I'm Tara.

I'm just a silly little girl who likes to go places and tell her silly little stories.

SLK documents the adventures I've had across 5 continents & who I've become on my journeys. 

You can read my full story in the 'About' tab! 

life lately: 13

life lately: 13

Sitting here in Lao heat, sweating everywhere it's possible to sweat from once more, I am grateful. It's been a very rough week and, somehow, I managed to make it back to Laos. A place so many find to be full of healing. That Luang Prabang magic has already started working on my heart and I find myself feeling overwhelming gratitude in place of sadness {which will be explained below}. 

Here's what life is like lately in photos, thoughts, and feelings...

my girl, SodaPoppy, hanging out under her favourite tree

my girl, SodaPoppy, hanging out under her favourite tree

(-) I really didn't want to write about this, but the outpour of kind messages and love has made me feel like I cannot exclude it. On Tuesday, after dealing with cyber games from try-hards {insert savage vibesthough let's be honest...this video and the chorus make me cringe so hard}, I took my fur-babe Poppy out for a drive into town. We went to the bank together and grabbed treats for the drive home with the windows down {as was Poppy's preference}. I went to check the mail and Poppy was hit by a pickup truck. I'll leave out the details of how it happened and how absolutely traumatic it was to not only watch but to then carry her bloody body into the vet clinic. She was a true fighter for nearly four days and the vet had every hope that she would make a slow and long recovery with much assistance and care. Unfortunately, on Friday morning, we were informed that Poppy had spent much of Thursday afternoon seizing and vomiting. The vet believes Poppy had a very delayed reaction to the trauma and all her pain finally caught up to her. Anyone in my inner circle knows what a devastating loss this has been for me. I bought Poppy from a family friend who couldn't find a home for her at a time when I most needed a companion. I had just left my favourite place {New Zealand} and my favourite people {they know who they are} to spend time saving money while living at home with my parents and gaining professional work experience. I'm a military kid, so despite having lived in Rapid City for long bouts of time, it isn't actually a place that feels most like home {we all know where 'home' is for me}. I needed someone to adventure with-- and so I made the hasty decision to give Poptart a home. She was so small, she fit in one hand and slept on my chest those first few months. We spent her first year totally together hiking in the Black Hills and running around my old high school track. Laying Poppyseed to rest was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but also the easiest. I never wanted my best girl to be in pain. The staff at Chandler Animal Hospital treated Pops with unbelievable kindness. The vet techs had grown so fond of my sweet girl, that they apologized for not being professional by crying while it all happened. My heart is absolutely broken but I'm in the right place to heal it. {Luke's at work, so it's safe to ugly cry in the living room}. 

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Let's focus on some ups (+) now, k?

(+) Game of Thrones finale aired yesterday in America, which means we'll get to watch it here {thanks to online downloading} here tonight. The Lao fam watches it together on Monday nights while eating Nisha's Indian {all the yes}, so that's my night absolutely sussed. 

(+) Thanks to Luke's help, I was able to surprise LyLy and Xeng Lee over the last two days. Xeng Lee was so surprised, though he said I sound "more American" and that my laugh is different now.

George and XL playing Uno like it's serious business

George and XL playing Uno like it's serious business

(+) As Sunday was Finn's last day in Luang Prabang, the lot of us went down to a spot along the river and picnicked. I hadn't met Finn until Friday, but his reputation preceded him. I had been told he was much like Will {whom Luke and I volunteered with in 2015} and a total dreamboat in his own right. Every nice word about him was true. I am so glad I got to tag along for sticky rice and Uno on his final day. 

(+)  Xeng Lee has now seen Moana, and loves the song 'You're Welcome.' So every time he says "you're welcome" he sings the song and it is my new favourite thing. Pretty much everything XL does is my favourite. 

when did this kid turn into a small man?! 

when did this kid turn into a small man?! 

(+) I had tried headspace a few years ago when I first came to Laos but never bought the full package after the initial trial. After discovering BreatheSync, I became a huge advocate for the app. Luke let me tag along and meditate with him the other morning using his Headspace membership and, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I may have to give it another go, though I doubt I'll fully switch from BreatheSync. Sorry, Andy. 

(+) I don't know how I end up constantly surrounded by good people, but I feel really lucky. This weekend, the MVP has been Luke. I'm sure the comment section will now be swarming, but it's hard to find people who are loyal, kind, compassionate, and can both be themselves and allow you to be yourself. Somehow, it's been my sweet spot -- finding such people. So, I guess I'm saying thanks to LTavvy for the airport pickup complete with surprise signage and playing backyard badminton with me despite the insufferable heat. You're alright in my book, Tavener. 

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(-) I forgot about the plastic consumption here until I went around town. I'll be creating an entire post about what I'm doing to help this beautiful country out what little I can. 

(+) My documents are getting authenticated with the Embassy, and so the final steps for my Chinese visa should {finally} be in progress. Yes, the full post is coming. I wasn't lying when I said it'd be a doozy. It's taking ages to write. 

(+) When someone tells you they miss you or that they care about you, flat out, it's something incredibly special. 

(+) The annual state of the union address is being edited and, guys, I have a lot to say about this birthday. 

(+) EVERLANE IS RELEASING A DENIM LINE ON MY BIRTHDAY! COINCIDENCE?! NOT A CHANCE. 

(+) If you're looking for a new podcast recommendation, I highly suggest NPR's Rough Translation. It gets all the stars from me. Particularly the episode about women in the Congo. 

 

a first-timer's guide to landmarks in Paris

a first-timer's guide to landmarks in Paris

thoughts on the weird wide web

thoughts on the weird wide web