2017 in review

Photographing a volunteer in the Philippines

I traveled.

Solo travels (Amsterdam, Vietnam, Hong Kong), work travels (the Philippines, Atlanta), other fun travels (Hawaii, New York, Texas), and a lot of photos along the way. I loved wandering through the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, exploring new hiking trails in Hawaii, and eating everything in Vietnam again.  Working as a photographer/videographer/producer in the Philippines was an amazing experience that challenged me professionally in the best way. I happily spent the last four months of the year traveling somewhere nearly every two weeks, including three round trips from DC across the Pacific within two months. 

coffee and french studying

I learned.

I took the GMAT after studying hours every day for three months. I completed three more French courses at Alliance Française and loved the Sunday study group we created. The group of crazy students who actively identified and purchased additional workbooks and spent their Sunday afternoons completing extra grammar exercises in the textbook. These are my people.

alliance francaise volunteer

I volunteered.

For l’Alliance, I volunteered at Fête de la Musique for the annual musical event to celebrate the beginning of summer. I also volunteered every two weeks during the summer at my local farmers’ market for DC Greens, where I supported access to healthy food through DC government’s Produce Plus program. After three years in leadership roels, I retired from my alma mater’s alumni board and was featured on the university’s website.

tea party 2017

I hosted.

Celebrated three years (!) of Friday pasta nights, a second annual yet proper tea party, and a wine tasting. 

hawaii koko head hike

It was a year of many adventures, personal growth, professional challenges, new friendships, and lots of embarrassment. Hey, French is difficult.

I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings (hopefully more adventures and less embarrassment).

room for a birthday celebration

columbia room dc - lesley siu

For my birthday this year, I went to Columbia Room for drinks with a few friends. Tucked away in Blagden Alley, the cocktail bar has a nice punch garden perfect for enjoying the outdoors before the summer heat really sinks in. The drink list is aptly named “This is Not a Wine List” with cocktails inspired by wines. 

columbia room punch garden dc - lesley siu

Complete with Georgetown Cupcakes (thank you, Claire!) and a quick dinner at Le Diplomate, my birthday was low key and enjoyable. My goals for this year include volunteering more in my community, acing taking the GMAT, and traveling to at least three new countries. Easy, right? 

monthly milestones: july 2013

Paris Plages - life is better at the beach - Lesley Siu

Oh, July. I still don’t have the elevator pitch explanation on why I’m in Paris or what I actually do here. When thinking about this month, I realize that a lot of what I both learned and accomplished were more personal—mustering up the courage to attend an event alone, striking up conversations with strangers, maintaining relationships with friends back home, not getting bothered by my daily awkward and embarrassing moments, etc. Did I have to come to Paris for personal growth? Probably not.  Am I glad I did? Absolutely.

Last month, I…

1. Celebrated Bastille Day in Paris.

2. Traveled to Prague for the first time.

3. Caved and got addicted to Snapchat.

4. Stuck to my budget (making you proud, mom!).

5. Caught up with old friends and made a handful of new ones.

6. Established a goal to work abroad.

Although I’ll have to say à bientôt to Paris in a few weeks (!), I’m looking forward to the new experiences that August will bring… including a quick trip home before my next cosmopolitan adventure.

What did you accomplish last month? Let’s celebrate!

Study Abroad: Goals and Expectations

Melbourne, Victoria

It’s official.  In 10 days, I will depart on a cosmopolitan journey. Six months away from home and in foreign countries (no big deal, right?). To say I’m “excited” may just be an understatement, but at this point, I’m slightly overwhelmed. Researching the areas, shopping for last minute, can’t-live-without items and packing my carefully edited wardrobe into one suitcase… There’s so much to do before I leave!

A few of my goals:

1. Make the most of my internship by approaching tasks with an open mind, learning new skills in marketing and film production and contributing to the development of the company as a whole

2. Continually challenge myself to try something new

3. Establish lifelong friendships

4. Obtain a funky Australian-Glaswegian accent (just kidding…kinda)

I try not to have several expectations, but I fully expect to…

1. Get lost

2. Feel homesick (just a little)

3. Buy more than my suitcase can hold

Ten days… I can’t wait.


Photos via Lonely Planet