tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-87580741020456564302016-03-19T23:13:12.496-07:00miller mémoireslove, life, and world travelLauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.comBlogger219125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-4959779572305396842013-12-17T02:59:00.000-08:002013-12-17T02:59:32.295-08:00Home for the Holidays, What?!?!That's right! I'm going hooooooooooommmmmmeeee! Not quite in time for Christmas since I have to finish up my classes, but I'm on a plane the day after my last class to head to Canada! &nbsp;On December 28th I'll be back in the land of freezing cold windy winters and of course my lovely family and old friends. &nbsp;It has been 18 months since I've been home and seen most of my family and I cannot wait! I realized this morning that I completely forgot about Christmas and have only been counting down 'til I can go home. <br /><br />After living in Asia for 3 years, going home is a little weird. &nbsp;I feel like all of my sentences start with, "In Taiwan...." because it feels weird just jumping into stories that general don't make much sense when not prefaced with the country they occurred in... I always wonder whether people get suuuuper bored listening to the "in Taiwan" stories. It's kind of like mission stories, you know the ones- "Well when I was on my mission we did this", or "Have I told you about the time on my mission when...". &nbsp;Sorry family, this is just the way it is I suppose. <br /><b><br /></b><b>Things I'm excited for:</b><br /><br /><b>Getting my hair done!! </b>&nbsp;I haven't had my hair cut or coloured since I was in Canada a year and a half ago and it's in desperate need of a make over. &nbsp;The problem is that here I have to specially request a stylist who "knows how to work with foreign hair" and sometimes they lie just to get my business, or they think they know and then it turns out they don't. &nbsp;Also, I just don't always know the words to describe how I want it cut, or that I don't want my bangs to start from the crown of my head like most other girls here! &nbsp;Did I ever tell you about the time I ended up with blue hair? Yah, it wasn't on purpose. It was supposed to be blonde highlights, ended up with giant white skunk stripes starting an inch from my roots, and when they tried to "tone it down" it came out super hero blue. The blue was only <i>supposed</i> to last for a day or two, but slowly faded to grey over the course of a <i>month</i>. &nbsp;Needless to say, I've had a hard time trusting people here with my hair since then. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-de8JjNbYS2g/UrAuTKRPG8I/AAAAAAAAFVY/Dw-TcSq3IB8/s1600/bluehair.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-de8JjNbYS2g/UrAuTKRPG8I/AAAAAAAAFVY/Dw-TcSq3IB8/s640/bluehair.jpg" width="424" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>Foooooood! </b>Obviously I'm very excited for the food. Both home cooked and of the fast variety, I better be doing some serious yoga while I'm home so as not to return to Taiwan as a blimp. &nbsp;Cam and I have been missing the food back home <i>hard</i>&nbsp;the last few months. &nbsp;Especially as we've been trying to eat healthier and I've been taking online nutrition classes because the majority of food here is fried or greasy or just meat. &nbsp;We've been cooking a lot more at home lately, so that's actually been nice.<br /><br /><b>Seeing my Family and Friends!</b> &nbsp;It seems like all of my cousins have had or are having babies while I've been away and I'm so happy to see all their little faces. Even my high school friends are now mamas and papas, which is always beyond weird. Am I really that old?! I was facebook chatting with a friend last night and we realized we'd seen each other once in the past 5 years! That's just way too long.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b6EG9KlmxME/UrAtjmWaBhI/AAAAAAAAFVA/n2TJMqns4wg/s1600/familyphoto.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b6EG9KlmxME/UrAtjmWaBhI/AAAAAAAAFVA/n2TJMqns4wg/s640/familyphoto.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wFgMRmeW08I/UrAtjpT_FBI/AAAAAAAAFVE/Xf70ku3EbUs/s1600/family+photo+millers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wFgMRmeW08I/UrAtjpT_FBI/AAAAAAAAFVE/Xf70ku3EbUs/s640/family+photo+millers.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I don't actually get see this side this time around, but I still miss them!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><b>Things that are weird:</b><br /><br />When I go home, it's always a little weird. I feel pretty normal here (normal is always a relative term), but when I get home I always wonder if I seem "asian-ified", you know what I mean? Like I'm so out of the loop on pop culture, I speak Chinglish on a daily basis to the point where I actually have to stop myself from saying "Xie Xie" when in other countries, I have no idea if any of my clothes are remotely in style (my guess is probably not), and have picked up a lot of Taiwanese mannerisms. These are all good things in general because it means I've gotten the hang of the culture over here, but a little less cool when you go home and still bow slightly while handing over your business card or money with two hands.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yud0lqE-D_0/UrAuLhDNmKI/AAAAAAAAFVQ/B8c_j9FRk7U/s1600/unicorns.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yud0lqE-D_0/UrAuLhDNmKI/AAAAAAAAFVQ/B8c_j9FRk7U/s640/unicorns.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><b>Speaking English and being understood.</b> &nbsp;I've gotten into the habit of just saying whatever's on my mind in public because 9 times out of 10, no one understands me. &nbsp;I used to think this was really rude when Cam would do it until I realized everyone around us was doing the same thing in Chinese. &nbsp;If you can't beat 'em join 'em, right? &nbsp;But now, I'm going to seriously have to filter myself around people because all of a sudden we speak the same language. &nbsp;This is also nice though, because I can now read everything on the menu and I don't have to do the smile and nod if I misunderstand someone.<br /><br /><b>Driving a car.</b> &nbsp;I haven't driven a car since the last time I was in Canada. Getting back behind the wheel is both weird and completely wonderful. &nbsp;What?! I'm protected from the outside elements? I can listen to music? I have heat <i>and </i>A/C? I can make a normal left turn? What is this magical creation?!<br /><br /><b>Blending in</b>. &nbsp;Also another weird yet wonderful change. &nbsp;As much as I love that I can sometimes play the "foreign card" in sticky situations, it will be really really nice to walk down the street or into a store and not be stared at or asked to have my picture taken or be talked about and pointed at behind cupped hands. (Honestly, just because you cover your mouth with your hand doesn't mean I don't know you're talking about me...) &nbsp;Ahhh to go shopping and not be followed or constantly be asked, "Are you American?" It's the stuff of dreams I tell ya.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">---</div><br />It will be interesting to see if this last year and a half has made a difference in the way I act or behave. &nbsp;Last time I went home it was only for a week and was a whirlwind trip with so much visiting and back and forth that I hardly had a chance to blink before it was over. This time will be a solid 5 weeks of no real plans and hanging out! &nbsp;Plenty of time to notice how odd I've become living as a foreigner in another land.<br /><br /><b><i>Have any of you experienced a bit of reverse culture shock when visiting or returning home?</i></b><br /><b><i>Did you bring home&nbsp;</i></b><b><i>"odd" mannerisms ?</i></b><br /><b><i><br /></i></b><b><i><br /></i></b><b><i><span style="font-size: x-small;">This post was partly inspired by Amanda over at <a href="http://livinginanotherlanguage.com/blog/2013/12/15/changed/" target="_blank">Living in Another Language</a>.</span></i></b><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-21473883052652873762013-12-07T08:01:00.004-08:002013-12-07T08:01:46.528-08:00Happy Birthday Charlie<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">When we rescued Charlie she was about 8 weeks old. We figure that means she's a December puppy! I also realized that I haven't really posted about her since we got her. How has her adorable puppy face not graced these pages more? I mean she's certainly cuter than me ;)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Prepare yourselves cuteness overload.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DYINyp-eVR4/UqNDGpZOzXI/AAAAAAAAFTI/xXUMOkPbhnA/s1600/20130826_214344.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DYINyp-eVR4/UqNDGpZOzXI/AAAAAAAAFTI/xXUMOkPbhnA/s640/20130826_214344.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">This was just after she got fixed. She was less than impressed and oh so pitiful.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sAfq6SbfigY/UqNDTgfD-JI/AAAAAAAAFUQ/95ynjM-jV_c/s1600/IMG_8865.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sAfq6SbfigY/UqNDTgfD-JI/AAAAAAAAFUQ/95ynjM-jV_c/s640/IMG_8865.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;She used to be terrified of baths, now she just showers with Cameron like trouper.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-26bK7d5CYus/UqNDGppWb-I/AAAAAAAAFTM/x70iJpFG8dc/s1600/20130925_200404.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-26bK7d5CYus/UqNDGppWb-I/AAAAAAAAFTM/x70iJpFG8dc/s640/20130925_200404.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;She lives on our bed. We now used two comforters because she would sleep in between us and hog the covers. What a princess.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gs1X2xf4A0w/UqNDGyIzPMI/AAAAAAAAFTQ/HtQsdKLd_28/s1600/20131031_093705.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gs1X2xf4A0w/UqNDGyIzPMI/AAAAAAAAFTQ/HtQsdKLd_28/s640/20131031_093705.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Like I said... total spoiled princess!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4KqzHkZEATM/UqNDJM94zWI/AAAAAAAAFTg/IYCt4ZnnFPM/s1600/20131107_192635.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4KqzHkZEATM/UqNDJM94zWI/AAAAAAAAFTg/IYCt4ZnnFPM/s640/20131107_192635.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5TgIHT0DXlo/UqNDJo7dC0I/AAAAAAAAFTk/X4rKld585_8/s1600/20131121_122326.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5TgIHT0DXlo/UqNDJo7dC0I/AAAAAAAAFTk/X4rKld585_8/s640/20131121_122326.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NWzrmkEQqQY/UqNDJmpIGOI/AAAAAAAAFTo/7HTSFqSEweU/s1600/20131128_002007.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NWzrmkEQqQY/UqNDJmpIGOI/AAAAAAAAFTo/7HTSFqSEweU/s640/20131128_002007.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;This is the "scratch my belly" face and posture.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9DdP3w9gvj0/UqNDL-Fdp3I/AAAAAAAAFT4/jsF2Q_s4cfk/s1600/20131207_162319.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9DdP3w9gvj0/UqNDL-Fdp3I/AAAAAAAAFT4/jsF2Q_s4cfk/s640/20131207_162319.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Look how long her legs are! &nbsp;It's like she's on stilts. &nbsp;It was hilarious when she got her legs because they grew before the rest of her body and she was so clumsy.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N7e2_Anzot8/UqNDOGQxWWI/AAAAAAAAFUA/KlV6BB36QWM/s1600/IMG_1195.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N7e2_Anzot8/UqNDOGQxWWI/AAAAAAAAFUA/KlV6BB36QWM/s640/IMG_1195.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-12PM99phBUU/UqNDOvbL6CI/AAAAAAAAFUE/vZfiYypw2qw/s1600/IMG_1198.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-12PM99phBUU/UqNDOvbL6CI/AAAAAAAAFUE/vZfiYypw2qw/s640/IMG_1198.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;We finally took her back to her natural habitat to the land of her ancestors! She looooves the mountains and found all kinds of little black dog friends who look just like her. They just roam the mountains, though I don't feel like Charlie would fare so well out there, she's kind of a pansy.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_a3sI859ef4/UqNDVQ4P5tI/AAAAAAAAFUY/QDRkL-22rT8/s1600/IMG_0993.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_a3sI859ef4/UqNDVQ4P5tI/AAAAAAAAFUY/QDRkL-22rT8/s640/IMG_0993.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yAUQbWi1xTw/UqNDWDP8JfI/AAAAAAAAFUc/Xmo-NL5qv8o/s1600/IMG_0997.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yAUQbWi1xTw/UqNDWDP8JfI/AAAAAAAAFUc/Xmo-NL5qv8o/s640/IMG_0997.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lPFM54EEhLI/UqNDWvkP24I/AAAAAAAAFUk/I9LbslfS6D8/s1600/IMG_1025.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lPFM54EEhLI/UqNDWvkP24I/AAAAAAAAFUk/I9LbslfS6D8/s640/IMG_1025.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">I promise I'll post more Charlie from now on, just to keep the cuteness quota up. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">Happy birthday to this hilariously adorable pup.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-89540990186535375692013-12-04T23:36:00.000-08:002013-12-04T23:36:19.429-08:00November Snail Mail CollectiveWoop woop! It's that time of the month again! &nbsp;Noooo not <i>that</i> time. &nbsp;It's the only time of the month I get mail!<br /><br />This month's match up was actually really awesome. I met a new blogfriend Sam, who is now my soul sister... That sounds weird, but we just ended up having so much in common, I figure the universe must be putting us together for some reason, no? &nbsp;Sam lives in DC and blogs about her adventures there with her husband over at <a href="http://samnhal.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Sam 'n' Hal</a>. &nbsp;We are both avid readers, chocolate lovers (who isn't though?), yoga lovers, holistic health junkies, travelers, and mormons! It was really fun to get to know more about her and if I ever venture over to DC, I have someone to visit. <br /><br />I just received her package today on my way out for lunch and was so excited I opened it right up in Subway. I showed my husband and he just goes "Ohhh now I understand why you girls do this. &nbsp;It's all cute and stuff." Haha. So thanks Sam for all the cute stuff. I love the Ghiradelli chocolates and I'm eating the goldfish as I type this.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JFWYzQ-glIM/UqAsXvAf_mI/AAAAAAAAFSs/S-Mac5Ii7Pc/s1600/20131205_124113.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JFWYzQ-glIM/UqAsXvAf_mI/AAAAAAAAFSs/S-Mac5Ii7Pc/s640/20131205_124113.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--cTDKOcPosc/UqAsYAL0piI/AAAAAAAAFSw/o0GfVK9pAbs/s1600/20131205_124418.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--cTDKOcPosc/UqAsYAL0piI/AAAAAAAAFSw/o0GfVK9pAbs/s640/20131205_124418.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Everyone go show Sam some love on her <a href="http://samnhal.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">blog</a> and sign up for the December Snail Mail Collective at <a href="http://lostintravelsblog.com/" target="_blank">Lost in Travels</a> or <a href="http://thenectarcollective.com/" target="_blank">Nectar Collective</a>.<br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-45853887760482803552013-11-28T23:09:00.002-08:002013-11-29T00:26:42.370-08:00A Lesson in Gratitude<center>I came across this video yesterday and thought it was so beautiful. &nbsp;In my teacher training we were led through a gratitude workshop with a wonderful man named Eishi, the producer of the movie <a href="http://www.thehappymovie.com/film/" target="_blank">Happy</a>&nbsp;(if you need a good pick me up documentary, I highly recommend this one). &nbsp;</center><center>He taught us a bit about the science of gratitude, but most of all proved it to us. &nbsp;We were asked to write down as many things as we could think of to be grateful for in the last 24 hours. &nbsp;24 hours is a pretty short amount of time, but I think we were all stunned by how much we were blessed with in each of our lives, from the big things like being in Bali on an amazing training, to small things like a new friend giving you a hug just when you needed it. &nbsp;We each read our list out loud to each other.</center><center>Then he led us through a short <a href="http://laurenjeanyoga.com/2013/11/26/simple-gratitude-meditation/" target="_blank">gratitude meditation</a> before the next exercise. &nbsp;He asked us to think of someone who had helped us a great deal in a specific situation. &nbsp;We were then asked to write a letter to this person (not unlike the video below). &nbsp;</center><center>When our letters were completed, some of the members volunteered to share their letters. &nbsp;It was such a beautiful moment of vulnerability and deep gratitude. &nbsp;We were all touched by the messages of love that people had written, tears included. &nbsp;Eishi encouraged us to send our letters to those we wrote them to or call them and read them. &nbsp;What came from those phone calls and letters, I'm not sure, but the science of it is true- <b>gratitude will make you happy</b>. When we choose to focus on our blessings rather than what we are missing, we quickly realize exactly how much we have to be grateful for. <i>Hint: It's a lot!</i></center><center><i><br /></i></center><center><i><b><span style="font-size: large;">Thankful List:</span></b></i></center><center><b><br /></b></center><center><b>Cameron</b>- Thank you for being such a loving supportive husband and best friend. You make me laugh harder than anyone</center><center><b>Family and Friends</b>- To both my friends and family back home and scattered around the world, thank you for being there for me and being your amazing happy selves- you guys make the world a better place</center><center><b>Charlie</b>- Could you be any cuter?! Thank you for being adorable and sitting on my feet when it's really cold</center><center><b>Yoga and teaching yog</b>a- Thanks for sending me on an incredible journey this year and pushing me through some tough stuff</center><center><b>School</b>- I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and study</center><center><b>Taiwan</b>- You beautiful country you. &nbsp;There will always be a place for you in my heart</center><center><b>Health</b>- I'm happy for a healthy body that keeps on moving</center><center><b>Blog friends and readers</b> (That means you!!)- Thank you for following along on this crazy expat blogging journey. &nbsp;As always, I'm so grateful you are here</center><center><br /></center><center></center><center>I wish you all the best.</center><center><br /></center><center></center><center><i><b>Thank you</b></i>.</center><center></center><center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oHv6vTKD6lg?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></center><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-82775285731197268342013-11-15T20:08:00.001-08:002013-11-15T20:08:31.586-08:00Taichung Flower Festival<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R0WB2rv57Ak/UobmjNi_OVI/AAAAAAAAFQY/0rFX3_n411I/s1600/flowerfestival.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R0WB2rv57Ak/UobmjNi_OVI/AAAAAAAAFQY/0rFX3_n411I/s640/flowerfestival.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Yesterday Cameron and I went up to the mountains near XinShe to check out the "International Taichung Flower Carpet Festival!" Every event here has "international" in the title... I don't think it means what they think it means... But, I guess there were a few foreigners there, so maybe that counts? &nbsp;This event pretty much sums up a typical Taiwanese activity: grow giant field of flowers (or some sort of spectacle), make themed cartoon characters, set up a giant market, and stand around with umbrellas taking pictures of such spectacle. &nbsp;This is the formula for a huge crowd of people and lots of sales. Despite the fact that it's just a giant money making scheme and the traffic up the small mountain roads was ridiculous, the flowers were beautiful and it was a perfect sunny day! And we did take some lovely pictures.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l0BD99NOuz0/UobrbF3TdvI/AAAAAAAAFQw/-V3zEYt1HMg/s1600/IMG_1063.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l0BD99NOuz0/UobrbF3TdvI/AAAAAAAAFQw/-V3zEYt1HMg/s640/IMG_1063.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZWV-gBYxMog/UobrZwQ-GhI/AAAAAAAAFQs/PrAlMpY59Ck/s1600/IMG_1072.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZWV-gBYxMog/UobrZwQ-GhI/AAAAAAAAFQs/PrAlMpY59Ck/s640/IMG_1072.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uE8wTEmcRks/UobrZ_4oWqI/AAAAAAAAFQo/pp1wMaF10Uk/s1600/IMG_1079.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uE8wTEmcRks/UobrZ_4oWqI/AAAAAAAAFQo/pp1wMaF10Uk/s640/IMG_1079.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oKGCj5b9_JU/UobrtsWGjMI/AAAAAAAAFRM/_uH58kmIx-0/s1600/IMG_1083.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oKGCj5b9_JU/UobrtsWGjMI/AAAAAAAAFRM/_uH58kmIx-0/s640/IMG_1083.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3tnk8B1n6rA/UobrslkTvnI/AAAAAAAAFRI/wXcpHyiBA88/s1600/IMG_1094.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3tnk8B1n6rA/UobrslkTvnI/AAAAAAAAFRI/wXcpHyiBA88/s640/IMG_1094.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hA1YxvGiaAE/UobrlNFuRgI/AAAAAAAAFRA/Mq1tXQHa6uY/s1600/IMG_1098.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hA1YxvGiaAE/UobrlNFuRgI/AAAAAAAAFRA/Mq1tXQHa6uY/s640/IMG_1098.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IAx8_QdNGtM/UobrvRbtt-I/AAAAAAAAFRU/tKQ8UFgIkKU/s1600/IMG_1117.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IAx8_QdNGtM/UobrvRbtt-I/AAAAAAAAFRU/tKQ8UFgIkKU/s640/IMG_1117.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MwOx3FSZnGs/UobryQ4k30I/AAAAAAAAFRg/BVo5yXQHi_U/s1600/IMG_1129.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MwOx3FSZnGs/UobryQ4k30I/AAAAAAAAFRg/BVo5yXQHi_U/s640/IMG_1129.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ujHQCNBieqU/Uobr0f_Oc5I/AAAAAAAAFRo/EWtISTGbQwE/s1600/IMG_1149.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ujHQCNBieqU/Uobr0f_Oc5I/AAAAAAAAFRo/EWtISTGbQwE/s640/IMG_1149.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uFk0e10Ae6A/Uobr2zsB7AI/AAAAAAAAFRw/AZjsG2wGVFE/s1600/IMG_1162.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uFk0e10Ae6A/Uobr2zsB7AI/AAAAAAAAFRw/AZjsG2wGVFE/s640/IMG_1162.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uuLo7WkgJfY/Uobr5SFWFsI/AAAAAAAAFR4/uqCplIYU1Ns/s1600/IMG_1171.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="334" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uuLo7WkgJfY/Uobr5SFWFsI/AAAAAAAAFR4/uqCplIYU1Ns/s640/IMG_1171.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nZtn-Y2cL-U/Uobr6aBeu-I/AAAAAAAAFSA/AnA0klpx-qs/s1600/IMG_1177.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nZtn-Y2cL-U/Uobr6aBeu-I/AAAAAAAAFSA/AnA0klpx-qs/s640/IMG_1177.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><b><i>What festivals do they have where you are?</i></b><br /><b><i><br /></i></b><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" /><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/11221625" title="Follow laurenjeanyoga on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/lank.gif?id=11221625" /></a>Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com18Xinshe, Xinshe District, Taichung City, Taiwan 42624.2638889 120.79999999999995-4.3739875999999995 79.491405999999955 52.9017654 162.10859399999995tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-60881085821288475412013-11-14T08:47:00.000-08:002013-11-14T08:47:18.632-08:00Travelista Stocking Stuffer Guide<div style="margin: 0 auto; width: 600px;"><div style="position: relative;"><a href="http://www.polyvore.com/travelista_stocking_stuffer_guide/set?.embedder=4458264&amp;.svc=copypaste&amp;id=103855850" target="_blank"><img alt="Travelista Stocking Stuffer Guide" border="0" height="574" src="http://cfc.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-set/.sig/FxH8KDQYDE2mJrlJxq4w/cid/103855850/id/6MGSOkdN4xGet9gQFYJoxg/size/c600x574.jpg" title="Travelista Stocking Stuffer Guide" width="600" /></a></div></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="margin: 0 auto; width: 600px;"><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?.embedder=4458264&amp;.svc=copypaste&amp;id=94860365" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img height="50" hspace="4" src="http://ak2.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-thing/size/s/tid/94860365.jpg" title="USB Utility Charge Tool" vspace="4" width="50" /></a><a href="http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?.embedder=4458264&amp;.svc=copypaste&amp;id=84283069" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img height="50" hspace="4" src="http://ak1.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-thing/size/s/tid/84283069.jpg" title="Roxy CamelBak All Clear UV Water Purifier Bottle" vspace="4" width="50" /></a><a href="http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?.embedder=4458264&amp;.svc=copypaste&amp;id=97279779" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img height="50" hspace="4" src="http://ak2.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-thing/size/s/tid/97279779.jpg" title="Philosophy Best Sellers Collection Set Mini" vspace="4" width="50" /></a><a href="http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?.embedder=4458264&amp;.svc=copypaste&amp;id=97278111" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img height="50" hspace="4" src="http://ak1.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-thing/size/s/tid/97278111.jpg" title="La Fresh Eco Beauty Tote Travel Pack, 18 Count" vspace="4" width="50" /></a><br /><br />'Tis the season, folks. &nbsp;I can almost hear the Christmas bells a' ringing. Oh wait, nope, that's just the garbage truck playing Fur Elise again... &nbsp;Anyhow, we are half way through November, and if you're anything like me, Christmas shopping hasn't even crossed your mind (well not until I wrote this post at least...). I'm making it easy on you this year with a quick list of some of my favourite travel themed stocking stuffers gathered from the far corners of the internet. &nbsp;These are all perfectly suited for that picky traveling female in your life- compact, reasonably priced, and unique.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051I5VGY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0051I5VGY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=smartrav-20" target="_blank">1. La Fresh Beauty Wipes for Tote and Travel</a>&nbsp;<b>$9.99</b>- Toss 'em in your carry on or your purse, these handy little wipes are TSA approved and come in a variety of functions from deodorant to make up remover. &nbsp;This multi pack covers all your bases with a sampling of each.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.flight001.com/all-products/gadgets/utility-charge-tool-pink.html" target="_blank">2. Utility Charge Tool</a> <b>$18.00</b>- Gone are the days of individual chargers for every device. &nbsp;One handy little tool and you've got the proper plugin for your iphone, kindle, tablet, and USB device!<br /><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Camelbak-Clear-Purifier-Bottle-750ml/dp/B006ZV62H8/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1384446475&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=camelbak+uv" target="_blank">3. CamelBak UV All Clear Purifier</a> <b>$68.97</b>- This one is seriously cool! &nbsp;If you're ever traveling with questionable water sources (that always reminds me of the little elephant from Tarzan), this bottle's built in UV light zaps 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from your water. &nbsp;With up to 10 000 uses from one bulb, you'll be sure that you're not bringing back a waterborne illness as a souvenir. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.thegrommet.com/travel/lay-n-go-cosmo-black" target="_blank">4. Lay-n-Go Cosmo</a> <b>$29.95</b>- Maybe it's just me, but I find myself too often forgetting little things in the bathrooms of hotels. &nbsp;With this make up bag, it's all in one convenient location, just pull the drawstring and all cosmetics are safely tucked away.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Best-Sellers-Collection-Mini/dp/B00FERIKTC/ref=sr_1_2?s=beauty&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1384444449&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=philosophy+travel+set" target="_blank">5. Philosophy Best Sellers Collection Mini Set</a> <b>$42.90</b>- I'm all for taking the bottles from hotels, but wouldn't it be nice to have a set that actually smelled good and didn't damage your hair? &nbsp;These cute little bottles are just the right size for a carry on and come in a pretty carrying case.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Joby-GorillaPod-SLR-Zoom-Flexible-Tripod/dp/B000KFRSG4" target="_blank">6. GorillaPod SLR Zoom Flexible Tripod</a>&nbsp;<b>$32.33</b>- Get photos from those hard to reach spots, or for us bloggers, it's the ultimate selfie tool ;) &nbsp;This one in particular is tough enough to hold up a DSLR and can be set up just about anywhere.<br /><br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><i>What's on your wish list this season? </i>&nbsp;</span></b><br /><br /></div></div><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-63428311650970150262013-11-08T22:51:00.000-08:002013-11-08T22:51:18.211-08:00So Remember Those Goals and Stuff?Hey guys,<br /><br />So remember on my <a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2013/10/24-years.html" target="_blank">birthday</a> last month, when I told you I had some big plans and goals and all that good stuff planned for this year? Well, I suppooose I should start to fill you all in!<br /><br />For starters, to complement my recent <a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2013/08/namaste-from-ubud-bali.html" target="_blank">yoga teacher training</a> and my classes that I'm teaching, I began a health coaching program 2 weeks ago! &nbsp;It's a year long course and by the end of it, I'll be a certified holistic health coach! &nbsp;Since yoga and nutrition seem to go hand in hand it felt like a perfect match and a great move career-wise. &nbsp;I'll keep you all up to date on the program as it goes along, but so far nothing much to report, besides the fact that my homework has me trying to figure out my life's purpose and envision my life 5, 10, 20 years from now! &nbsp;Yikes... I have never been good at planning a year in advance, and now they want me to predict the future? sheesh... Probably good for me though, you know the whole having a plan and goals and pursuing them and all that jazz...<br /><br />The program is through the well-known <a href="http://www.integrativenutrition.com/" target="_blank">Institute for Integrative Nutrition</a>, who has been awesome thus far. &nbsp;The lectures and teachers and quality of all the materials has been amazing. &nbsp;I'm really looking forward to see how the rest of this year pans out. &nbsp;<i>(If you're interested in the program, feel free to <a href="mailto:lauren.millermemoires@gmail.com" target="_blank">email</a> me. &nbsp;I actually have a pretty sweet friends discount right now since I just registered)</i><br /><i><br /></i><a href="http://www.integrativenutrition.com/?erefer=0015000000p7pXLAAY" target="newwin"> <img height="620" src="http://banners.integrativenutrition.com/HealthCoaching_Infographic.png?id=0015000000p7pXLAAY" width="640" /></a><i><br /></i>That's the first big one I suppose. &nbsp;The next big one is that I'm about 90% sure we won't be living in Taiwan this time next year! &nbsp;What?!?! &nbsp;Yep. It's time for a change, and after 3 years here (well, closer to 3.5 by the time we head out) I think we're ready to leave this little island behind for some kind of new adventure. &nbsp;Cam is just about finished his program, and I never really intended to graduate from here seeing as it's not really my program of choice (but they paid me to go so I can't complain!), so it's off to somewhere new. &nbsp;That somewhere has yet to be determined, so stay tuned on that one. &nbsp;When I know, you'll know. <br /><br />I guess it's really just two new/interesting things happening, but they're pretty big, so I think I'll just stick with those. &nbsp;For now it's nutrition homework, pain-in-the-butt university applications, and yoga. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MOXkDWOP1As/Un3aOuE6N_I/AAAAAAAAFQE/roGGYPi9eHQ/s1600/IMG_0619.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MOXkDWOP1As/Un3aOuE6N_I/AAAAAAAAFQE/roGGYPi9eHQ/s640/IMG_0619.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br />Have a lovely weekend!<br /><br />XOXO<br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" /><br /><br /><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4340795" title="Follow miller mémoires on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/lank.gif?id=4340795" /></a>Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-31172521491291431902013-11-06T05:42:00.000-08:002013-11-06T05:42:14.219-08:00Getting a Scrub Down in BaliI was trying without much luck for a title that didn't sound entirely perverted... But I mean what do you really expect when we are talking about paying someone to rub down your naked body?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.lavenderbali.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U2mDZYYwGao/UnpFr9fbvoI/AAAAAAAAFPs/dQYaqamqveo/s640/balinese+massage.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br />Anyway, Ubud is a lovely place, as I've said before. &nbsp;One of the lovelier bits about it is the spas! &nbsp;There are masseuses on every corner ready to sink their fingers into you, they'll even pull out a stool and start up right on the curb. &nbsp;They're cheap, they're everywhere, and they are oh so relaxing. &nbsp;I could use one right now honestly (I got knocked off my feet, laid flat out, by my small innocent looking puppy... puppy that runs like a bullet! seriously, I was airborne. &nbsp;How is that even possible?) <br /><br />As with anything, there is definitely a difference in quality, depending on where you go and how much you pay. <br /><br />My first massage was at place (pretty sure it was called Eden) just outside the Yoga Barn where my training was happening. I booked the last massage of the night, and they certainly let me know it. &nbsp;I had coincidentally booked a massage at the same time as my friend, and they decided that to save space and time they would just stick us together without really asking. Now, I don't mind getting a massage with a friend, but it's certainly more relaxing when you're alone, and it's quiet, and don't have to share a shower and all that naked type stuff. &nbsp;It was pretty much a "let's get this over with and go home" kind of massage. &nbsp;Fine, but not great. Good thing it only set me back 100,000 Rph, or $10USD.<br /><br />Second massage was infinitely better, but only $4 more expensive, at <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g297701-d379259-Reviews-Ubud_Bodyworks_Healing_Centre-Ubud_Bali.html" target="_blank">Body Works Healing Center</a> on Hanoman St. &nbsp;At 140,000 Rph I was ushered into a beautiful compound of gardens and temples, up to a third floor room with a gorgeous view, got to choose my own scented oils which I got to keep at the end of the treatment, and the massage was so much better. Oh, and they give you fresh papaya and ginger tea and you can sit out in the garden while you snack away. &nbsp;My experience there was so good in fact, that I went back on the second to last day of training with a friend to celebrate us becoming yoga teachers. That time we also got a really great pedicure, too!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DZcHpNSEFxY/UnpEWo-7pVI/AAAAAAAAFPA/i57XiyKyyDo/s1600/2013-08-12+18.07.57.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DZcHpNSEFxY/UnpEWo-7pVI/AAAAAAAAFPA/i57XiyKyyDo/s640/2013-08-12+18.07.57.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t23GbHcpd6Y/UnpEaiidLVI/AAAAAAAAFPM/QCy1OYj5X3g/s1600/2013-08-12+17.58.20.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t23GbHcpd6Y/UnpEaiidLVI/AAAAAAAAFPM/QCy1OYj5X3g/s640/2013-08-12+17.58.20.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />And lastly, on my very last day off (of only three during the entire training) I booked a two hour Body Scrub and Flower Bath at <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g297701-d2061913-Reviews-Eve_Spa_Bali-Ubud_Bali.html" target="_blank">Eve Spa</a>. &nbsp;I mean the works! (For only 180,000Rph or $18) &nbsp;As with most massage places in Ubud they give you this really attractive pair of black paper panties that make you look like when your bathing suit gets caught by a jet in the hot tub and it puffs up, do you know what I'm talking about? &nbsp;Anyway, so I put on the super sexy paper panty things and got my massage underway. <br /><br />P.S. I've learned that it's really only American massages that do that whole hold up the towel, let you flip over without looking thing. &nbsp;In Bali, and in Germany for that matter (that's really the extent of my international massage knowledge), they really like to get <i>all </i>of your body- including breasts and very very upper thigh. &nbsp;Just thought you ought to know ;) &nbsp;Ok, so massage ends, scrub begins. &nbsp;I think it was called and herbal lufur, but I really just picked it because I liked how it smelled best. &nbsp;Post scrub, I am quite obviously covered in scrubby stuff, so she instructs me to head over to the shower. &nbsp;At this point I assume I will be left to my own devices to shower off and get in the tub full of flower petals for a soak. Wrong! &nbsp;Nope, lucky me, I get the all-star treatment, which apparently includes being hand showered, slathered in cold yogurt, then once again hand washed. &nbsp;All the while engaging in a rather awkward conversation, deciding whether it is more or less awkward to just make eye contact with her as she asks me where I'm from and how old I am and what I'm doing in Bali while she's rubbing cold yogurt on my breasts. Hm... &nbsp;Still can't decide...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://indoline.net/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Fd_khGJIaCk/UnpGrlnb9SI/AAAAAAAAFP0/LANj_T6vAws/s640/flower_bath.jpg" width="422" /></a></div><br />Besides the mild awkwardness, it was a really relaxing treatment and my skin felt fabulous. &nbsp;Honestly, as far as I can tell, I will never see that woman again, clothed or otherwise, so it really doesn't matter that much anyway, right?<br /><br />Those are just the three places I checked out while I was there with my limited free time. &nbsp;I did also get a free reflexology foot massage as part of my training at Kush Spa inside the Yoga Barn. &nbsp;It was wonderful, I nearly fell asleep! &nbsp;My friend from training swears by their Ayurvedic massages, so that's another. &nbsp;There are tons of options as far as spas and relaxation and healing in Ubud. &nbsp;It's an amazing place for a physical and spiritual recharge. &nbsp;Just be prepared to get naked!<br /><br /><a href="http://ubudnowandthen.com/" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oxX4ixFbsqY/UnpE5qci8FI/AAAAAAAAFPg/vc8Ut1zcJgQ/s640/kushspa.jpg" width="640" /></a><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-20919755113449337422013-11-05T06:46:00.004-08:002013-11-05T06:47:35.845-08:00Snail Mail CollectiveThere are few things as exciting as getting mail these days- no, not that digital email kind, I mean the real deal, physical, hold-in-your-hand type snail mail. &nbsp;Especially a juicy little package from a new friend! &nbsp;As part of the October Snail Mail Collective organized by the lovely <a href="http://lostintravelsblog.com/" target="_blank">Chelsea</a> and <a href="http://thenectarcollective.com/" target="_blank">Melyssa</a>, I received a beautiful little parcel from Suzana. &nbsp;Suzana is from Croatia and blogs over at <a href="http://thisgirlloooves.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">This Girl Loves</a>. &nbsp;She is a total sweetheart and creative to boot. &nbsp;Let me just show you what she sent me so you can go ahead and envy me just a little ;) &nbsp;The <a href="http://lostintravelsblog.com/2013/11/november-snail-mail-collective/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Lostintravels+%28lost.in.travels%29" target="_blank">sign-ups</a> for November are still ongoing, so head on over to find your very own lovely bloggy-buddy-pen-pal-friendy-person... !!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j4nDfRdDcCE/UnkCW2XSVYI/AAAAAAAAFOc/231m0ATt3pM/s1600/20131105_141908.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="472" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j4nDfRdDcCE/UnkCW2XSVYI/AAAAAAAAFOc/231m0ATt3pM/s640/20131105_141908.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Inside the manila envelope came a hand packaged little gift with a postcard of her home city. &nbsp;It was so fun to learn about her over the course of this month and to read her blog. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iT0WErsmxtg/UnkCZOmTO-I/AAAAAAAAFOs/mrldPrTduWw/s1600/20131105_142041.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iT0WErsmxtg/UnkCZOmTO-I/AAAAAAAAFOs/mrldPrTduWw/s640/20131105_142041.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Inside were some of her fall favourite Autumn themed goodies. &nbsp;A pretty pencil for journalling and recording my Fall travels, some calming herbal tea, and the comfiest coziest little slippers ever. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jeD8JK__7L8/UnkCZPxhBVI/AAAAAAAAFOo/Mg2_BEtFIAE/s1600/20131105_142628.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="528" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jeD8JK__7L8/UnkCZPxhBVI/AAAAAAAAFOo/Mg2_BEtFIAE/s640/20131105_142628.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Those slippers were hand-crocheted by her very own mama! &nbsp;She also has magical foot size guessing powers and somehow tailored them to perfectly fit my feet! &nbsp;Amazing :)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Charlie seems to like them too. &nbsp;Or maybe she's worried that she won't be able to lick my feet anymore!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kBszDiiIqFM/UnkCWXXBo5I/AAAAAAAAFOY/QNmjbHHC21g/s1600/20131105_142431.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kBszDiiIqFM/UnkCWXXBo5I/AAAAAAAAFOY/QNmjbHHC21g/s640/20131105_142431.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">Thanks again to Suzana for a beautiful and thoughtful gift. &nbsp;I look forward to to reading more about your adventures on your blog. Go sign up for the snail mail collective, I already got my name in for November and am excited for more snail mail fun in the future!</div><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" /><br /><center><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4340795" title="Follow miller mémoires on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/lank.gif?id=4340795" /></a></center>Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-34350094280689769912013-10-25T03:06:00.000-07:002013-10-25T07:24:49.952-07:00Experiencing Balinese Spirituality at Pura Tirta EmpulAs part of our teacher training we had the privilege of visiting and participating in a purification ritual at Pura Titra Empul, or the Tirta Empul Temple. <br /><br />Tirta Empul in located just north of Ubud in a city called <a href="https://plus.google.com/100256266694276809466/about?gl=tw&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Tampaksiring</a>. We all carpooled in taxis and were met by a beautiful Balinese woman who would help us all through the cleansing process. &nbsp;She also informed us of a few rules of the temple, the main one being that menstruating women are not allowed to enter the water because they are believed to be "unclean" during this time. &nbsp;If you are planning on going on your own, take this into account and perhaps plan accordingly (up to you, ladies).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qjUd0y3OyIU/UmovJrzJEqI/AAAAAAAAFM4/A4NDJsICkYM/s1600/2013-08-18+14.01.51.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qjUd0y3OyIU/UmovJrzJEqI/AAAAAAAAFM4/A4NDJsICkYM/s640/2013-08-18+14.01.51.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Fo5UFJ-kMDQ/UmovLe-VaeI/AAAAAAAAFNQ/b-K453cnCHE/s1600/2013-08-18+14.20.09.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Fo5UFJ-kMDQ/UmovLe-VaeI/AAAAAAAAFNQ/b-K453cnCHE/s640/2013-08-18+14.20.09.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Our lovely guide brought inside the temple where we traded our yoga pants for a sarong and sash. &nbsp;Everyone (men and women) planning to enter the water should be wearing a sarong and sash. &nbsp;These can be rented at the temple for a small fee, or just bring your own. If you plan to change there, just note, there is an open co-ed changing area, so consider underwear choices wisely, or just bring a towel if you're worried about modesty. <br /><br />Once appropriately attired, we made our way down to the water's edge. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1vCm-mJfz1E/UmovTNj2E3I/AAAAAAAAFNg/t82Pc23DG-o/s1600/bali+ceremony.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1vCm-mJfz1E/UmovTNj2E3I/AAAAAAAAFNg/t82Pc23DG-o/s640/bali+ceremony.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://indonesia-oslo.no/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VhVZRsT7IoE/UmovTQrhLLI/AAAAAAAAFNk/Ff0AqsFVAcE/s640/indonesia-web-8.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>Balinese have drawn to this sacred spot for more than a thousand years. &nbsp;The sacred spring bubbles up from the ground and flows out through more than a dozen different fountains dedicated to different purposes. &nbsp;Balinese frequent this temple, especially during a full moon, for healing and purification. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RMOg01urJHA/UmovTPfx9MI/AAAAAAAAFNo/ZONsH-5t-7g/s1600/offering.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RMOg01urJHA/UmovTPfx9MI/AAAAAAAAFNo/ZONsH-5t-7g/s640/offering.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>We were led through a series of prayers and offerings while kneeling at the water's edge. &nbsp;Once our offering was complete, we entered the cool waters and proceeded through cleansing at each of the fountains in the main pool. &nbsp;We were instructed to offer a small prayer, then wash our face, head, rinse our mouth, then drink- three times each, at each fountain. &nbsp;The water was clear, and koi fish swam lazily around our feet. Balinese children played around their worshipping parents. &nbsp;The atmosphere was light and filled with a calm spirituality. &nbsp;Balinese are very dedicated to their spiritual practice, especially in Ubud. &nbsp;It was a beautiful ceremony and an incredibly special peek into local customs. &nbsp;I am very grateful to have been part of such a ritual, and especially to be led through by a local. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UvcTqT993To/UmovTx2SD5I/AAAAAAAAFNs/sBiS-vQLui0/s1600/purification.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UvcTqT993To/UmovTx2SD5I/AAAAAAAAFNs/sBiS-vQLui0/s640/purification.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />After completing the purification at each fountain, we proceeded into the open temple for another prayer offered on our behalf by one of the priests. &nbsp;More offerings were blessed and given up to the Hindu gods. <br /><br />We roamed the temple grounds, all open air and made of carefully carved stone. &nbsp;We were lucky to be able to exit back the way we came to avoid the vendor street through the exit, as to preserve the spirit of our visit. &nbsp;Unfortunately, tourists without a guide must make their way through rather pushy vendors to make their way out of the temple. &nbsp;Just be prepared for this and don't let it dampen your experience. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yhzbnvy5dMc/UmovJ4TNndI/AAAAAAAAFM8/wjvyqXSRPpk/s1600/2013-08-18+13.59.10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yhzbnvy5dMc/UmovJ4TNndI/AAAAAAAAFM8/wjvyqXSRPpk/s640/2013-08-18+13.59.10.jpg" width="640" /></a>Remember to bring a change of clothes for post bathing. &nbsp;If you plan to continue wandering through the temple after bathing, you'll need a second dry sarong and a long-sleeved shirt is advised.<br /><br />I would highly recommend a trip to this temple. &nbsp;Perhaps it's not the most beautiful, but it is certainly a spiritual and very local experience. &nbsp;This one wasn't packed with tourists, mainly worshippers. &nbsp;Just be respectful, and keep in mind that you are surrounded by people dedicated to worshipping. &nbsp;You will certainly have a purifying and healing experience.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3rf7i3IUy4g/UmovLrmuk5I/AAAAAAAAFNI/QM7Sc5CMWpU/s1600/2013-08-18+14.24.28.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3rf7i3IUy4g/UmovLrmuk5I/AAAAAAAAFNI/QM7Sc5CMWpU/s640/2013-08-18+14.24.28.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><center><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4340795" title="Follow miller mémoires on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/lank.gif?id=4340795" /></a></center><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com2Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia-8.4262102 115.31339079999998-8.6775142 114.99066729999998 -8.1749062 115.63611429999997tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-3499101903101789702013-10-22T02:59:00.003-07:002013-10-22T02:59:59.456-07:0024 Years<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MYBWG1xkt1U/UmZLQPeF_WI/AAAAAAAAFMo/fzpO2V8lcM8/s1600/BirthdayCard-0711-v2r4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="494" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MYBWG1xkt1U/UmZLQPeF_WI/AAAAAAAAFMo/fzpO2V8lcM8/s640/BirthdayCard-0711-v2r4.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />For some reason 24 sounds so much better than 23. &nbsp;I'm looking forward to this year. I've got lots of changes planned and some big goals. (I'll share those with you soon!)<br /><br />Thank you for all the birthday wishes these last couple of days. Birthdays as an expat always last a little longer thanks to the time change, so it's almost like two whole days of birthdayness! <br /><br />Husband and I celebrated with Indian food, chocolate cake, and a night at the Taichung Jazz Festival. It was a fabulous way to bring in another year of life and love. <br /><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-6753550685644293472013-10-15T02:03:00.001-07:002013-10-15T02:03:19.303-07:00Why to Study in Taiwan: A Video InterviewA while ago I posted an article "<a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2013/09/6-reasons-not-to-study-in-taiwan.html" target="_blank">6 Reasons Not to Study in Taiwan</a>." There are, of course, plenty of wonderful reasons <i>to</i>&nbsp;study in Taiwan.&nbsp; So in order to share both sides, here's an interview that my husband did for <a href="http://www.fichet.org.tw/?hl=en" target="_blank">FICHET Taiwan</a>.<br /><br /><center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/418SFv3c1qY?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></center><center></center><center>There are a million and one cultural lessons to be learned from living abroad. &nbsp;You learn to be more tolerant, accepting, and open minded. &nbsp;You learn exactly how big and small this world can seem simultaneously. &nbsp;</center><center>If you're interested in international business, Taiwan is just about the best place you can be. &nbsp;For the most part, Taiwanese people are friendly and helpful, and don't really mean any harm when they stare and point at you; they're really just as curious about you as you are of them. &nbsp;It's truly amazing that there are bilingual programs available in Taiwan to make Chinese culture available to international students. These programs continue to improve every year. &nbsp;Studying here is a wonderful opportunity to learn from people with vastly different world views and backgrounds. &nbsp;</center><center></center><center>I've lived in Taichung for just about three years now and have grown to love this country and its people. &nbsp;Besides occasional frustrations and misunderstandings, I've had a great time learning a new way of life here. I will definitely be taking some ideas and pieces of the lifestyle with me when I leave.</center><center></center><center>To see more videos like this visit <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/FICHETtaiwan?feature=watch" target="_blank">FICHET</a> on YouTube</center><center><br /></center><center><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4340795" title="Follow miller mémoires on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/widget.gif?id=4340795" /></a></center><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com2Taichung City, Taiwan24.2332076 120.9417367999999423.3064571 119.65084329999995 25.1599581 122.23263029999994tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-29132616154660065402013-10-11T05:21:00.000-07:002013-10-11T05:21:00.293-07:005 Taipei QuickiesAccording to <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/the-new-1-tourist-destination-in-the-world-its-bangkok/276301/" target="_blank">this</a> article, Taipei was listed as the 17th most popular tourist destination! &nbsp;Taipei City is the capital city of Taiwan and is home to about 2.6 million people. Since the word about this little island is getting out fast, I thought I'd get you better acquainted. &nbsp;There are hundreds of things to do in Taipei, but here are 5 quickies that you just might be able to squeeze in to a day or two.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;">1. Taipei 101</span><br />The 101 was once the tallest building in the world; it's now number two after the new building in Dubai. &nbsp;It, not surprisingly, is 101 storeys and brags an impressive view of the whole city. &nbsp;It towers over all the surrounding buildings, sometimes even the clouds. &nbsp;Try to go on a clear day or you'll be looking at a wall of white clouds, which isn't very exciting, or worth your money. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oNp4-9KzhX8/UlPzOT0--JI/AAAAAAAAFKo/pIrjfo9wU0w/s1600/taipei+101.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oNp4-9KzhX8/UlPzOT0--JI/AAAAAAAAFKo/pIrjfo9wU0w/s640/taipei+101.jpg" width="422" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">$500NT/Adult</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;">2. Shilin Night Market</span><br />Shilin is one of the biggest night market on the island. &nbsp;Grab a papaya milk and a bag full of fried chicken, and brave the crowds for a real taste of Taiwan. &nbsp;You can see and smell just about anything at a night market, so expect to be surprised. This is the place to find weird souvenirs and t-shirts with terrible English, and a host of fried delicious treats.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FDdgKpIRT08/UlP3nLT0erI/AAAAAAAAFLM/khEHyLYBEhs/s1600/IMG_8200.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FDdgKpIRT08/UlP3nLT0erI/AAAAAAAAFLM/khEHyLYBEhs/s640/IMG_8200.jpg" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><span style="font-size: x-large;">3. &nbsp;LongShan Temple</span><br />If you're in Taiwan, even for a day, you've got to check out one of their famous temples; it's really an experience not to be missed. &nbsp;Taiwanese temples are everywhere, but LongShan is one of the oldest and most interesting. &nbsp;It was built in 1738, and worships the quintessential Taiwanese combination of Buddhist, Taoist, and folk deities like Matsu. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://worldstotrek.wordpress.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="428" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CPaBSMGfcXA/UlP1J9bdtPI/AAAAAAAAFK4/frMyPiIq80c/s640/longjia-longshan-temple-3.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;">4. &nbsp;MaoKong Gondola</span><br />Head up a couple of hours before sunset, that way you'll have plenty of time to wander the tea shops and grab a bite before taking the gondola back down for a beautiful sunset ride. &nbsp;Hop in a "crystal cabin" and watch the sky change from blue to pink over the mountains as the lush green forests pass by beneath your feet.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dpIAPN6LYVI/UlPidg1EkMI/AAAAAAAAFKQ/5vx02IgimII/s1600/IMG_8538.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="344" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dpIAPN6LYVI/UlPidg1EkMI/AAAAAAAAFKQ/5vx02IgimII/s640/IMG_8538.JPG" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">$50NT for All Stops</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;">5. &nbsp;Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall</span><br /><br />The CKS Memorial Hall was built in honour of the former president of the Republic if China, Chiang Kai Shek. &nbsp;The memorial is surrounded by a park and is framed by the National Theatre and National Concert Hall. &nbsp;It's a beautiful example of Taiwanese history and architecture- perfect for an afternoon wander. &nbsp;If you're lucky you can catch the changing of the guards in the main hall.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/CKS_Panorama.jpg" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="124" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0TkNREzYVfA/UlPdwEMfUoI/AAAAAAAAFKE/_lmdbshTRnk/s640/CKS_Panorama.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com1Taipei City, Taiwan25.091075 121.5598344999999724.8609805 121.23711099999997 25.3211695 121.88255799999996tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-14070462239610154692013-10-09T08:23:00.001-07:002013-10-09T08:23:21.911-07:00Love Love Love: Tips For a Successful Marriage Abroad<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4VAQxe_iz8Q/UlVt13JIRFI/AAAAAAAAFLo/50rS4mKyaU8/s1600/marriage+abroad+Success2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4VAQxe_iz8Q/UlVt13JIRFI/AAAAAAAAFLo/50rS4mKyaU8/s640/marriage+abroad+Success2.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><b>Today is our third wedding anniversary!</b> That's right, we've made it through three years of marriage, the majority of which has been spent living in Taiwan. &nbsp;Part of me feels like there's no way our wedding could have been three years ago, but then I look back on all we've been through during the past three years and it feels like forever. <br /><br />So in honour of our anniversary, I'd like to talk a little about love. &nbsp;More specifically, love overseas, love while living abroad. &nbsp;Marriage on it's own can be a total shock to the system. If you haven't lived together before, it's a totally new experience and is wonderful! &nbsp;It can also be challenging to merge two separate lives together. &nbsp;Add a new country, language, and culture to the mix and it can seem downright daunting. &nbsp;We didn't really consider much of that before we came over though, we were young and in love and excited about a brand new adventure.<br /><br />Moving abroad put us in close quarters, <i>all the time</i>. &nbsp;We lived together, worked at the same job together, attended church together, together, together, together. You get the deal. &nbsp;It was a huge change. &nbsp;Not because we hadn't spent lots of time together before, of course, but because we didn't know anyone else. &nbsp;Family was far away, and the time difference was huge, making quick calls complicated. &nbsp;We had to rely solely on each other for everything. &nbsp;In the day to day, this could get frustrating and in our teeny tiny apartment there was nowhere to go if we had a disagreement, but overall it became a huge blessing. &nbsp;We were forced to rely on each other and check in with each other. &nbsp;We became an amazing team. Because we were both new and confused and didn't know what was going on, we had to learn to work together and solve problems. &nbsp;Think of it like a <i>realllllly</i> long episode of amazing race. It's really a make or break sort of situation, some people end up wanting to kill each other, yes, but the ones who can work through it are so much stronger for it. &nbsp;I'd like to think we are more like the latter.<br /><br />By now we've got things pretty much figured out. &nbsp;I mean the living in Taiwan part at least, marriage will probably continue to throw curve balls our way for a long time. &nbsp;Overall though, we've learned a ton. About what love really is, what makes a strong marriage, and how to work together as a team.<br /><br />Here are some of the things we've come to learn and understand along the way, and we thought we'd share them with you.<br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: x-large;">Lauren and Cam's Tips For a Successful Marriage Abroad:</span></b><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Turn the little things into an adventure</b></span>. &nbsp;The nice thing about living in a new country is that there are tons of new ideas for dates. &nbsp;Every time you step outside you've got something new to do or see. &nbsp;Explore everything! &nbsp;Cam and I love to go to the book store (which here sell way more than just books) and see who can find the knickknack with the worst English, or do a sampler dinner date at the night market going from stall to stall trying new food. &nbsp;Even silly things like getting groceries can be kind of fun- whether you're trying to decipher what kind of rice to get or what that weird spiky pink fruit is going to taste like, it's an opportunity to experience something new together.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hJkl0GNcId0/UlVx-rXUY-I/AAAAAAAAFMA/eQF9ftxvj-0/s1600/rainbowman.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hJkl0GNcId0/UlVx-rXUY-I/AAAAAAAAFMA/eQF9ftxvj-0/s640/rainbowman.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Jump out of your comfort zone</b></span>. &nbsp;It's easy to get stuck in a rut going to the places you're most comfortable with. &nbsp;Just pick a random street and a random restaurant and try your luck. &nbsp;You might be surprised. &nbsp;Talk to people on the street, go to parties with new people, join a club, or take a class.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Do things that make you feel at home.</b></span> A new country can be overwhelming. &nbsp;It's not a slight to your traveler spirit if you need to go to McDonald's and grab a cheeseburger, or go see a movie in English. &nbsp;This is your new life, it's not a vacation. &nbsp;There's no shame in admitting you miss things from home. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hgUPVxzLk_I/UlVx9FL1m8I/AAAAAAAAFL4/HI0IQp4KrzE/s1600/paintinghouse.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hgUPVxzLk_I/UlVx9FL1m8I/AAAAAAAAFL4/HI0IQp4KrzE/s640/paintinghouse.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Do something personal.</b></span>&nbsp;With all that time together, it's bound to make you feel a little nuts. &nbsp;Carve time out for yourself. &nbsp;Start or continue a hobby that is only your own, something that puts you in the zone, quiets your mind, and gives you time alone to think. &nbsp;Do yoga. &nbsp;Go for a walk. &nbsp;Paint, sing, run, dance. &nbsp;Whatever it is, make it yours.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Do something together</b></span>. &nbsp;Pick a hobby or a pass-time that is just for the two of you, void of digital or other distractions. &nbsp;Cam and I take Charlie (our puppy) out for long walks at night. &nbsp;It gives us the chance to catch up and chat about what we're thinking and feeling. &nbsp;It's an important part of our marriage to have a time that is distinctly ours. &nbsp;Sometimes we play really lame games of two person Uno or have silly dance parties with our dog...(she's not a very good dancer...)<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mpcBAniVmAw/UlVyF2BvkdI/AAAAAAAAFMM/WmbVZWvSz4Y/s1600/surfing.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mpcBAniVmAw/UlVyF2BvkdI/AAAAAAAAFMM/WmbVZWvSz4Y/s640/surfing.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Check in with each other</b></span>. &nbsp;Set aside time to talk about your experience and how you're each coping. &nbsp;Not everyone deals with culture shock the same way. &nbsp;What seems easy or understandable to one of you, may seem insanely frustrating or discouraging to the other. &nbsp;Do your best to help in whatever way you can, but mostly just be there as a support system.<br /><br /><i>Above all...</i><br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Practice Patience</span></b>. &nbsp;I mean this both with your spouse and with yourself. &nbsp;Remember that your spouse is just as lost and confused as you are and is adjusting to it in the best way he or she knows how. &nbsp;Try not to let struggles with the culture spill over onto your spouse, but if they do or when they do, be patient and apologize. <br />Don't be hard on yourself if you don't immediately like stinky tofu, or all you want to do is call your mom and cry about how you don't understand anyone. &nbsp;There's no reason you need to <i>get</i> everything all at once. &nbsp;In fact, you will probably never understand everything- you didn't grow up in this new culture, and that's ok! Allow yourself time to adapt and and be kind to yourself and your spouse.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">-----</div><br />Some of the most memorable and amazing moments of my life have been on this adventure abroad. &nbsp;Some of the most challenging moments have been here too. &nbsp;It has certainly been an experience of a lifetime and I couldn't think of a better person to share this journey with. &nbsp;I am so blessed to have such an understanding and supportive, caring and patient, loving and kind travel companion, best friend, and husband to love for the rest of my life. &nbsp; What more could a girl ask for?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Z0gY4UXCoiU/UlVyFjR69KI/AAAAAAAAFMI/j0Y3ZSrPrIs/s1600/curse.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Z0gY4UXCoiU/UlVyFjR69KI/AAAAAAAAFMI/j0Y3ZSrPrIs/s640/curse.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><b><i>What have you learned on your travels abroad?</i></b><br /><b><i>How has expat life strengthened your marriage or relationship?</i></b><br /><b><i><br /></i></b><b><i><br /></i></b><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com4Taichung City, Taiwan24.2332076 120.9417367999999423.3064571 119.65084329999995 25.1599581 122.23263029999994tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-40001522492061507582013-10-08T02:09:00.000-07:002013-10-08T02:10:13.264-07:00Capture the Colour Photo ChallengeAs you've probably heard by now, there's a photo challenge going on called <a href="http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/holidays/capture-the-colour/" target="_blank">Capture the Colour</a>. &nbsp;It's where bloggers gather together some of their favourite photos that correspond with specific colours- Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, and White. &nbsp;It was fun going through some of my photos to search for something that was just the right colour. &nbsp;I have got a <i>lot </i>of photos... and I'm so terribly indecisive that I can't even decide which one of the two identical photos on my hard drive to delete for fear that for some reason unknown, I will magically need that exact photo. &nbsp;Well, this is one of those moments that possibly justifies my neurosis. &nbsp;A photo hoarders dream, really. <br /><br />So out of the archives I've dug up these colourful gems to display for you. &nbsp;Let me know what you think, and play along. &nbsp;What colourful photos have you got hidden away? &nbsp;<i>Post your link below in the comments with your captured colours.</i><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">RED:</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xjeTgembsyY/UlPBc_UsZ7I/AAAAAAAAFI8/6YDwO9LoW-8/s1600/red1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xjeTgembsyY/UlPBc_UsZ7I/AAAAAAAAFI8/6YDwO9LoW-8/s640/red1.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">BLUE:</span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ph9AqbULW8o/UlPBT1iwJwI/AAAAAAAAFIo/vQamLPxAZMo/s1600/blue2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ph9AqbULW8o/UlPBT1iwJwI/AAAAAAAAFIo/vQamLPxAZMo/s640/blue2.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Huntington Beach, California</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">GREEN:</span></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rZqROXg-KTg/UlPBdYKTmlI/AAAAAAAAFJE/Rb4Y0nG6Ipc/s1600/green3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rZqROXg-KTg/UlPBdYKTmlI/AAAAAAAAFJE/Rb4Y0nG6Ipc/s640/green3.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sari Organik, Ubud, Bali</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">&nbsp;WHITE:</span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--PcSsJzC9Mo/UlPBhy4SjRI/AAAAAAAAFJQ/97au1aG_mPw/s1600/white.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--PcSsJzC9Mo/UlPBhy4SjRI/AAAAAAAAFJQ/97au1aG_mPw/s640/white.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, Taipei, Taiwan</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-large;">YELLOW:</span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-e8ACwayf5DI/UlPBi9dztBI/AAAAAAAAFJY/_9VXJDpMcSU/s1600/yellow.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-e8ACwayf5DI/UlPBi9dztBI/AAAAAAAAFJY/_9VXJDpMcSU/s640/yellow.JPG" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Temple, Taichung, Taiwan</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-69532302657554733742013-10-03T08:00:00.000-07:002013-10-03T08:00:02.138-07:00Hit the Reset Button: Surefire Ways to Have More Energy and Feel AmazingIt's fall, it's October, and it's a perfect time to<span style="font-size: large;"> hit the reset button</span>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.layoutsparks.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yxoaChLpsP0/UkwefAGE-4I/AAAAAAAAFH8/X76i5ba-q7c/s640/Fall-Leaves-beautiful-Autumn.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />After summer, it can be tricky to get back into the swing of things. &nbsp;Routines get forgotten and we take on too much. &nbsp;It's like we're trapped in a constant state of catching up- catching up on sleep, catching up on work, catching up with friends, on exercise, on eating properly. &nbsp;Stress increases and time seems to disappear. <br /><br /><b>It's time for that to stop.</b><br /><br />For all of August I stuck to such a great routine and really noticed the benefits. &nbsp;I was getting to bed early, getting up early, exercising and meditating daily, and eating right. &nbsp;Consequently I had more energy, was happier, and I think I even looked better. &nbsp;That was August, and now it's October and I can't believe I let a whole month slide by without all those good habits I picked up. &nbsp;I can tell you I have certainly noticed the difference, especially in my energy levels. Blah. <br /><br />So it's time to get back on track! &nbsp;It's definitely tougher when I'm not in Bali surrounded by fluorescent green rice fields having my meals catered twice a day, especially now that school is in session and it's back to work. But despite all that, it's definitely possible and <i>very</i> worth it.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;"><b>Hit the Reset Button</b>:</span><br />Surefire ways to have more energy and feel amazing<br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Get to bed early</span></b>. &nbsp;<i>Set a bedtime</i>. I know it sounds stupid as an adult, but seriously, if you don't set one, you won't have one. &nbsp;Make a goal to get to bed by 10:15, or 10:45pm at the latest, every night and stick to it. Streamline your nighttime ritual to squeeze in all those extra minutes of sleep. <i>Get rid of the smartphone/tablet/laptop in bed</i>. &nbsp;I'm totally a culprit of having my smartphone right next to my bed, instagraming instead of snoozing, facebooking when I should be hittin' the hay. &nbsp;Just put it away! &nbsp;There's really no reason that those notifications can't wait 'til morning. I mean do you really need to know who liked your photo right <i>now</i>? The suspense won't kill ya, I swear. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://howzzdat.com/how-to-fall-asleep-early/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="358" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2NihzZwPeII/Ukwfat0quiI/AAAAAAAAFIE/2XcdnIhk4TY/s640/how-to-fall-asleep_early.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Wake Up Early</b></span>. &nbsp;The most successful people will tell you, you're most efficient in those first early hours of the morning. &nbsp;Right when you wake up is when you'll have the most motivation, inspiration, and will-power to get things done. &nbsp;Aim for 6:00am, that'll give you plenty of snooze time.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Exercise Daily and Early.</b></span> &nbsp;Remember what I said about motivation and will-power in the morning? It's strongest in the early hours and only gets weaker as we fill our day and mind with more stuff. &nbsp;It doesn't have to be long, or intense everyday, but put aside 30 minutes in the morning to sweat a bit. &nbsp;Put in a couple of miles on the pavement, do a yoga flow, cycling, kick-boxing, there are a million 30 minute workouts on youtube, mix it up.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Meditate</b></span>. It's like a reboot for your brain and your soul. &nbsp;Find a quiet space and start with five minutes of silence. Just five to start, then work your way up. &nbsp;Taking that time out for yourself and your thoughts will help you be calmer and more focused for the rest of the day.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.mandatory.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="548" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j2ZWfzxuW0o/UkwhJIzr6-I/AAAAAAAAFIQ/yhy8L7RbnBI/s640/meditation-home.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Eat Less Meat</span></b>. I don't necessarily mean cut it out all together, but we could all do with a little less. &nbsp;Try eating a small portion of meat once a day, with one meal. &nbsp;It takes a lot of energy for the body to digest meat, energy that could be used doing more productive things. <br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Get Outside</b></span>. &nbsp;Everyday. &nbsp;Fresh air, sunshine, birds, and blue skies. &nbsp;'Nuff said.<br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Rock Out.</span></b> &nbsp;Music truly does soothe the soul, and it can also pump you up! &nbsp;Put together a rockin' play list and jam. &nbsp;Music is proven to lower stress, improve mood, and actual affect the way we see the world. &nbsp;If you can combine that with a couple of dance moves, you're definitely in for a good time.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6Sw2S58khXw/UkwcKbExEkI/AAAAAAAAFHw/-i-ZsZjOKFg/s1600/friends+dancing+gif.gif" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="344" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6Sw2S58khXw/UkwcKbExEkI/AAAAAAAAFHw/-i-ZsZjOKFg/s640/friends+dancing+gif.gif" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />Try it out. I'm working on it this month and hopefully all the following months to come. &nbsp;Let me know how it goes in the comments below! <br /><br /><b><i>Got any tips or tricks you use for more energy?</i></b><br /><b><i>Did these work for you?</i></b><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-76984939463664836282013-10-01T06:31:00.001-07:002013-10-02T03:35:14.163-07:00The Sexiest Food on Earth: Raw ChocolateOne of the highlights of my stay in Bali was meeting so many insanely interesting and talented people. &nbsp; One of those talented people was Juliette, who just happened to be the founder of <a href="http://gaiaballs.com/" target="_blank">Gaia Balls</a>, an Australian company whose team hand-makes raw, organic, super-food balls. &nbsp;She has yet to decide if the job description, "I make balls all day!" is appropriate. <br /><br />On our last of the three free days we had during the course of the month, the lot of us gathered together at <i><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/655203" target="_blank">this</a> </i>amazing villa, for a raw chocolate extravaganza! &nbsp;And by that I mean that Juliette taught us how to make raw chocolate and before it had even hardened, it had all but disappeared. <br /><br />So what is raw chocolate? &nbsp;Before I went to Bali, I had no idea what raw chocolate, or even raw food was, but it's everywhere there, so I was quickly informed. <br /><br />Let me give you a brief overview, and then if you really want to geek out you can watch the video at the end of this post. <br /><br />This is a raw cacao bean, more often called a cocoa bean in western culture. &nbsp;The cacao bean, is in fact not even a bean, but a nut. &nbsp;The nut comes from the Cacao Tree,&nbsp;which is native to South America, and grows in large pods.<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eeUpGWTegPI/UkrC_bhrxZI/AAAAAAAAFHI/3wbJM_BWNRA/s1600/AI1A4947.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eeUpGWTegPI/UkrC_bhrxZI/AAAAAAAAFHI/3wbJM_BWNRA/s640/AI1A4947.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photos by <a href="http://www.nicolaslair.com/" target="_blank">Niko</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;The biggest difference between raw cacao and the everyday stuff is the temperature at which it is processed. &nbsp;Raw cacao, or raw food in general, never surpasses 45 degrees celsius, unlike commercial chocolate which is often heated past 130 degrees. &nbsp;By keeping the processing temperature low, the nutrients and enzymes remain intact. &nbsp;When raw processed, cacao actually has tremendous health benefits. &nbsp;It's chock full of antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium (which is why women crave it at certain times of the month). &nbsp;It also contains tryptophan, which is one of the 10 essential amino acids required for protein production in the body, and is also associated with neurotransmitters like seratonin which help regulate mood, sleep, and create the feeling of falling in love.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X8Px9ibm3e0/UkrC-Tv85KI/AAAAAAAAFHE/z1Q6GMTvLSE/s1600/AI1A4950.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X8Px9ibm3e0/UkrC-Tv85KI/AAAAAAAAFHE/z1Q6GMTvLSE/s640/AI1A4950.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Raw chocolate is made in a blender, as is a lot of raw dessert, so it isn't heated. &nbsp;We added raw cacao powder to melted raw cacao butter, coconut oil, some vanilla beans, a bit of organic palm sugar syrup, and a pinch of salt. &nbsp;Then we just blended it up until it was smooth (There is a point when it's blended too far and starts to separate again, so be careful if you try it at home). &nbsp;Before it was all devoured on top of strawberries, we poured some of it into little chocolate molds and added some orange, nuts, and berries before popping it into the fridge to set. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EfJFUIM8V64/UkrMfzvLBXI/AAAAAAAAFHk/nYjwUR3d4ko/s1600/AI1A4962.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EfJFUIM8V64/UkrMfzvLBXI/AAAAAAAAFHk/nYjwUR3d4ko/s640/AI1A4962.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />The best part about raw chocolate, besides tasting amazing, is that it's not full of refined sugar, milk, crappy fats, and artificial flavouring. &nbsp;It's real food from the source, just like it should be. &nbsp;There are tons of amazing&nbsp;<a href="http://paulinehanuise.com/portfolio/super-energiser-chocolate-peanut-banana-smoothie/" target="_blank">raw chocolate recipes</a>&nbsp;out there, so go ahead and experiment. &nbsp;The worst that can happen is you end up with a bunch of chocolate you have to eat.... darn!<br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2J50QErUSpM?rel=0" width="560"></iframe><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com2Ubud, Gianyar 80571, Indonesia-8.519268 115.26329800000008-37.157155 73.954704000000078 20.118619 156.57189200000008tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-30595312823302709212013-09-27T00:41:00.000-07:002013-09-27T00:43:37.221-07:00Inspiring Reads: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWhile in Bali, a friend of mine in the training lent me a Bill Bryson book "<b><span style="font-size: large;">A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail</span></b>" in hopes that I would be convinced to hike it with her next year (that, and she's borderline obsessed with Bill Bryson). &nbsp;Well, it wasn't hard to convince me to <i>want </i>to hike it, but logistically it's probably not going to happen this time (sorry Nichole!! I would soooo love to go). &nbsp;However,&nbsp;&nbsp;she turned me on to an inspiring and hilarious account of two men making their way across the Appalachian Trail doing just about everything wrong. It got me to thinking whether I could actually get my butt across roughly 2200 miles of mountains, so for something a bit more relatable, I went in search of an account by a woman. &nbsp;In my search I found "<span style="font-size: large;"><b>Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail</b></span>." &nbsp;Though not the Appalachian Trail, the concept is the same, an incredibly long stretch of mountains and a mission to hike over all of them. &nbsp;The Pacific Crest Trail or the PCT is in fact even longer than the AT coming in at 2663 miles. &nbsp;That's one heck of a long hike.<br /><br />The author of the book, also the hiker in the story, Cheryl Strayed, begins her journey as a way to get away from her mess of a life. &nbsp;After her mother's death her world begins to quickly unravel as depression sets in, her marriage ends, she becomes addicted to heroine and all the wrong men, and ends up broke on a friends couch in Portland. &nbsp;The 26 year old stumbles upon a trail guide at REI and this is where the adventure begins. &nbsp;She scrounges together her tips from waiting tables, sells off her personal belongings or what's left of them, and sets off alone and dangerously unknowledgeable across the longest trail in North America, the Pacific Crest Trail.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UPNed94cTPk/UkUfEcwkCdI/AAAAAAAAFGo/2-9bacyld5Q/s1600/wild.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UPNed94cTPk/UkUfEcwkCdI/AAAAAAAAFGo/2-9bacyld5Q/s640/wild.jpg" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>This book has come under a lot of criticism, mostly by people claiming that Cheryl was self-absorbed, whiny, and immature; she made bad life choices and a pile of mistakes, and eventually headed out on the trail alone, without proper preparation. &nbsp;Well, it sure wouldn't make for a very interesting memoir had she made all the right choices and been perfectly prepared, would it? &nbsp;Instead, this memoir is certainly interesting and a compelling read. <br /><br />I felt I could relate to her struggle, not because my life is in shambles or my has mother died, but because it's very much a coming of age story, right on that turning point where we decide who we want to become. &nbsp;Through all the trials on the trail and off, Cheryl discovered a strength and perseverance previously unknown to her. &nbsp;She pushed past her edge every single day just by putting one foot in front of the other. &nbsp;She made mistakes and did what she could to make things right the best way she knew how. <br /><br />It's brave, honest, and best of all real. &nbsp;It has also inspired me to one day make the trek across the PCT, though with my husband rather than alone. &nbsp;<i>Give it a read and let me know what you think.</i><br /><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-36756240511539456712013-09-13T22:30:00.000-07:002013-09-13T23:00:31.074-07:006 Reasons Not to Study in Taiwan<div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E_y6VvHIqpA/UjP01J1cavI/AAAAAAAAFFM/HUt5BjL-MBQ/s1600/Not+Taiwan.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E_y6VvHIqpA/UjP01J1cavI/AAAAAAAAFFM/HUt5BjL-MBQ/s640/Not+Taiwan.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-themecolor: text1;">You’ll need to study a new language<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">If you want to make local friends, you’ll need to learn Chinese.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you want to get the right food when you order, you’ll need to learn Chinese.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you want to really understand the people and the culture, you’ll need to learn Chinese.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Talk about a hassle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Just study in one of those English-speaking countries and give your brain a break.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Things will frustrate you<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">The University system is different and challenging, often without much help for foreign students, and very few of their resources are available in English.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The traffic is crazy and people will double park around your car, or a drunk man will move your scooter down the street just for fun.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You may have a washing machine, but certainly no dryer.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The air is dirty from endless cars, scooters, and fireworks.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Someone will light off fireworks, at 2AM, outside your window, for no apparent reason.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You will be misunderstood.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Daily.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ifeRuZpvzSY/UjP1CY3R2TI/AAAAAAAAFFY/eSCqHRWQKUI/s1600/IMG_8302.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ifeRuZpvzSY/UjP1CY3R2TI/AAAAAAAAFFY/eSCqHRWQKUI/s640/IMG_8302.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Exhaust smoked meat, anyone?</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">You’ll probably get a better education at home<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">If you come from a North American or European country, you’ll notice that you get what you pay for.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>University in Taiwan is pennies compared to most Western universities, even free for many international students, but again, you get what you pay for.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There’s a reason that only a few Taiwanese universities are accredited, and even fewer are internationally ranked.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There’s a lot of reading endless power points, and students making phone calls in class, cheating is commonplace, and your teacher- this just happened to me yesterday, in fact- might not even show up to class.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As far as the quality of your in-school education goes, stay home.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That said, your cultural education will be beyond anything you expected, and far beyond what you will get back at home.<o:p></o:p><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ML87iPgvvw8/UjP64ezgBJI/AAAAAAAAFF4/nMh12qSD3Vo/s1600/empty+classroom.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ML87iPgvvw8/UjP64ezgBJI/AAAAAAAAFF4/nMh12qSD3Vo/s640/empty+classroom.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My morning class. This is the amount of people who are on time.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Life goes on without you<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">The people you love at home are getting on with life while you are away.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You’ll miss graduations, weddings, births, deaths, funerals, birthday parties, highs and lows.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You’ll be having all kinds of experiences and learning about a new culture, but when or if you return home, chances are, no one will care that you speak Chinese, or that you can tell the authentic fried rice apart from the fake American stuff- they’re still going to eat Panda Express.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You’ll have a harder time relating to people back home, and you’ll lose a lot of your old friends.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;">You’ll meet people with&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 21px;">world-views</span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">&nbsp;other than your own<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">All you have to so is surround yourself with people just like you, and you’ll always be right!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Why bother expanding your horizons and having your opinions challenged when that only creates undue stress and introspection.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When studying abroad you’re not only bound to encounter a plethora of international expats, but an entire country of people raised in a way completely different to your personal upbringing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This will be both exciting and challenging; interesting and beyond frustrating.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It may cause you to question your own way of thinking and possibly even change.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But change is hard… and who needs that?<b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b><br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1FjHA-7tQdw/UjP1B1Xs4tI/AAAAAAAAFFU/46RTvFUPRKg/s1600/IMG_8524.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1FjHA-7tQdw/UjP1B1Xs4tI/AAAAAAAAFFU/46RTvFUPRKg/s640/IMG_8524.jpg" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Some people are just into cats...</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">Uprooting normal life to move to a new country, for most people, is way beyond comfortable.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So, if you’re comfy cozy in your small town, or you just really like speaking English, stay put.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you’re feeling really adventurous, there’s usually an Asian supermarket around to get your fix, and that’s about enough culture for one day anyhow.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Besides, I think I remember there’s a travel special tonight on the Discovery Channel!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You get a way better view from your couch anyway, and you can get it in HD!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Does life even come in HD?<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">----------<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">As you may have noticed, a lot of this is written fairly tongue-in-cheek.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I’m not bashing Taiwan by any means.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is however, a lot of truth to most of the above.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Studying abroad is something I would recommend to just about anyone, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s not like the movies where attractive single friends serendipitously show up on your doorstep needing your help, and you humorously work your way through the ups and downs of the university system with everything working out in the end.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You might find out that the country you moved to is just as frustrating as the country you left- maybe even more so.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You might get stared at, a lot.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You might end up totally broke and homeless, with nothing but a couple of textbooks to your name. 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--><br /><div class="MsoNormal">Overall though, you’ll definitely learn at least something.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You’ll learn about yourself, you’ll learn how to deal with frustrating situations and people; you’ll probably get better at charades, you’ll look more cultured when you head to a job interview, you may even learn that you never want to step foot in Asia again and that home is just where you belong.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Or, just maybe, you’ll find out that you love Taiwan and you want to spend the rest of your life here- I know plenty of people who have done just that.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Either way, you’ll come out of it with more knowledge and experience than you went in.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">So maybe, if learning and experience are your end goal, then there really is no reason <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Not to Study in Taiwan.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></i></div><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com12Taichung City, Taiwan24.2332076 120.9417367999999423.3064571 119.65084329999995 25.1599581 122.23263029999994tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-64379749200269928802013-09-09T09:00:00.000-07:002013-09-09T22:06:47.627-07:00Inspiring Reads: My Month in Myanmar<div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;"><b>Ever heard of Myanmar?&nbsp;</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;"><b>Yah, me neither. &nbsp;</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><i>While in Bali, I had the pleasure of training alongside another fellow travel blogger, Amber from Husband in Tow. &nbsp;We quickly realized we had a lot in common, from our pet peeve of late people, to our love of travel, yoga, and sarcasm. &nbsp;Amber became a wonderful friend of mine and surprises me with new talents almost daily. &nbsp;One of which is her new ebook, "<a href="http://amzn.to/1237PDC" target="_blank">My Month in Myanmar: An Unconventional Guide to Traveling in Myanmar.</a>" &nbsp;Just as the title suggests, this is a memoir meets rough travel guide documenting the ups and downs of her and her husband's 28 day trip through Myanmar. &nbsp;Both seasoned travelers, with an RTW and a half under their belts, the two of them set off on a rather ridiculous adventure through a country just newly adapting to tourism. &nbsp;Amber's writing is charming, straight-forward, and witty, with a bit of sass thrown in for good measure. &nbsp;</i></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><i>I'm lucky enough to have Amber herself here today to tell us personally about both her blog and her new ebook.</i></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JYLPZNS3RwY/Ui6oo4neakI/AAAAAAAAFEs/kjsyiNzywx0/s1600/DSC03419.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="424" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JYLPZNS3RwY/Ui6oo4neakI/AAAAAAAAFEs/kjsyiNzywx0/s640/DSC03419.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">After 10 years as an attorney, I left my job at the largest law firm in the world and decided to start living my life.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am now a recovering tax lawyer, intrepid foodie, perpetual nomad, and yoga teacher, traveling the world <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><a href="http://www.withhusbandintow.com/" target="_blank">With Husband In Tow</a></b>. I plan, and my husband Eric follows, and after 60+ countries and almost 12 years of marriage, my blog is loaded with travel tips, fun stories, and fabulous photos.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>A way different life than my former career, stuck in an office in Washington, DC. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">We celebrated our one-year anniversary of travel recently in Ubud, Bali, our current home.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In that one year, we traveled to 82 places, in 32 countries.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We traveled 44,435 miles, or 71,511 kilometers, on 12 different airlines, plus trains, buses, boats, taxis, pick up tricks, and horse carts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">It’s been quite the adventure, so far.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We have a long way to go still.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In that time, we have met tons of new people, seen old friends, spent time with family, visited new countries, and returned to some of our favorites countries from past trips.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>People say that a round the world trip will change you, or that it is a once in a lifetime experience.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Well, for us, we have proved the latter to be false.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As for the former, I don’t feel that I am a different person now than I was before.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That said, I have learned a lot about myself and my place in the world.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">In 2009, we took 14 months off to travel the world, in what we refer to as our first round the world trip.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We spent about 7 months traveling in Asia, and falling in love with Southeast Asia, in particular.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One country, though, remained elusive for travelers back then.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In early 2013, we finally made it to Myanmar, and ticked another country off the list.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W2cRJg994lk/Ui6opV-UeAI/AAAAAAAAFEw/KG62uyWSiEU/s1600/Amber+Siobhaun+OMalley+Hoffman.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="424" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W2cRJg994lk/Ui6opV-UeAI/AAAAAAAAFEw/KG62uyWSiEU/s640/Amber+Siobhaun+OMalley+Hoffman.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">My Month in Myanmar<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; font-family: inherit;">My ebook, </span><i style="font-family: inherit;">My Month in Myanmar: An Unconventional Guide to Traveling in Myanmar</i><span style="background-color: white; font-family: inherit;">, is a personal story of my 28 days spent in Myanmar in 2013. It is a story of troubled bus rides, dusty journeys, long boat tours, preschools on stilts, ancient pagodas, tea houses, fresh noodles, and the people I met along the way. It is a story of my travels with my husband of 11 years. It is my personal experience and my impression of what it means to travel through Myanmar.</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="color: black; font-family: inherit; text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; font-family: inherit;">The book is not a guidebook or a traditional travel guide. Although I hope it provides some practical advice, it is not a replacement for Lonely Planet. It will not give you a list of airlines, bus companies, guesthouses, or restaurants. There are no maps. It also will not provide the complicated history of Myanmar, formally Burma, as volumes have been written much better than I ever could.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><span style="background-color: white; color: black; font-family: inherit;"></span><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; color: black; font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Myanmar is a unique country - the last frontier of Southeast Asia travel. Information is spotty, and constantly changing. Although the guidebooks and websites can provide practical information, they cannot come close to describing how it feels to travel through Myanmar at such an exciting time.</span></span></div><span style="background-color: white; color: black; font-family: inherit;"></span><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Revision>0</o:Revision> <o:TotalTime>0</o:TotalTime> <o:Pages>1</o:Pages> <o:Words>432</o:Words> <o:Characters>2467</o:Characters> <o:Company>lauren.roerick@gmail.com</o:Company> <o:Lines>20</o:Lines> <o:Paragraphs>5</o:Paragraphs> <o:CharactersWithSpaces>2894</o:CharactersWithSpaces> <o:Version>14.0</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> 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style="text-align: center;"><i>Head on over to <a href="http://amzn.to/1237PDC" target="_blank">Amazon.com,</a> like now, and pick up a copy of this entertaining read. &nbsp;For a quick peak at life in Myanmar, check out Amber video on YouTube at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iitO2pFRlnI" target="_blank">ASHWorldTravel</a>.</i></div><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-78568002972929531442013-09-08T06:06:00.002-07:002013-09-08T09:10:08.693-07:00Some Thoughts on Community<div style="text-align: center;">It has been bittersweet being back in the land of fast internet and 7-11. &nbsp;I missed my husband and my puppy and am very glad to see them. &nbsp;Now I just have new things to miss, like an open air yoga studio set in rice fields, healthy organic cafes, and a group of 26 yogis who became like family. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">My month in Bali was challenging, inspiring, eye-opening, and most of all just what I needed. &nbsp;I learned more in a month than I have in a long time and loved being pushed to the edge and then finding there was still a little more I could give. &nbsp;Yoga training is more than just exercise and vacation. &nbsp;The bunch of us went through an emotional and physical roller coaster, from broken hearts to nearly broken bones and everything in between. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">It was nice to be disconnected from the world for a bit. It gave me an opportunity to connect on a deeper level not only with the people around me, but with myself. &nbsp;I found a lot of that passion and inspiration that I'd been struggling to find in me for a while. &nbsp;I don't think us expats, or people in general for that matter, acknowledge enough how hard it can be to be so far away from everything familiar. &nbsp;We put on a brave face and call it an adventure, but I think it would be really nice if we could all just admit that sometimes it's hard. &nbsp;Really hard. &nbsp;It's often tough to make friends, and find work, and fight through language barriers, but I think the toughest part of it all is finding a place where you fit. &nbsp;A place in this new world, country, city, whatever, where you feel inspired and uplifted. &nbsp;It can be challenging, at least for me, to find that sense of community and a group of people who want to bring change and want to leave a positive mark on the world. &nbsp;So that's my challenge now that I'm back. &nbsp;To create my own community- one that inspires and uplifts, one that seeks to change the world just by being their creative wonderful selves, and one that cares- about each other and the people around them. &nbsp;I hadn't realized how much that was missing until I found it with a group of 26 strangers in foreign country. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">As I continue to actively seek out inspiration and surround myself with people who build me up, I'd challenge you to do the same. &nbsp;In training, our teacher shared a bit of wisdom that she learned from Will Smith. &nbsp;That is, "You are the five people you spend to most time with." &nbsp;Whether that's a direct quote or not, that is the gist. &nbsp;You are the five people around you most often. &nbsp;We as humans have an ability, that is perhaps both a gift and a curse, to adapt quickly to situations presented to us, often by mirroring behaviour. &nbsp;The more time we spend with negative discouraging people, not only will we feel worse about ourselves, but we'll begin to treat those around us the same way. &nbsp;Take careful stock of those five people you see yourself with the most. &nbsp;Do they inspire you, do they uplift you, do they challenge you to be a better person? &nbsp;Do you see yourself reflecting those same behaviours- are you inspiring, uplifting, and challenging them? &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">So there you have it, it's time we found some more inspiring, uplifting, and <i>real</i> people to surround ourselves with. Starting today.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NkKRdvYxGDo/Uix1_bDlMWI/AAAAAAAAFEc/vYYn5zB3nE0/s1600/IMG_0216.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NkKRdvYxGDo/Uix1_bDlMWI/AAAAAAAAFEc/vYYn5zB3nE0/s640/IMG_0216.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-52339328147573378802013-08-22T05:37:00.001-07:002013-08-22T05:37:35.596-07:00Namaste from Ubud, BaliGood evening my beautiful blog friends!<br /><br />I've got so many amazing things to share with you and my yoga teacher training is swiftly coming to a close. &nbsp;I'll be back to give you all kinds of fun stories and info about Ubud, Bali in a couple of weeks.<br /><br />Thank you so much for being there and for your continued support of this blog! &nbsp;I couldn't do it without you.<br /><br />I'll leave you with a few photos of this beautiful island and a hope that your summer is just as wonderful as you are.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XlgXgiy0Gmg/UhYEEGfJbiI/AAAAAAAAFDw/vhI_DM4ptFk/s1600/20130811_070154.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XlgXgiy0Gmg/UhYEEGfJbiI/AAAAAAAAFDw/vhI_DM4ptFk/s640/20130811_070154.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PzDKaUzvZ_0/UhYEAgiuJGI/AAAAAAAAFDg/CZUdujRzcyg/s1600/20130813_182333.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PzDKaUzvZ_0/UhYEAgiuJGI/AAAAAAAAFDg/CZUdujRzcyg/s640/20130813_182333.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-InoWhe8UgXU/UhYEBkrPUgI/AAAAAAAAFDo/F8furw1HR7k/s1600/20130818_142010.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-InoWhe8UgXU/UhYEBkrPUgI/AAAAAAAAFDo/F8furw1HR7k/s640/20130818_142010.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wqnA9Z2anRE/UhYEim-WxzI/AAAAAAAAFEA/c0qHGDgpy1I/s1600/20130818_142107.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wqnA9Z2anRE/UhYEim-WxzI/AAAAAAAAFEA/c0qHGDgpy1I/s640/20130818_142107.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ps_RwfJhT90/UhYEgdM8nDI/AAAAAAAAFD4/p5gsNEdMTrY/s1600/20130819_154657.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ps_RwfJhT90/UhYEgdM8nDI/AAAAAAAAFD4/p5gsNEdMTrY/s640/20130819_154657.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ADpqNpKlUcU/UhYEokHpXuI/AAAAAAAAFEI/XQDJ6Hoxnt0/s1600/20130822_174628.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ADpqNpKlUcU/UhYEokHpXuI/AAAAAAAAFEI/XQDJ6Hoxnt0/s640/20130822_174628.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />XXOO<br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-49359898073414754942013-06-30T13:36:00.000-07:002013-06-30T13:37:46.620-07:00LatelyHey there! I'm here in Berlin on my second to last day of this wonderful trip. &nbsp;I have to say I'm pretty sad to be heading back to Taiwan tomorrow! We've been having soooo much fun here. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9Xh4N9S3tcI/UdCEl7xwiZI/AAAAAAAAFCU/dohXjP70c50/s1600/IMG_20130628_160858.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9Xh4N9S3tcI/UdCEl7xwiZI/AAAAAAAAFCU/dohXjP70c50/s640/IMG_20130628_160858.jpg" width="640" /></a>Cam has never been to Europe before so it has been fun showing him around and having him experience all things European.<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ija22-igtP0/UdCEc3hZdSI/AAAAAAAAFCI/-11oeaesSxs/s1600/20130628_002720.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><br /><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ija22-igtP0/UdCEc3hZdSI/AAAAAAAAFCI/-11oeaesSxs/s640/20130628_002720.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">We saw Bucky Lasek win the Vert finals at the Munich X-games, and checked out the BMW museum.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WeWGTgl04jc/UdCEWiUcKxI/AAAAAAAAFB8/OM2Qned_A6U/s1600/IMG_20130626_233722.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WeWGTgl04jc/UdCEWiUcKxI/AAAAAAAAFB8/OM2Qned_A6U/s640/IMG_20130626_233722.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2WsOSTf3mok/UdCEc5eAImI/AAAAAAAAFCE/ooOMBJwkVlU/s1600/IMG_20130629_201908.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2WsOSTf3mok/UdCEc5eAImI/AAAAAAAAFCE/ooOMBJwkVlU/s640/IMG_20130629_201908.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">We also took a tour of some of the palaces at Park Sanssouci in Potsdam. &nbsp;We had to wear these huge slippers over our shoes that were so slippery, we slipped and shuffled all through the museum.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rFZjoSRldpE/UdCEmkZ0pkI/AAAAAAAAFCc/NRzXkUAiKWA/s1600/IMG_20130701_025754+(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rFZjoSRldpE/UdCEmkZ0pkI/AAAAAAAAFCc/NRzXkUAiKWA/s640/IMG_20130701_025754+(1).jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">We've had all kinds of great adventures here and I can't wait to tell you all about them when I get back!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Until then, make sure to link up your lately post. &nbsp;What have you been up to lately?</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">And while we're at it, make sure to head on over to <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4340795/miller-memoires" target="_blank">bloglovin</a>' and follow along. &nbsp;If you haven't heard, Google reader is shutting down, so if you don't want to miss out, just click the follow button!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><center><a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4340795" title="Follow miller mémoires on Bloglovin"><img alt="Follow on Bloglovin" border="0" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/widget.gif?id=4340795" /></a></center><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" /></div><!-- start InLinkz script --><script type="text/javascript"> document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src=http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=288772&' + new Date().getTime() + '"><\/script>');</script><!-- end InLinkz script --><br /><br /><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" />Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-58752073445121891852013-06-17T09:17:00.000-07:002013-06-17T09:17:00.557-07:00Diary of an ESL Teacher: Learning to Love Thailand<div class="MsoNormal"><div class="MsoNormal">Welcome to another edition of Diary of an ESL Teacher! &nbsp;Today I'm excited to introduce Jessica, also known as "Miss Adventure." &nbsp;Jessica has been traveling the globe and teaching English for a couple years now and has had some amazing experiences. &nbsp;I had the pleasure of interviewing her and she's got some great stories and advice on how to teach English abroad.<br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">1.&nbsp;<b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Where did you choose to teach&nbsp;and why?&nbsp;</b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe and wasn’t sure I would even like teaching, so when I found a six-month contract in Thailand (as opposed to the year or two I’d seen elsewhere) it sounded perfect. And because it’s a tropical destination, I envisioned myself living on an island and teaching adorable young children, fulfilling several dreams all in one. My adventure turned out nothing like that. It was better.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oP1N2-AXhcA/Ubx7F5gpcTI/AAAAAAAAFBM/PBwwqvmOMWE/s1600/Thai+students+and+me.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oP1N2-AXhcA/Ubx7F5gpcTI/AAAAAAAAFBM/PBwwqvmOMWE/s640/Thai+students+and+me.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">2. How did you prepare for your trip? &nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I read a lot of information online and spent many hours at Barnes &amp; Noble flipping through Lonely Planets and photo books, but I’d say I was pretty unprepared when I arrived. I had only $600 and no clue if my job would even pan out or, if it did, when I would start, so payday was at least six weeks out. In hindsight, I think my unpreparedness actually prepared me to become the traveler I have, one with an open and curious mind, willing to accept anything that comes my way.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">3. What was the cost of your trip? &nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I bought a one-way ticket for about $900 from Portland, Oregon to Bangkok, and I managed to survive on that $600 until I got my first paycheck. After my six months of teaching, I traveled Southeast Asia for two months and then a couple months later, I returned to Asia (China, India, and then back to Thailand) for another nine months. At this point, I have no idea about total costs, but I’ve managed to do more traveling than working in the last 18 months, and it’s all due to the income I made from teaching (I also taught in China for four months in between my Thailand gigs. I know, I’m hard to keep up with.)<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">4. What was your first impression of the new country? Has this impression changed?&nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I think I loved Thailand initially, but that love developed tremendously with each passing day. When I returned after nearly one year of being away, I felt like I had returned home to a family with welcome arms. I went back to the village in Northeast (Isaan) Thailand where I had taught for six months, and the smiles and conversations of remembrance blew me away. I felt so loved and spoiled by my local coworkers and friends in this small community that it will always hold a special place in my memory and in my heart.&nbsp;<br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" /><br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" /><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">5. What was the most challenging obstacle for you to overcome?&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The actual teaching part was quite challenging for me. I was placed in a relatively poor school in a rural area. I was teaching in battered wooden sheds and old maintenance buildings, and the classroom was the last place my students wanted to be. I had almost no guidance – I was literally pushed into a classroom on my first day, handed a white board marker and told good luck – and had no teaching experience. Day by day, I grew more comfortable with teaching and began to question and understand the (often corrupt) government education system. It was difficult to deal with at times, but the experience as a whole was ultimately the best thing I’ve ever done.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OLwdsF_mMx8/Ubx7GZdYe1I/AAAAAAAAFBc/Kx86aiqWXFk/s1600/Thai-classroom.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="428" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OLwdsF_mMx8/Ubx7GZdYe1I/AAAAAAAAFBc/Kx86aiqWXFk/s640/Thai-classroom.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">6. What is the most valuable thing you've learned so far?&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">If I learned anything in Thailand, it’s to go with the flow. Keeping an open mind and forgetting about the clock are two necessary traits that one needs to adapt to while living in Thailand. I think teaching taught me a lot about myself and a lot about Thai culture, and Thailand taught me to keep an open mind, to always accept an adventure, and to forget about the guidebook and the clock.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">7. Tell me about a favourite moment or story.&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Oh wow, there are so many! One of my favorite experiences with my first school in Thailand was getting to dress up in traditional Thai costume for their annual Loy Krathong festival. My coworker, Jon, and I had no idea what the school had in store for us, but we quickly figured it out when we were whisked away to a beauty parlor run by lady-boys and dolled up with makeup, hair and dress. It turned into a school wide parade down the main street, with Jon and I on display. It’s an experience I never would have had without my connection with the school, and just one of the perks of teaching abroad.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TqnluB-qUiA/Ubx7GKaQhnI/AAAAAAAAFBQ/3Kwwewelods/s1600/Thai+Costume.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TqnluB-qUiA/Ubx7GKaQhnI/AAAAAAAAFBQ/3Kwwewelods/s640/Thai+Costume.jpg" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">8. Favourite food? &nbsp;Least favourite?&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">My favorite Thai dish is called&nbsp;<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">gao pao gai kai dow</i>; essentially minced chicken and basil leaves with chilies and a fried egg over rice. Add a little sweet chili sauce and it’s mouthwatering. My least favorite is the assortment of meat and fish balls they eat either on a stick or in soup. Every time I bite into one, I taste something hard and I can’t finish it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">9. Favourite thing to do in your new country?&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Explore new things and make new friends.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">10. Any advice you would give to someone considering moving abroad to teach.&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Don’t’ get your sights set on a particular area based off of a guidebook recommendation. If, like me, you end up in the part of the country you least wanted to go, it could turn out to be a better, more cultural, more immersive experience than you could have asked for. Keep your mind open and your curiosity high. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from your students. You’re there to teach, yes, but you’ll find that your curiosity about the local culture and language will help develop a bond with your students and in turn give you a first-hand understanding. The students love to be the teachers and, as long as it’s in English, you’re still doing your job.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Jessica J. Hill is freelance writer, traveler and blogger. She writes about teaching abroad, cultural and immersion travel. Find more of her stories here:&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.missadventuretravel.com/"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">MissAdventureTravel.com</i></a><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">&nbsp;or add like her&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.facebook.com/missadventuretravel"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Facebook</i></a><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">&nbsp;page, friend her on&nbsp;</i><a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/108706683692263244265"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Google+</i></a><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">&nbsp;or follow her on&nbsp;</i><a href="twitter.com:jessicajhill"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Twitter</i></a><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">.<o:p></o:p></i><br /><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><br /></i><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><b>Check out the rest of the series here:</b></i><br /><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><br /></i><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2013/04/diary-of-esl-teacher-britta-braves.html" target="_blank">Britta in Costa Rica</a></i><br /><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2013/01/diary-of-esl-teacher-ray-and-kailin.html" target="_blank"><i>Ray and Kailin in Russia</i></a><br /><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2012/12/diary-of-esl-teacher-chelseas-lost-in.html" target="_blank"><i>Chelsea in Korea</i></a><br /><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2012/11/diary-of-esl-teacher-sergio-in-japan.html" target="_blank"><i>Sergio in Japan</i></a><br /><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2012/10/diary-of-esl-teacher-kendra-conquers.html" target="_blank"><i>Kendra in China</i></a><br /><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2012/09/diary-of-esl-teacher-sara-takes-taiwan.html" target="_blank"><i>Sara in Taiwan</i></a></div><i><a href="http://www.millermemoires.com/2012/08/esl-interview-1-jo-anna-in-korea.html" target="_blank">Joanna in Korea</a></i></div>Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8758074102045656430.post-71247050013278503742013-06-13T08:59:00.001-07:002013-06-13T09:05:45.684-07:00Dragon Boat Festival: Models Race to the Finish!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Happy Dragon Boat Festival!!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Yesterday was the annual Dragon Boat Festival here in Taiwan and I finally made it out to a race. &nbsp;In fact, I actually raced a boat this year!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0t7ITNUvAgc/UbneEN3gJFI/AAAAAAAAE_0/0Q2dWK4sNGw/s1600/dragonboat15.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0t7ITNUvAgc/UbneEN3gJFI/AAAAAAAAE_0/0Q2dWK4sNGw/s640/dragonboat15.jpg" width="640" /></a><span style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;">I was hired as part of the "International Model" race crew for the day. Us bikini clad gals and guys (minus the bikinis) were the stars of the show, followed around in blazing hot sun by media all day. &nbsp;It was a smokin' hot 35+ degree day and I think I finally got rid of my terrible farmer's tan! &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C31LtOiTyzQ/UbneEEH6LqI/AAAAAAAAE_s/hCsv1gP1Kuo/s1600/dragonboat1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C31LtOiTyzQ/UbneEEH6LqI/AAAAAAAAE_s/hCsv1gP1Kuo/s640/dragonboat1.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">The majority of our team had never paddled a canoe before, let alone raced a dragon boat. &nbsp;Honestly, with a bunch of models as my teammates I wasn't expecting much... (I know, I know... Stereotypes!!) &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5XFiXjGNPis/UbneFOyr7pI/AAAAAAAAFAU/ANzOp7e7crM/s1600/dragonboat4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5XFiXjGNPis/UbneFOyr7pI/AAAAAAAAFAU/ANzOp7e7crM/s640/dragonboat4.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J_x2wnJonjE/UbneFgrmgpI/AAAAAAAAFAY/rvBZB13D6vY/s1600/dragonboat7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J_x2wnJonjE/UbneFgrmgpI/AAAAAAAAFAY/rvBZB13D6vY/s640/dragonboat7.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">However, they proved me wrong. &nbsp;We managed to quickly paddle (though far from synchronized) down to our flag and snag ourselves a giant second place trophy. &nbsp;I guess we models are more than just pretty faces after all ;)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0cT5tNeQMkA/Ubnr4JxfP9I/AAAAAAAAFA8/EqsqXC3lSVw/s1600/20130612_113637.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0cT5tNeQMkA/Ubnr4JxfP9I/AAAAAAAAFA8/EqsqXC3lSVw/s640/20130612_113637.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yoA_RMf-CTU/UbneF0KgrmI/AAAAAAAAFAg/ZIBHt0ZASlE/s1600/dragonboat8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yoA_RMf-CTU/UbneF0KgrmI/AAAAAAAAFAg/ZIBHt0ZASlE/s640/dragonboat8.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KW9AsGiRWd8/UbneGEVJjFI/AAAAAAAAFAs/ApoZ2GpZnhA/s1600/dragonboat9.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KW9AsGiRWd8/UbneGEVJjFI/AAAAAAAAFAs/ApoZ2GpZnhA/s640/dragonboat9.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">We were swarmed with cameras and people trying to interview us and take our picture. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LYCAAQtzh60/UbneEAo4smI/AAAAAAAAE_w/hrThccvDzlo/s1600/dragonboat11.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LYCAAQtzh60/UbneEAo4smI/AAAAAAAAE_w/hrThccvDzlo/s640/dragonboat11.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">The crowds of photographers continued to grow until I felt a bit like a zoo animal might feel, or how I used to feel when I worked in the glass ticket booth at the movie theatre back in high school.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OAav5VILg2o/UbneE1XmR1I/AAAAAAAAFAI/cVmIeHODqDE/s1600/dragonboat16.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OAav5VILg2o/UbneE1XmR1I/AAAAAAAAFAI/cVmIeHODqDE/s640/dragonboat16.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Despite becoming a spectacle, I had a really fun, sweaty day in the sun. &nbsp;I got to race my first dragon boat and come in second place, and meet a lot of great people. (and the paycheck at the end of the day was a nice touch ;P )</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Check us out in the local news!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iaeTjPl9BtY?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RpYQyh8NWV0?rel=0" width="420"></iframe> <div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">What have you been up to this summer? &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">Have you ever raced a dragon boat?&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">Or any boat for that matter?</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.millermemoires.com/images/sigpn.png" /></div>Lauren Roerickhttps://plus.google.com/114269619734470412975noreply@blogger.com4