It’s New Years Eve, 2020. The last day of 2019.
I couldn’t sleep last night and instead of counting sheep started counting all the blessings and adventures over the course of this past decade….Graduating college. Starting my first job. Getting out of DC and re-crossing paths with my soul mate and now husband. Moving out to Colorado and living a life of adventure every single day with said soul mate and our fur baby Max. Adding another fur baby to the fam, our sweet girl Kalli. Throwing the best party with our loved ones in the mountains to witness Mitch and I officially starting our life together. Paying off my student loans. Buying our first home. Starting my blog and writing regularly for another publication. Meeting our two adorable nieces…
This decade has given me too many blessings to count, and I have to say for anyone else who has trouble sleeping, say goodbye to the sheep and try to count your own and you’ll be fast asleep in no time. In all seriousness, when i think about the year 2009 and ten years ago today what my life was like, one word in loud, bold letters will permanently be written on my brain that I can thank for setting all of these adventures over the years in motion: Australia.
10 years ago, Australia gave me the greatest gift. And today, it’s still the gift that keeps on giving. Remember that party in the mountains I mentioned above? Would you believe that one of my best friends from Sydney traveled all the way to Colorado to be a bridesman in our wedding? The friendships I made in Sydney, the memories I made…they’re things that will stay with me for a lifetime.
When I look back, regardless of the decade, there are really two chapters in life for me. Life before Australia, and life after. In Australia, I met like-minded people who were passionate about adventure and exploring all this world has to offer. People who were kind to one another, looked after one another, and weren’t afraid to travel to the farthest point away on the globe as they possibly could while our peers at home were going to an off-campus frat party somewhere for the 1000th time.
In Australia, I was fearless. I learned to do things I never thought I could. I went bungee jumping. I climbed a glacier. I got my ear pierced just for fun. I learned to live, and what a full life could be about.
I’ve always had the travel bug in me, but the adventure bug is a different form, and one that truly came as a side effect from my experience in Australia. It’s the voice inside my head that encourages me to try new things, explore new places, and not be afraid to experience all life has to offer.
After Australia, I studied abroad in Italy in 2010. I had completely new experiences, with completely new people I wouldn’t trade for the world. Since Australia, I’ve had so many different chapters of people and places that are so different, but equally all as cherished and precious to me.
After living out in Colorado and making my dreams come true of living out west, being in the mountains and hiking everyday, it’s been hard to get used to living back where I started here in Pittsburgh. Until I finally realized, I’m not back where I started, not even a little bit. I’ve grown so much and gone so far I don’t even recognize the girl who used to live here when she was younger. It’s taken me a long time to even want to write again on my blog, worried I didn’t have anything worthy to share now that my life wasn’t based in the mountains. But the truth is, we’ve had so many adventures this year that I should be writing about. And I’m pledging to get back to writing and sharing them in the new year…
I mean, we took a two-week train trip all throughout Europe, crossing over nearly a dozen countries. We returned to our beloved Colorado and went on a road trip from Durango to Denver that was the trip of a lifetime. We drove from Pittsburgh to Fort Myers, stopping in Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington to create some new memories down South. And that’s just the beginning.
My friends, we have a lot of ground to cover and I can’t wait to catch up more in 2020. But for now, I wanted to write this to share the message that I hope you all already know, that it’s not where you are that make the adventures matter. All that matters is that you still choose adventure, no matter how big or small, wherever you are.
I hope for all of you feeling stuck or jaded out there right now that you remember that, and take the time to count your blessings this past decade have given you.
And no matter where you are, you get ready to make the most of your adventures to come in 2020.
Cheers to a happy new year!