I’m really trying to catch up now on Small Planet Studio’s #GlobalYou365 Challenge. Half way to being in the month I am actually in! Also, I realized I am still making this a thoughtful process to achieve my goal of figuring out what my global lifestyle looks like for me at this time (I am working on allowing more fluidity in my life).

So here are the questions and my answers. How’s your #MyGlobalLife Challenge coming along?

1. Favorite memories from February

Went to Atlantic City for the first time to see Brandi Carlile in concert, ate a slab of bacon, saw the ocean, visited a new Capitol (spoiler), and ate some traditional polish food. That was one trip.

Discovered the real comfort of a King size bed. And that Leos tend to have lion-like faces. And that staying at an Inn not an hours drive from home can feel like you actually got away for bit.

2. Songs that remind me of abroad

Two albums I bought in Ireland after reading about them in a magazine were N.E.R.D.’s “In Search of…” and Gorillaz self-titled album so anything off of those.

Daft Punk’s “One More Time”

While studying in Ireland and the Netherlands and then England, I did buy those ridiculous NOW That’s What I Call Music compilations as way to capture my time in each location. I was shocked to see how far ahead Europe was in its numbering than in the US. For example, in 2001, I bought NOW 50 which wasn’t reached in the US until 2014. I also bought 57, 59 and 62. 50 and 59 are ones that bring me back the most.

Alphabeat “This is Alphabeat”

Anything by Robbie Williams

Westlife “Queen of My Heart”

3. What’s in my carry-on?

Spare pair of underwear, toothbrush and paste, books, large water bottle,

4. Camera or iPhone?

Now that I have an iPhone, it’ll use that. One less piece of equipment to carry around.

5. Who I miss most when I’m abroad

I don’t know that I really miss people. I know my family is supportive of my travels and want to hear all about them when I return, so I’m more focused on the trip than thinking about people at home.

6. Ways I relax

Reading, going for a walk, watching TV. If I am stressed, I usually opt to watch a British dramatization of a Jane Austen novel or Jane Eyre (the one staring Ruth Wilson, because it is the best).

7. Favorite word in another language

Scheiße is what I say the most. A more recent favorite is from watching old Top Chef episodes -> amuse-bouche.

8. What I can see from my window

I can see the neighbor’s house. It is odd. All the blinds in the windows on the side of the house that faces our apartment are always drawn and we rarely see any signs of life, yet if you walked up the road to see the other side of the neighbor’s house, you’d see the lights in rooms. It is like the house is split down the middle and the neighbor only lives on the right half of it.

9. What I love about where I live

I love the history of the town I currently live in, my hometown. It goes back to the French and Indian War and the America Revolution. We also have some pretty awesome females associated with town as well. The tourism potential is high, but we struggle with community buy-in.

My current apartment is but two blocks from where I grew up on a quiet dead end road. I kind of like that full circleness, but I still struggle with being in my hometown. But that’s all ego and needs to stop. I’m working on it.

10. Habits I want to break

I’ll call it a habit – taking too many things too personally

Reaching for chocolate and junk food when I’m stressed and then not stopping when I’m not stressed

Cowering at the merest hint of confrontation, especially with someone I mentally place in a role of authority; stop placing people in apocryphal positions of authority over myself

11. What I’ve eaten for lunch this week

Leftover chicken wings, chips, cheese and crackers – terrible week for lunches

12. Foods that remind me of being abroad

I have written about this. Here!

13. Schools I’ve attended

Glebe Street Elementary; Knox Jr. High; Johnstown Senior High; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Trinity College, Dublin; Utrecht University; London School of Economics and Political Science

14. Why I (don’t) procrastinate

I used to procrastinate all the time in school. As an adult, I am selective about my procrastination, but overall I am a procrastinator. The things that I procrastinate about are things I don’t want to do, so why rush it before the anxiety sets in about needing to do it ASAP. On the one hand, I am very responsive to a classroom structure  e.g. to get me to work out, I am more likely to be consistent if I sign up for a class than if I just went in to work out freestyle. This would make one think I wouldn’t be a procrastinator. On the other hand, having a deadline/time constraint hanging over my head, I am better able to focus in on the task at hand, thus producing better quality work.

15. Funniest dream(s) I’ve had

Barney, the purple dinosaur. With an uzi. Leading troops down a road in the neighboring town. Had this dream twice, years apart.

16. Backpack or suitcase?

While in Ireland, I bought the best and most inexpensive backpack ever. The ones in the US were so expensive prior to my trip that I didn’t buy one. I found one in Mary Street. It served me well throughout my study abroad travels and even made it London years later for grad school. But I no longer use it. I am a suitcase gal now. One day I want to get nice leather open top, wide mouth weekender bag (that’s the romantic in me).

17. What I do on long-haul flights

I pop in my headphones to reduce the noise of others and read before either watching the movie or going to sleep.

18. What I do when I’m homesick

I wrote about this too!

19. Best hikes I’ve gone on

I’m not really a hiker but three years ago when my partner and I were first hanging out, she got me to go on a number of hikes throughout the summer. I knew she was a keeper when on one of the steeper hikes I was breathing really heavy (I am an out of shape person) and this spiraled into a panic attack. I was very embarrassed, but she didn’t laugh or make light of it. She sat there with me and rubbed my back until I caught my breath and the attack passed. And it was all worth it because the views were spectacular (and what makes hikes worth it). So this was probably the best hike.

20. What’s on my plate today

Work, get gas for the car, make a flyer, go to the post office, figure out dinner. It’s low key day. Yay!

21. Things I used to worry about while traveling

Luggage arriving. When I arrived in the Netherlands, my luggage was literally the last to come up. I was about to go talk to someone about it when it came along the carousel.

Making flights and trains. I arrive way too early. I’ve lived in areas that are often affected by weather and getting to places early can make or break whether or get out of there or not.

22. My favorite sport(s)

Men’s college basketball is my favorite sport, hands down. I am a sports enthusiast  overall and can get into pretty much any game/match/run/test. You can’t live in Europe and not get into football (soccer). I learned about cricket during The Ashes while studying in London. Hurling was introduced while in Dublin. My dad has recently become intrigued by curling and talks of the whole family learning this fall (!) at a center not far from home.

23. Things I want to accomplish within 5 years

Please see this post.

24. What I can’t live without

I’ve been very fortunate in my life that I’ve never really had to go without something to know what that might feel like, so I don’t know that there’s anything that I couldn’t live without.

I would probably go mad if I lived without traveling to other places than my home. Books/stories and music also come to mind. I am imagining here that I can’t even write a story or sing a song, not like mp3’s or physical books.

25. About my most recent time abroad

Ouch! Eight years ago now. I went to London to visit some friends and visit the old haunts and check out some new places. My friend, Amanda, from my master’s program picked me up from the airport and we immediately went to Turville aka Dibley from the fantastic TV program “Vicar of Dibley”!! Very thrilling for me. I also made my way to Oxford for the first time with another friend from school, Sophie. It was a cold and wet trip but I would never complain of any time spent in London.

26. What’s currently happening in my life

Work. Stressing out about the living situation – knowing there are phone calls I should be making. Birthday parties to attend. Family health concerns/issues. Making pierogis for Palm Sunday. Easter coming up. Busy month.

27. Things I’d like to lose

My insecurities. A fair amount of weight.

28. Skills I’d like to develop

The art of negotiation.

29. What’s on my bedside table

Light/alarm clock doohickey, tissues, two crocheted neon coasters, a little flower shaped catch all for jewelry and bobby pins, a stack of books.

30. How I like my coffee

In ice cream format

31. Things that overwhelm me when I go home

Expectations from others, expectations from me. Perceived lack of freedom on my part.

Small Planet Studio‘s #GlobalYou365 Challenge was created as a “reflective challenge for global adventurers in re-entry” to aid travelers navigating the often choppy waters of returning home from abroad. This Challenge consists of a question a day and is a tool that can be used to help you create a lifestyle that accommodates both your abroad self and home self. Usually it is used for those coming home, but I sought to use the Challenge in reverse, as a great opportunity to reconnect with my traveling self to create a more global lifestyle today. You too can take the challenge by clicking here.