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So much progress has been made in the last few weeks. I have less than 3 months before I leave for Asia, but for a while, I was sitting stagnant.


Twiddling my thumbs.

There was so much I needed to do but couldn’t because I was at the mercy of other people.

But, I’m happy to report that progress has been made.

My name change is official. I began the process to take my grandmother’s maiden name  in May. 3 months ago. As of last Wednesday, my name change is official. My legal name is now Amber Rose Monaco.



I started packing. My packing list is fluctuating right now, but I’ve taken everything out of my closet that I *think* I want to bring with me. Right now, that’s about 15 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 1 dress, 2 swimsuits, underwear, bras, business supplies, and toiletries. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’ve decided to only bring a rolly-carryon bag and backpack. Either I love challenges or I love getting rid of things. I’m not sure which….

I bought some packing cubes to help keep me organized. As of today, they are full. And I have all of that stuff on the floor that still needs to go somewhere.


I’ll be ordering new packing cubes when I make my next Amazon order.  And, wow, my suitcase really looks small, huh!

All of my vaccines are up-to-date. The only thing that I needed was typhoid. I was feeling cheap and saved $15 by taking the oral vaccine over the span of a week. I don’t know why it seemed like a good idea to save $15, but it did. Looking back, I would have just taken the shot and moved on with my day.

Lesson learned.

The good people at the passport-making-facility have cashed my check. I don’t know what happens from here, other than more waiting, but I’ll take that as a good sign!

Finally, I started looking for apartments in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai, Thailand will be my first stop. I know that 3 months is a little premature to begin apartment shopping; but let’s be realistic, I love planning. My goal is to spend <9000 Thai Baht, which is about $250 PER MONTH. Can you believe that? I’ll be spending $250 per month for rent. Just to provide a little perspective, I currently pay $1,717. This will be a wonderful change.

I am also checking a few things off of my DC-area Bucket List. I’ve been eating at delicious restaurants and I went to Philadelphia with a friend. I love the Founding Fathers and was so excited to see the Liberty Bell. Did you know it has a crack in it?

I’m just kidding.   🙂





Progress toward Asia

by Amber time to read: 2 min

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