Holy Moly. Did this past year feel like it flew by to anyone else?
I'm realizing I say this just about every new year, but this one especially feels like a blur. Just a mush of days turned into weeks, that apparently form an entire year.
The big traveler in me can't help but do a snapshot post with the 'wheres' of 2013. I've said it before, and could probably guarantee you'll hear it again: I love to travel!
There is nothing like discovering the world. I truly believe it makes me a richer, fuller person. I work with students often, and at that age, they are always questioning what to do after college. The moment they throw out, "I'd like to travel," I immediately say "YES, do it!" Choosing to travel after college changed my life. No news sources, books or movies can replace the hands-on experience of discovering other countries. It makes me appreciate things I may have otherwise not, think about cultures and it challenges my worldview. Traveling helps me think big, and dream bigger. I'm so thankful to be able to do it!
Although we didn't make back to South Africa this year as I had hoped, 2013 was still full of travel adventures! The only unfortunate part is that Kyle was stuck in the hospital the majority of trips, but we still got a few good ones in together when we could.
I found myself in Nashville (twice), San Francisco, Key West, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Virginia (twice).
I escaped the freezing temperatures in Michigan around this time last year to enjoy sunshine and friends in Nashville. My first time in the music city didn't disappoint! I got to see our friends new home, their new town, and experience the unspeakable hills that killed me on our morning runs. I curse Nashville hills.
Just a few weeks later, I headed out to California for the first time. It was a worked trip turned into a vacation with my sis-in-law and I must say, San Francisco is still one of my favorites cities. I tell Kyle (often) that I wouldn't mind moving there for his fellowship, just a year of adventure and fun! It may have held an unfair advantage coming from the frigid winters to the sunny 70's, but my heart still bursts for this place (even if it almost killed us in the mini-car!) Can't wait to return this year!
And then the trip that we had planned for over a year! Our girls trip to Europe (don't feel bad for the boys, they had no interest in going. Kyle would have been so miserable in Venice, I'm glad he didn't go! He would have thought it was a punishment.)
I could see us going back to Ireland just to road trip the entire country. It's breathtaking and there is just so much to discover! Many photographs in our home are now of the Irish countryside.
Although Venice challenged our motion sickness and patience with the hot weather, the city was simply incredible to see in person! Kelly and I missed our running routine, so one day we just decided that while our clothes washed, we would go for a run through the streets. It was 95 degrees outside and crowded. I've never sweat so much in my life, nor have I been pointed at or given strange looks so many times. I'll spare you the after-picture, not pretty. Not pretty at all.
Spain has been pulling at my heartstrings ever since we departed. I'll admit I've researched quite a few more cities in Spain since visiting Barcelona! We celebrated my 28th while sailing on the water and consuming an unhealthy amount of tapas, it was perfect.
Four days after returning from Europe, I headed down to Virginia to shoot a close friend's wedding. Two weeks after that, I hopped another plane to Nashville to celebrate another bride and her bachelorette party. This is about the time when Fall turned into chaos, but it was well worth it! While there, we spent a day at the Southern Ground Music + Food Festival. What's better than listening to live country all day and taste testing some southern grub?
The last flight this year took us back to Charlottesville, our old stomping grounds. We got to revisit some of our favorite restaurants, visit our old church and most importantly, celebrate our two friends tying the knot. I still have a major crush on Charlottesville. Makes my stomach kind of sink I miss it (and the people) so much. I love that we can look back on that time and have such great memories!
(Especially right about now when we are covered in over a foot of snow.)
Trips down memory lane as so fun, thanks for taking it with me :)
2014 has been front loaded with a few vacations and work trips. It doesn't look like we will be getting in our annual anniversary/birthday trip in this year, but you'll never hear me complaining about just being able to be home either.
We shall see what the year brings us!
Did you have a favorite trip that you took this year?!