I’d missed the last two autumns in New York, arguably one of the best times to live here. I was excited to see what my neighborhood in Brooklyn would look like when the brownstone owners decorated heavily for Halloween and the colors of fire erupted onto the leaves of the trees lining my block. I was not disappointed, until a blizzard surprised us randomly in the middle of November, which is too early in the season for a woman who wishes it would only snow once in January and once in February, if at all. Strangely enough, some of the leaves held on to their branches for dear life for a few more weeks as if Mother Nature had heard my pleas for more fall weather and duct-taped them up there herself. But yet again, just as I felt in Spring and Summer, I feel like I didn’t have enough time in Brooklyn, as much as I loved the activities and trips that filled my calendar. Perhaps I should have lived here from the beginning.
At one time in my life, I decided that Summer Erin is the best Erin. I suppose this was when I was in college, when Summer Erin had ALL OF THE FUN. Working at a seafood restaurant, playing (drinking) games until bedtime, sleeping over, and going to the beach with her best friends for 90 days in a row. These days, Summer Erin isn’t totally different from Spring and Fall Erin, though she is definitely way better than Winter Erin. Anyway. I had a summer. It was fun, but not summer 2005 fun, which is probably a good thing, because I am an adult now.
Okay, listen. I had all intentions of keeping up with my blog with my full-time job, but it’s difficult! Not only am I busy from 8 to 6:30 (that’s including my commute), but I have a social life again after being gone from the city for almost two years. Your girl is straight-up tired. AND here’s the (somewhat) sad truth. My days run into each other, my weeks run into each other, and my months run into each other. Not much changes day-to-day so it would have been a veritable copy/paste from one month’s recap to the next. So instead of being late with my April and May recaps where I also might have had to address that I turned 33, I present you with my SPRING recap, or rather some highlights from a very busy season, that started with a weekend with my family for Easter:
Since I began my new job in mid-March, it’s taken me a few weeks to settle in and figure out my commute, schedule, and energy level. I’ve been trying to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while as well as get to know my new coworkers (who are all nice, funny, and welcoming, for the record). I’ve also still been working on my apartment and the exploration of my neighborhood which takes up a good amount of time. I know, “excuses, excuses”, and I’m sorry I’ve been quiet on here, but I promise, I’ll still be around. Here are some fun things I did in March:
I didn’t spent a lot of time working on my blog in February because my life was kind of insane, in the best way. That’s because I moved back to New York City this week after being away for more than a year and a half!
I know from social media that I’m not the only person who thought January was unusually long. Of course, it lasted 31 days as it always does, but it just felt like it was never going to end for some reason. Maybe because of the cold weather? Maybe because there were 5 Mondays? Maybe because of all the nonsense going on in the world? Whatever it was, it’s nice to finally be in February now.
I already published one recap last week, but it can’t replace this post because it’s my 24th monthly recap without skipping one and I need to keep it up or else you’d forever be wondering what I did this month, right?
How do you measure, measure a year? 2017 was the year I spent time in 13 different countries and 11 different states. I traveled to Europe three times. I set foot on my fifth continent. I revisited London, Indianapolis, Ireland, and Portugal. I reunited with friends from college in Prague and Dublin and old coworkers in London, Chicago, and Dubrovnik. I traveled for 10 days in Cape Town with someone I met in Mandalay and for 12 days in Croatia with someone I met in Dublin. A twelfth of my year was spent dog-sitting, both in Chicago and Jersey City. I added Shenandoah National Park to my list of U.S. National Parks.
In November, I had the closest thing to a regular schedule than I’ve had in over a year, and I actually really liked it. I felt like I was going to the office every morning, even though “the office” was every library and coffee shop within a 20-minute radius and my coworkers were the woman who works at the doughnut shop in Ocean City, an octogenarian with a MAGA hat, and my 9th-grade English teacher who now works at one of my libraries (Hi, Mrs. B!).
When I returned from Ireland and Portugal in August, I have to admit I was in a mood. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and the decisions I’ve made that have allowed me to travel so much this year and last, but I was sad that it was coming to an end. I couldn’t stop thinking about traveling and couldn’t stop messaging with people I’d met during my travels and so, I took off again. A friend I’d met in Dublin was heading to Croatia, which has been on my list for ages, at a time when I had nothing else planned. So I found a cheap flight and flew back to Europe, feeling normal again on the way there.
The summer always flew by when I was working full-time because I never got as much sun as I needed while stewing away in my cubicle. I didn’t think the summer would pass so quickly when I was just working part-time, but, man. I mean, I’ve done a lot this summer, that’s for sure, but I initially expected to be back in the city by the fall and, well, it’s basically here.
After Bloghouse in Indianapolis in late June, my motivation for this blog skyrocketed, but as my latest adventure kept creeping up on me, I had too much else to do. In addition to “life”, a week before I left for St. Louis and three weeks in Europe, I still had no idea where I was going for my final week. I changed my plans multiple times, initially planning on visiting Scotland, then Wales, then Norway, and then ended up somewhere else entirely. (Yes, I’m fully aware that an extra week in Europe is the best problem in the world to have.)
Everyone’s saying it, and I also can’t believe it’s July already. For many, that means that half the year has passed, but for me, this time, it means that I quit my job a year ago already (though I worked a few more weeks) – which seems insane. This month’s adventures were domestic but kept me quite busy nonetheless.
Dog-sitting in Chicago for most of May felt like a no-brainer to me. For the last few months, I’ve had a flexible, freelance, remote job working on TripSavvy.com, which just launched on May 15. I could either work from the various libraries in and around my hometown, or I could work while staying for free in the city of Chicago. I have a few friends in the city and had plenty I wanted to see, do, and eat that I’d missed from my first long weekend there. The fact that I’m obsessed with puppies was another bonus.
I rejoined the real world a teensy bit this month – working 40 hours a week and commuting to the nearest coffee shop across an under-construction bridge that takes 20 minutes to cross is no joke. I’d completely forgotten what it was like to have a job but it’s a good one to have. As I mentioned in my March Recap, I am working temporarily to help launch a new travel website. I’m super excited to show it off to you when it’s made public, but that also means I’ve had less time to work on my own stuff, though I got a lot done right when I returned from Europe to at least bring you new posts in the beginning of the month.