Why I Started “The First 100 Days of The Rest of Our Lives” (Newsletter #1)

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For years I journaled daily, but stopped because I ended up doing the same thing each day and it became rote.

However, when we made the momentous decision to move our family from NYC to Barcelona for one year, I decided to start journaling daily again


I did this for three reasons

1) To Reflect – I knew being able to look back on this adventure year would be so valuable later. 

2) For Family & Friends – These posts would be a way to share what our experience is like here day in and out. Since we were not going to see them as much, I wanted them to feel like they were experiencing what we were experiencing first hand, so they felt closer to us. 

3) To Inspire & Assist Others – I decided to make it public and share it on my website and social media to assist or inspire others who are looking to take a similar journey in there lives.  


Saying YES!

What I learned so far from this journey is to try to live my life by saying yes to experiencing new things. (See: Say Yes to New Opportunities). A small but important incentive to saying “yes” is that it gives me richer content to share with you, but of course leads me to getting outside of my comfort zone more often.

What would your life sound like if you blogged daily and shared it with others? Is there anything holding you back from doing it? What would be your biggest fear? Who do you think would benefit the most?


“Saying YES” 30 Day Challenge

Write a daily post of what you did the day before and share it with your friends and family. After the 30 days, reflect on this experience and see if sharing with your community helped push you to say yes to doing more things. 

My Upcoming Book

Launching in May

In May, I will be releasing my second book titled, “The First 100 Hundred Days of the Rest of Our Lives.” 

It is my family’s story of how we got out of our comfort zone and made the decision to live in Barcelona for the year. I will take you through what those first 100 days were like from highlights of my journals. From there, I will explain why and how it has changed us. Most importantly, it is about how your next 100 days can change you for the rest of your life.


Featuring Charmaine Yu

What was the turning point when you decided to move to Barcelona?

The turning point was when my husband had a significant birthday — the number was big enough that it made us really reflect on how we wanted to live, and the kinds of experiences we wanted to have in life. We had always talked about wanting to live abroad, and we realized that there was never going to be a perfect time to do it. If we wanted that experience, we would have to force it.

What do you do for a living?

I am a litigation partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass. I have a fairly diverse practice – I specialize in land use litigation and employment law (yes, two fairly different fields!). 

One of the hardest questions was how to handle my career. I felt like I had achieved the trifecta – I really like my clients, my work, and my colleagues. I knew that I wanted to keep working, but I didn’t know how my partners would react. Happily, the immediate and universal reaction was, “If you want to make it work, then we want to try too.” And so we’re making it work!

What are the most common challenges you face living abroad?

Professionally, the biggest challenge is the time difference. We are nine hours ahead of California, so that means very late nights for me, on a regular basis. But the trade-off is worth it.

Personally, it was hard leaving our friends and family, and launching ourselves into a new city. Fortunately, our daughter goes to a school where the parent community is like a ready-made group of cool, international friends.

What specific advice would you give to others who want to live abroad for a year or longer?

Plan, plan, plan. I’m a planner by nature, and it has paid off here. We did a lot of thinking about the kind of life that we wanted to have, access back to the US, and weather, and we visited several countries that we were considering before we decided on Barcelona. 

How have your first 100 days been? 

Absolutely exceeded our expectations. We’ve settled into our apartment and neighborhood, and met new friends from around the world – our daughter’s kindergarten class is like a mini-UN. Our Spanish language skills are also improving rapidly. It’s incredibly satisfying to be able to just carry out regular interactions – make an appointment for a haircut, little conversations with neighbors about the weather, etc. – in Spanish. I feel like we could really be conversationally fluent in a couple of years.


My Trip Back to NYC

(Day 110 to 116)

A Last Minute Trip to Lisbon

(Day 103 to 109)

My Day 100 Grade in Barcelona is a B+

My First 10k, Thanksgiving, & Memorization (Day 95 to 102)

Kel’s Trip to Istanbul, My Time with the Kids, & Annual Planning for Lawline (Day 88 to 93)


Next time you are having a rough day, try this exercise to force you to be grateful to those around you.

Take 10 pennies and put them in your right pocket, throughout the day give real compliments to others. Each time you make a compliment, move one penny to the left pocket until you finish all 10.

You will feel more energized and the feelings of a rough day will be long gone.