It’s been quite a long and productive year for me and for a Savory Planet. Here’s some stats to put it all in perspective:
Job changes: 1
Countries visited: 4
New American cities visited: New Orleans
Bucket list activities done: 2
Blog posts published: 35
Photography skills gained: countless
Most difficult meal prepared: stuffed baby squid
Michelin restaurants experienced: 4
A Year of Growth and Personal Development
I have to admit that turning 27 was a key milestone in my life – a lot has changed with this number. My life perspectives have solidified pretty deeply on the things that matter the most – my relationships with the people around me and personal self-growth. I’ve had some serious reality checks as to what’s really important and what is not. I didn’t have to learn how to adult like a pro – I’ve known that for quite some time now – but my values and opinions have very prominently become much more “adult”.
Spending Time with Myself
A lot of you may not know this about me, but I am quite the loner. I enjoy spending time by myself and the peace and quiet it allows to think. This year, I did what I’ve been wanting to do for a while – I spent a whole week on vacation by myself in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. What’s so fun about going on vacation by yourself? One may think this lame, but on the contrary, I feel that it is absolutely necessary for most people in our day and age. I have to disconnect from our busy universe and that includes disconnecting from people too. The past couple of months have been really tough on me, professionally, so I was really craving the quiet time and not having to deal with people. Sitting on the beach, by myself, reading a book, and enjoying all the natural sounds was probably the most healing thing I did for my sanity and mental well-being. Don’t discount it until you try it.
Keeping the Bucket List Checklist Going
I went to the Amazon and climbed Machu Picchu this year and those two bucket list items were everything I imagined and more. Fulfilling my travel dreams has become such an essential part of my life that I just don’t see it any other way now. The emotions and thoughts that go through your brain when you accomplish your dreams, travel or otherwise, are impossible to describe. It is the highest high you can ever get and the most satisfying feeling of otherworldly connection you can ever achieve. It is simply incredible, so stick to the list, it makes life worth living.
This year was different. This year I learned what I DON’T want, which, let’s be honest, is just as important as learning what you do. It was hard, soul-crushing even, at times, but it was also a stepping stone in my professional development. Never regret bad experiences; learn as much as you can from them and use that knowledge to make smarter decisions.
What’s in Store for 2017?
My sights are set on Europe for 2017. In March I will be going to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest with my mom and in the summer/fall I am hoping to take a two-week long driving vacation through France +- surrounding countries. Bucket list item – cooking my way through Provence.
I also plan on starting to make videos for a Savory Planet. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!