I moved to DC just over a year ago and am only a few days away from my 1 year anniversary at PSI. At this point living in Lesotho feels like more of a distant memory than I would have expected after living there for a little over 6.5 years.
The last year has been crazy. Crazy good. Since I left Lesotho I have been:
Traveling at least once a month for 9 of the last 12 months either for work or fun or both. For work I’ve done 7 trips to 5 different countries. All, except one, new to me. I just can’t pass on an opportunity to go somewhere new and advising our country teams has been both challenging but rewarding. For fun I’ve been to four countries (three of them new), two weddings, my 20th high school reunion, a salsa dancing conference, and Christmas at home. There is no end in sight with plans to get on a plane at least once a month through July.
Reading 36 books, 14,145 pages. Mostly on audiobook. Notably I finally started the Harry Potter series and to date have finished the first five books. I rebelled against Harry Potter for a long long time, but after finally hearing so many recommendations for the audiobooks I caved. And I’ve really enjoyed them. I am on track to finish my 17 before 2017 goal of reading 90k pages.
Taking advantage of city life by going plays, musicals, concerts and any other kind of live performance that piques my interest. Between subscriptions to the Kennedy Center and the National Theater and random other events I’ve been to some kind of live performance at least once a month.
Walking 11,637 steps per day on average according to the Health app on my phone. The average, of course, obscures the fact that when I’m not traveling I normally walk somewhere between 13-16,000 steps per day and sometimes up to 18-20,000 thanks to my central location and the fact that I live a 15 minute walk from work. I’ve been trying to be better at getting more steps in while traveling, but it’s HARD.
Hanging out with friends from Lesotho. Lucky for me lots of people I knew in Lesotho either moved to DC afterwards, or have moved to DC while I’ve been here. Not to mention the people who come through town from time to time and the three (!) weddings of Lesotho friends that I’ve attended. Most of my social life here still revolves around the people I met in Lesotho and I feel so fortunate for that.
Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I joined a competitive karaoke league for two seasons, one of which my team (accidentally?) made it to city-wide finals. That was crazy. I volunteer as a case manager for a local reproductive health organization, which has been much more fulfilling than I imagined. I’ve also been taking casino salsa classes, attending a conference last October in San Diego but also pushing myself to get out of the classroom and attend socials where it’s a lot harder when you don’t know exactly what your partner is going to do.
If it sounds like I’m really happy with my life right now it’s because it’s true. I feel so lucky to be where I am both literally (geographically) and figuratively.