This has also been a reflective year. I'm at the point of my life where my friends are popping out babies and suddenly, I have the title of surrogate aunt. It's a bit of, "What am I doing with my life?" but mostly, "Where is my career going?" It's not like I’m power hungry and have the goal of climbing up the corporate ladder (though there's nothing wrong with that – Lean In, if that's your aspiration), but this job insecurity issue is stressful and ever-present on my mind. All I want is to not worry about being unemployed several months from now.
My travel lust is rearing up its head again. I have a friend who visited Patagonia this month and the gorgeous pictures she shared made me want to pack my bags and head there immediately. Or anywhere, really. I thought I was over my backpacking phase, but my yearnings are proving me wrong.
The last time I did real backpacking was China in 2009. It seems like a lifetime ago, but random memories stick out: my first attempt at climbing Tiger Leaping Gorge and failing because I was so sick that I nearly fainted and had to turn back; the most delicious hand-pulled noodles and lamb kebob meal from an Uighur restaurant; my hostel owner picking persimmons from a tree in the courtyard with a net contraption.