Where in the World is Nicole?

I’m back in the US!  And more importantly, I’m back online.

It’s been two months since my first post, and for a large chunk of that time I was either traveling or without good internet access. Now that I’m back in the land of wireless internet, I think it’s time to give an update on what I’ve been up to. I’ll try to sum up my February and March here, but I’ll definitely be sharing much more details in the future!

Photo of me walking to security for my flight to Santiago, courtesy of my dad


The Big Things:

  1. I worked my last day at my old job
  2. I was offered a new job near Portland, OR
  3. I traveled around Chile and Peru
  4. I moved across the country to Portland
  5. I started my new job

Sooooo that’s a lot of big stuff in a relatively short amount of time!  And as awesome as the above list is, if I’m being completely honest I have to say that I think I’m still processing all the major changes. Sometimes it feels like a tornado whipped through my life and I’m still figuring out how to arrange all of the scattered pieces. Or I can compare myself to Dorothy and say that it feels like a tornado carried me away to another world. I’m definitely not in Kansas Pennsylvania anymore.




But wait! There’s more! The past two months haven’t only been about the big things. There were so many smaller moments that I experienced, and the best of them deserve a special callout here.

The Little Things that Felt as Incredible as the Big Things (in no particular order):

  • I had multiple sendoff celebrations and happy hours, and so many friends and coworkers came to wish me well. I had a blast at each of the celebrations, and I’m grateful for all the amazing people I know back in Pittsburgh.
  • I hiked the entire Inca Trail with no knee/hip problems, which was a legitimate concern of mine before the trip. It wasn’t 100% issue-free from a “health” perspective, but at least my legs held out! Keep your eye out for more Inca Trail posts where I share more (funny) details about my experience!
  • I discovered a previously unknown love for alpacas.
Look at this baby alpaca! How could you not love him?
  • It didn’t rain or snow during the many times I was loading or unloading stuff to/from my car.
  • Before I left Pittsburgh I was able to catch up with a few people I haven’t seen in a long time.
  • I read. A lot. If you know me then you know I love to read. However, last year I fell off the train a little bit and didn’t read as much as I wanted to. One of the benefits of not working for a month and spending hours on buses and planes is that I was able to read quite a few books during my trip (and after I returned) and it’s something I’m very happy about. Here’s a summary of my reading list:
    •  The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
    •  About the Night by Anat Talshir (I loved this one!)
    •  The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
    •  North of Here by Laurel Saville
    •  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (I loved this one too!)
    •  Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (This one too!)
    •  The House by the River by Lena Manta
The next book on my reading list? Time will tell…

So now that I’m caught up on my own life, what’s next for me? Mostly I will be spending my time adjusting to my new job, learning my way around Portland, meeting new friends, and hopefully squeezing some outdoor fun in! If you’re reading this, I just want to say that I’m happy you’re here and I promise I will be sharing more stories about all my adventures!



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