I started 2018 working at a freelance job that was kinda boring (but better than the full time job I left in 2017), two months of unemployment followed, and now I’m in a freelance job I actually don’t mind for once. During those two months of unemployment I discovered a whole world on YouTube (Kara and Nate, Casey Neistat, Peter McKinnon) to name some of my favorites), found some travelers on Instagram that give me daily inspiration (Kaptain Kenny and Helene in Between among countless others), and found some travel communities I hope to try and get better engaged with this year. Needless to say, while I spent a lot of time watching things on the Internet this past year, I am now hopeful in the possibility of finding a life beyond the corporate desk at some point.
And of course, 2018 was filled with tons of travel! It’s the most I’ve traveled in one year in a while, or possibly ever, so let’s recap!
I started out in January with a trip to Guatemala, which was my first time to Central America, to attend a friend’s wedding in the idyllic town of Antigua. Out of everywhere I went this year, this trip surprised me the most and I quickly fell for the charm of this beautiful town. I also thought I was going to pass out when I was climbing up the Pacaya Volcano, but it definitely proved to be worth it for the 360 volcano views.
Asheville, North Carolina
My parents moved to North Carolina in February, so in April I took advantage of my unemployment to visit them on my birthday as well as go scope out Asheville with a friend. I love beer and mountains, so it was a natural fit.
The big trip for the year was an early summer tour of Scandinavia, including Copenhagen, Denmark, Malmo and Stockholm in Sweden, and Bergen and Oslo in Norway. Between some of my now favorite cities in Europe as well as some absolutely stunning scenery, this is one trip that will be hard to top.
A last minute decision to go somewhere on Labor Day led me and my resident travel buddy, Sarah, to the town of Charlottesville, Virginia. Cuteness and surrounding wineries abound! Plus history! This trip sealed me in as an Official Fan of the state of Virginia.
The last true venture of the year was the Formula 1 US Grand Prix in Austin with my dad and then a bonus trip to nearby Waco to eat at Magnolia Table and check out the whole Magnolia scene.
With 2018 in the books, I have lots of hopes and ideas for 2019. I’ve set a few goals for myself, both personal and travel related, but here are the main ones:
Goal #1: 30th Country
My first goal, the main one, the BIG one, is to hit my 30th country before my 30th birthday in April. I actually didn’t intend to do a 30 by 30 at all, but I counted how many countries I’ve been to after my Scandinavia trip last year and it ended up be 29, so figured I might as well go for it. I’m happy to announce the plane tickets have already been bought and I’ll be going to Spain at the end of February plus also going to Portugal in the same trip, which has been on my bucket list for a while so I’m Pumped…capital P.
Goal #2: Birthday Trip
I’ve started a semi-tradition of trying to travel in some capacity on my birthday. And with this year being the big 3-0 I want to do something epic. It’s all still in the planning stages, and by planning I mean I’m still just thinking about it, but I’m hoping to return to the UK, specifically Scotland, for the first time since I lived there in the 90s! That’s right, I haven’t been back to the UK since February 2000. Yes, it hurts my soul, so I’m hopefully returning this year, ideally on my actual birthday in April. To be determined!
I started this blog on the last few days of 2017, and while I’m more or less pleased with how it went in 2018, there is plenty of room for improvement. So I want to be more regular with posts, but at the same time put less pressure on myself. I started this for me as a way to document my travels, so I want to keep that front and center in 2019.
Get out and see the NY/Northeast region more! Have car, should travel.
Be debt free! The last six months I have buckled down to pay off my credit card debt and I should be debt free by the summer (according to my lil’ spreadsheet) which means more money for travel, hurray!
So that’s it! 2018 wasn’t so bad of a year, but excited for all 2019 will bring.
Thanks to resident travel buddy Sarah, who has become my unofficial travel photographer.
And thanks to everyone who read my little blog this past year. Even if you have read one post or all of them, I appreciate it!
A great year for sure with the promise of fabulous things to come!