Things I’ve learned from 2 Years of Traveling, Being an Expat, & Blogging

Happy 2nd birthday, Blissmersion!

When I started this blog and chose the name Blissmersion, a combination of bliss and immersion, I knew it would be a difficult name for people to remember. I chose it anyway. I knew when I started blogging that for most people it is a labor of love. The successful bloggers warned there was little-to-no money earned and many expenses (and are they ever right!) I chose to do it anyway.

Also, I knew traveling with a family of four, including two young kids, would be difficult and often expensive. We do it anyway. Two years ago, I didn’t know we’d become expats in Mexico. We did it anyway.

However, when it came time to write a post about two years of blogging, I almost didn’t. My desire to write had almost dried up to nothing and my sense of self was shaken by it. Even in the bad times, I’ve learned a lot about blogging, traveling, and myself.

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This is How a Break From Spanish Did My Brain Good

While I was in the US, I took a break from Spanish. And when I first got back here I thought that maybe that had been a mistake because I was really struggling to remember anything in Spanish. Oh no, what have I done?! I thought. My brain broke! A mere week later, I realized the rest did a body brain good. Immersion language learning benefits extend to adults, too!

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This is How My Dogs Scared the Crap Out of Me While I Traveled

“Code red,” the text came through in Spanish, a few days before we were due to return to Mexico. The next bit, also in Spanish, freaked me out. My anxiety was rearing up and I was afraid my worst fears were coming true: that one of my dogs died a dramatically tragic death while we were visiting the USA.

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These are the Happy Highlights and Lowest Lowlights

It has been a whirlwind of a year! Even though it has been incredible, there have also been some lows. When you move your household and/or travel with kids, there bound to be highlights and lowlights. Just like with normal life. That doesn’t change just by moving somewhere new.

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This is the Incredible Way I Spent the Year

Upon reflecting about 2017, it might have been the busiest year of my life. It was hard in a way I haven’t experienced before and brought about some of the biggest changes I’ve ever had (after having children, of course). It was also one of the most exhilarating years of my life. I’m still in awe about living in Mexico. I still can’t believe this is my home and it still makes me smile. Still, the time has come to say goodbye to 2017.

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This is Why I Write About Language Learning Challenges

Learning another language is difficult. I write about this subject frequently. There is a purpose.

If someone speaks to you in broken English, it has required a lot of courage to do it.

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This is How We’ll Celebrate Our First Halloween in Mexico

I didn’t expect to celebrate Halloween once we were living outside of the United States. I had heard that there is trick-or-treating in the neighborhoods here in central Mexico, but it was mentioned in an offhand way, in passing, and sounded like it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, the Day of the Dead is the big and special holiday at this time of year in Mexico. So, why am I writing a post about celebrating our first Halloween in Mexico?

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These Are Some of the Cutest Hairstyles Ever

Most days, if everyone is dressed, fed, and teeth brushed, I’m feeling ahead of the game. Getting everyone’s hair brushed is like a bonus in the game of life. Not required, but boy, it looks nice! My daughter prefers to wear her hair down and loose and I don’t try to tame that preference, because it isn’t my hair. The only thing I insist upon is that it gets brushed somewhat regularly. Up until now, that’s about as much as she’d let me play with it, so I haven’t even tried any special hairstyles.

In Mexico, I’ve made an observation (it’s a generality, not an absolute). So many kids have amazing hairstyles. Boys and girls alike, even in casual settings like the mall, are styled and gelled. The girls’ styles are often intricate. I wonder, “how do they do it?”

Because this seems beyond my capabilities.

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My 100 Year Old Grandmother Died, And This is How I Feel

My grandmother died yesterday morning at age 100. Obviously, given her advanced years and also her declining health, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Though, you do always think you have just a little bit longer.

Our relationship wasn’t a close one. She had a tough life. Born in 1917, she was the oldest of 6 children (outliving all but one sister). My great-grandmother died when my grandma was only 13 years old and she raised her siblings. What that entailed was quitting school and taking on house cleaning work to make their lives a little better. She lived through both World Wars and countless others, and also the Great Depression. This cemented her frugal nature and has definitely had some bearing on me, as my dad is also frugal.

Grandma was practical to a fault and often tactless. She always told me how fat I was while I was growing up. While I have many memories of her, there are two strong memories that stand out in my brain at the moment.

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10 More Halloween Costume Ideas for Travelers & Expats

I love dressing up for Halloween. Last week, I posted 15 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas for Travelers & Expats, because even though I’m an expat and parent, I still want to dress up in a Halloween costume! Guess what? I found more amazing ideas that will (mostly) travel really easily, while still being neat costumes.

After all, it’s more fun to dress up if the Halloween costume is pretty cool. These costumes are pretty cool, punny, or both. If I could be all the things, I would. A mermaid version of Carmen Sandiego? Count me in.

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