2016 is finally coming to an end. Time flies when you’re having fun, but even faster when you’re busy. There isn’t much to sum up about this blog because, let’s face it, it hasn’t been around for very long. However, launching Little Blue Earth has had its good and bad moments. Like all things, it’s been a rocky start and I’ve learned so much in the process. Okay, I’m still expecting to break my website, but that’s why I have such a good friend waiting to bail me out of trouble. (Thanks Irene!) At this point, I’m thankful that things are finally moving forward and I can enjoy writing a post every week.
Like many people, this year has been tough for me in several ways. I tried a new avenue within my profession, but it didn’t pan out as well as I expected. I’ve struggled with coming to grips as I head into my thirties and facing all of the personal events that await me. Physical ailments caused a few setbacks, which has stressed me out mentally and physically. Finally, like many people, current events have weighed heavily on me and made me feel uncertain about the future of my country and our world.
Remembering 2016 for the Better
That being said, I’m trying something new where I looked at the positive side of things. I tend to let the doom and gloom wash over me, but the loved ones in my life keep me grounded. Despite the setbacks I mentioned, 2016 will also be remembered for several good memories.
- Leon and I welcomed a niece and nephew into our family this year, bringing our total up to seven nieces and nephews! How lucky are we to have such a beautiful and large family? Not many people get to be known as the cool aunt and goofy uncle, but we get to be honored with these titles seven times over.
- I visited four new places this year: Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and the big kahoona, Australia. In addition to those new places, I also revisited New York three times and explored South Florida with friends and family who came to visit us. Most people are lucky enough to visit one new place every year, but I got to visit four new destinations. I work hard to make this happen, even taking extra jobs here and there to pay for these trips. I’m very proud that I was able to accomplish so much in one year. What’s even more astonishing is we still managed to put beef up our savings and pay off a good chunk of student loans.
- I turned thirty years old in 2016. Wow…writing that down makes it feel so real. Suddenly, the aches and pains got worse, a few white hairs have sprouted through the mass of curls, and the wrinkles around my eyes seemed more obvious than ever. And yet, thirty isn’t so bad. In fact, I kind of like pointing out my age to people. I always imagined thirty would be tough to tackle, but I finally feel a bit more “adult.” I’m at an age where I’m less fearless about facing difficult situations. At this point, I figure I can take the plunge and try new opportunities, or always regret not trying.
- Finally, I started this blog. This has been a huge step for me. I’ve spent my whole life holding back my opinions because I was afraid of how I might come across to other people. I spent years reading other travel blogs and wishing that I could muster up the courage to share my own stories. I spent the last few months getting used to social media (something I always avoided), writing my travel tales and publishing them for everyone to read. After taking a few missteps with this blog, I decided that I wanted to keep things simple for my audience. I hope to use 2017 to develop this blog into something enjoyable for people of all walks of life, as well as encourage them to share their own journeys and memories.
Finding Our Own Tiny Happiness
Everyone finds peace and happiness in different ways. My sister has been to over fifty Broadway shows. That’s incredible! She saw Hamilton twice (seriously, she needs to share the love and get me tickets to that show). I have relatives and friends who enjoy baking cupcakes or whipping up a gourmet meal for pure enjoyment. There are even those who need the occasional retail therapy to get them through the week. The point is that everyone finds ways to be happy for themselves.
Travel has taught me to accept different opinions and explore the unknown. I never set concrete itineraries because I love walking around foreign cities and landscapes without knowing what waits around the corner. For me, travel is scary and thrilling and enlightening all at once. No matter the destination, each place wrenches me from my comfort zone and forces me to interact with the world. Travel is my happiness.
I hope that 2017 brings joy for people across the globe and close to home. In this day and age, we could all use some great, big, sugary doses of happiness. For now, let’s close the door on 2016 and greet 2017 without any agendas. Happy New Year, everyone!