This week marks two years that I’ve lived and worked in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia.
It’s been a happy, productive, and very insightful two years. But, things have changed very radically for me in 2014.
I’m still very content, and doing fulfilling work. However, I’ve changed professions, and have seen drastic changes in my lifestyle as a result.
For most of my time in Cochabamba, I worked with a small non-profit NGO Sustainable Bolivia. I brought in over 150 volunteers to the program, lived with over 40 different people in one of their homes, and told dozens of people their Spanish 1-2 classes in high school doesn’t make them fluent.
Since January, I’ve started my own small business, lived a month in Lima, took a 38 hour bus ride to Bolivia, moved into a courtyard home, got hit by no less than ten water balloons, and had a major airline steal one of my photos for their Facebook page.
Gaining Back My Time
But more importantly, I’m gaining back more of my time. Working for myself gives me the flexibility to more actively build my personal habits that I couldn’t do while working with Sustainable Bolivia. For example:
- Managing my sleep schedule around my personal energy, rather than office hours
- Actually looking to cook
- Volunteering more often with local organizations in Cochabamba
- Never missing a Real Madrid game, ever
But there’s still something missing
Communicating Better, Even From Across the World
Moving halfway across the world fundamentally changes the way that I communicate with the people I consider my closest friends and family. Many friendships that I’ve dedicated and invested a lot of my time and emotions into just cannot keep the same level of interaction as when distances are small.
And that’s nobody’s fault. But I do want to be more proactive on my end of the equation, and communicate more effectively with those who care about me.
As such, I’m making it a priority in 2014 to take the time to make myself available online for all of my friends and family who are no longer physically close to me.
What does this mean? I’m planning to:
- Regularly update this blog and website.
- Create an email newsletter, and respond personally to all emails sent to me.
- Publish more of my photographs online, for all to critique and see.
- Get my story out there to anyone interested!
- Reconnect with older friends from university and high school
So, connect with me, signup for the newsletter, subscribe to the blog, and let me know how you’re doing in the comments below. I’ve got a lot of stories to share.