End of Year Reflections: 2021

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

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Another year in the books.

On Instagram, I wrote a caption that was probably a little too long for the audience and felt inspired to expand on these feelings further here. This space that I turn to when I feel brave enough to post some more vulnerable expressions, thoughts and feelings.

Each year that passes by, life seems to become more and more surreal. When people ask me what traveling is like, I struggle to find the words because it just ‘is’. Even the simplest question or ‘How are you?’ is difficult to answer because each moment is so intimate and full…Full of emotion…full of subtleties. Maybe the best way I can describe it is that it’s a psychedelic experience without the drugs. I often sit and think: How did I get here? Like how did I really get to this moment? Each moment that unfolds reveals a deeper and more delicious living image that I have the pleasure of feasting upon. As the year comes to a close, I reflect on the experiences that occurred and can’t help but laugh and smile and appreciate the people and places and the versions of myself that have had the pleasure of living through all of this so far. There were definitely a lot of wonderful adventures.

Somehow, while traveling alone, there are pockets of moments when no one and nothing is coming to save you from your melancholy, your sadness and your depression. Those are the moments when you need to be alone the most. It confronts you with the very thing you’re running from. And most of the time, it’s really just yourself that you’re avoiding. And in those moments, I became intimate with the deeper parts of myself. The parts that felt unlovable, frustrated, angry, sad, unloved, unworthy and different. I made love to those moments, caressing them tenderly. Sometimes arguing and fighting them. Sometimes frozen, unsure what to do. And then other pockets, I am surrounded by so much love and so many wonderful people I wonder: what did I do to deserve this? How did I get so lucky?

Some of my favorite adventures this year:

  • Ringing in the New Year at a cabin in Chiapas with a bunch of strangers turned friends
  • Experienced Kambo and Bufo (maybe I need to write a post about this)
  • Traveled through Mexico for 6 months, meeting new friends, learning salsa, customs, traditions and reveling in handcrafted food and goods
  • Jumped off waterfalls and cliffs
  • Down to the wire with $300 in my bank account, debating whether to use that money to book a flight home or to stay and see what happens in Mexico
  • Got offered a job opportunity without looking for one (trust!! the!! universe!!)
  • Got more intimate with myself, developing better routines and habits
  • Went home and saw family for the first time in 18 months
  • Traveled to Egypt for a vision quest, saw the pyramids, hot air balloon!!!, hiked Mt. Sinai during sunrise, sailed down the Nile
  • Enjoyed a true mediterranean summer in Greece (and left after a week due to a ferry mishap)
  • Reunited with travel friends
  • Because of that mishap, I got to reconnect with a friend from Koh Phangan and go on a roadtrip through Albania, including a thru hike between two towns
  • Hopped over the border to Montenegro, partied and summited the Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak, in freaking Teva sandals (and got told off multiple times by really legit Russian pro hikers who were in full gear and everything)
  • Took an 11 hour scenic train ride from Montenegro to Serbia
  • Got to celebrate Eli’s birthday on a boat, sailing through parts of Croatia, partied in a cave, woke up to dripping AC and wet floors every day
  • Roadtripped through Romania with a bunch of friends (old and new) ending the summer off with a 4 day festival
  • Acid trip in the woods where I felt like a freaking fairy
  • Came back to the states and saw some friends from middle school for a wedding
  • Decided to explore the states again and went on a solo roadtrip along the west coast
  • Somehow ended up signing a lease for an apartment in SoCal for a year…

This list is great but honestly some of my most favorite moments are the ones where I’m with good people, good food and a great view.

I’ve gotten quite used to packing a bag and jetting off to a new destination, meeting travelers and exploring all these crazy wonderful corners of the world. I’ve cocreated love, friendship and communities with people, had one night stands, unrequited romances, ate way too much, didn’t understand most of the languages, saw some beautiful sights and truly felt like this year went by in a blink of an eye. It’s a weird feeling, knowing I won’t be on the move for the next nine months. I wonder what this period of gestation will bring…I am looking forward to what the new year will bring.

Some words of intention I’m manifesting for the next cycle:

Joy

Pleasure

Creativity

Fun

Abundance

Gratitude

What are some of your favorite memories from this year? What do you hope to experience next year? What are your theme words for the next year?

Anyways, THANK YOU 2021, NEXTTTTTTTTTT!!

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