What I Now Know About Americans

Even though Dawn was my favorite member of the babysitter’s club, “living in California” wasn’t something I ever dreamt about. Maybe it seemed outside the realm of possibilities, even for dreams. Plus, “life in the U.S.” just didn’t appeal to me. I had been to various parts of America on trips with my family, and had even been to LA, but I was overwhelmed with the freeways and the traffic, and I was carrying some negative beliefs about “Americans” and “American culture.”

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The Reality of Self-Employment

Growing up, my dad was an entrepreneur. He built several businesses, starting from scratch again and again without hesitation. His cycle was to climb a ladder, only to jump right off, and climb up all over again. Once I asked him why he didn’t get to the top of the ladder and just relax there for awhile… he said, “Because I don’t climb to get to the top – I climb to feel the resistance.” In other words, it’s the feeling of the climb itself, the challenge, effort and reward in doing something hard with nothing propelling you forward but yourself, that he was after.

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We LOVE Hawaii (I mean, does anyone not love Hawaii?). Especially from LA, it’s such a logistically easy trip. Direct flight, and you are still in America, so no hassles with phones, currency, or customs. Book the flight, the AirBnB, and the rental car – and that’s it, trip planned! Below are the highlights from our recent trip in case Maui is on the horizon for you.

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Reflections: My Unplanned Year

It’s hard to believe, but a year and a half has passed since the beginning of my “unplanned year” experiment.

To recap, despite having an amazing job, one that I had been dreaming about and working towards for years, I felt compelled to make a big change.  I wanted to press pause on my life – to intentionally create space, and see what would come of it. I honestly didn’t know what the end result would be.  Had I been asked to bet on it, my money would have been on me returning to teaching with a deeper appreciation for the stability it provides; I have been so surprised by what has emerged instead.

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A Weekend Retreat, Vancouver, B.C.

Corinne is one of my very best friends and she currently lives in Vancouver. We have lived in separate cities for the past 4 years, but thankfully, we’ve been able to see each other regularly. We’ve met up in Toronto, San Francisco, and LA twice; I was determined to make it to Vancouver this year.  I had been to Vancouver a couple of times in the past, but only for work – this was my first time really getting to relax and enjoy the city.

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My Unplanned Year: 10 Hikes

When I first moved to LA, people started recommending me “all the great hikes here I simply had to do” –  to which I would smile and then silently file in my “thanks but not for me” drawer.

To me – hiking was basically the opposite of an activity I would enjoy. Something for those who owned “gear.” I thought it was laden with rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and cliffs – none of which existed on my fair and gentle isle in Canada.

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