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
- 19 countries
- Czech Republic
- 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…
Raw Natural Beauty
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.
- 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?!
- 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.)
- 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. 🙂
- Sailing (on a yacht) to Capri, Italy with a local guy I met the day before.
- Motorcycling around Porto, Portugal to secret beaches.
- That time I DJ’d at a club in Lisbon, Portugal.
- 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.)
- When I attended the International Halloween Party at Dracula’s castle in Romania.
- 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!
- The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower light up a night…I’ll admit it, I had a tear.
- 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.
- NYE in Kuala Lumpur. Fireworks, live music and madness everywhere in the streets.
- Jumping rope through flames on Phi Phi Island, Thailand. It was an epic FAIL but also awesome!
- 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!)
- The day I got to meet and play with Thai elephants in Chiang Mai. Absolutely incredible animals! I am obsessed.
- 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!
- 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!
- The day I
learnedattempted to learn to surf at Muizenberg Beach.
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.