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Wow! Four months have passed since I embarked on this year of travel and I cannot believe how much I have explored and how much more there is to experience. It feels like I just sat down to write my blog post in Medellin. I have started a monthly tradition where the last Sunday of the month is spent writing and reflecting from a coffee shop. It is often my favorite day of the month!
Lima, Peru has really shown me the love this month. This is my first time ever living in a beach town and I took full advantage by surfing at sunrise, eating ceviche at sunset, working out overlooking the ocean and finally breaking out the shorts and tank tops. For those wondering if I am incredibly tan—sadly, no—but I am a proud member of the TeamSnap ginger club. We had our annual meeting last week 🙂
Favorite Adventure: My TeamSnap coworkers would be massively disappointed if my favorite adventure for the month didn’t involve our company summit in Tabernash, Colorado. I was lucky to spend a full week with TeamSnap at Devils Thumb Ranch, both team-building and exploring ways to improve our product.
TeamSnap is unique in the fact that most employees are remote, so we often only spend time together at the annual summit. It is similar to a family reunion without the drama and forced interactions. I left feeling refreshed and excited about the direction TeamSnap is going in.
I also really appreciated the opportunity to spend 24 hours with my real family, who made a huge effort to organize a BBQ with the entire family for the one night I was in town. A quick week in Colorado was a great way to reconnect but also reconfirmed my decision to live abroad as I felt like I was returning “home” when I got on the plane back to Peru.
Bucket List Item: I have always wanted to learn to surf but never been near the water long enough to really dive into it—until this month. I took a handful of lessons at sunrise and sunset with a good friend. There is no turning back now, I am hooked! I am fairly fit and surfing really kicked my butt and taught me some fantastic life lessons:
- Don’t panic when both of your feet get tangled with the leash and you’re sucked under—just keep kicking.
- Laugh it off and get back on the board when you get absolutely wrecked, three waves in a row.
- Move quickly when you are getting out on the rocks or else you’ll end up rolling in the rocks and people will laugh.
- When you are pushed out of your comfort zone (i.e. you ask to get in the “big” waves), you might regret it and swallow lots of water. However, the thrill of catching a wave will be incredible.
Challenges: Safe to say that I got hit by a lot of challenges this month but I didn’t allow any of them to throw me off my game. I have gotten much better about letting things roll off my back and not allowing them get to me. What would have made me cry in January is just a minor bump in the road now.
The following items would be really, really nice to have moving forward, though:
- Washer/Dryer (although the workers at the Lavenderia down the road are fantastic)
- Working refrigerator (repeat trips to the grocery to replace spoiled food isn’t a great use of time)
- Hot Water
- Nightstand (and maybe a lamp, but that is getting greedy)
- Shorts that fit (thanks Crossfit squats :))
Volunteering: I make an effort to volunteer in each city and country as a way of giving thanks to the local community. We had the opportunity to volunteer with a local children’s home in Lima that houses families while recovering from surgery and illness. I knew I was in for a real treat when I rang the doorbell and I heard kids running for the door yelling, “Gringos!” Before I even stepped one foot in the door, I had two kids in my arms excited to see me.
We spent the morning playing with play dough, coloring and acting like fools. My favorite part was teaching one of the little boys how to make a fortune teller out of paper. It was a great reminder of how just a few hours of interaction can really lighten the mood and make a difference in their lives (and my own).
Next Stop: Cordoba, Argentina (and a week long vacation to Patagonia)!
Kelly Lanter is a technical account manager at TeamSnap. When she’s not globetrotting, she enjoys soccer, hiking, CrossFit, coaching kids at the YMCA and playing in adult sports leagues.
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