Back in America!

Hello Jaa back to America!

Hi guys, I'm baaaaack! Remember back in January when I said I will have big news to share? Well, today I'm ready to tell you about it! After so many moves back and forth between Thailand and the US (2004 moved to the US, 2007 moved back to Thailand, 2010 moved to the US, 2015 moved back to Thailand!), I've decided in early 2018 that I'm going to move back to the US for good! Well, of all people, I should know not to say “for good” as nothing in this world is certain. My last move back to Thailand I also said for good and look what happened. :D

What even more funny is, I was looking forward to settling down in Thailand but only after a year in the country, I got a really good job offer in Laos that I couldn't pass up so I ended up moving to Laos in 2016 and didn't move back to Thailand until 2018.

I started moving when I was 12. So far, I've moved 11 times already. At first it was just moving between dorms/apartments, then it was between houses, then it was between countries. And not neighboring countries but countries on the opposite side of the world. I'm at a point where I hope I won't have to move anymore. I want to settle down and start building something. Moving takes a lot out of you: energy, time, money, patience, etc. Not to mention it's hard on people around you, too. I sincerely hope that I'll never have to go through it again.

Anyway, this time I was out of the US for 3 years and while it didn't seem like such a long time, I have to say so many things have changed! I'm going to randomly list things that are new to me, please feel free to add your thoughts to the list! :)

Random new things in the US

1. Chip cardsI went to Target and they told me my REDcard was no longer usable. They use a chip card now! In fact, I had to upgrade all my US-issued credit cards to chip cards! And instead of swiping, now we just have to insert the chip end into the reader and wait. Swiping is so much more fun. ;)
2. Play! by SephoraI remember this came out just after I left the US in 2015. I was sad because I'd have loved to try it! Now that I'm back in the country, it's the first thing I signed up for. LOL! So excited for my first box!
3. Live TV streamingDirecTV Now, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, etc. Wow, I'm glad to see so many options! Now you can really watch TV anywhere you go! I don't think I'd ever subscribe to a regular cable again.
4. NetflixI tried Netflix International when I was in Thailand/Laos but the selection was so bad. Now I'm subscribed to Netflix US again and holy moly, there are sooooo many TV shows! Like, literally there is a TV show for everything you can think of. How do people keep up with it?!
5. US visasI couldn't believe the amount of paperwork I needed to submit in order to be granted an immigrant visa! Seriously, it's ridiculous. My stack of papers was probably as thick as my Ph.D. thesis! And there were so many steps to go through and the whole process wasn't cheap! Trump administration's strict immigration policies really make it difficult for people to move to America. I'm glad I was able to get my visa without trouble but now I understand more why people are trying to cross the border illegally into the US. Because for certain people, "doing it the right way" is just simply impossible.
6. New makeup brandsIs it just me or every singer/actor/designer/youtuber has their own makeup brand now? And not to mention the influx of Asian brands! And MAC is now available at Ulta and Sephora. Woah! Seriously, I feel like I've been out of the makeup world for 30 years. So many new things out and I don't know how I can possibly keep up!
7. NARS, Tom Ford, Urban DecayThis isn't new in the US but I thought I'd mention it. I completely understand now when people talk about NARS' packaging melting and getting sticky in heat. Because that's what happened to all my NARS makeup! The ones with rubbery packaging that is! So right now all my NARS blushes and palettes are wrapped nicely in saran wrap. LOL. As for Tom Ford lipsticks that I was collecting before I left, for some reason the formula doesn't do well in warm weather. After a year or so, the luxurious vanilla scent was gone and replaced by an unpleasant synthetic smell. Such a bummer. :( And if you're looking for a pencil eyeliner formula that will stay soft and smooth regardless of the weather, stick to Urban Decay's. Much of everything else I had turned dry and unusable.
8. Amazon banPeople who abuse Amazon's return policy by making too many returns are at risk of getting banned by the company. I always wondered about this policy. I mean, I appreciate it but letting people buy and return anything anytime they want, of course, some people are going to abuse the system. I think many more companies are soon going to follow suit.
9. Meal deliverySubscription boxes now come to food! It's pretty cool to have fresh ingredients, recipe, and everything you need to cook a meal delivered right to your door. I haven't tried any of it myself but I'm tempted! Maybe comes next winter time I might give it a try!
10. Apple Pay and CarPlayI love both! For Apple Pay, just hover your iPhone or Apple Watch over the wireless reader and wait for that satisfying "ding" sound. Convenience to the next level! Our new car has Apple CarPlay too so it's really nice to be able to see the GPS streamed from our phone on the big screen.

There are more but these are what I can think of right now. It feels like I've been gone for a thousand years. ;D If you have anything to add to the list, please do so in the comment. I'd love to hear it!

Anyway, it really feels good to be blogging again. I've missed this place a lot. I won't promise anything this time but I'll try my best to update Hello Jaa more often. Thank you for reading this far and please stay tuned for new posts soon! :)

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    1. says: Jaa

      It just takes too much out of you. Moving to a new place is always exciting but the process of getting there is just too much, especially internationally.

    1. says: Jaa

      You were on my mind when I was writing this post. I was thinking “Erin will have something to say about this because she’s done a lot of moving herself!”. ;D

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