It’s hard to believe that 2014 is coming to a close in a few short weeks. The whole month of December has already been a bit of a whirlwind of holiday parties, dinners out, shopping, errands, time with family, and trying to squeeze in extra workouts to balance the champagne that seems to be constantly flowing. Not that I’m complaining.
Despite the frantic pace of December, I always try to take some time around the holidays to look back over the past year and reflect on everything that happened.
When it comes to thinking back on the travel I’ve done over the year, my head is always in a permanent state of “I wish I had travelled more”. It is a default setting of sorts; for me, a lot of travel never seems to be enough. In fact, I can’t think of a year when I’ve gotten to December and thought: Welp, that was plenty of time away…I should really dial back my travel plans next year.
When I take the time to REALLY think about the last twelve months, though, that’s when I always come to appreciate how many places I’ve actually been, and how fortunate I am to be able to travel. Instead of taking it for granted, this helps me really appreciate every single journey. A few thoughts on my favorite trips in 2014…
The travel highlight this year was the trip I took to Hong Kong and Thailand back in March. I had dreamed of visiting both places for YEARS, and I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty and culture I experienced. That trip was before this blog was started so I haven’t posted about the whole thing yet, but there’s more to come.
Over the summer, I headed up the California coast for a girls’ weekend with my best friends from college. We try to do a getaway every year but lately have been sidetracked by weddings and babies. In 2014, we were back in action and I loved every minute of brunching, shopping, catching up, and lounging poolside with my lovely ladies.
In addition to fun personal travel, work travel this year brought me to a few of my usual stops: San Francisco, Chicago and New York City.
Despite logging plenty of miles, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, my greatest journey this year was starting The Belle Voyage.
I’d been a blog reader for several years, mostly fashion blogs, with the occasional beauty or food blog thrown in for good measure. I’d always thought it’d be fun to have a blog of my own but truthfully, I just figured I’d be better off writing in a journal since nobody would read it anyways. I also just kept telling myself that I really didn’t have time for any new side projects. To make matters worse, I knew nothing about coding, WordPress, hosting, etc. – it was pretty much a foreign language to me.
One day I was feeling especially fearless and just decided to adopt the attitude that I didn’t care about what was holding me back from doing something that I truly wanted to do. I brainstormed a blog name over some Thai food and (let’s be honest) more than a few glasses of wine. Once I came up with the name of the blog, I was determined to make it happen.
Since starting The Belle Voyage, I have had my share of ups and downs – frustration over wordpress settings, stressing that my content wasn’t unique or interesting, exhaustion from staying up late to write or edit photos, and excitement when total strangers commented on what I had to say. This still gets me giddy every single time. I have a long way to go to reach my goals for this blog but I am loving every minute, and I’m proud of doing something that I thought I couldn’t.
Travel changes you. It can push your boundaries of comfort, empower you, and make you richer than you ever thought possible. What I’ve learned in 2014 is that sometimes you won’t travel a mile on the journeys that change you the most.
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