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’ve always had a big heart for animals. That heart has only grown fuller as I’ve traveled more and seen the amount of animals that need help around the world.
From the many stray dogs I saw roaming around Greece, to the homeless kittens in Thailand, and yes, even dogs who were rotting from the inside out in Myanmar, there is plenty of help that is needed around the world and right here at home.
I’ll be the first to say that before this year I had never volunteered at an animal shelter. And to be honest, I initially did it for selfish reasons. I was going through a difficult time in my life in Thailand, and I just wanted to feel that unconditional love that animals are so good at giving.
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!
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!
The sun brought out the subtle green hues in the waves today.
I walked to the sea and floated in the warm reflections. They reminded me of the color of your deep set eyes, the specks of marine blues and greens and how they always had a crinkle, like the lip of a curling wave.
Do you remember that night? The tiny red plastic chairs, the uncontrollable laughter, a serene cloudless sky with the smell of sizzling fried chicken at our side.
It was electric.
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.
“Some folks call her a runaway. A failure in the race. But she knows where her ticket takes her. She will find her place in the sun.” // Tracy Chapman
I know I throw the word “love” around a lot on here, but I have to admit I fall in love with places easily. There’s something about the concept of the foreign that has always intrigued and excited me.
I’ve already been in Greece for 19 days, which baffles me. It feels like I just arrived the other day. Time has flown by already, and I know it will continue to do so for the rest of the summer.
And time is flying because I’m happy. Like, head-over-heels in love happy with where I’ve decided to base myself right now.
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.