• sara alexis •

• sara alexis • Follow

• HS English Teacher • 👩🏼‍🏫 📚
• wildlife & travel photography • 📷
• ramblings & writings • 📝
• traveling as sustainably as I can • 🌿 🇨🇦

https://www.thelifeofasolivagant.com/

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The more I write my book right now, the more I realize how cynical I’ve become about the Instagram and blogging world. Haven’t written a blog post in ages and don’t know if I really ever want to again. Deleted my Facebook page for my blog. Probably going to delete my website. I love traveling. I love writing. I love taking photos. But I no longer enjoy the way the world of social media has altered that experience. Also this is a general post, not saying it’s all bad. I still have made amazing connections through this world but for the most part it’s all a little too phony for my liking. Counting likes, followers and so on, just isn’t my jam. Counting and numbers are my math teacher boyfriend’s thing, I’m going to stick to words and pictures 🤷🏼‍♀️ /•/
First day of the school year today and I am stoked. This year I’ll be teaching Grade 10 English and two Grade 11-12 classes, American Literature and Critical & Creative Composition (creating the latter of the two myself!). Dream job! On top of that, assistant coach for girls’ basketball alongside Nick, and this year I am taking on being in charge of student council. Always love a good challenge and trying something new. And even more excitement is that I’m planning a ‘Week Without Walls’ trip to bring students to volunteer with sun and moon bears at a fairly new rescue centre a few hours away in Cat Tien NP. I’m excited enough about just school related things, but add in that we are planning on spending all our breaks traveling to different parts of Vietnam (aside from one trip already planned) so we can see more of this beautiful country we currently live in. It’s going to be a great year, I can feel it! (Sunrise view brought to you by the view from my apartment the other day) /•/
Happy Birthday to the man who’s smile is as bright as the lights that surround us. The man who lets me book all our trips and trusts my judgment every time. The man who does the silliest things and smiles and laughs when I am being silly myself. The man who enjoys colouring with me. The man who cleans the dishes cause I hate doing it, but also cause I’ve usually cooked the meal. The man who hates any attention on himself yet always fascinates everyone around him and brings on attention unwillingly. The man who puts up with all my quirks, if you will. You will always be older than me. You are my favourite human being. Also you don’t have Instagram, which makes this even better cause you’re dumb and will call me dumb for posting this. Love you a little bit /•/
And we are off! Headed home to Canada/USA for the summer. This is the first summer in a few years that we haven’t had to pack up our lives and bring it with us, as we will be returning to Ho Chi Minh in August for another year (at least). And it’s the first summer in while we plan to just spend at our families places instead of traveling. We have had a lot of amazing travels during our breaks this past year, so we decided to take a break and relax this summer. Aside from a road trip from Toronto to NC and back. Going to miss the Home we’ve made here in HCM, and this beautiful view every morning but happy to be returning soon! See you later Vietnam /•/
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#sunrise_madness #sunrise_sunsets_aroundworld  #sunrise_and_sunsets #vietnamdestinations #travelvietnam #beautifulseasia #vietnam #goodmorningvietnam  #visitvietnam #gotovietnam #sunrise #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
I just read an article on @brightthemag entitled ‘The Next Trend in Travel... Don’t Go’ and it has got me really thinking this morning. The last few years I have been really trying to book my travels more consciously, making sure to book with local tour guides, sustainable accommodations and leave as little an impact on the land I’m traveling to as possible. But is that enough? Instagram has been great in influencing the world to travel more and show people beautiful places. But sometimes I think that it can do more harm than good, as millions flock to the same touristy spots to take the same photos. Land is taken from locals to build more resorts or cafes or whatever tourists need, forgetting that locals need stuff too. Restaurants and cafes are no longer good enough unless they make their atmosphere ‘instagram worthy’. Instagram influencers have convinced tons of people to quit their jobs to work remotely, which doesn’t always work so well for everyone by the way. Now I don’t think that the solution is necessarily ‘don’t go’ when it comes to travel, as I love travel and I live abroad, and I know many people who would have a hard time with not traveling at all. But this article makes great points, we need to start evaluating the places we go and whether or not it’s a good idea. Every body wants to visit Bali, go to a different island close by. Find destinations that aren’t already overrun by tourists. Thailand and the Philippines have had to close down islands from tourists in order to save/clean them up. This is a step in the right direction but it would be a shame to close down all the beautiful places in the world to tourism due to our inability to be more responsible tourists. Tourists aren’t the only problem. With tourism comes money, and it also becomes difficult when governments and businesses get a taste of that tourism money and leads them to allow shady things in order to cater to more tourists. I don’t know the solution entirely but I know I don’t want to be a part of the problem. Next school year we will be visiting random Vietnamese destinations and trying our best to not make a negative impact on this country we call home right now /•/
Trying to decide what to read next. Was thinking of re-reading Catcher in the Rye, for the hundredth time, since I’m teaching it next school year, and I have two copies here. But I also have a couple other books I haven’t read yet. Need something for the plane ride. When we get to Canada, one of the things I want to do is go to @chaptersindigo and buy allllll the books to bring back here with me. I want to spend the summer reading and writing. I wish my parents still lived in my childhood home so I could sit on my old faithful step and read like the old days but I suppose I can find another place to read while I’m visiting. I always bring books to read on trips for airport waits, plane rides, and any downtime we might have. Any suggestions of some @goodreads out there for me to check out? /•/
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#chaptersindigo #goodreads  #topasecolodge #vietnamdestinations #travelvietnam #beautifulseasia #vietnam #topastravel  #visitvietnam #gotovietnam #natgeolodge #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #dametraveler
Two years ago at this time, we just left the Marshall Islands and stopped in Hawaii for a visit. We were in limbo between one job in the islands, on our way to another in Niger. 
This time last year, we were on our way to Toronto, leaving Niger, knowing it might be for good. We were in a limbo again, between Niger and Vietnam. 
This year, we are getting ready to head back to North America to visit family and friends in a week, except this time we are coming back to Vietnam after summer and I am really excited about it. I’m excited to come back to our home we’ve made here. I’m excited that we won’t be the new teachers at the school. I’m excited to know the students and have a relationship with them already. I am not sure how many years we will end up living here but I know that I am happy here and I can’t wait to see what next school year has in store for us /•/
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#hawaii  #hawaiistagram #seaturtle #gohawaii #wildlifeplanet #natgeowildlife #turtles #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
It was #worldenvironmentday yesterday, or today still in other parts of the world. This year’s theme that seems to be plaguing the world #beatplasticpollution. Right now reducing single use plastic has become trendy. Now usually I am not one for trends, to applaud them or care for them, but this is a trend that is a long time in the making. I joked the other day about it being trendy but as I did I realized, though some people, restaurants and businesses may hop on the bandwagon because it’s trendy more than cause they actually care, does it matter? And does it really matter if you know the real reason behind their sudden switch to bamboo straws or canvas bags? No it doesn’t. What matters is that we make this trend something more than just a trend. And we do what we can to make whatever changes we are capable of in our lives to help this little planet of ours. Often times we use excuses like ‘but it’s just too hard where I live to eliminate single use plastic’; I should know, I live in one of the worst places for it. But no one is asking you to be perfect, just asking that you take a minute to think of things that you can change to make a difference. Grab yourself a bamboo/metal/glass straw to keep in your bag. Keep a canvas bag handy for grocery shopping. Bring a cup with you for your daily coffee-to- go from the cafe. Buy yourself a water bottle to refill instead of buying single use bottles every time. Get street food a lot? Bring your own containers for it! Order in, but can’t use your own containers? Put a note on your order to not send any plastic utensils. Think of any of the little things you can easily get rid of and just do it. Reduce the use; no one is asking you to be perfect because nobody is perfect. I’m not. You’re not. The responsible travel and lifestyle bloggers who preach these kinds of things in every post, are not. But they are trying. Small steps, big changes /•/
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#lemur  #planetorplastic #wildlifeonearth #igmadagascar #natgeowild #madagascar #wildlifeplanet  #sustainabletravel #responsibletravel #saynotoplastic #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
I think I’ve figured out why I am having such a hard time writing this novel. Or why I WAS having such a hard time writing this novel. All my literature-obsessed life I have been inspired by novels like Catcher in the Rye, Fahrenheit 451, Slaughterhouse Five and so on… but this is not what I write, this is what I read. And these books were written from these incredible author’s perspectives and were relevant to their time. It is not their time anymore. Though I personally think that the themes and points made are still relevant, maybe more so now than ever, but the story-lines are out of date. And to be honest, when starting out this book, I felt silly writing about social media within it. I felt like I wasn’t being ‘literary’ enough or something. Which is silly. Here I am, trying to write a young adult travel novel, thinking I could even try to do so without bringing social media into it just doesn’t make sense. And I realized, you know what all my favourite books have in common? They are all some form of social commentary reflecting their time. And that’s when it all hit me, the ideas came rushing forward and I knew exactly what I needed to write about. Funny how I tried to get off social media, to get my head in the game and start writing, but now social media is exactly the thing that has inspired my whole concept now. I think I may be onto something… now excuse me, I need to go write some more /•/
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#orangutan  #borneo #amazingindonesia #natgeowild #beautifulseasia #wildlifeonearth #wildlifephotography  #visitindonesia #wildlifeplanet #wildlife_vision #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
‘Nothing gold can stay’. Sorry a bit obsessed with literary quotes right now, and well always. Reading is my favourite. I have so many favourite literary quotes, that I often want to be ‘basic’ and just leave them as my captions to photos but then I can’t help but write something myself. I actually prefer many quotes from literature about all kinds of things, more than all those travel quotes out there. Leave me your favourite quote from literature in the comments if you feel inclined. And so it goes... /•/
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#igvietnam  #vietnam🇻🇳 #Vietnamdestinations #travelvietnam #beautifulseasia #vietnam #hoian  #visitvietnam #gotovietnam #natgeoyourshot #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
Things I learned while being off social media last week, in order to be productive:
1. I am not that productive during the week outside of my actual work. Being a teacher is amazing but exhausting. Between planning and grading in my non-teaching time, I don’t really have the energy for writing on week days. 
2. I am productive when I want to be. I wrote 25 pages last Sunday alone, when I first deleted all social media. The rest of the week barely a few pages. Then yesterday another 16 or so, even though I technically had social media up and running again. 
3. I just substituted social media during my mornings with other things like watching Netflix, playing games and knitting. Has been nice to knit again though to be honest. So it’s not like I spent the time I used to scroll through my feeds being super productive.
4. So many websites I use (and apps) are connected through Facebook. I had to keep reactivating Facebook just to sign into them. I never really thought about that before. I always found it so much easier than registering/signing up to just ‘use Facebook to login’. But then when your Facebook is deactivated, you can’t. Well you can, but once you sign in using Facebook on a different page, you reactivate it altogether. 
5. Social media doesn’t really do it for me anymore. I came back on, on Friday, and used it a bit this weekend, mostly kept it to converse with a few but I just don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. 
So basically, weekdays I’m not productive anyways so I may as well be on social media whenever I want. When I need to be productive on weekends, I’ll get rid of it for the weekend. Simple as that. I enjoyed my week off but I missed showing you all my sunrises a little bit (still watched and took photos of them without social media though, FYI) /•/
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#orangutan #wildlifephotography  #wildlife_vision #wildlifeonearth #wildlifeplanet #beautifulseasia #borneo #orangutandays  #amazingindonesia #natgeoyourshot #natgeowild #natgeo #natgeotravel #thelifeofasolivagant
I’m deactivating my Facebook account (but not fb messenger)  and deleting my Instagram app for while. The addiction is real and I need to stop scrolling through it when I should be writing for my program (50 pages a month won’t write themselves). I may try what other friends on here have done like delete the app and add it back only once or twice a week, just to post something when I feel like it. Or if I manage to get blog posts posted come on to post about it. But if you notice I’ve stopped liking your pics or watching your stories, it’s not personal, just a much needed break from this world. I don’t know how long I’ll break for but I’m sure I’ll be back at some point. This is not goodbye, it’s more like see ya later! /•/
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#topasecolodge #sapa #igvietnam #beautifulseasia #vietnamdestinations #sheswanderful #girlsabroad #womenwhoexplore #ladiesgoneglobal #femaletravelbloggers #letsgowonder #shegoesbeyond #thetravelwomen #thelifeofasolivagant