Tag Archives: preparation

new year, new you

Maybe I’m a masochist, but I’ve decided to re-new my commitment to this blog. I’ve a whole host of travel posts to get up, plus I’d like to post more creative writings, as well as some reflections on current events, particularly in public health.

Since it’s still early in the year, I’ll consider this one of my new year’s resolutions: one post a day, even if some (oh who am I kidding – most!) days it is just a quote, or a picture. I’m leaving my old posts up too.

Some other new years’ resolutions:

  • run 1000 km in 2015
  • get back to weight lifting (2x a week)
  • yoga reboot (this one requires further exploration)
  • make some ice cream (with the ice cream maker)
  • 2 week Spanish immersion
  • learn something new (or maybe re-learn something from previously?)
  • get a job
  • write a novel
  • knock out the rest of the ones I haven’t seen: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/ireland/things-miss/#/0
  • accomplish one more activity on my 10-year plan

I’ve made a small amount of progress on one of these goals, but will be revisiting them more next week.

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blogging from the emerald isle

I’m blogging again. I’m fairly terrible at this. But when I was in Mongolia, I was mostly consistent about it, so think maybe I can be the same here. Mostly though, I’ve found tremendous value in reading other people’s blogs, and so perhaps one day my accounting of my experiences can be helpful to someone else. First up: a status  update.

On March 11th, I flew to Ireland. A few weeks before that, I left my job (of approximately 10 years) and became an independent consultant (note: if anyone needs a global health writer, hit me up). I’m in Ireland to undertake the process to be with my partner of 3 years, and am having not only the very personal experience of transition, but also the possibly more stressful challenge of navigating the bureaucracy to establish myself as a legal resident.

There is a decent amount of information on the internet, and some very nice people have posted the steps they’ve taken to make this work. I’m hoping to emulate their processes (tailored to fit my circumstances of course) and have the same success.

The goal is a de facto relationship visa. It will give me permission to stay (and work) for a year at a time. It is not an easy process however, and the first step is just figuring out what we need to apply. Stay tuned….

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Two weeks.  Beach.  Lots of yoga. Yummy food.  Nice people.  It doesn’t get better than this.   Here’s to India, and my 5 weeks here.  Yogashala was a fabulous place, and I am so happy to have met Padma and spent time in her glowing presence.  She is a wonderful person and a great teacher.  My practice has deepened so much.

Tomorrow, Kota Kinabalu and the mountains and jungles of Borneo.

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kerala logistical roundup

Now that I’m wrapping up in Kerala, I thought I would do a quick overview of some of the wonderful places I’ve stayed and eaten while here.

Kollam – We called the DTPC and arranged a homestay through them, at either Summer Home or Summer House (can’t remember) run by Shashi.  It’s right on the beach and was a relaxing getaway.  Shashi also owns a seafood restaurant, so dinner is not to be missed!  We also did a canoe toe of Munroe Island in Astamundi Lake.  Also quite nice.

Alleppey – Our first night was in Alleppey, where we stayed at the Palmy Residency.  VERY nice people, very nice place.  Then our second night we went out to Chennamkary to stay at GreenPalm Homes.  An amazing experience.

Kochi – We bucked tradition and stayed in Ernakulam, instead of Ft. Chchin, at a cute little place  called John’s Residency.  Very basic, but clean, and John is a nice guy.  Dinner was at a great place called Hotel Aryas.  We also had lunch at a great place in Fort Cochin called Dal Roti.  Yum.  And to top off a wonderful time, we found a women’s collective spice shop in Fort Cochin…. and a great bookstore in Ernakulam.

Kannur – I went up specifically to see the theyyam.  A must-see, I think.  Stayed at Costa Malabari, right on the beach.  Food was great.

Periyar – I stayed at Chitrasala Homestay.  The family is soooo nice. I really enjoyed the tea factory tour and spice garden.

Kovalam – I was here for 2 weeks, so lots going on.  First of, I’m staying at Pink Flower, which hosts Yoga Shala. Padma is really super nice and a fantastic teacher.  I’ve been having meals all over the beach – everything is great.  Going off the boardwalk and further back from the beach nets some better deals on shopping.  And don’t forget to bargain!

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happy new year

I have 6 days left in Mongolia, before I depart for a few months of travel and then head back to the US.  Time flies!  All travel posts will be here.


a little something about traveling

It’s not for the faint of heart.  At least, a 3-month trip spanning 5 countries and 2 continents is not.   But just a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Round trip does not have to start or end in the same place to be roundtrip.  Saved $700.
  2. Promptly spent $700 on a 1-way that might not be worth it, much like the US Gov did with that surprise money from TARP.
  3. Trips originating in developing countries are cheaper.
  4. Round trips are cheaper. Sometimes by half.
  5. Russia makes it obnoxiously hard to get a visa. I have to provide invitation letter, tourist voucher, application, and a lot of money.
  6. Rumor has it the visa office is only open for an hour in UB.
  7. Thank God I already have my Indian visa and don’t have to worry about getting it.
  8. I might have to get an exit visa for Mongolia.
  9. Soviet bureaucracy is time-consuming.
  10. It’s still snowing in April in Siberia.

Tomorrow I go to verify that I can get my Russian visa before I leave UB, or else I’m not taking the train.  Once that is verified, I will gather paperwork, and then proceed back over there to drop off my passport and hope for the best, while shelling out a LOT of money for this adventure.

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