2019 was a year of growth. As I entered the last year of the decade, one thing was on my mind – I didn’t want to be the same person at the end of the year as I was at the start of the year.
Every trip and decision that I made were about growth – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone more than before, and most importantly, started growing into the person that I want to be.
I read more, travelled more, took more chances, and checked off a lot of things on my bucket list because why not? Living intentionally didn’t necessarily happen as a result of an ‘aha’ moment, or happen because I had a life changing experience. It happened as a result of digging deep into who I am and realizing that as I turned 30, I wanted to live every day to the fullest.
It’s time to stop apologizing for who you are.
It’s time to become who you were made to be.
– Rachel Hollis –
As I reflect on the year that has passed, this quote by Rachel Hollis has been playing on repeat in the back of my mind. As someone who’s not followed a typical path, I often wondered what people thought, or if not buying a house before 30 is a mistake. I realized that there are so many expectations to take a certain path, and that as a travel blogger, it’s a good reminder that you don’t need to apologize for who you are and the life you’ve chosen. After all, it’s your life to live!
Last year in my yearly review, I mentioned that travelling is when I’m at my happiest. That when I’m exploring a new place, I’m learning things not just about the world around me, but also about myself – who I am, what I enjoy, what scares me, and how much farther I can go.
This year, I can say that my adventures taught me more about myself that ever before. I learned that you can’t control a situation, only how you react to it, and that your first impression of someone is often the right one. I had to rely on my gut instincts and trust those around me more than I had previously because if I didn’t, my life could have been at risk.
In 2018, I visited 12+ cities and 6 new countries – South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Seychelles, and Northern Ireland. Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing my itineraries, lessons learned, and recommendations.
Here’s my full travel list for 2019:
- Washington, DC
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Stockholm, Sweden
- York, England
- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Kruger National Park
- Victoria Falls
- San Diego, California
- Bergen, Norway
- Stavanger, Norway
- Monterrey, Mexico
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Gothenburg, Sweden
- Marrakesh, Morocco
- Charlotte, North Carolina
I’m thankful for the memories and what each of these destinations taught me in 2019. I hope that as you start your 2019, your travels teach you as much as mine have taught me over the past year, and that you also come home with many happy and fun memories!