I wrote this post in Cuba, what a great place to get inspired to pursue your creative outlets. I pushed myself to spend my time reading, writing, doing yoga, and abstaining from all social media. My mind became so clear regarding my goals for this year and I was able to reflect on 2018.
2018 was a busy year…Nelli and I celebrated our first year of marriage and we were fortunate enough to start new positions at our company. We also found the time to spend time with each other, our friends and family by exploring the world! Here are our top 10 experiences (in no particular order).
1.Going to Peru – It has always been a dream of mine to visit South America. This year, me and Nelli prioritized a continent we had never visited before. In Peru, we wanted to hike Machu Picchu which is one of the new world wonders. We had an amazing time learning about the ancient Mayans and visiting their sites, I hope to learn more and acknowledge indigenous cultures when we travel to new places – You can read more about our trip here.
2. Going to Columbia – One of my favorite trips I’ve EVER taken! A must do if you ever find yourself in South America. You can read more about my trip here.
3. Camping in Grand Canyon – This trip was a first for me and Nelli even though we have already been to the Grand Canyon. We were lucky enough to score a permit to camp in Havasu falls. Nelli and I had never camped together before or hiked carrying all our gear. Although backpacking over 30 miles in 3 days was challenging, the chance to see the crystal teal waterfalls was breathtaking and an experience I’ll never forget. You can read more about our trip here.
4. Going to Banff – a place in Canada with the most beautiful lakes I have EVER seen. You can read more about my trip here
5. Spending bday in Seattle – Ever since my birthday in Vegas, my close friends look forward (I think) to hanging out all together for one weekend outside of California. This time I chose Seattle which was loads of fun – we were able to check out tons of new restaurants and bars including Junebaby, Biscuit bitch and Zig zag cafe which I all highly recommend. We also went to the Starbucks reserve shop and had delicious coffee martinis and the museum of pop culture where we saw marvel comics, Jimi Hendrix, and fantasy book exhibits. My friends are even taking the initiative to plan my 32nd birthday trip this year which they have collectively decided will be in New York.
6. Going to Hawaii. A dedicated blog post is coming soon!
7. Exploring California – With all our world travels, we still made time to visit places in the beautiful state we live in. We spent a lovely weekend in Mendocino for Nelli’s birthday and knocked off most of the state’s national parks! Over 2018, we visited Sequoia, kings canyon and redwood! My favorite was Sequoia, the huge trees were unreal and the foggy, cool weather only added to the mysticism of the park. Our last National Park in California is Death Valley which we can hopefully swing by if we’re in the LA area this year or next.
8. Going to Cuba. A dedicated blog post is coming soon!
9. Going to Chicago – This year, I switched things up and convinced my siblings to join me in Chicago for Christmas so we could celebrate with my aunt. This trip was so memorable because it had been 6 years since I visited Chicago and I got to spend time with family including Nelli who surprised me by showing up! I got to see Chicago in a totally different light and explored new places and restaurants like the Art institute and Cultural center. I’m hoping to not only spend more time with my family but also including them in my travels to celebrate milestones and so that they get new experiences too. This year, my sister is turning 21 and I’m hoping to take my aunt to New Orleans.
10. Growing our blog and meeting new people – 2018 was definitely a year where I started to invest more time into my creative projects – which definitely included growing my blog and Instagram. I’m so happy that this year, I quadrupled the amount of blog views from 2017! I also had the honor of collaborating with three of my favorite bloggers (here, here, and here). The most important, fulfilling experience, however, was meeting people through my creative channels, people that I have been talking to over the internet for multiple years. The bonds that I’ve made over similar interests and experiences have made it so worthwhile – Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!