How Travel Saved My 2014

How Travel Saved My 2014

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

49ers-seahawks-seattle snoqualmie-falls-washington

March \\ Fort Lauderdale, FL fort-lauderdale-beach-fl

April \\ Palm Springs, CA – Coachella


May \\ Toronto + Niagara Falls, Canada



May \\ Boston + Provincetown, MA

paul-revere-statue-boston provincetown-ma

June \\ 7-Day Alaska Cruise

harv-and-marv-whale-watching-juneau-alaska dog-sledding-alaska-chilkoot-tours harv-and-marv-whale-watching-juneau-alaska

June \\ Fam Visits San Francisco


July \\ Monterey, CA


August \\ San Francisco + Napa, CA – Birthday!

currently-exploring-birthday scribd-napa-ca

September \\ Panama City, Panama


September \\ Aruba

arikok-national-park-aruba atv-aruba

October \\ NYC


November \\ Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone

passport-pic-bc-obviously arashiyama-monkey-park-kyoto osaka-japan

November \\ Seoul, South Korea


November \\ Plantation, FL – Thanksgiving


December \\ Dallas, TX


December \\ Art Basel Miami


December \\ Home for the Holidays



Have a Happy New Year’s Eve guys! Did your 2014 go as planned?

  • Samantha Angell

    You were able to have a lot of great travels this past year! I think you have a great perspective on how life can be hard sometimes, but you have to fight back and capitalize on the good experiences. My 2014 went a lot as I had planned, although I have no idea what to expect in 2015 (and no flights booked yet either!)

  • DontForget2Move

    Hey Christina! This was such a refreshing and candid “2014 wrap up” post. Too often I think bloggers (including myself) tend to emphasize the good and downplay the bad in our lives because we think it looks good to our readers. I appreciate your honest. Just wanted to introduce myself as well. My partner run, a fellow travel blog. Maybe we can collaborate on something in the future. Enjoy your travels!

  • Hi Christina.  I love the last line of this post.  “Travel saved you.”  You’ve done a fantastic job laying it all out and being honest here.  I really appreciate it.  Travel saved me once too.  Anyways, Happy New Year to you and here’s to a travel filled 2015!

  • WhereinWorldKP

    Love this! (Also loved seeing your picture from the NatioNOLE championship!) I can definitely relate to moving to the other side of the world and having no friends to rely on. After going to High School and University with pretty much the same friends my entire life, it was a drastic reality to realise that it’s not that easy to make good and decent friends. I’m glad you’re settling in well, and maybe next time we’re both in FLL we can grab a drink 🙂

  • Samantha Angell thank you Samantha! this was a hard post for me to write, so the reinforcement is appreciated. 🙂 glad your 2014 was great — hope you’ll find some inspiration around here for 2015 trips!

  • DontForget2Move hey guys! agree that life online gets pretty sugar-coated, and definitely want to show both sides of the travel coin here. would love to chat about a collab — will check out your site and shoot over an email now. cheers!

  • Sarah Morlock happy new year Sarah! it was kind of therapeutic to write, haha. excited to see what you get up to this year!

  • WhereinWorldKP that would be so fun! will definitely keep track through these interwebs. happy 2015!

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