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

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

House Sweet House

Current City: Dededo, Guam

House KeysYay! We have Internet!

Well I’m happy to report that Daniel and I have a roof over our heads that we can call our own! (Pause for happy dance!)

We received the keys Friday evening and are now anxiously anticipating the arrival of our things so that we may begin making it our own. The house is very much empty and filled with echoes since it is all tile floors, except our blow up bed/couch. Yup, you read that right, or air mattress doubles as a couch. We don’t know if that shows how redneck we are or innovative, oh well!

I’m excited for our goods to arrive so we can fill our echoing opera hall, but until then we’re enjoying the simplicity and innovativeness we need to make ends meet. You’d be surprised what little things you take for granted. It’s nice to talk, read or what not before bed and enjoy each others’ company instead of going full on zombie in front of the television every night. Unfortunately all of our kitchen goods aren’t here either so we’ve upgraded from take-out to sandwiches and microwavable dinners.

Our First HomeThe first night we slept in the house the carbon monoxide alarms started going off around 3:30 a.m. and last night the fire alarm kept going of in single chirps at random in our room, which was very unsettling around 4:00 a.m. We chalked it up to the power outage that evening, but why must everything go off at that hour in the morning?! I then had the mistake of telling Daniel about the devil’s hour, which my horror buff cousins and I thought was common knowledge. Daniel doesn’t do horror and I think I really frightened him! So sorry, I guess those years of horror stuck with me more than I thought!

Also very exciting, Daniel’s truck has arrived! Daniel’s pretty stoked to have her back, and I’m excited to have a vehicle to use when he’s at work during the day!

More and more we’re getting settled in our new home, still so much we learn everyday!

Blogging my Ashleigh

Exploring, Waterparks and Wet Noses

Current City: Tumon, Guam

Well unfortunately we had to do some hotel hoping and our move in date has been pushed back once again. It’s been quite the process and a quite frustrating, but I’ll leave it at that. At least we know we have the house and will be able to make it our first home in the very near future. The past week has involved a lot of hurry up and wait, and me practicing my weak virtue of patience. A giggle for anyone that knows me well!

Inarajan Sunsets

Unfortunately for me, Daniel is off leave for house hunting and is back at work today. We did manage to get a lot done in that time and have fun. Including a trip to Inarajan for some beautiful sights and a taste of Chamorro culture right before the sunset, Daniel played photographer. We defiantly would like to visit and explore the area some more when we have more time available. We enjoyed some wonderful treats at the Tea District. Iced milk tea with boba for me was such a pick me up! Daniel enjoyed strawberry cheesecake in a drink for his giant sweet tooth. Very delicious for our search for bedroom furniture, we can’t wait until we get in the house and our stuff finally arrives off the boat.

South Views of GuamWe also made another trip to G.A.I.N. (Guam Animals in Need), a shelter that has captured my heart and love for animals on the island. Daniel points out a testimony to my passion with the fact that I looked up the shelters and animal groups before we even got to the island and proceeded to seek them out before we were even here a week.

We’re hoping to adopt a puppy once we’re settled; Daniel knows nothing brings a smile to my face quite like animals do. But until we’re settled and can provide a pup with a structured home and time we find ways to help animals in other ways as often as we can.

As much as I’m falling in love with my new home, animals have my heart and I am bothered by what I see here and would like to do as much as I can, even if it’s a small dent. The concept of having a pet here is much different than how I was raised and I feel is unworthy to these souls. With the large amount of strays and animals along the side of the road, seeing them tied up with no water breaks my heart.

Inarajan ViewsI’m not saying that this is the case with every pet owner or animal on the island; it’s just a lot more prevalent and eye opening from anywhere I’ve lived before. But to subside my rant, I know participating to make even the smallest difference is going to be a priority during our time here.

We had a wonderful time this weekend at Onward Waterpark! I haven’t been to a waterpark in I don’t remember how long, maybe since the first Wet N’ Wild for all my Las Vegas natives! But I know that lines were a big part of my past experiences, not at Onward! We went on every slide as many times as we wanted, and just had a wonderful day full of smiles that was warmly welcomed! My favorite slide had to be the Manta! I know we’ll defiantly be making more trips during our time here!

Wishing everyone a wonderful week and hope to be updating you from our house next time!

Blogging my Ashleigh

Coconut Drinks and…Crabs?

Sipping some coconut goodnessCurrent City: Agana, Guam

Wednesday we made our way down to Chamorro Village once again with a little more time and free reign to explore. I was just ecstatic to get out of the hotel room to be honest, even if we were just going to Kmart! I usually walk to grab a bite on days that Daniel is at work, therefore he would be taking the truck that we have been borrowing. But today the entire morning and afternoon decided to pour heavily from the heavens leaving me unequipped to venture. So with the clear skies meant exploring!

The first thing we did of course was grab food! Daniel grabbed some of their delicious BBQ pork skewers and I tried a banana lumpia, smiles all around. Next we decided to try the fresh cut coconut. They sliced it in front of us with a single chop, throwing water on us at the same time and handed it our way after plopping two straws inside.

Coconut Crab ComicWalking around with our coconut, which became mine because Daniel prefers things on the sweeter side, we explored all Chamorro Village had to offer. Besides the rows of delicious and low priced food, there were other vendors and shops with their contributions to the culture of the island. Among all of these were two men that stood out from the rest, one with a lizard and one with a coconut crab! Let me back up a few months.

Upon learning of our move to Guam my tendency to research things kicked into high gear, which lead me to a picture of a coconut crab, more specifically the picture of a coconut crab as big as a trash can.   I had nightmares for weeks! I have a personal, and understandably irrational fear of fish, and this crab had moved its way up the ladder of my horrors!

Coconut Crab This crab was relatively little compared to what the images found on the Internet had burned into my mind. Defiantly a notable experience, especially to tell all my friends and family that have heard me rant and rave about this creature that had earned itself a role in my nightmares.

All in all, a wonderful night on the island with delightful food and fun!

Blogging my Ashleigh