End of the Year Review: 2018

At the beginning of 2018, I chose one word to focus on and grow in throughout 2018. This was the first year I chose only one word instead of three for the whole year so I was curious to see how that played out for me and my own personal growth. Before I dive too much into that, a few highlights from 2018:

  1. Checked some things off my bucket list.
    • Saw the Eiffel tower.
    • Ate a waffle in Belgium.
    • Snowboarded in the Alps.
    • Saw the pope.
    • Explored Pompeii.
    • Saw the pyramids.
  2. Visited 12 new countries across two continents (and hit country #40!).
  3. Showed all of my family around our little corner of Italy.
  4. Finished a Spartan Race.
  5. Did tons of amazing hikes in the Dolomites with lots of new friends.
  6. Took a trip to Sicily with my Grandma and got a completely different taste of Italy.
  7. Taught yoga in a castle.
  8. Got to do (most of) it all with my best friend and lifelong adventure partner.

It was a whirlwind of year. The year ended on a bittersweet note as J + I moved back to PA – I would have stayed in Italy forever, but it is refreshing to be around family and friends again.

Pursue Adventure
In the Valley of the Temples in Sicily

My word for 2018 was PURSUE.

And I think that is reflected in that list at the beginning of this post  😂.

My big priority was to travel and see as much as I could while we were living in Italy. It was one of the very few times in my life I won’t have a job, and I knew my time in Italy was limited. While there were lots of things on my list I didn’t get to see or do (it is an endless list), I left Italy knowing I saw the big things I wanted to. And I was happy with that.

Pursue Adventure
Exploring Morocco’s countryside

Honestly though, when I first moved to Italy, I was pretty boring. I didn’t leave the house much (I couldn’t drive at first), I mostly waited for J to be free to do things, and I just spent my days bumming around waiting for him to get home. But as I started to find my groove and get out of the house, I forced myself to become more intentional about how I spent my days.

I was living in one of the most beautiful parts of the world (in my opinion), and I didn’t want to waste my year or so there just because no one else was planning stuff for me. So I made list after list of countries to see, Italian cities to visit, local things to do, hikes to go on, etc. I connected with some wonderful ladies who also didn’t want to miss out on what Italy had to offer and started doing day trips during the week to the mountains and other local cities.

Pursue Adventure
Sunrise hike at Cinque Torri

This was my mantra:

If you want to do something, you have to get it done.

You can’t count on other people to satisfy those deep desires you have. If I couldn’t find someone to go with me (which rarely happened in all honesty), I would go by myself. I wasn’t going to let my experience rest on someone else’s shoulders.

Pursue Adventure
At Popeye’s Village in Malta

You have to actively pursue your dreams. Your desires. Your plans.

I love the quote: “Don’t call it a dream. Call it a plan.”

For me, that summed up 2018.

Pursue adventure. Always.

Pursue adventure.

What about you? How have you grown over the past year?

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