Yesterday Mike and I drove downtown to have lunch with an old friend of mine from Culture Shock Chicago, the hip hop troupe I used to dance with. We once again went down to Wicker Park and had a great meal at Bongo Room. I had danced with Culture Shock LA for 2 years and then I went to business school, I wanted to keep it up and rode the train over an hour each way to make practice. During the first rehearsal, I met Heidi who worked in advertising (like I used to!) and she had just moved to Chicago as well! Me, Heidi, and Ruby who had just moved to Chicago as well were soon fast friends in Culture Shock. It was a really fun time and I’m glad I had friends outside of business school in Chicago and dance friends to go out dancing with!
A lot has changed since we met 6 years ago. Heidi doesn’t work in advertising anymore and is a personal trainer with her massage license. I always admire people who are brave enough to leave the corporate world and pursue what they really love. She looks amazing and had just gone rucking the day before, which means a 2 hour run with a 35 lb pack on your back. Insane! Especially in this Chicago heat. She shared that she and her boyfriend were planning on moving to Hawaii next year (they have always loved it there and have many friends there). Very exciting and of course made me extremely jealous since I have my own love affair with Hawaii. I lived there for a brief stint with two girlfriends from Cal and we had the bestest of summers. Amazingly, they had come to “set me up” for the summer but it was them who never took their return flights home. One is still there and the other stayed for 3 years. It was really good to catch up with Heidi and fingers crossed for her big move.
So, here comes some big news for me and Mike! We had left NYC and gone on this whole Asia trip because the plan was always for Mike to find a non-profit job in either Asia or Africa. The Asia trip was just something we planned since this would have been one of the few opportunities in our life to take a trip like this. Well we got back and Mike started his job search. I thought maybe at the very least it would take 2-3 months to find something. Wrong. It took 3 weeks!!! It’s been absolutely crazy but we are moving to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in October (for folks unfamiliar with Africa, it’s south of Kenya on the East coast of Africa). Mike and I been to Dar way back when we traveled together before doing our study abroad program in Cape Town (this was pre-dating days). It’s funny how as a tourist 4 days in Dar we felt was too long, but Dar as a living city is one of the safest in Africa. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I keep having anxiety nightmares since now I’m nervous about finding a job in Dar (I thought I would have had more of a break than 3 weeks!). We don’t have all the details yet, but as we prepare for our big move, I will be posting updates!