Well hello there! Welcome back to my blog! I’ve been struggling to find the motivation with this blog this year for several reasons but figured what better way to jump back into it than by doing one big 2019 round up of my year. From here, I’d like to get back on a biweekly schedule of posts and get more in depth with some of the adventures I went on this year. Without further ado..
January – February 2019
I kicked off this year with a lot of excitement and ambition! Reflecting back on my goals that I typed up at the beginning of last year, I accomplished a lot, and completely dropped the ball on others. It’s okay though. I had a great year overall.
One of my big goals for 2019 was to go on a hike every weekend. The year started off strong with a couple winter hikes, but I was quickly slapped down by a sprained ankle while trying to keep up with long-legged family members. It’s unfortunate because it really threw me off my groove for the whole year. Between that being thrown out of my habit and an onslaught of new priorities, it just fell by the wayside.
Instead we spent much of the beginning of 2019 doing housework. We had a goal of getting the entire first floor done in time for our housewarming party in May and boy was that a hell of a task.
I did have one awesome adventure in January though, and that was a Birthday trip to Burlington, VT with many of my most favorite people in the world. We rented a house with a kitchen to try to save on food costs, and spent the rest of our time and money exploring the waterfront and brewery hopping!
Interest in exploring the beer scene of Burlington, I typed up a guide here!
One of the big highlights of 2019 was our trip to New Orleans for the tail end of Mardi Gras! The best part about this trip was that it brought together nearly strangers and turned us into friends! We split an airbnb, conquered Bourbon Street, gained 10lbs from the southern food and even had an opportunity to explore the beautiful city outside of the Mardi Gras mayhem.
March 2019 was also the month that ended my 5+ year long career at my first job out of college. I was fed up with the company and my position within the company and realized it was finally time for a change. As sad as I was to leave the people that the company was comprised of, it was one of the best decisions I made this year. It didn’t take long before I was feeling my normal happy self again after making the jump.
April Fools Day was simultaneous the first day at my new job! I took on a position as a designer at a contract furniture dealer, which isn’t an ideal job for a lot of people in the design industry, but it was exactly what I needed at the time. I have learned a ton of new skills, met great new people, gained a WICKED appreciation for the furniture side of things, AND found a work life balance that worked for me.
Ironically, the beginning of my new job, also brought on a lack of motivation for my blog. I realized that the blog started as a creative outlet while at my old job that stifled my creativity. When I was given a new challenge, I didn’t “need” my creative outlet as much anymore, and therefore my blog fell to the wayside for much of the year. I have still found it difficult to fit it back into my schedule, but am starting to find my rhythm again!
April also brought on the big FINAL push for the house reno before our housewarming party. We put in LONG hours and tons of elbow grease to get it done but we were happy with the outcome. If you ask me if I would do it again with such a tight deadline, I would say ABSOLUTELY not! But in the end, we are so happy with the transformation.
Our housewarming party kicked off the month and we were blessed to have SO MANY of our friends and family join us for this exciting new chapter! Kyle even had family come in from 3 different states across the country that we hosted for the long weekend.
Not even 4 days after the party, I took off on a plane for another BIG highlight to 2019: Belize! I was so fortunate to be invited to stay at a eco-lodge in the jungles of southern Belize called Cotton Tree Lodge, in exchange for social media and blog exposure. I invited my friend from college to join and it ended up being the trip of a lifetime for both of us! The lodge was an amazing place to stay, we did so many different activities and learned about the culture, while also enjoying fresh farm-to-table meals.
Check out my review of our time at the Cotton Tree Lodge and see if this sounds like an adventure that you would be interested in!
Later in the month of May, I was asked to write an article about the Art scene in North Adams for a great online travel magazine called The Commoner. In an effort to give the best first hand analysis possible, I dragged Kyle up to the Berkshires for a weekend and we explored both North Adams and the MoCA museum. We only scraped the surface of the art scene in the Berkshires but it was a great trip none-the-less.
Here’s a link to my article on the Commoner about exploring the art scene of the Berkshires!
June, July & August 2019
The first half of the summer was pretty low key. In June we went Providence, RI for a Bachelorette weekend for my good friend Janelle. The timing was perfect as we got to attend a Brunch Bar Crawl throughout the city, and got discounted drinks and appetizers at all of the venues. This was a great way for us to explore the downtown Providence area. Perfect bachelorette weekend.
Fourth of July we spontaneously took our pop-up camper (gifted to us by our wonderful friends Steve and Jamie) and drove down to Rocky Neck in Connecticut for a camping and beach trip. We were lucky to be able to get a spot at the campground over the holiday! The beach was obviously mobbed but we brought bicycles and were able to get to the more remote side of Rocky Neck and spent as much of the day by the ocean as possible. We don’t get to the beach often enough so it was much needed.
The last weekend in July, my company invited designers and their guests to a Red Sox game which I obviously jumped at. Kyle and I drove in early, and several of my designer friends joined us later for the game. We then hopped around to some of the local bars and grabbed a hotel for the night. The next day we road tripped up the winding rocky coast of North Shore Massachusetts, stopping and exploring the coastal towns as we went along.
To read more about our roadtrip along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, check out my post here!
We stayed the night with a woman in the Portsmouth, NH area then explored the city the following day. Our friends Amy and Eric drove up to meet us for lunch which made the trip perfect! Portsmouth is a really cool city with a lot to explore, so I’m glad we made an effort to stay for a while.
August & September 2019
The week after our North Shore road trip, we grabbed the camper again and drove up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for another spontaneous camping trip. This time with our friends Bri, Sarah and both of their dogs! The campground we stayed at was right in the White Mountains but didn’t have any running water or electricity so we got to rough it a bit!
Kyle and I arrived early in the day and decided to hike the Flume, which is a gorgeous gorge with views of the White Mountains all around. The following day we decided to hike a 4000 foot mountain (much to my dismay) but When in Rome! We opted to scale Mt Tecumseh because it was a “short and easy one”, and though my anxiety made this a really challenging climb, I was proud to make it to the top and have a nice view (and a White Claw) waiting for me.
If there is one thing this trip taught me, it’s to not listen to a #NH48 hiker when they call a hike easy! haha
Another big highlight of 2019 was my family trip to Estes Park, Colorado. Estes Park is located at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, so we rented a house in a great location and stuffed as much into the week as possible. We hiked a variety of trails throughout the park, drove over the Trail Ridge Road, spotted many different types of wildlife and soaked in the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The group even somehow convinced my mom and my aunt to go ATVing with us!
We also spent some time on both ends of the trip exploring the town of Boulder and the city of Denver! Kyle and I fell in love with Colorado and it spiked the idea that we might like to move there some day! (2020 goal?)
The best part of this trip was that it brought together a large amount of my extended family. Siblings, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and significant others all got to explore Colorado together, (with only a small amount of disagreements!)
My brother put together an AMAZING video from our trip. Check it out below!
October, November & December 2019
After the excitement wore off from our few months of back to back adventures, I realized that my bank account was hurting and I needed to make some changes. I started in on a journey to become debt free, and began hardcore budgeting, cutting spending, bringing in extra income with side hustles and slowing way down.
If you’re interested at all in debt payoff or budgeting methods, feel free to ask in the comments. I love nerding out and talking about this stuff!
November was low key but we were able to get to 3 concerts this month alone! We kicked off the month with Eric Church, which was the last country singer that I had always wanted to see live. A couple weeks later, Kyle and I treated ourselves to Taking Back Sunday tickets for our 3 year anniversary, and then jumped at the chance to see the throwback band Trapt at small venue in our hometown! Every concert was awesome in it’s own way.
Our final adventure in 2019 brought us back to Clearwater, Florida to visit my boyfriend’s mom and step-dad. Though our stay was short, it was great to be able to visit them during the Holiday season and to escape the cold and snow for some Sunny and 75 Florida weather. We’ll definitely move there someday.
Reflecting on 2019
It’s weird to sit down and type up this 2019 round up now because I spent most of the year fighting crippling imposter syndrome. If you don’t know what that means, “Imposter Syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.” For me, this played out in my blogging. I started this blog to help inspire others to break out of the routine and make the most of their weekends and vacation days, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was putting up a social media facade of this grand life of adventures while rotting away in my cubicle each day.
Ironically, writing this 2019 round up post has reminded me how amazing my year was and how I lived it to the fullest and got to share these adventures with SO many different friends.
Shoutout to my all of my amazing adventure buddies this year: Kyle, Brianna, Cherie, Jason, Crystal, Maddy, Jim, Megan L., Christina, Alyssa, Kristen P., Janelle, Isabela, Kristen C., Amanda, Nikki, Rachel, Amy, Eric, Bri Unsworth, Sarah, Justin, Alex, Alycia, Jim, Cindi, Helen, Bill, Jeanne, Mom and Dad, Susan and Jamy, and all of the new friends I met along the way, both near and far.
Sometimes I get caught up with adventures being everything but 2019 brought along a lot of non-adventure highlights as well. New babies for two of my best friends, a wonderful wedding of two amazing people, countless backyard bonfires and cookouts, my parents’ new puppy Rylee and football Sundays with them, hosting brunches with friends I’ve known for basically 20 years now, holidays with family, a renewed love for yoga practice, happy hours, sushi/ramen date nights, and cozy evenings curled up on the couch in our home. I don’t take any of those experiences for granted! A lot of those memories are what shaped my year as a whole.
What to Expect for 2020
To be honest, I don’t really know what to expect for 2020. What I can tell you is that it has a lot of exciting potential.
- I will be training in January to become an associate Travel Agent through Pioneer Valley Cruise Planners so keep an eye out for that!
- I just won 4 round trip airline tickets from a travel convention that Kyle and I went to this year, so who knows where that will take us!
- We just booked a weekend in Lake Placid, NY for some fun winter activities and my first attempt at learning to ski.
- On the long-term horizon, we are contemplating some fun ideas that involve selling our house and getting out of dodge. Keeping the vision board flexible!
- I think you’ll see a bigger focus on budget travel and local adventures from me this year. I would love to find a balance between being frugal and paying down my debts, and still getting out and exploring on the weekends.
- And I hope to ramp up my weekend hiking again! This also is a great way to explore frugally. Less beer, more nature.
So, that’s about it. If you made it this far, please comment below and tell me what adventure you have planned for 2020! It’s a new decade filled with all sorts of new and exciting opportunities. Let’s make the most of it! Until next time my friends…