2012 In Review

This post probably should have been published back in December, but I just didn’t have a chance to get on top of it, undoubtedly because 2012 was the BIGGEST year of my life! No matter what my future has in store for me, I will always look back on 2012 knowing that this one year in particular was only just the beginning of the rest of my life!

JANUARY

For the second time in my life, I rang in the new year from outside Australia, in fact, I was in Orlando, Florida. We spent New Years Day drinking around the world at Disney’s Epcot.

Only weeks prior (while still in Orlando) I had met with my now CEO and pitched begged him to sponsor my visa and hire me as an employee at his company. It was still the early stages and I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but it looked promising.

Drinking around the world at Epcot

FEBRUARY

Spent a pretty uneventful month back home in Melbourne, Australia where I had returned to my job after six weeks of vacation in the USA.

MARCH

Friends come into town and we rent out a fancy schmancy apartment in the city (Melbourne) for a few days while we go to see Taylor Swift in concert at Rod Laver Arena. We spend all day lining up in insane heat and have to listen to tweens fight for hours on end over who is the bigger T-Swizzle fan. I resist my urge to punch them all in the face. We make front row, awesome.

Taylor Swift - Melbourne, Australia

Wednesday, March 14 – A couple of Skype interviews and emails later and on this day, I received a formal offer of employment for a position in the USA with a start date of June 4. I accepted with no hesitation! This was no cause for celebration though, I still had the dreaded visa interview at the US Embassy to concur!

APRIL

Sunday, April 8  – Saw the approval of my Labor Condition Application (LCA). This is a document that a US employer must file with the US Labor Department to inform them that they will pay and treat you fairly in accordance with US law even though you are a foreigner. As soon as I received clearance on this, I booked in my visa interview at the US Embassy in Melbourne.

Tuesday April 17, 9:00am – probably the most nervous and anxious I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Imagine wanting to shit yourself from nerves, vomit from anxiety, cry from the throbbing in your head but smile all at the one time because you were that close to achieving everything you’ve ever worked for… that’s kinda close to how I was feeling at that one moment in time… and then, just like that, the US Official approved my visa and I professed my love for her!

Wednesday, April 18 – Went into work like I would on any regular day, only this time I no longer had to keep it a secret because it was real. I turned in my resignation with four weeks notice – my last day would be May 18.

Monday, April 23 – My E3 US visa arrives in the mail! *happy dance*

E3 Visa

MAY

It was a welcomed relief to lift such a big weight off my shoulders; I’d been keeping it a secret for five months and at the same time, I’d been super stressed out at work because I was in charge of organizing Nuffnang Fashionopolis – the first fashion blogging conference of its kind in Australia! With over 150 of Australia’s savviest fashion bloggers in attendance, the day turned out to be a huge success and sadly, my last event as a Nuffie!

Nuffnang Fashionopolis

Friday, May 18 – After 20 months working at Nuffnang, I had a teary farewell. I’ll never forget the Nuffies; they were an eclectic bunch and it was a pleasure working with them.

Thursday, May 25 – Packed my life into two suitcases, bid farewell to my cat, mum, dad brother, and hopped on that plane without looking back. Today was the beginning of the rest of my life.

Farewell, Australia

JUNE

Friday, June 1 – Bought myself a car with the steering wheel on the left side of it and mastered the art of driving on the wrong side of the road!

Crazy American Car

Monday, June 4 – After what felt like waiting an eternity, my first day at my new job in Florida finally arrived. No one could understand  a word I was saying, it was awesome. Everyone had questions about kangaroos, koalas and great white sharks. I told them the truth; that we rode kangaroos to work, had koalas as cute, cuddle pet bears, and couldn’t step foot into the ocean without being eaten by a shark. Honesty really is the best policy.

Had a weekend away with the girls in Ft. Lauderdale. It was an eventful couple of days until I ended up sick on our last day there. I’m still convinced I had food poisoning because of how nauseous I was feeling. Not fun at all.

Ft. Lauderdale

JULY

Friday, July 13 – Experienced my first IZEA Loco. These are fun team-building days that our entire company gets together for each quarter. My first one just so happened to be a day of bowling in which we had to dress up in team costumes. We were known as team “Blue Balls” and donned Smurf attire complete with blue face paint, we later went on to win best dressed!

IZEA Loco - Team Blue Balls

AUGUST

Took a whirlwind weekend trip to Dallas, Texas which consisted of a road trip to Thackerville, Oklahoma to see Kelly Clarkson in concert! 

Wednesday, August 15 – Officially became a US/Florida drivers licence holder, go me!!!

Yay, I'm a US licence holder!

Went on my first business trip with my boss to Portland, Oregon to appear on behalf of IZEA at the International Food Bloggers Conference. We ate all the food, drank all the wine and had an absolute blast!

……..izea1…..izea2

Wednesday, August 29 – Moved out of my current living situation and into an apartment closer to my office and downtown with two of the guys I work with. Getting away from the tourist trap that is the entire area surrounding Disney was good for my soul. ❤

bedroom

SEPTEMBER

Started my month off in Chicago, Illinois for the Labor Day long weekend. Some friends I hadn’t seen in some time rented a house off airbnb.com and for three days, we ate, drank, went and saw Kelly Clarkson in concert (again) and fun was had by all.

……..Chicago - The Bean…..Chicago, Illinois

It wasn’t even two weeks after Chicago that I was off to Nashville, Tennessee with that same group of mates to, you guessed it, go and see Kelly Clarkson’s final show of her Stronger US Tour. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing that lady live! This turns into a pretty wild and crazy weekend that involved wedding proposals, husbands, country dancing, limousines and some random Canadian girl. Don’t ask.

……..Nashville…..Nashville

Two weeks later and I’m flying back to Portland, Oregon with my boss to go hang out with some friends we made while up there in August. This time we had the free time on our hands to actually see a bit of the city; turns out it’s stunningly beautiful!

Portland, Oregon

OCTOBER

Saturday, October 13 – My work mates insist that it’s time for me to lose my tailgating virginity at UCF so I do just that. Why we don’t do this in Australia, I have no idea. So much fun!

Chugging Contest

The last weekend of October is spent in Atlanta, Georgia with my boss again on business, this time to attend the BarkWorld conference. So many adorable puppies everywhere, seriously, greatest conference ever! While in Atlanta, Crystal has a random bump in with Joe Manganiello from Magic Mike under the Cirque du Soleil bigtop. She never washes her back again.

……..BarkWorld 2012 - Atlanta GA…..bark2

Wednesday, October 31 – I lose my trick-or-treating virginity at work while dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for Halloween!

IZEA Halloween

NOVEMBER

Saturday, November 17 – Zombie apocalypse day… took part in a 5k obstacle course in which I was chased by real life zombies! Fear not, dear readers, I made it out alive!

Run For Your Lives - Zombies in Orlando

Tuesday, November 20 – Lost my hockey virginity at an Orlando Solar Bears game. Later that night, a few too many drinks coupled with a drink throwing incident and we were being chased out of the bar by that same hockey team. Good times.

Thursday, November 22 – Drove all the way to Tampa all by myself to spend my first proper American Thanksgiving with my mate and her family. I hadn’t had a delicious home cooked meal like that since leaving Australia!

DECEMBER

December saw some weekend time devoted to painting our new work office which we later moved into mid-way through the month.

Tuesday, December 25 – Spent my third Christmas away from home and my family but was in good company which helped cheer me up.

Spent the rest of the year catching up with some Aussie mates in New York City where I rang in 2013.

……..NYC…..NYC Times Square

As tough as it will be, I’m hoping that 2013 will outshine 2012!

BRING IT ON!

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