“The best education I have ever received was through travel.” ~ Lisa Ling
Happy New Year!
First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2019 is YOUR best year yet! Before I excitedly jump into the New Year, I wanted to take sometime and reflect on 2018. While I didn’t go abroad in 2018, (2019 you BETER be ready!) I was blessed to travel extensively through out the US. I got to visit some amazing new places, as well as visit some old ones.
As I travelled, I learned not just about the places I was visiting, or the incredible people who lived there, I was able to able to learn about and discover more of myself. I realized how much of a jet setting blonde nomad I really am. That I found my community in the South, in particular Charleston which just might be my forever home because in my heart of hearts, I AM a southern girl. While I always knew, I learned how much I truly needed the ocean and the healing powers it has on my soul and mental health.
Most of all, I realized that 2018 was just the start and that my jet-setting ways have just begun. The tug I felt in Paris seven years ago, is even stronger. I will not be ready to settle down until I am able to truly fly around the world and experience all it has to offer. To make talk with people from different cultures and walks of life, to learn new languages, to eat delicious food, but most of all make connections. 2018 opened doors, and 2019 is going to blow them wide open.
But first I need to pay homage to the travels 2018 brought.
My first trip of 2018 was to Charleston. A city that had been on my bucket list for years and I was FINALLY checking it off. This was a trip I was ecstatic for and it really was everything I had built up in my head and more. Sometimes we build up expectations, no matter how hard we try not to, yet Charleston was the place that not only met them, but exceeded them in spades.
Firstly I think Southern Hospitality originated in Charleston. Everyone was insanely nice and friendly, not in a fake way, but they were absolutely genuine. Always up for a chat, offer suggestions, and even take pictures. The architecture was exquisite and so rich in history I felt like I was back in Europe. Charleston has an extensive food and coffee culture, which came as a huge surprise to me. The beaches were stunning and I loved how you could walk or bike everywhere. Charleston was all around just spectacular and I could gush in spades about it.
Still on a high from Charleston, the next trip was an overnight to DC with my best friend in March. I had been years ago as a small teenager, but it was nice to be able to go back and truly able to soak it in and admittedly appreciate it much more then I did the first time around.
It was a whirl wind thirty-six hours of walking, fun, freezing our digits off, laughing, history, monuments, photos, and Peet’s coffee. I was not a huge fan of DC the first time I visited, but this time around, I fell in love with it. It is a city that has so much to offer, plus you can’t beat the fact that there is a Peet’s on every corner. Definitely a win!
New Hampshire and Maine
I went home several times in the Spring because my Dad was dealing with some medical issues.
It can get confusing, because I live on the New Hampshire-Maine border, and I always fly into Portland, Maine. I absolutely adore Maine, and to me New Hampshire and Maine are not mutually exclusive. In fact if I ever moved back to New England, it would probably be to the Maine coast.
It was a mix of fun and stress going home because of unnecessary drama, but the beach and my family did make it worthwhile. It is incredible how much my mood lifts when I go to the ocean. It makes everything so much better. And regardless of the toxicity of some people this past year who made it immensely challenging, I am incredibly grateful for the love and strength of my family.
The next big trip was to another new city, I had never been too; San Diego! Once again I was traveling with my bestie and we were celebrating my birthday.
We were there for a week and what a week it was! We ate ALL the food, in fact I STILL have dreams about our very first meal there which was at an incredible Mexican restaurant.
We visited all the beaches, channeling our inner mermaids as we explored Coronado, La Jolla, and Ocean Beach. We even took a sail boat ride which I always do around my birthday. The week we were there flew by. It was such an amazing trip and I loved exploring a new city, and San Diego just might have stolen my heart a bit!
As seemed to be the trend this year, I was back in New York from San Diego for four days before I was off jet setting. Friends rented an AirBnB in Nantucket over the Fourth and I happily tagged along.
Maybe it was because my expectations were low, but it turned out to be one of my favorite trips of the year, and one of the best ones I have taken in my life. It was unexpectedly, insanely, relaxing.
I would get up and write in the morning before either going for a run or riding a bike (which I hadn’t been on in twenty years!) to go to the beach. We cooked and imbibed, but also did yoga and stand up paddle boarding and spent all day at the beaches. Nothing was rushed, and despite not having a game plan which this type-A planner needs, it was one of the best vacations ever.
South Shore and Boston
Every year I go down to the South Shore where my S-I-L is from. We stay at her parent’s beach house and visit the Boston Harbor Islands.
This year we island hopped from George’s Island which houses Fort Warren, to Paddock’s Island which is and island we had never been too and was exciting to explore.
We also spent a few days at the beach house rising to catch the sun which greeted us with vibrant hues directly in front of the house.
New Hampshire and Maine in the Summer
After my trip to the South Shore, I drove up with my SiL to surprise my Dad for his birthday in July. It was a super quick trip as I was going back up in August.
August is is the time my family usually tries to get together. My eldest sister in New York drives up with her family for about two weeks and we go to Storyland, (and harass my brother) the beach, hike, and we can not forget the nerf wars! It was so much fun this year, as well as bittersweet as I am not sure I will be able to go next year.
In October I flew to Texas for work slash some family fun. Maura’s sister was getting married and I was babysitting my nephews and niece.
As I had never been to Texas, I was super excited to check it off my list. While it was a whirlwind trip, we did get to go to the Stockyards, which was intriguing to see as we don’t have anything like that on the East Coast.
Texas was definitely an adventure. It officially made me a seasoned traveller after I missed my connection and ended up sleeping in the airport on my return flight.
In what turned into a last minute trip on my part, I had some free time and ended up going back to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. I haven’t spent turkey day with my fam in quite a few years, so it was nice to be home. It also turned into a white Thanksgiving, as New Hampshire got TWO snowstorms while I was home.
Back to Charleston
I couldn’t end the year without making a return trip to Charleston. I honestly wasn’t sure if I had just overhyped it in my head or if it really was as amazing as I thought it was the first time.
I most definitely did NOT overhype it. It really is an amazing place to visit and while I cannot confirm this as of yet, but to live as well. Despite torrential downpours and tornado warnings, this visit cemented my love for Charleston. It is without a doubt one of my favorite places. This was also my favorite trip of the year. (though Nantucket was a very close second!)
Every year my friends throw a Christmas party the second week of December. It is always so much fun with an amazing group of people. I drove up with my Gemini twin and we stayed with another friend who had just bought a house. We went shopping along Church Street, froze our tushes off (as you do in Vermont), and shared all the laughter.
Home for the Holidays
I typically end the year in my hometown, spending Christmas and New Years in New Hampshire. You could not pay me enough to spend New Years in New York. Way to much insanity for me! As much as I hate the cold there is something picturesque about spending the holidays in the White Mountains. It almost reminds me of a Hallmark movie.
I ended 2018 with a full heart, one that I take with me into 2019. I am so grateful I got to do so much traveling and I am even more excited for the adventures that are headed my way in 2019. Happy New Year everybody!
Where did you travel this year? What was your favorite trip? Do you have trips planned for 2019?