I thought I’d start my thematic reviews with travel, since travel has always been one of my top priorities. Looking back over this year, I realized I had almost forgotten some of the travel I’d done because so much in my life has changed since the year began. This year included:
- One trip to Hot Springs, AR for NYE. We stayed at a B&B and did a lot of hiking.
- One trip to Possum Kingdom for a Spring Break canoe trip.
- A day trip to San Antonio for Valentine’s Day, plus tons of commuting between Houston and Austin.
- Two trips to PDX.
- Three trips to Denver/Boulder.
- And, of course, one month-long trip to Costa Rica.
On top of that, my travels didn’t make that big of an impact on my overall budget because I’ve been rockin’ the frequent flier miles (thanks Chris Guillebeau!). Plus, I had all my stuff in storage while I was in Costa Rica, so I only had to worry about the rent for my shared cabina in Nosara, which was less than my rent at home.
The highlights have definitely been Costa Rica and my trips to Colorado because they have both brought me such astounding life changes. I started the year in a hollow but occasionally fun relationship and a high stress job. Going to Costa Rica was what I needed to move on from both of those things, and visiting Colorado has played a huge role in shaping the way I want my life to go from here. I am now in a happy, healthy, honest relationship for the first time in years. I feel like I’m with someone who sees me as I am and values that. There are so many things to be grateful for there. And, I’m getting ready to move out of state on my own for the first time in my life. Neither of these things would have come my way if I hadn’t made travel a priority.
In spite of everything I’ve gained from my travels this year, there were a few bumpy patches. I already mentioned that I lost my passport, but my first few trips were not so smooth. They did help me see that I was with the wrong person, though. They were stressful; not consistently, but enough to reduce my enjoyment of the experience. It’s not so fun to travel with someone when you are constantly on edge and worrying about whether or not they will criticize you. When I was in Costa Rica, I was able to be myself and not worry about being criticized for it, and that was a huge gift that has radiated through the rest of the year.