blog once I’m finished with the competition. Speaking of writing, I also joined creative writing club as one of my extra curricular activities. One of my other clubs is fencing. I don’t why I joined fencing, its a terrible sport. My instructor always stabs me and I end up with bruises. Every Friday my parents get a phone call home from me asking if I can skip it. One time, I really didn’t want to go so I ended up texting my mom in French about how much I hated it. C’est horrible! Non, Je deteste ce. Je ne veux pas. I think you get the idea.

Till next time, Bailey

Meow! Wait, I want a turn now.

Today was an achievement. Normally, I stay on the couch to nap. But today, I got up! I went upstairs! But then I got tired and fell asleep again. Maybe it wasn’t as productive as I thought…

Meow meow for now!

Radio Silence…

Hi all,

We apologize for the silence lately on the blog. Although if you follow either of us on FB, then you know we hopefully had a good excuse.  May & June have been busy with a variety of things.

May started off easy enough, with us just coming off a two week Spring Break. However, that’s where the trouble started.

During Spring Break, I started to notice some pain (and tried to ignore it). I ended up having an emergency surgery in Bangkok to have my gallbladder removed. At the same time, Bailey was going through her end of year exams. Since this is her first year at the school, it was important for her to stay focused and do well. Well, it will always be important to do well but we didn’t really know what to expect from the whole process.

She spent many weeks leading up to it studying for them. The fact that she got interrupted by my drama certainly didn’t help her. But she’s resilient and  many of her exams have come back even better than we hoped for. A few of her classes, she came back with the top score in the class! This is on top of the fact that she had an extra curricular class every day of the week (won’t do that again in the third term).

Now, we’re gearing up for our home leave trip in a few weeks. Making lists of what we need to take, buy & eat! We’re all excited to see Family, Friends & Portland again for a bit.

Bailey will be writing next week sometime about an exciting project that she’s got going on. She’s waiting until the final results to share though.

Love you all,

April