I never expected 2017 to be a year to myself, but then again, I guess you never really know what life will bring you with each new year.
I should know better by now.
Even though I didn’t expect it to be a year to myself, I can say with full clarity now that I’m so very glad that it was. This was the year that I found my independence again, understood fully what I deserve in my life, and embraced my alone time.
I’m someone who is already pretty good at being alone. I’m an introvert, most of my pastimes are solo ones – reading, playing my guitar, listening to music, cooking. And my work is very much a solo pursuit, from writing to doing digital marketing for clients.
I’m used to being alone, but 2017 was a year where I really just had myself to pull me back up from my bootstraps, to lean on, to make sense of stressful, happy, and sad situations.
I know I say this every single month, but whoa, where did the time go? I’m not sure how we’re already into the second week of November, but here we are.
With that said, one of my goals before the end of this year is to get into a better habit of mindfulness. I want to be able to value the passing of time more, to take one day at a time, and to not always feel like I’m running one step behind.
October was bursting at the seams, which is probably why I felt so exhausted by the end of it – I barely had time to catch my breath. Note to self: slow down in November and December. Your body, mindset, and bank account will thank you.
The month started with a fun travel blogging conference, then turned into two weeks of road tripping and traveling around Ireland by myself, and finally ended with my return to California after over a year of being abroad.
So, let’s dive right in and get to the good stuff. This was my October!
Oh hey guys, you may have noticed that the blog has been a bit quiet lately. The last month and a half has been full of travels, conferences, and exciting leaps in my marketing business that I run outside of this blog.
Pretty much since I left Greece in early September, I have been in full sprint mode trying to squeeze in as much as possible around Europe while still staying on top of my work.
It goes without saying that I have a ton to catch you up on – case in point, this wrap up post is three weeks late!! But you will hear more than your fair share of my thoughts in due time.
I’m currently writing this on a plane on my way home to California for the first time in over a year, and I’m excited – not only to see my friends and family…and to eat as many burritos as possible – but to have some downtime to write more and catch up on the many posts that are rumbling around in my head.
So let’s dive right into what I got up to in September!
The rain splattered against the train window as I traveled the short distance from Brussels to Bruges, only an hour away.
I’d dreamed of going to Bruges since I was around 13 and found a random penpal online who lived there. We wrote back and forth for months, talking about the differences in our cultures and how it was growing up as a teenager in Europe vs. America.
August flew by in the blink of an eye, as a lot of this year has seemed to. It was a month full of enjoying more of a fixed-life in Crete, Greece, figuring out my plans for the rest of the year, and island hopping.
I was still based in Heraklion for most of the month. Toward the end of August I left for Santorini, Paros, Naxos, and made my way back to Athens to explore more of the country. I’ve been here for two months already now!
Here it is. That dreaded post that eventually happens to most, if not all longterm travel bloggers. The post that says they’re finally ready to stay in one place.
When I say I’m settling, I don’t mean in the way that I’m settling for less than I deserve, but more that I’m settling for my sanity and productivity. I’m settling for me, and I’m okay with that.
I remember reading these types of posts from the bloggers I used to follow religiously, and I would always feel let down, like they were a sellout somehow. That they gave up on travel. But the truth is, this lifestyle that I’ve been living for the past 4+ years, it’s not sustainable, at least not for me.
Yassas – July was my first full month in Greece!
I know I’ve said this multiple times already, but I can’t believe how good it feels to be back in Europe. Besides it being more expensive than Asia, which was to be expected, there’s not much I’ve disliked about my summer move.
I immersed myself in all things Greek in July and my only regret is that I didn’t visit this country sooner. Greece was never at the top of my list as a destination I had to see, but now I’m imagining making it a regular summer spot from which to write for a month each year.
June signified the halfway point of 2017, and made me realize just how much I still want to accomplish before the end of this year. There’s a lot (as per usual)!
It was weird thinking about where I was at this time last year. I was hammock camping around the States, anxious to get to Asia in October, and spent a lot of time with my family.
I don’t know where this year has gone already, but I am left gaping every time I look at a calendar and realize it’s already May. May, people! That’s the fifth month (my birthday month, woot woot!), as in, 2017 is already almost half over.
In other words, I need to get my bum into gear. I had so many plans for this blog in 2017 and I’ve only incorporated a few of them so far. I’m ready to throw myself completely into my passions and not look back.
As I mentioned recently on here, I want the rest of this year to be a year to myself. And no, I’m not meaning I want to go be an anti-social hermit and have no friends. I mean I want to focus more on what I want this year, and not make compromises in my life to make someone else happy.
Estonia is still a destination that is often overlooked by travelers. It’s a place that conjures up images of castles, mythology, and the best parts of the Baltic states. What most people may not realize is the impressive balance between nature and technology when it comes to Estonian culture.
Estonians are very modern in the fact that their country is considered one of the most technologically connected nations in the world. Most everything in daily life can be done online, even when it comes to political elections and healthcare. Instead of technology making Estonia a vacant population that has all eyes glued to a screen, they have somehow managed to find a balance with nature as well.