My name is Maya and this is my attempt at writing a blog!
Actually, that’s not true. My name isn’t Maya. Maya is the name I was given in when I was in Nepal, and I love it, and so I thought I would try it out as my writing pseudonym…
Most of these emails were written over several years, and they were mostly my messages home to my friends and family while I was living abroad or travelling, so although I’m only just getting around to putting them onto a blog, I will post the original date it was written on, and try to sort them by country/year as well. They are a combination of travel blogs and general musings on life when in the UK, as well as more recently, my forays into knitting, quilting, sewing, cooking and other such crafty hobbies. I’m afraid there may be a few gaps here and there, although I will try to fill these in when I can. I have also changed a few names here and there to respect other people’s privacy, as this blog is about my experiences, and is not intended to cause any offense to anyone.
The title of my blog is a line from an Andrew Marvell poem called “To his coy mistress”, and I have shamelessly plagiarised the title of my blog not only from him, but from two of my closest friends who already have a photo blog with the same name! Luckily they have given me permission to use the same name for my blog, so they deserve the credit!
To give you a very brief overview, here’s the quick chronology of what I’ve been up to:
2002-2003 – Undergraduate year abroad at UCSB, (University of California, Santa Barbara), aged 21-22 (I’m afraid my writing style at 21 was overly excitable and I may have abused the use of exclamation marks to an alarming degree….). During this trip I also visited to Mexico, New york, and Colorado.
2006-2007 – I flew from Seoul to Australia to spend 3 months in Sydney with family before moving to Kuwait to teach primary (Year 2 and 3), aged 25-26. During this time I also travelled to Bahrain, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Beirut.
2010 – I moved to a satellite town outside of Delhi, India, to work for a private University as Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, aged 29. During this time I travelled around northern and central India, Nepal and Kashmir.
2010-2013 – I started a new job at an NGO and relocated to Oxford. At this stage in my life (29-32…) I decided to buy a house and become a mortgage slave, so sadly my travelling adventures tailed off a bit due to a massive lack of funds, although I did manage to get to France, USA (Colorado and Texas specifically) and Qatar….
2013-2014 – Got deployed to support the Super-Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda emergency response in The Philippines for a year (aged 32-33). I visited family in Australia, The Isles of Scilly and Thailand during the course of the year. I also got published in a book, which was very exciting!
2015 – After 8 months in Iraq, during which I also went on a fabulous R and R break to Jordan, I came back to the UK for some holidays, downtime, and then got another job working in Oxford again for the rest of the year. (age 34) I also visited Madrid for a short work trip and sightseeing weekend, and went to Canada for a friend’s wedding!
2016 – 2016 was mostly spent in Oxford, (age 35) but I also took a trip to Washington (USA) for work, visited Australia again on some family business, and went on a 2-week work trip to Dakar, Senegal, and also then spent 6 weeks in Nairobi, Kenya.
2017 – I had another trip to Senegal, and also a short trip back to Iraq (age 36). I also took up pottery in a new class which I adore, so lots of photos of pots! I also went on a mini-break to Italy with a friend (my first time in Italy!), a mini-break to France to see some family, and another mini-break to Holland with my brother. A packed European schedule! I also went camping in Cornwall and went to a lovely festival, and started an adoption process.
2018 – Lots of work trips! Specifically to Berlin for a few days, a work trip to Uganda, as well as a holiday to Cuba over Easter which was AMAZING! I also had a mini-holiday in France and another work trip to Yemen in August. I also got approved as an adopter (at age 37) and am waiting to be matched with a child! At the end of the year I went to Australia to have Christmas with my family.
2019 – After returning from Australia, I had a work trip to Afghanistan and another work trip to Ethiopia. While in Ethiopia I was matched with a little girl and in June (when I was 38) the match was formally approved! I met my daughter on the 4th July for the first time, and spent the rest of the year on maternity leave getting to know my daughter.
2020 – Still on maternity leave, and my adoption was formally finalised by the judge in January, and we had planned trips to France and Australia to spend time with family. Sadly however the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all travel and we spent many weeks locked down at home instead… I went back to work remotely and it was mostly all about Covid.
2021 – I started 2021 with Covid and was really ill for a while, most of 2021 was all about lockdowns and restrictions and working from home still, and our Australia trip got cancelled a couple more times. However I also decided to adopt another child and started the approval process all over again. I met my next daughter and by the end of the year got approved as an adopter again! And I also accidentally bought a disaster house so we moved….
2022 – My second daughter finally came home! I went back on adoption leave and started finally trying to re-plan some missed holidays and trips again….
To see the full range of places I’ve been, check out the “View topics” page.