One Year Anniversary

One Year Anniversary

I did it!
It has officially been one year since I first left the states to embark on this crazy, insane, around-the-world adventure.  To say it is unbelievable that this year has come to an end would be a vast understatement.  It is unfathomable that time can go this fast.  I can’t quite wrap my brain around it.  It feels like I just finished a long, beautiful, crazy marathon.  Crossed the finish line and standing there looking back wondering how the hell I got here.  (In the best way, of course.)
Time is elusive, isn’t it?
This year (August 2015-August 2016) I checked off quite a bit from my travel hit list.

  • 3 continents
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • Africa
  • 19 countries
    • Ireland
    • Spain
    • Portugal
    • France
    • Italy
    • Greece
    • Netherlands
    • Belgium
    • Germany
    • Czech Republic
    • Hungary
    • Slovakia
    • Austria
    • Romania
    • Turkey
    • Thailand
    • Malaysia
    • Indonesia
    • South Africa
  • 43 cities
  • 10 islands
  • 30 flights
  • 30 passport stamps
  • 1 million memories

Here’s what I found out on the road this year…

New Friendships

Raw Natural Beautyimg_6985






The most important part of the journey was finding out who I am and what I’m made of.


Peak Moments 

To compile a list of all the moments that completely blew my mind throughout the year I’ve spent traveling would take me about 6 months.  So, in the spirit of saving time for my latest adventures, I will just name a few of my all time favorite moments this year.

  1. My FIRST EVER international flight was last year August 14th, and it was one-way to Spain with only my backpack.  All in or nothing, I guess, right?!  IMG_1663.JPG
  2. For the FIRST time ever I shared my personal writing when I started this blog and posted “Love over Fear” exactly one year ago.  It empowered me just in taking that first leap of faith and I’ve only become more confident and open since then.  This blogging thing has been a gift to me, and I am so grateful to those of you who encouraged me to start sharing.  (Read my first post here.)
  3. Skinny dipping for my first time at Barcelonetta beach in the middle of the night and having our clothes stolen while swimming.  Yeah…haha And sorry, no pictures for this one, but surely you understand. 🙂
  4. Sailing (on a yacht) to Capri, Italy with a local guy I met the day before.

    Just hanging out on a yacht, no big deal.  (Totally a big deal!!!)

  5. Motorcycling around Porto, Portugal to secret beaches.IMG_1051.jpg
  6. That time I DJ’d at a club in Lisbon, Portugal.  IMG_1146
  7. Saving a French guy’s life while hiking in Northern Italy.  (He had fallen, broken his arm and was stuck in a ditch with his backpack along the hillsides of Cinque Terre.)  IMG_2106.JPG
  8. When I attended the International Halloween Party at Dracula’s castle in Romania.IMG_3110
  9. Happening to walk into Sunday mass and sitting through all of it (in French) at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  No idea what they were saying but it was beautiful!  IMG_0887.JPG
  10. The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower light up a night…I’ll admit it, I had a tear.DSC00409
  11. AMSTERDAM for my 26th birthday last October…the entire day/night was one beautiful mess and I loved every second of it.  That city is incredible.

    My friend Mark and I exploring Amsterdam on my birthday.

  12. NYE in Kuala Lumpur.  Fireworks, live music and madness everywhere in the streets.IMG_4576.jpg
  13. Jumping rope through flames on Phi Phi Island, Thailand.  It was an epic FAIL but also awesome!
  14. The time I was invited to stay on a yacht in Athens for FREE in exchange for a blog post review of my experience.  Two nights, three days in the lap of luxury right in the middle of a year of minimalist backpacker life.  That makes TWO times on a yacht this year, while prior to travel I’d never even seen one.  (I’m from Redding after all!)cropped-dscf0387.jpg
  15. The day I got to meet and play with Thai elephants in Chiang Mai.  Absolutely incredible animals!  I am obsessed.  IMG_7305
  16. The cannabis protest walk in Cape Town, South Africa on my second day in the country.  I always wanted to be part of a protest!IMG_7535
  17. When I conquered TABLE MOUNTAIN!  Never been much of a hiker but I did it and thoroughly enjoyed every aching step up that mountain.  I will be doing it again soon! img_7952
  18. The day I learned attempted to learn to surf at Muizenberg Beach.img_8155

Just to name a few.  🙂
The memories from my first year as a World Traveler will be a light in my life forever.

Onward and upwards from here with many more adventures to come.
For now, I am settling down for a bit in Cape Town as I have absolutely fallen in love with the place.  I look forward to living the nomadic expat lifestyle another year and sharing my learnings, inspirations and stories with you all!
Thank you for following along with me for one of the craziest years of my life.

By |2016-08-12T13:34:22+00:00August 12th, 2016|Dear Diary, Overcoming Fear, Solo Female Travel|12 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. Stephanie August 20, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Haha, this post made me laugh HARD. How on earth did you get out of the skinny dipping situation without your clothes?! Sounds like you had an amazing year, congratulations!

  2. Stacy August 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    So proud of you!!! What a year, loved reading your blog and can’t wait to see what the next year brings for you. Sending you love XOXO beautiful girl!!!

  3. Rayvin August 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I was at 3 of the 18 and Pam to be a part of a few more!! 🙂

  4. Kate Bartz August 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Wow!!! I am so impressed! Do you have an email list that I can sign up for?

  5. ivannar89 August 22, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    That year sounds amazing. It’s cool to see experiences you’ve had or places you’ve been that I have in common. It’s almost like going to the same places, even months apart, brings us all to a closer understanding of each other 🙂

  6. Onlygirl4boyz August 29, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    How amazing! you are so blessed to have these experiences!

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  10. LC December 14, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Ha, spending Halloween at Dracula’s castle is something I would dearly love to do, looks super fun! Congrats on the milestone.

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