In 2015, I hardly blogged as much as most people. I don’t even think I blogged as much as my mom (who has way more discipline and motivation than me in almost everything). But it was the year that I wrote on this blog, and kept writing, even when it took me a month to finally publish a post about something I had done 2 months before that…
So I am declaring 2015 the year of this blog! According to the cute annual review WordPress sent me, I wrote 49 posts in the past twelve months, which, now that I’ve written that down, sounds super pitiful, but when you consider that those 49 posts make up a total of 91 total posts on the blog… I’ll just have to keep in mind that everyone starts from zero. And I’m definitely curious about what my 100th post will be!!
To no one’s surprise, the most popular posts are ones revolving around the logistics of my year doing TAPIF, including my advice for completing the application, my guide to teaching specifically in primary schools, and my dilemma about whether or not I would stay in France for another year. I love those posts, and love that people have found them helpful as they consider and embark on their own teaching journeys, but I am also equally as proud of my more personal posts. Posts that I wrote about things on my mind, about the boring stuff that happens in my daily life, about little details that stuck out to me even after I’d left France. In short, the kinds of posts I didn’t know I’d be writing when I started a “travel blog.”
Here’s a look back on some of my favorite posts from the past year.
I think this is one of the most complete pieces of writing I’ve put on this blog. I was struggling with how I wanted to write about my visit to Paris to see my sister, and another series of hysterics in Chambé. I had a sudden brainstorm a few weeks later and wrote the entire post while on a plane to Portugal…I’m really proud of how I managed to thematically link three semi-related events in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, especially because one thing I’ve been trying to do with this blog is to get away from only writing standard diary posts about what I did, and where, with whom. This piece is still my favorite example of that progression!
This is another piece I was randomly inspired to write while in transit…in this case on the bus home from school. I like it for how I managed to encapsulate several very small moments and link them to how I was feeling at the time about being a teacher and all of the discoveries that came with that experience. It also reminds me of how proud I am of my students, and of myself for learning (however slowly) how to teach them.
This post chronicles what is easily one of the most exciting and meaningful days of my life: planning and successfully engineering a surprise marriage proposal for my BFF and roommate Hannah. But what makes this post even more special to me is the format: I chose to experiment with the form a little and told the story entirely through our social media correspondence with Hannah, her fiancé and my other BFF Julia who helped us plan in secret. I love how seeing these posts not only creates a narrative, but also gives such a transparent window into each of our most relaxed and real personalities.
In this post I explored the reasons that I love learning languages, and French in particular. I never really thought about why I started learning French and how it managed to become such a clearly important part of my life, and the answers I found actually kind of surprised me!
I believe I am basically a sentimental person, and certainly this blog is rife with examples of clinging onto reminiscences, but this post of music that reminds me of certain people or moments is one of my favorites.
My penny collecting obsession is probably one of the weirder/quirkier things about me and definitely qualifies as “Something you wouldn’t know just by looking.” I wasn’t sure how to write this idea into a story at first, but I actually loved sharing my strange habits, and I hope that I can write more of this kind of post in the future.
This post wouldn’t be complete without one of my most successful posts, the consummate post about the city that basically shaped the majority of my year, and the post that got published on National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog! So just in case you didn’t know already how much I love Chambéry, let me just share this post one more time in 2015 🙂
I’m looking forward to continued blogging in 2016– Even though I cringe a little every time I tell someone that I write a blog (is it too basic? the fact that it’s mostly about studying abroad….yikes!) …it’s still something I am quite proud of and love doing deep down. See ya in 2016! ❂