My 2015 year of travel

Looking back at my year of 2015, I did do quite a bit of travelling. Enough to have earned my SAS Silver membership this year and the next, and to be able to book myself a reward trip to Chicago next week. Here are some of my trips in 2015!

All photos are from my Instagram.

1. Winter wonderland in Dalarna, Sweden

2. One of my many trips to my alma mater, St Andrews, UK

3. Revisiting the US after over 20 years and hanging out with family in San Francisco

4. Practicing my French clinical skills in Geneva, Switzerland for a month

5. Celebrating my birthday in Hong Kong

6. Trying out the music scene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

7. Enjoying the good life in the Philippines

8. Blending in with the locals in Seoul, South Korea

9. Feeding pigeons in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

10. Chilling by the beach in Budva, Montenegro

11. Advocating that Peace is Always Possible with Sant Egidio in Tirana, Albania

12. Enjoying the sights in Milan, Italy

13. Ending the year with the Pope at the Vatican

I don’t think I’ve ever traveled this much in a year, but I sure did enjoy it. 2015 will be a tough year to beat when it comes to traveling, but who knows what 2016 will bring. Let’s start with my first trip of the year, Chicago in less than a week here I come!

A Sam sabbatical

After four years of medical school in the UK, I thought it was time to go home. However before returning to medical school, for the first time ever, I decided to take a break.

During the fall semester, following my sister’s advice, I took a proper break from medical school. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish, now that I finally had the time. Here’s a snippet of them:

  1. Learn a new language (Spanish? German? Chinese?)
  2. Start writing my book
  3. Learn how to play a new instrument
  4. Learn to write with my left hand
  5. Exercise!
  6. Go back to drawing
  7. Go to therapy
  8. Learn how to program (start on my app!)
  9. Publish my article on Gliadel
  10. Get a job in a lab

But realistically? Here’s what happened to that list:

  1. I enrolled in Chinese online language classes but missed the first day so I had to drop out
  2. Word count: 0
  3. I improved on playing the piano?
  4. I went to the doctor to get help for my right hand
  5. I ran 15k in October, but have been sick from November all the way until now…
  6. Does colouring count?
  7. I joined a therapy group where we met once a week, I miss them!
  8. I’ve started learning how to program on and I’m almost finished with the Python course. After that, I should learn Java so I can start on my app!
  9. I’ve been on the discussion for about three months now….
  10. I worked as a healthcare teacher and music teacher

I’ve always been a planner, trying to plan my life to every detail. However, life doesn’t always turn out like you planned. Like above. If I did follow my original plan though, I wouldn’t have been able to improve on my piano from playing for my music classes, or teach my wonderful high school class about my world of medicine. Would I ever get another opportunity like this?

Sticking to a plan doesn’t leave room for other options. Who knows, those options may even be better. For now, it’s too early to say whether medical school in Sweden would treat me any better, but at least I now have the opportunity to find out. I’ll let you guys know in the summer.

So what have I been doing? A whole load of Netflix: Sherlock, Suits, White collar, Modern family, Master of None, Gossip girl. In other words, enjoying a well-deserved break.