This is the part where most people lament about how they just can't believe how fast the previous year has gone by. How they wish they would have either accomplished more or relaxed more, saved more money or gone on more vacations. They wax poetic about how quickly life passes you by as if it's some big secret that only half the population knows and they've suddenly had their Oprah 'a-ha!' moment.
Me? We're gonna skip all that. This soon-to-be 35 year old doesn't need to give you life lessons on the passing of time and urge you to embrace the one life you have to live, because it 1) isn't something that happens overnight, and 2) if you're not already working for that I'm not sure I'm the right person to give you the ass-kicking you need.
So we're gonna skip the mushy intro and I'm going to turn the tables and talk about myself (I mean, I guess I'm usually talking about myself but it's always for you, my favorite readers, advantage). So here we go:
You'll never hear me reflect in a remorseful way. Reflection is incredibly important, and I choose to let the bad decisions I make be a guide to learning lessons for the next time around.
"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results."
- A wise person who wasn't smart enough to
claim this quote as their own.
My 2018 travel was a mix of high's and lows. At the moment I'm still chained to my 9-to-5 corporate desk job, so while the money is steadily coming in, the vacation time comes in at more of a leaky faucet drip. But all that being said, I make due. And this year was one for the books.
- Ireland: I got engaged! Dylan would kill me if I didn't list this first, but he doesn't have to worry because it truly was the highlight of my travel in 2017. Bonus points to him for prying me away from my wine at the hotel bar and proposing outside of a castle on the resort grounds.
- Starting Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary World: The whole thing started with me coloring a map of the United States in to figure out exactly how many states I'd been too, and it developed into a travel blog. My own corner of the interwebs. I didn't know what I was doing, and I'm not entirely sure I even do now, but I feel like I'm settling in. You know, I've got some furniture and some artwork for the walls, and I'm ready to really make to make this place my own.
- Learning travel photography: Honestly. Every time I walked into my office it was like a showdown at the O.K. corral. Me v. My DSLR camera. How one inanimate object could hold so much power over me I'll never know, but I pushed through my nervousness of looking like a fraud and I dove in head first to begin to learn travel photography. I still have a long ways to go, but I've seen immense improvement, and for that I'm thankful.
- Under 20 State's Left (18 Left to be Exact!): If you've been here before than you know that I started this blog to document my journey to visit all 50 states before I turn 40. And while I've branched out and evolved since the beginning, this core goal remains the same. This year I didn't visit the most exciting new states (sorry South Dakota and Arkansas), but I did manage to check off three new ones and experience new things.
2018 TRAVEL GOALS
Here's the fun part. Dreaming. Making plans and living life. I got news for you guys - if you're living in the past than you're doing it wrong. Always look forward and work your way towards something new. I have some things that may possibly happen in 2018 in life that will likely affect my travel (NO, I'm not pregnant), but these are my goals so far:
- Mexico: So along with that whole engagement thing in 2017, I'm getting married in Mexico next year. December 7, to be exact. In just under 12 months my best friend (and also the kinder, better looking and more responsible one of us) is gonna become my husband in front of our close friends and family, and I couldn't more excited.
- Visit 4 new states: Here's the scoop. I have 18 states left to visit and 5 years to do it. This year I crossed South Dakota, Oklahoma and Arkansas off my list as new states that I'd never been to, but I need to keep pace with about 4 new states this year in order to make my goal. Here are the state's I'm going to try to visit:
- Utah/New Mexico - Obviously these are two separate states, but their corners touch AND my
friends live right in bottom left-hand corner of Colorado, which gives me the perfect opportunity
to not only visit them, but also to hop over and spend some time in Utah and New Mexico.
- TBD - So here's the scoop. I may end up making some changes that will allow me to knock
North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. If not, I will plan a trip that allows me to check off
two more states for sure, I'm just not sure where they'll be, so I gotta go with the flow on this
one a bit.
- Vancouver, Canada: While our wedding in Mexico may prevent us from traveling outside of North America, I think a trip to visit our friends in the north is in order! I don't think that time or money will allow me to skip over and ocean or two and stray from this continent due to getting married, but that doesn't mean I can't head north. I've heard wonderful things about Vancouver and hopefully get in a trip to check it out.
I know that my travel goals aren't that of a person who is out gallivanting around the world every day posting gorgeous photos on Instagram and making incredible stories for you all to follow. I sure wish they could be, but with my current situation of working full-time I'm not quite there. And that's most people's reality. But hell, we're not into 2018 at all so anything could happen. And you can be sure that wherever life leads me I'll be documenting it all and sharing it with you.
Cheers to 2017, and I'd love to hear what your travel goals are for 2018!