Y'all, we did it. We made it through 2016. I know people love to use the phrase "time flies" loosely, but GEEZ this year really did move quickly. I categorize 2016 into two distinct parts: before I went to Europe and after I returned from Europe. Before my trip, I was constantly stressed out all the time. I was working from home and feeling more alone than ever (that's bound to happen sometimes when you don't have a roommate/boyfriend/pet), so I started making the effort to go out every. single. night. And when I couldn't get a friend to hang out with me, I'd find a date. I dated a lot. Truth be told, I was going through a bad rejection at the time and was finding ways to distract myself with anyone who was willing. As my take-off date to Europe grew closer, I started to worry a lot about anything and everything: traveling alone to a new country, quitting my job to go on this trip, leasing my apartment to strangers while I was away, being broke and unemployed when I returned from abroad, making sure I was fully prepared packing-wise for my trip, + all the little things that could go wrong. Then when I finally got onto that plane in May, all my troubles seemed to fade. I didn't think about money troubles or dating woes any longer; I was meeting new people, soaking in new cultures, and experiencing things that used to be just mere day dreams of mine. I was the happiest I had ever been.
Then I came back. Everything had stayed the same, but I felt different. I think it's called "Reverse Culture Shock"? It's real, and it sucks. I was happy to be home for a mere 2 days until I became sad again. "Now what?" was a constant question in my head. I was left without a job, and I struggled for a long time. I tried to give dating another shot (probably just to distract myself from being sad), but it just wasn't as fun anymore. All I wanted to do was get back out there and explore the world, but I couldn't. The couple months after my return are a blur to me now; like I know I still did fun things/events and hung out with friends a lot, but inside I was feeling so low and down on myself. The last quarter of the year is when things started to get better again. Fall always lifts my spirits, and the holidays mean more time spent with family which I love. Also, I finally got a new job! So 2016, although one of the most stressful years of my life, was also very rewarding and fulfilling. Plus, it's ending on a good note, so I can't complain too much. I don't know what 2017 has in store for me, but I'm excited to find out.
1) Repeat Offender
2) Notes To Every Boy I Dated in 2016
3) A Year Alone
4) 26 Things I've Learned at 26
5) Top 10 Things to Pack for a Eurotrip
Places traveled: Athens, Paros, Rome, Sienna, Verona, Florence, Venice, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Innsbruck, Paris, Montpelliar, Barcelona, York, Edinburgh, Oslo, Dublin, Portland, Dallas
Music artists seen live: Taylor Swift, Misterwives, Above & Beyond, Major Lazer, Brand New, Modest Mouse, dead mau5, Zedd, Cherub, Miguel, POWERS, Lapsley, Chromeo, James Bay, CHVRCHES, Borns, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, Early November, Dashboard Confessional, Grouplove, Fitz & The Tantrums, Lil Dicky, Kacey Musgraves, Kygo, The Chainsmokers, Flume, LCD Soundsystem, Haim, Kendrick Lamar, Porter Robinson, MUNA, Anderson .Paak, D.R.A.M., City and Colour, Beach House, Big Boi, Gallant, Radiohead, GRiZ + so many more I can't remember.
Books read: Night, Not That Kind Of Girl, The Power of Now, #GIRLBOSS, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, The Girl On the Train, Into Thin Air (this was not my year for reading, obviously...)
List of "firsts": dyed my hair, went to 12 new countries, ran a 5K, ran a 10K, tried a cooking class, tried yoga, went to a real winery in Italy, saw a peep show in Amsterdam, went to Eeyore's Birthday, finally went to Jimmy Eat Wednesday, first EDM music festival, saw Taylor Swift!!, tried SUP boarding, voted in a national election... You can read the rest here!
Excited for next year: more trips hopefully (still pining for Australia and Hawaii, and I'm saving my monies for Thailand and Peru), 4 of my very good friends are getting married (yay weddings!), more music festivals, more portrait sessions, and I would love to get back into running so that I can participate in the half-marathon by April. I've been slacking though as most people do at the end of the year.
So long, 2016!
Happy New Year!!