2013 was a momentous year in our family. We moved into a new home, our little girl, Eleanor Grace was born in August, and I started a new part-time position as a study abroad advisor at a small university in Oklahoma City. With all that was going on, I decided to take a year away from blogging. But now that I’m finally getting my little one on a schedule, I want to bring “globalness” back into our household. I’m sure my posts will be a little less regular than before, but I really want my daughter to be exposed to the world beyond our little city and for this blog to be a record of all we do together.
Eleanor got a B. Global Glowball for Christmas from her Auntie Karen. Now she’s really got the whole world in her hands.
I’m excited to get Global from Home back up and running and can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead for Hubby, Eleanor, and me.
What “global from home” adventures did you have in 2013?
Hubby is a very goal-oriented person. I admire him so much for all he gets accomplished and for achieving goals that most people would consider unobtainable. While I am not yet so skilled at goal setting and achieving, his example has definitely rubbed off on me. As today is my 31st birthday, I decided it is time to set some new goals for the second year of my thirties. I put them here for accountability sake and because many of them contribute to the goal of this blog – being Global from Home.
My Thirty-One List (in no particular order)
- Be thankful daily for all the dear family and friends who bless my life.
- Read 31 internationally themed books.
- Attempt to make scones from scratch rather than buy them from Whole Foods.
- Print and frame our travel photos for our new house.
- Plan our next trip. Mexico went so well, I think we need a repeat.
- Post a minimum of 4 times a week on Global from Home.
- Reconnect with friends that I’ve met along my travels.
- Begin renovating our 1934 house one room at a time.
- Read the Bible from front to back.
- Create my own visitors guide for Oklahoma City for all our upcoming house guests.
- Drink more water and less coffee.
- Host an international meal to raise funds for Spero Project.
- Call my big brother more regularly.
- Craft with the women from the local refugee community.
- Watch one foreign film a month.
- Start writing a book. It may never be finished but I want to start it.
- Apply and hopefully get into a PhD program with a focus on international education.
- Practice my Italian more often.
- Try 31 new international recipes.
- Learn to use Photoshop.
- Be a kinder and more considerate spouse to my wonderful Hubby.
- Join the YMCA and start Zumba.
- Dine at 31 new restaurants (as many international ones as possible).
- Run a 5K (maybe 10) for a cause that means something to me.
- Help start a study abroad returnee conference in Oklahoma.
- Learn more about my German heritage and traditions.
- Attend as many cultural festivals I can find in OKC.
- Invite the international students from my university over for dinner.
- Attempt to eat broccoli and like it.
- Find 50+ new blogs for my Abroad Blog of the Week series.
- Honor God with my time, talents, and treasure.
Whew! That’s a lot of goals. Fortunately I can start working on number 19 tonight. Hubby is taking me to Japanese steakhouse to celebrate.
Over the next few weeks you’ll see some changes on Global from Home. Now that the blog has been up and running for 6 months(yay!), I’m planning to do a bit of reorganizing to make it a little easier to find ways to explore culture from your front door. Here are the new categories you can expect to see pop up soon:
- Abroad Blogs of the Week – ABOW is definitely my favorite post I write each week so this one will be staying. However, I am hoping to get more recommendations for blogs to highlight. Nominate a blog today by clicking here.
- Cultural Crafting – find posts on decorating your house, unique ways to use your photos, and plenty of craft ideas with an international theme.
- Doing Global Good – this will be the home for a new series coming up called Global Giving, as well as posts highlighting do-gooders around the globe.
- Ethnic and Tasty – this category will also be staying. Check here for recipes, restaurants, and foodie penpal posts.
- Foreignly Entertaining – from You Tube to books to movies and any other entertaining tidbits on culture I can find, this is where to look.
- iGlobal – with so many great tools on the web, this new category will put all of the ones I’ve found in one place.
- International Neighbors – this category will include my stories and tips on meeting people from around the world in your own hometown.
- Study Abroad and Beyond– as a study abroad advisor, I have lots to say on studying overseas. Check here for info on how to get a job in international education and other great info on studying, working, or volunteering abroad.
- Worldly Events – finds posts on international holidays, festivals, and other fun events with a global theme.
Have other ideas to be global from home? I’d love to hear them!
On my very first post, I declared my purpose was to explore the world around me within a 30 mile radius of my front door. Well, today Hubby and I officially have a new front door in Oklahoma City. Although this has nothing to do with being global/cultural/international, I just had to share. 🙂
When Hubby and I moved to San Diego last July, we weren’t sure how long we were going to be there. I didn’t have a job and he was completing a one-year fellowship. With so much uncertainty, we put all of our life in a storage unit in Georgia and signed a 13-month lease for a fully furnished apartment. We drove across the country with whatever would fit inside or on top of our car. For the past 15 months we have lived out of 6 suitcases and 12 boxes (most of which are hubby’s medical books). The opportunities for us in San Diego were so great, it was worth putting our lives in a box and living from a suitcase for a while.
Yep, that is all of my life in 10×15 foot box.
As I write this, I think of all the other bloggers who are currently abroad and living from a suitcase. Like Megan from Soulshine Traveler who has jumped around South America, lived in Russia, and explored Europe. Or Ashley and Justin from This Parallel Life who moved from their New York apartment into a storage unit in Denver while they seek adventure traveling the globe for a year. Or my dear friend Mary from Mary in Haifa who has split her furniture between her parents and friends while she takes a year away from her career to complete her Master’s degree in Israel.
For each of these bloggers, they have put away their material possessions to seek something they cannot achieve at home. Whether it is adventure, culture, education, or just a change from the norm, they have prioritized the experience over their belongings. From personal experience, I can honestly say this is not easy to do. But looking back on the last 15 months, I can say it was worth it.
After looking at over 30 houses in OKC and roaming through various furniture and decor stores, I have discovered that my new hometown has some very specific style ideas. I’ve gathered all my pictures and just had to share.
Sport Team Themed Rooms
Okies love their sports teams! There was actually one more of a large OU football helmet painted in a kid’s room but I forgot to take the picture. Darn.
With the stockyards here in OKC, horses and cattle are a big deal…especially in home decor.
Animal Print Everything
Animal print is definitely the most popular trend in home decor that I have seen here in OKC. It is everywhere!
We actually had an offer on this house. It didn’t work out but if it had, the leopard print carpet would have to go!
Although it was only 10 years ago, studying abroad has changed a great deal since I went to Italy in 2002. iPads and Facebook didn’t exist. We didn’t travel with cell phones or laptops. Generally, we went to the pay phone to call our parents once a week and to the internet cafe when we could fit it in. We even wrote our papers by hand due to the lack of computer access. To be 100% honest, I loved the lack of technology. I loved being disconnected with few expectations to communicate outside of those who were with me abroad. I was able to focus on exploring Italy and building relationships with the other students. Being abroad was relaxing and re-energizing without the constant ring of the phone and the tiny red flags in our school email indicating unopened messages.
This past weekend I took the same mentality from studying abroad and disconnected. Hubby and I flew to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon to join family and friends for a weekend at the lake in central Minnesota. When we arrived Friday evening, I quickly realized my cell phone received limited service and the internet was patchy. My first inclination was to be frustrated. How was I going to blog? What if our realtor called? But then I looked around me. I was surrounded by a beautiful landscape with family and friends I’ve known since I was a small child. Why would I want to spend my time on a computer when there were so many other things to enjoy? So dear friends, I disconnected this weekend to enjoy all of this instead: