Since I left home for my Great Escape, I’ve been doing monthly roundups of my adventures filled with anecdotes, private little moments, and thoughts that are found no where else on this blog. As this site is not just a resource for other travelers but also my own personal travel diary, I like to take some time to reflect on not just what I did, but how I felt. You can read my previous roundups here: Month 1, Month 2, Months 3 and 4, Month 5, Month 6, Month 7, Months 8 and 9, Month 10, Month 11, Month 12, and Month 13.

Brooklyn Summer

After the complete and total madness that was the first half of summer, I admit that I was ready for a little break. Luckily, I had a pretty laid back schedule for the subsequent two months — just three domestic trips interspersed with time in both Albany and New York City.

I truly loved spending the summer based at home — it’s when my family and friends have more free time, there are tons of fantastic events and things to do, and it’s when the weather is sunny and warm. I can see this as an ideal model for my future — the colder months spent traveling and living abroad, and the brief but beautiful warm months spent soaking up sun and time with loved ones.

Martha's VineyardMartha’s Vineyard Bliss

Where I’ve Been

• Five Days in Myrtle Beach

• Seven Days in Martha’s Vineyard

• Three Days in Rochester

• Three Days in Boston

• … and the rest in Albany and New York City!

Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach Mayhem


• I spent a year living out of a backpack. So coming home and making over my childhood bedroom was so much fun! I miss having creative outlets when I’m on the road, and so it was great to flex my design muscles and do something with such a rewarding conclusion.

• These months found me getting into the greatest shape of my life. To everyone-who-has-ever-known-me’s shock, fitness is becoming a huge part of my life. From yoga in Martha’s Vineyard to Crossfit training in Albany to spinning classes in New York City, my workouts came with me wherever I was…. assuming dancing all night in Myrtle Beach counts!

• While I may no longer have an official residence in New York City any longer, it still feels like home. This summer I stayed at the apartments of six generous friends, and fielded offers from many more. I partied in Rockaway Beach and stayed up till sunrise at crazy warehouse parties with friends, I saw Bring It On the musical and got massages during a mommy-daughter date, I checked to Smorgasburg on a solo day around Brooklyn, and I rung in my little sister’s 21st birthday in Manhattan. I had a million happy moments this summer in my favorite city in the world — that’s a highlight if I ever felt one.

• As I alluded to, I was so incredibly happy spending so much of the summer in Albany. I wasn’t sure I would be, and I do admit that its strange only having a handful of friends left here — but they are some of my nearest and dearest and I cherish my time with them. I simply loved exploring my hometown as a traveler — I did tons of new things like check out the tourist attraction the Corning Tower, the nightlife jem The Rusty Anchor, and the fun Larkfest street fair. Plus, being home meant time to engage in some of my non-travel related hobbies, like baking, seeing shows (I saw the Micheal Jackson Cirque de Soliel!) and obsessing over my dog.

Absolut Cake

• The five days of hedonism that was Myrtle Beach might have gotten a tad out of control — but in a good way. It was our most wild yet drama free trip yet and I laughed until I my ribs ached, danced until my feet were bruised and drank my weight in banana daiquiris. I really hope I’m never too old for this.

• On the other end of the spectrum, Martha’s Vineyard was laid back, relaxed, and peaceful. It was great to be reunited with a place so special to me, and this trip laid the groundwork for my mom’s very exciting new purchase! I look forward to spending next summer renovating, painting, and decorating.

• It’s so funny when all your family connections suddenly start shifting to adult relationships. In recent years I’ve gone from the annoying brat to the slightly-annoying-but-definitely-getting-cooler younger sibling to my sister Margaret, who I went to visit in Rochester. It has meant so much to me to develop a real relationship with her — she’s become a lot to me, from running coach to blog cheerleader to friend.

• These months may have been light on exotic travel, but I did end up with a shiny new passport stamp and got a kick out of walking across the border at Niagara Falls!

BostonBoston bound!


• On a light note, I am the slowest painter in the history of the world. Seriously, thanks to my OCD perfectionism I felt like I spent the entire two months repainting my bedroom. Tears were shed.

• While I didn’t let it get me down too much, it’s obvious these months were lighter on travel than usual. Towards the end I was starting to feel pretty restless and wanderlusty and ready to be plopped in a country who’s name I couldn’t pronounce and language I couldn’t speak.

• The downside of being a Yes Girl is that sometimes it can be very frustrating when you can’t find anyone to say YES with you! There were quite a few cool events and exciting opportunities that passed me by this summer because I couldn’t find anyone else who found those things to be quite as cool or exciting. I get it — I’m in “travel mode” and my friends are in “home mode” and that makes a big difference. But it can still be a little frustrating sometimes.

• I made a really, really stupid mistake and left my camera in Boston the weekend before I left for Hawaii. It cost my tons of time, stress, and money. Sometime I wonder when I will finally grow up and take care of my things!

New York City New York City Nights

The Budget

I’m blessed — I don’t have to pay a dime in accommodation when I’m home. But simply filling up the family car I have access to amounts to my weekly budget when I was living in Thailand. It’s crazy, but living abroad is cheaper than living with my mom — I can’t afford to live at home!

AlbanyAlive in Albany

What’s Next

Month 16 brought me to the adventure you’ll start reading about tomorrow… Hawaii!

And we’re on to the Aloha State!

  • I can’t wait to see the Hawaii posts!!! I’m sorry about the camera. It’s back in your possession yes?

    • Alex
      November 2 2012

      It is now, but I had to buy another one to bring to Hawaii and now I have to sell it! Such a headache for one stupid little mistake. Ah well, that’s life!

  • Sarah Somewhere
    November 1 2012

    And she bakes! Are your talents limitless Miss Alex? 🙂

    • Alex
      November 2 2012

      Indeed they are… baking is the only thing I do in the kitchen! Cooking for me consists of dialing for take away or putting something in the microwave 🙂

  • Deb Frost
    November 2 2012

    Hi Alex,

    You really are living the dream! I have enjoyed reading your blog and am sooo inspired to travel and live life to the full – you only get one chance! Fortunately I have reached the end so now I can actually get some work done and talk to my family again and be hopefully satisfied with reading a couple of new posts a week. I am going to Koh Tao this January with my family and have appreciated all your tips.

    • Alex
      November 2 2012

      Hi Deb, so glad you found me! Haha, I know the feeling of finding a blog you love and not really coming up for air until you’ve read everything in the archives. Luckily I post often so you’ll have lots of material to withdraw with 🙂 I may be in Koh Tao again in January — maybe I’ll have to host a reader meet up!

  • Hannah
    November 2 2012

    You sure know how to make the most of being back home! I am so excited to start reading about your time in Hawaii – and seeing the incredible photos that will no doubt accompany each post 🙂

    • Alex
      November 2 2012

      Hannah I have over 19GB of photos from Hawaii — eek! And that’s after I’ve edited them. I think I’ll be blogging Hawaii for a year…

  • Amy
    November 2 2012

    Interesting that travelling is less expensive than living at home with your mum! That gives me hope for stretching our budget in Asia. Love the birthday cake by the way!

    • Alex
      November 2 2012

      Thanks Amy! Yes especially if you are staying in one place for a long time like I did with Koh Tao, you will be absolutely shocked how little you spend. I spent $150 a month for my half of the rent in Thailand, which is less than I spend for a month’s fuel here.

  • Doris
    November 3 2012

    hae Alex i have enjoyed reading your blog looking forward to seeing whats in the box for Hawaii

    • Alex
      November 4 2012

      Thanks Doris! I can’t wait to share more.

  • Dad
    November 4 2012

    you do more in one month then most do in a decade

    • Alex
      November 5 2012

      Better busy than bored! And this was actually two months 🙂

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