Long Time, No Blog!

Traveling Newbies has been busy!

We have been busy, friends! I am sorry your inbox has been missing my newsletter lately.

Yes, basketball has been taking up MOST of my evening time. But really, we have been super busy the past few weeks with all of these little things. I have chronicled our small little adventures on my personal Instagram page. Just like for you all, time is flying over here!

Here are all of the little updates we have for you all. Much love!

March Madness

Yes, I have been able to keep up with games for most part! Game times are not ideal and the internet does not always provide a smooth stream, but I make it work.

To read more about keeping up your sports fandom, check out a previous post of mine!

I Just Wanna Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

Working at the Embassy

As some of you know, I have been conditionally hired for not one but TWO consecutive jobs at the embassy - and I cannot work either of them.

Back in September, I was hired as a roving secretary (think substitute). They told me that getting clearance to start work could take up to nine months. It has only been seven so far, but with the hiring freeze (and possible elimination of filling spousal/family member jobs) who knows how long it will really take. A job I really wanted came up sooner than expected, so I interviewed for that as well. That job would start in May if kept, so depending on all of the unknown factors I may work one, two or no jobs at the embassy while posted in Zagreb.

Working Online

But you know how sometimes things fall into your lap when you least expect it? That happened, too. Last summer, I signed up for two freelance platforms called Upwork and Freelancer. Both of these platforms match freelancers to companies looking to contract out work - anything from writing to research to editing to transcribing in all kinds of industries. My goal was to work from home when we got here, so I created my profiles on both sites. After no leads on either website, I left them alone and stayed busy with other things here in Zagreb.

Create your dream job!

Two weeks ago, I got an email from an online business owner who found me on Upwork and wanted to hire me as a virtual assistant. She found me on Upwork last fall, but after I failed to respond to her message she moved on. Luckily for me, she felt the need to try me again, this time directly emailing me. I am so glad she did.

So far, I am just doing some writing for the website and research for the business, but I really love the owner and the potential of her business. If my embassy jobs fall through, I think working for her would be grand. My goal while in Zagreb is to find a dream job that will follow me know matter where Bret's job takes us, and I could see working with her as part of that dream. For now, I am working 10-15 hours for her, and I plan to keep working for her even if I get to start my part-time embassy job. I will keep you all updated!

Coaching at Built By Books

My career coaching blog is still alive over at Built by Books, but right now it is more of a passion project, an outlet for my book nerdiness. If one day it can become a profitable business, I will focus more on it. Until then, I'll just blog and create content when inspiration strikes me!

Are you in a company you love but you want to advance your career? Or do you just love great career books? Head on over to the site and let me know what you think.

Writing a Novel

When I was five or six years old, I created a book called The Love Bugs. I folded printer paper, wrote a story and illustrated it. Granted, the story was a simple boy-bug-meets-girl-bug-they-have-a-baby-bug kind of thing, and the illustrations were mainly lady bugs with a yellow "sunspot" on their heads - but hey, I wanted to tell a story.

In elementary school, I loved participating in the Young Authors program, winning a couple of years. Again, simple stories. But the process of taking an idea and creating a book has always seemed to be what I was destined to do. When I imagine myself as recognized, successful, famous, it is always for being an author.

Will I ever reach great success as a fiction writer? Who knows. But this lifestyle has given me the chance to write out at least one of my story ideas - I will not squander it. My goal is to publish by the end of this year. Ambitious, yes, but definitely feasible. I hope to have great news about the book as the year goes on.

Tutoring English

Yes, I am still tutoring twice a week. No, I do not love it but the money I make pays for gas, it gets me out of the house, and lesson planning is a challenging ordeal. Overall, I am glad I landed this little gig when we arrived in September. But after school lets out in June, I will move on.


No, I do not want to pursue photography as my main source of income. But I do want to continue improving and growing as a photographer. I hope to take family and professional portraits this Spring, and I want to improve my indoor and low-light skills. I brought along a stand and a sheet, and I have a garage to practice indoor shots. Now I just need to get some lighting! (Any pros out there with recommendations? Leave a comment!)

Thank you for reading! More adventures to come this year. We can't wait to share them with you!

Love to all,


Easter and Anniversary and Work, Oh My!

Easter and Anniversary and Work, Oh My!

Our Valentine's Weekend in Split, Croatia

Our Valentine's Weekend in Split, Croatia