The Top Ten Things I Learned from Moving Halfway Across the World

1.You need fewer things than you think.
Honestly, I was kind of intimidated by the thought of not having anything but a suitcase for the first few months that we would be on island. But my eyes were opened to the kind of freedom that comes from being able to fit all of your belongings in your suitcase, despite a few things that we needed to pick up here and there. But I’m glad it opened my eyes to much more than the materialistic living that I had always been surrounded by in the city. Granted I’m not perfect, but having my eyes opened is a great first step!

2. Reading about things and experiencing things are so vastly different.
This one was a tough one for me to admit, being a bookworm who believes I can research to find majority of the answers in life. But while the research and reading may help prepare you for whatever you’re going to do in life, nothing teaches you quite like real life in real time. Good ole’ experience takes the cake every time.

Gun Beach

3. Know where you can find medical attention.
While this one isn’t so insightful, it’s going to be ridiculously helpful down the road. Maybe it’s my fear of Murphy’s Law coming for me, but just incase something happens it’s good to know where to go before, rather than try to find out during whatever happens that will send you their way.

4. Have all of your personal documents and medical documents in your possession.
I seriously dropped the ball on this one. I didn’t get a copy of my medical records before leaving the city. It honestly slipped my mind with all the other craziness that was happening in my life. So now I face the super fun task of trying to send a medical release their way, have my records sent to me and deal with the less than helpful staff that failed to make my updated name changes I had made prior to leaving and were road blocking the whole process. Sorry I left a little animosity dripping from that last sentence. But seriously, without my mother being in the city, I probably would have been screwed.

Passport Shot

5. Different is not a synonym for bad.
Wearing shorts during the time I used to know as winter. Making plans to barbecue on the beach in December. Celebrating New Years Eve at a pool party. Just a few things I find very different about my new home, but definitely not bad!

6. Network, meet people, and make friends.
This sounds so basic, but honestly it has made a world of difference for this huge transition. Get out of your comfort zone, talk to people, go to events, and, prepare yourself for this, talk to people at those events. I’m pretty shy by nature, so this was a new challenge for me! But, I admit that we got really lucky and met some wonderful people early on, but it makes such an impact on the quality of the adventure.

Mermaid Friends

7. Get out of your comfort zone and explore your new home.
While this kind of piggy backs off of number six, it’s true in all aspects of life. Try the food, try the common hobbies, or even just drive around to get yourself acquainted with the area. I quickly found out how much I love the local food here! Kind of a fear for me that I wouldn’t care for the cuisine here since I don’t eat fish, but I am so glad to be wrong! I’m still working on this one daily, but it has definitely provided me with some rewarding experiences.

8. You find out who you are, or who you want to become.
One of the perks of moving somewhere completely new is that no one knows you. While this may seem daunting and lonely, it allows you to really see yourself without being influenced by anyone else’s notions about you. There’s something renewing in finding yourself without outside influences meddling and trying to tell you who you are or what you can and can’t do.

Mermaid Shelfie

9. You find out who your friends are.
It sounds so harsh, but I swear it’s not, it’s honestly so very refreshing. It’s just one of those seasons in life, like after high school, college or anything other major events in your life where things are brought to light. It’s not always negative either; sometimes you can care for each other very much, but just be at different parts of your life. A good friend of mine said it best, to paraphrase, she stated “I like what we have, I feel that we have an adult friendship. You have your life going on and I have mine but we still check in and care about each other without having to talk everyday.” Quality trumps quantity in this new chapter of life.

10. You Find Interest and Better Understanding of Different Cultures.
Not just Chamorro, but Japanese as well. I’ve learned about different ideals of beauty outside of the western culture. I’ve learned different customs and practices, like how and why Japanese don’t tip (a fun fact I was educated about quickly behind the bar). I’ve been trying to learn some of the basics of the Japanese language in my down time, mainly to feed my curiosity of language and constant want and need to communicate. There’s so much more, different, scary and amazing things than what we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Keep growing!

Blogging my Ashleigh

Welcome Twenty Fifteen!

Warning from the future! The zombie apocalypse is upon us! Save your families, save yourselves, heed this warning! 

Okay, okay, sorry I had too! …ahem.. I mean…

break

Daniel and I overlooking the firework display as it rang in 2015. Captured by: Lynn Corcoran

Daniel and I overlooking the firework display as it rang in 2015. Captured by: Lynn Corcoran

Current City: Dededo, Guam

Happy New Year friends! It’s amazing the difference a year can make. Last year was filled with so many life changes and amazing adventures. It the span of 365 days, I married my husband twice, made new life long friends, lost very important souls in my life, traveled to amazing places, moved half way around the world, finally completed my BA degree and so much in between. It’s kind of overwhelming to think about in a nutshell. So very curious to see what 2015 has in store! We had such a wonderful time ringing it in with new friends and my forever midnight kiss on a rooftop in Tumon watching all the fireworks shooting off in the bay.

So of course with the new year comes new resolutions, the big ones for me this year are to get back on track with being healthy, become a better photographer and blogger and to be more in the moment. I’m guilty for the typical healthy resolution! I just want to get out more, go hiking, running, prepare more nutritious meals and try and get the most out of life. When it comes to photography and blogging, I know I have so much to learn and am excited to do so! So please be patient with me on that, I’m always open to suggestions and helpful tips! My resolution to be more in the moment stems from wanting to be more present with life around me, putting down the phone and enjoying the real world around me, so that I don’t miss those little moments that are so important. Wish me luck!

What is everyone’s resolutions? Celebration plans? Best of luck on your adventures ahead!

Cheers!

Blogging my Ashleigh

Felis Påsgua to All

Current City: Dededo, Guam

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas this year. Daniel and I enjoyed Christmas morning together with Christmas tree cinnamon rolls, a muddy and exhausting ride on the quads at the track and finally a lovely dinner with new friends! Very eventful and memorable Christmas.  How did everyone else celebrate this year? Any traditions new or old? I know we’re looking to start a few more through the years!
Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Blogging my Ashleigh

SPF and Christmas Spirit

Christmas PartyCurrent City: Dededo, Guam

This is our first Christmas on Guam, our first as a married couple and for me, my first away from my family. The stockings are hung by the um, door, with care, our tree is a glow with new ornaments reflecting our lives and I’m at the post office almost every other day!

Yesterday Lynn and I witnessed snow in the jungle! Okay, okay, busted, we were in the mall, but Christmas spirit is Christmas spirit! Especially when things feel so different with it being so warm, we’re talking 90 degrees last night, plus Christmas lights, reindeer and carolers singing, “Let it Snow” in their flip flops. Our main Christmas carol this year has been Kenny Chesney’s “All I want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan”, and so far no luck for me. Sigh.

IMG_4576It all just seems like everyone is being tacky and left their Christmas lights up throughout the summer. On top of everything, our big plans for Christmas day is a day at the beach with friends. When in Rome, right?!

What are some fun ways you guys enjoy the holiday season with friends and family?

Seas and Greetings!

Blogging my Ashleigh

Mermaid in the Skies

Current City: Dededo, Guam

This mermaid is headed back home on short notice. While the reasoning may not be pleasant, it’ll be nice to see friends and family. Now just getting packed and finding a carry on friendly bag, prep cooking so Daniel eats more than pop tarts and take-out and getting everything ready and squared away. Time is such a weird thing when traveling over the date line; I’ll be flying for over 21 hours, leaving Guam on Tuesday, at 12:40 p.m. and will be arriving in Las Vegas at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. I wish it were really only four hours! Sadly I’ll be missing Daniel on our first Thanksgiving and a big milestone for our relationship, but hopefully I can make it up to him and we can still celebrate when I return.

I know it’s blasphemy to talk Christmas before Thanksgiving, but in an effort to cheer me up a bit Daniel was wonderful and got us Christmas stockings for our first Christmas together (and they’re in true Daniel style)! Excited for our first Christmas as our own little family, even though it will be my first away from my own. It’ll be nice to make memories and traditions together.

Better get some sleep. First stop Tokyo!

Good night,

Blogging my Ashleigh

Sea Stars and Spirits

Current City: Santa Rita, Guam

IMG_4174 (1)Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween (and Nevada Day)! I bet you’d never guess that I went as the little mermaid, Ariel of course! Side note, I totally underestimated what an adventure it was going to be to find a sea star for my hair while living on a tropical island. But, I actually spent most of my holiday working, yup thats right, I’m employed! I’ve held off sharing just to make sure that it stuck, didn’t want to jinx myself.

I’m having a go at the craft of bartending and am thankful for the opportunity, especially with how difficult it is to find a job out here. It has also helped me meet a lot of wonderful people out here already, which I am even more thankful for.

Working nights has pretty much destroyed whatever sleep schedule my body had become accustomed to, but it works out when talking to family and friends back home. Got to have that silver lining!

IMG_4158 (1)I got the awesome opportunity to join friends in taking a quick tour of the USS George Washington during it’s short stay in Guam. Other than the torrential down pour we endured, as the photos show us in our drowned rat best, it was a great time. I had forgotten how massive the air craft carriers truly are when you’re right next to them as they tower over you. It reminded me of the tour my family and I took of the USS Midway back in San Diego, a must for anyone even remotely interested! But it was a wonderful day of rain, exploring, coffee and puppy cuddles. A few of my favorite things!

Our house is still not together yet; we’ve really dropped the ball, but once it is you better believe you’ll be hearing all about it!

DSC01287Now that Halloween is over, holiday antics will be running wild for Christmas and poor Thanksgiving, the red headed step child that gets trampled over every year. Definitely going to be a bittersweet year, celebrating the holidays with my new husband and my first holiday season away from my family. Going to need a little extra help really getting into the spirit this year.

Hope everyone else is getting along swimmingly!

Blogging my Ashleigh

 

 

 

P.S. A little shot approaching the USS George Washington.

IMG_4164

 

Transitions and Settling In

Current City: Dededo, Guam

I’m sorry I don’t have the before and after photos as promised! The pieces are still slowly coming together and I can’t wait to share the finished product. We’re still covered in a sea of cardboard boxes and packing paper, which I crunched through to get the only fill I’ll be getting of walking through fall leaves this year!

Rain, rain, everyday.

Rain, rain, everyday.

But I can’t get over how awesome it is to make a nice cup of coffee at home to get my day going, and be able to cook in our kitchen! We’re trying to get used to living in a concrete house and the obstacles it presents in decorating our home.  We’re also learning the time it takes when it comes to shipping to and from the states, lots of practice with all the special October birthdays! Hopefully this trial run went well and we could be a part of all the celebrations, especially for my dad’s big 5-0!

Night view from Bayside while we were hotel hopping.

Night view from Bayside while we were hotel hopping.

There’s a family friend in town for work, pretty shocking for the both of us, that we’re hoping to see before he leaves.  Just a reminder that even when we fell a little isolated on the island that it really is a small world. Our typhoon scare, Vongfong, was just that, a scare, but my heart goes out to those in Japan that we’re affected by it. Vongfong was daunting simply because we didn’t know what to expect.  Especially with the earthquake shortly after we arrived we’ve been reminded just how different and unfamiliar the weather, and well everything is, from home for the both of us.  The learning experience continues!

The journey continues,

Blogging my Ashleigh