Chipping Campden

Hello there!

Welcome to my blog, where I document my adventures in travel, style, and everyday life.

A look back at 2018

A look back at 2018

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about 2018. For me, it was a pretty great year. I took two solo trips, visited seven different countries, finally got to see some European Christmas markets, and spent quality time with friends and family. I know I didn’t share any of my goals on the blog for 2018 so there really isn’t much need for me to recap them in this post, but I do want to give you a quick rundown of this year’s highlights and touch on a few of the goals I may or may not have achieved. Here goes nothing!

In March of 2018, I got to see one cousin’s newborn baby, while attending the wedding of another cousin in Texas. This was a really fun weekend and I was able to see and visit with so many members of my extended family who I hadn’t seen in ages. The older we get the harder it is to get everyone together. My ninety-two year old grandpa walked my cousin down the aisle and gave her away, which may have been the most special moment for me to have witnessed.

After the wedding, I turned my pups over to my long-suffering parents before jetting off to Romania. This was my first time visiting Romania and my first time driving outside the country. Let me tell you, it was quite the adventure! I also met my sweet friend Jacqeline on my first day in Bucharest and we’ve remained internet/ blogging buddies ever since. I know I’ve mentioned it several times, but if you haven’t checked out her blog, you really should do so here.

After ten days rambling around Transylvania, it was time to head to Munich, Germany. I’ve passed through the airports of Germany more times than I care to count, but had never spent any time here. I now understand why everyone seems to love Germany so much. It’s so clean, efficient, and has a ton of history; I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the country. While in Munich, I also made time to revisit one of my favorite cities and eat a ton of Mozart Kugels. After a second visit, Salzburg still remains high on my list of favorites.

I stayed close to home for most of the summer, with the exception of a few short trips to visit my grandpa in the mountains of southern New Mexico. In September, I spent a weekend at the All American Quarter Horse Races and Horse Sale in Ruidoso, New Mexico with friends. This was a weekend getaway that I missed in 2017 and I’m so glad that I was able to see everyone this year. I promised my friends I would make this an annual event because two years away was just too long. Already looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2019.

I decided to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend and extended my time away from work for the rest of the week so that I could visit my little brother out in Arizona. I used to visit Arizona pretty frequently when my parents also lived there, but its gotten harder now that they’ve moved further away. It was great to spend time with brother and visit some old family friends in the area, as well as lots of my favorite places in Tucson. I really need to put together a guide of my favorite spots and things to do out there. It has so many hidden gems!

The first two weeks of December took me to the Christmas markets in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and I even managed to fit in a day trip to Helsinki, Finland. I had been wanting to see European Christmas markets and visit the Baltic countries for quite a while now; combining them turned out to be the perfect way to accomplish two goals at once. I can’t believe that this meant I also got to visit the top rated Christmas Market of 2018, which was in Tallinn, Estonia. This region is vastly underrated and I only got to see a small part of each country. It’s an area that I would love to revisit in the future. I’m so glad that I didn’t listen to all the naysayers who told me it would be cold, dark, and miserable. Sure it was cold, but the crisp air just lent to that magical Christmas feeling.

When it comes to non travel related goals, I did fairly well, but also fell short in a few places. I grew both my Instagram and Pinterest followings to 500, a number I wasn’t sure I would reach in my first year of blogging. On the other hand, I wanted to publish a minimum of 100 blog posts and fell quite short on that front. I also did not meet the goal I had set of reading thirty books. I did manage to read twenty-five, which is one more than last year so I guess that shows some improvement.

All in all, I accomplished a lot more than I ever thought was possible last year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!

How was your 2018? I would love to hear about your year and all of the adventures you went on.

Friday Five: Volume II • Week I

Friday Five: Volume II • Week I

How to Survive a Government Shutdown: from a fed in the trenches

How to Survive a Government Shutdown: from a fed in the trenches