2014 in retrospect

2014 in retrospect - malta

2014 in retrospect - malta

2014 is coming to a close and while the first half of my year was relatively quiet and unassuming. I focused on my blog & trying to balance the life I was living with the life I wanted to live. Then BAM! Suddenly, the months rolled in with massive change and upheaval. I felt like I was doing my Saturn Return although it’s quite a bit early for that. However, with all the struggles and changes I faced this year, I’m ready and pumped to take on 2015. Sorta. Better than last year.

Highlights:

+ My first press trip to Malta in May and meeting three wonderful travel bloggers on the trip. There was Victor from Spain, Erik from the Netherlands and Sofia from Finland. We were such a diverse bunch and got along swimmingly which isn’t always usual in the blog world. It was an awesome + fun time. It’s great because we still keep in touch on the regular with social media and the like.

2014 in retrospect - malta

2014 in retrospect - malta

+ I quit my former IT corporate life and made the jump to another company as an independent contractor. My current employer/project is for a DJ music software company. This should be exciting since the job is more creative and involves wearing many hats. Being remote (and having more flexibility to travel) is definitely a nice perk.

+ Unexpected Travel: Due to some flexibility in my schedule, I made it up to Brooklyn and Miami this year. Both were unexpected short trips but I had a blast especially in Brooklyn where I was able to check out the street art and discover the quirky side of the borough.

+ Lisbon, Portugal: was a great mini solo trip. I feasted on Portugal’s delicious signature egg tarts and had the chance to hang with some digital nomads from Sweden where we imbibed just a tad too much wine and beer.

2014 in retrospect - listbon portugal

+ Snow Days: Lots of staying up late in anticipation of the snow with friends. I’d get antsy and think about doing a snow dance until they assured me it would snow so we could start the partying. The next day, we would be so tired and hungover so we’d order Chinese food and watch Netflix marathons. Bates Motel and American Horror Story being the ones I clearly remember.

+ My 28th birthday at 2941 with a group of my closest gal pals + afternoon tea with one of my closest chicadees – Linda.

2014 in retrospect - 28th birthday

+ Going minimalist: Due to my status as a digital nomad – that meant a massive upheaval decluttering. I had to get rid of all my physical “stuff” I had accumulated through the years. All this stuff that I thought was really important and that I needed. Ultimately, you don’t. It felt exhilarating and so relieving when I was left with a mostly empty apartment.

+ Spending the last few months of the year with my family in sunny California. I haven’t been in close proximity to my family in 10 years. The last few Thanksgivings and Christmases were missed so this year, I made it the year to spend more time with them instead of  Face time and phone calls. I had a great day on the Wine Train with my sister with lots of bonding time.

Challenges

+ MOVING. Goodness. I wouldn’t say moving was a highlight or a lowlight but I had to change my “home base” due to my nomadic status. Since my parents are in California, it only made sense to use their extra bedrooms as a storage unit. 🙂 BTW – Shipping boxes is expensive (including the cost of the actual boxes themselves!). I’m lucky that nothing was lost or damaged in the cross-country trip.

+ Saying goodbye to my close friends on the East coast. I was adamant on not saying goodbye but that it was more of a “see you later.” Goodbyes feel so…final to me and something I don’t want to feel. Although, I admit in the past few months of my disappearance, some friends have dropped off the face of the earth. Yea, there’s Facebook, Instagram, and messaging but sometimes it’s the out of sight, out of mind concept that prevails. I feel these friendships would have dwindled and died off anyway as time passed – me being close or not. Which sucks but you gotta move on.

+ Juggling an ever-changing travel schedule: Looking back on my travel plans in the beginning of 2014, I had the intention of going to Prague & Brussels. That got postponed due to my trip to Malta. Israel got canceled but I was able to make it to Portugal and Spain which made up for that.

Lowlights & Lessons

+ Handling my mother’s early onset Alzheimer’s. Nobody expects your parents to live forever but we don’t expect to lose them…in such an unexpected way. There’s a reason why they call this mental illness, the “long goodbye.” You’re losing someone you love slowly and painfully to the demise of their brain and there’s nothing  you can do about it.
A silver lining from this I’ve gained patience (a virtue I seriously lacked) and more compassion than before. Oh and dancing like no one’s watching. I blast Taylor Swift sometimes and we just dance. She loves it.

+ Missing out on Israel: My girl friend & travel sister Linda and were I were supposed to go to Israel in September. This happened to be right in the middle of the Gaza crisis which prompted the trip to get canceled. I ended up with a plane ticket that was non-refundable and the travel insurance I purchased for this very reason didn’t cover it! $750 down the drain. Grr. Never again.

2014 in retrospect - barcelona

+ Getting sick in Barcelona: The last few days of my trip in Barcelona, I somehow acquired a case of traveler’s diarrhea. SO. NOT. FUN!!!!! I couldn’t even leave the sanctuary of my apartment in fears of not having a bathroom within 40 feet of me. Stomach aches, fear of dehydration, and just..all around, “when is this going to end” prayers were said over and over. Go ahead, laugh at me.

Resolution Wrap Up & Summary

Going back to my 5 new years resolutions for 2014 – I’ve got to say it was a pretty good year for achieving + accomplishing goals. My gratitude resolution held strong due to my weekly Love & Gratitude column that I stopped halfway through the year but still wrote a post every few months. Maybe instead of weekly, a monthly column/wrap up would suffice.

As far as creativity goes, this baby blog made leaps & bounds in design and writing. I started a new job in the DJ and music industry which is more creative than everything I’d worked for before.

All in all, 2014 was a year that focused heavily on my inner self, goals, and finding my way. A lot of emphasis on lifestyle design and living my life the way I want. I’m excited (and anxious) to see what 2015 holds.