strolling in Luang Prabang, Laos

After going to the gym yesterday morning, I spent almost the entire rest of the rainy day in bed napping on and off while listening to fashion podcasts, reading about the DNC, and enjoying David Gray's entire discography. It was so unlike me to spend a day doing absolutely nothing productive, but I made up for it by spending my Sunday on my feet. 

I woke up early Sunday morning and tasked myself with spending the first part of my day like a falang {foreigner} and not like a local. 

I hardly have my camera out for snapping here. Unlike traveling or being on holiday, I find myself getting into a groove of 'I live here, so I'm used to seeing these magical things.' I forget to play tourist. Much like New Zealand, I have to remind myself that every day here is a blessed opportunity. I am incredibly grateful for the adventures I have had in my 25 years of life thus far. 

Also, I get consumed by my work. I don't have much time in my day to just wander the streets. If I'm going somewhere, I'm going there with purpose. 

I walked along the Nam Khan river to Joma Bakery Cafe. It's not far from where I live, though I arrived inside the beautiful bakery drenched in sweat like the hot mess I generally am.

Joma makes real pastries and baked goods-- like the ones you would find in any Western cafe. If you head upstairs, you can sit out on the balcony and watch people fish with nets cast from long, narrow boats on the Nam Khan. But there's more than fast internet and a balcony view at Joma. 

They also have BAGELS AND REAL CREAM CHEESE. I know. I almost died too.

Dairy is not a thing here, which is fine for me. Typically, I drink almond milk in my lattes and over my cereal and I scrape off most of the cheese when I get pizza {ask Tash, she's always appalled}.  No dairy is great for your figure, but when you and your rumbly tummy stumble upon a bagel and you find cream cheese somewhere like's like casually discovering the lost city of Atlantis. You don't walk away.  I literally ate the bagel before I even thought to take a picture of it in all its glory, so thank goodness you already know what a bagel looks like. 

A couple hours and a few e-mails to blog sponsors and friends later, I strolled along the Nam Khan with no real destination in mind. I only wanted to soak in the alleyways on this quiet Sunday morning. 

It's still very surreal to be here. Even more surreal to think I've been here for weeks now. I'm adjusting back to everything...except the heat. How could I have signed up for a year in this heat? How is it possible for someone to sweat this much?

I have also been missing my people at an unprecedented level, but having Luke and Dora here is such a comfort. Missing my people really isn't an adjustment, as it has become part of the life I live {UNFORTUNATELY}. 

Life is really good, guys. The adventures here in Laos, the ones planned {with crossed fingers} for the future, and the ones that are now beautiful memories have made me speechless as I reflect on all of it-- both where life has already taken me and all that I am looking forward to and making ticket purchases for. 

After strolling around and looking at my city with a different set of eyes, I have to say I think even though it was a Sunday {and we all know the feeling I associate with those}, it was so good. 

Stifling hot, but still so good.