me + the Mekong

I've been attempting to set aside one day a week to do something on my own. Not because I don't love the company I'm surrounded by, but so that I can check-in with myself-- something I aim to get better at. I keep myself busy, I dive head first into just about everything, and when I have a goal or a dream I see it through with absolute tunnel vision. And, as we know from previous posts, I dream on a pretty big scale. 

I woke up early and went to the Mekong and spent the morning alone with the river, just to check-in.  After about 20 solid minutes of me watching boats ferry people from one river bank to the other, I rode Dora's bike to another Leyla recommendation, Cafe Ban Vat Sene. Also known as my happy place. I even have a spot there now, guys. 

And that is where I wrote this.

I have desperately missed New Zealand since leaving London. Obviously, seeing S and Tash played a major part in that. Saying good-byes {yet again} and being reminded of the deeply rooted connections with people made this time five years ago was wonderful and nostalgic and perfect and strange. Those people are my family. My very best friends. The people who know me best, without a doubt. How could it possibly have been five years ago that we met?! I suppose time gets away from you when you're living your life here, then there, then somewhere else. Thank God those wonderful people are so good to me and keep in constant contact.

My life thus far has been an absolutely unbelievable adventure. 

This is the first year since my semester abroad in 2011 that I haven't been back to my little island. I miss the ocean. I miss the mountains. I miss the freakish birds around Mission Bay. I miss being usuals at Cafe Vicki One for breakfast. I miss wool socks and muesli. I miss sitting on the deck listening to Ryan Adams 1989 in the sun. I miss my people. I even miss that shitty Ruahine flat with the boys. 

I received visa news {for 2017 plans} early Friday morning. Bad news about an approved visa that was good visa news. Things just changed. And it was news that makes you want to cry, but you don't, because your head is so done in by it that you just sit there. You don't tell your soup snake or your kiwi friends who have been routing for you. You just sit there and start writing your statement of appeal with crossed fingers. 

Guys, I don't know what I can tell you?  How do I write how I feel? How can I articulate any more how complex and wonderful and perfect and flawed any singular moment of life can be?

I'm sitting here in a beautiful cafe in LPB, drinking a delicious latte. I'm doing the work I was made to do in a place with so much grit. I belong to a tribe of people who are unconditionally loving and uplifting. I am living in a way that manifested out of my own dreams and hard work. I've gotten to see and do things beyond any hopes I had for my life. And all that while I try and continue to build upon the best version of myself I found in 2011, lost for a little at the end of 2013, and found again a few months later. All good stuff.

I have all that incredible stuff making up the base of a delicious sundae-- that's topped off with visa shit instead of a cherry. And, guys, I'm actually at a loss for words. My philosophy has been that when you don't know what to say, write nothing. Write nothing until it feels right.  

So that's what I'm doing. I'm going to write nothing for a while. 

Because I always want this space to be authentic and I want organic content. This visa stuff has knocked the air out of me a bit and since it's a major something I'm dealing with on the side of all these incredible other things, I want to share it with you.  Because I share just about everything with you. I just...don't know how to right this minute.

The blog kind of had a moment these last six months and I am immeasurably grateful for all of it. I have had some great features and opportunities thank to SLK, this year especially. We've had giveaways, I've continued to receive items, and I've had interviews and articles. It's been a long time coming and I finally had the gumption to put it all out there. It all came back tenfold. That's all thanks to viewership from readers, support from my dear ones, and amazing companies {big and small} that have read my e-mails and believe in SLK. 

Currently, I am lucky enough to be working with great sponsors who are graciously letting me take back some space and live screen-less for a little while.  They are also allowing me to finish off our partnerships and collaborations when it feels right to write again. I cannot thank them enough for their flexibility! The clothing they've sent, the products they've given-- I feel continuously lucky. 

You will hear from me soon. Probably sooner than either of us thinks {I have to write the annual State of the Union Address on my birthday, obviously}. But, for now, I just don't quite know what to say about the current conflict-- how can I write clearly about how lucky I feel to be living a life I love while simultaneously feeling completely frustrated at a system that makes it so difficult for someone to be in the only place that feels like true home? 

I have so much impenetrable faith in the Universe conspiring in my favor, because it always has. I have hope that this is just another teeny tiny setback in otherwise perfect plans. Just another obstacle to hurdle over in my path. It's those obstacles that make year after year an adventure. I've been living the life I only thought possible in my wildest dreams.

I'm lucky enough to have my dreams play out in reality. 

Despite obstacles I've had to hurdle over or multiple visa setbacks. 

I know this just means a re-configuration of plans, and I'm a pretty flexible girl on the plans front. Adapting my plans is what has allowed me to travel as far as I have and get to where I am this very minute. For now, I want to focus on the bigger things that are planned to happen in 2017 and 2018, because those things are going to be here before I know it. I want to focus on those big trips and new parts of the world. And I want to focus on those things while living in these precious moments of the present.

Until I can find my words again, this is me and the Mekong signing off xx