December 31, 2014

Where I've Been in 2014

Wow! Another year has come and gone. Can you believe it?! They say that the older you get, the faster time goes, and I totally believe it. But before I open the door to 2015, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that has happened this year because, let's be honest, it's been a BIG year for me. I did this post last year as well, and I think it's only fitting that I keep up the tradition of recapping my year in travel. More and more I find myself thinking about my life by where I'm going next. It's how I count down my days. It's what I look forward to most. So as a toast to all the countdowns from 2014, I give my yearly review of travel.

I started off 2014 with a trip to North Carolina with a huge group of people. (I'm serious. There were 18 of us.) We skied at Beech Mountain, and even though I got sick and missed the majority of the actual skiing, this trip still deserves mention because it started off a great year of exploring.

Okay, so it's not exactly travel, but graduating from college this year was and still is a GIANT milestone in my life, and it needs to be mentioned. I probably won't do much else as far as bidding adieu to 2014, so college, here is your formal farewell from yours truly.

Again, not really travel, but skydiving was a major bucket list moment for me, and I need to talk about it one more time. This has been on my must-do list since I was a little girl, and this year it finally happened when Bryan and I jumped out of a plane to celebrate our bachelor's degrees. Hands down, one of the coolest, most surreal experiences of my life. You've gotta go!

Mother-Daughter Trip to England

This was it, y'all! The big trip of 2014 - an English adventure with my best friend, my mom! I can't begin to tell y'all how much this trip meant to me. It was simply incredible and two of the best weeks I could have ever asked for. We based ourselves in London and explored the city, but we also ventured out to the surrounding towns and sites. I wish I could put a picture from every place we visited, but then this post would be miles long and much more like an England recap instead of a 2014 recap. So I'll let you go back and read (or re-read) about our trip in the July and August archives.

Since our England trip was such a big part of 2014 for me, it didn't feel right mentioning the trip just once in this post. So here is Stonehenge. And I'm mentioning this moment from England because it was, indeed, a travel moment for me. As we approached the stones I could feel tears forming behind my eyes, and I was truly in awe at what I was seeing. It was a true pinch-me moment, and that day will be vivid in my memory for a very long time.

Bryan and I admittedly haven't explored a ton around Knoxville just yet. But give us a break, it's been football season! However, we did manage to head over to Gatlinburg and check out what was there. The point of the day trip, an Oktoberfest celebration, was a total bust, but our trip was saved when we found an awesome sports bar for dinner.

The Bahamas

The final trip to close out 2014 was four days of relaxation and over-indulgence in the Bahamas. Thanks to Bryan for winning a radio contest! I haven't blogged about it yet, but look for posts at the beginning of 2015! 

And last but not least...

Knoxville, TN

I've officially been living in Rocky Top for five months now. Though all of my trips and experiences this year have been special to me, this move is probably the most defining. Moving to Knoxville means I'm growing up. It's the first stage in this new phase of my life. It's been challenging. It's been emotional. But it's working out. I've taken a huge leap of faith by refusing to move back home after graduation, and it's only been intensified by choosing to move out of state and further from my comfort zone. But though "a ship is safe in harbor, that's not what ships are for." This year has been about braving the wind and waves.

Here's to many more adventures in 2015!

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