My One Year Travel Anniversary

Today is my one year anniversary and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. I am currently writing from the lounge area of my hostel in Georgetown, Penang Malaysia. As I look up from my computer and stare at the clocks evenly spaced on the wall, displaying the time for Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, London and New York, I can’t help but to think about the 365 days I’ve lived abroad.

One year ago today I boarded a plane to Tokyo, leaving behind the life I once knew as my comfort zone, in exchange for a full year of rediscovering life through adventure, love and simplicity. Originally I set out to cover 3 continents and over 20+ countries, but instead, I’ve covered one continent, 9 countries, 108+ cities and villages, 4 motorbike loops, 6 islands/lakes and 23 UNESCO sites. I’ve learned to say 40+ words/phrases in Burmese, 10+ phrases in Vietnamese as well as ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in 10 different languages. Some of my most memorable moments were touring on a motorcycle through three different countries, teaching conversational English to the youth, as a volunteer, and having the opportunity to explore the different cultures with families whom I’ve come to adopt as my own. I think it’s fair to say I have found the love of my travel heart, in the people and culture of Asia.

As I look back and ponder the places I’ve visited, the interactions with the people I’ve experienced and the conversations I’ve had with others – whether of the same faith or not, I can’t help but sense a monumental feeling of gratitude. I am blessed to have this opportunity to experience the wonders of God’s creation through humanity and nature. Blessed, and at the same time humbled, to have the experience of enjoying life without the stress of my daily routine, as I once knew it.

Though the year, for the most part, has been a very positive experience, it certainly did not go by without its own obstacles. Obstacles that continue to challenge me; mentally, physically and spiritually. I would love to say I have conquered my areas of doubt, pain, fear, inconsistencies and wholeheartedly loving myself, but if truth be told I am just getting started. Many of you have asked about my return to the states, and I would like to officially announce that I have decided to extend my journey through the first quarter of 2018. 🙂 I was extremely excited about this excursion before leaving the states, one year ago, but now that my brain has begun to find it’s way “back to work mode”, I am even more thrilled about the adventures and opportunities that I have yet to discover.

Thank you to all of my friends and family members for your continued prayers and well wishes throughout the year, please keep them coming. I also enjoy hearing from all of you through my social media posts, email or text and I hope you will continue to join me in this journey of rediscovering life through Adventure, Love Simplicity and of course Food. 🙂

Lots of Luv,

Samiyyah

 

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