Since before Christmas, I’ve been trying to bring myself to write a “Best of 2014” round-up. This was my best year yet in travel, and since I just launched the blog in October, I have A LOT of back stories and carefully curated tips and photographs to pour into these pages!
But to be honest with you guys, 2014 just wasn’t a “best of” kind of year. It was a roller coaster year. A year that stripped down so many pieces of my identity so quickly I felt like the new kid who just got “pantsed” in front of the whole high school — then catapulted me to the top of the second highest building in the world on the literal opposite side of the globe.
Moving to San Francisco was no doubt the best decision of my life, but the blank social slate that accompanied that impromptu decision still presents it’s challenges. This year, I faced deceit, theft, abandonment, exploitation (we’re still in Q1 here), declining family health at a time I couldn’t be home, work disasters and in general a sense of instability that simply wouldn’t waver. And even when I recognized those things, when I was conscious of my vulnerability, I found comfort in poor company and was knocked down yet again… hard.
But I did my best to fight 2014 back. I’ve always been a passionate and positive person, and while it took more effort than usual for me to channel those energies this year, I did. I fought the lows with dreams and goals and family and true friends and so much of my favorite thing to do in the world: exploring. In return, I was led to my highest highs yet — of course, through travel!
This year, I finally got my passport (52-page book — stay tuned) and covered 6 countries in 6 months. I saw a world wonder in Niagara Falls from the side of my first steps on non-U.S. soil. I cruised for the first time through untouched Alaska and brought the fam back to San Francisco to share with them the city I love so much. I eased into solo travel abroad in Panama on either end of a Caribbean getaway with a great friend to Aruba. I returned to NYC and spent three full weeks in Japan visiting another great friend. I bought a professional camera and had pictures deleted off of it by guards at the top of the Seoul Fortress Wall. I partied with an awesome group of people at Coachella and traveled within the states too many places to list.
Most importantly, I created this space I’d been dreaming of to share some of the the stories and photos and tips from along the way in hopes to inspire others to get out there and explore, and for the last few months I temporarily relocated back home to south Florida which gave me the flexibility for so many of these things to happen.
Trust that I’m detailing the highs and muting the lows because I’ve already done a great deal of reflecting on the latter, but while it certainly wasn’t an all-around year of “bests,” this roller coaster year of growth, re-prioritizing, sunset-chasing and a whole lot of airplanes was undoubtedly the stuff that life is made of.
2014, you started out rough. But travel saved you.
2014: A Year of Travel
January \\ Pasadena, CA – FSU National Championship
February \\ Seattle + Snoqualmie Falls, WA
March \\ Fort Lauderdale, FL
April \\ Palm Springs, CA – Coachella
May \\ Toronto + Niagara Falls, Canada
May \\ Boston + Provincetown, MA
June \\ 7-Day Alaska Cruise
June \\ Fam Visits San Francisco
July \\ Monterey, CA
August \\ San Francisco + Napa, CA – Birthday!
September \\ Panama City, Panama
September \\ Aruba
October \\ NYC
November \\ Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone
November \\ Seoul, South Korea
November \\ Plantation, FL – Thanksgiving
December \\ Dallas, TX
December \\ Art Basel Miami
December \\ Home for the Holidays