A lot happened this year. Italics for emphasis so ya’ll know I’m serious. Here’s a quick snapshot of what stands out to me when I think back on each month of the past year.
I start my YouTube channel! I’ve been thinking about doing it for at least two months but keep putting it off. Then, I decide if I wait any longer it might never happen and force myself to edit and upload my New Year’s Eve fireworks video. I’m so nervous about being on camera that I only show myself for 1 second to say “Happy New Year” and that’s it but at least I face my fear and actually create and upload a video!
My parents come to visit DC! Unfortunately the biggest snow storm of the year came the same week and they froze their little Californian butts, but we still managed to have a really good time. We do a ton while they’re here, like a White House tour, and afterward the sense comes over me that I’m ready to say goodbye to DC. I’ve seen and done all the cool touristy things in the city. I love my friends there and think it’s a great city, but I can’t see myself there long-term.
I’m starting to become more and more sure that I’m ready to leave my job and DC, but am unsure where to move next and how to make that transition. I continue to feel a bit unhappily lost.
My boyfriend and I decide to move to Seattle together. Before the move in August, I decide to do some solo travel around Europe during the summer. I am full of anxiety as I force myself to book my flight to Europe. Then it’s official: come June, I’ll be on a flight to Paris. Still TBD what I’ll do after I land.
I give my notice at my job! A surprisingly stressful experience. It’s my first time ever giving my two weeks and I feel like I’m about to throw up before going into our HR guy’s office. After almost two years at this company, I’m heading off into the unknown.
My European adventure. I travel solo for the most part, sightseeing in northern Italy, WWOOFing on two farms in France, and visiting Stockholm. I also meet up with my good friend to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 10-day, 100-mile hike through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Neither of us are experienced hikers but we manage to stay alive and have a lot of fun. It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my life, followed by another once-in-a-lifetime moment when we decide to face our fear of heights and death and go paragliding in the Alps.
There’s definitely a lot of stress that can come with travel, like when you and a friend have a complete road trip failure in England or when you get lost in the Alps or when you can’t go anywhere because Italy has yet another train strike. And then, of course, there’s the loneliness that can come with solo travel.
That being said, some of the best moments of my life came during my travels this summer. Especially during my TMB hike and while on this farm, I’m more joyous and content than I have been in a long time.
My boyfriend and I break up. So much for those Seattle plans…August is a month of heartbreak.
I move to San Francisco! I start a new job! Still a bit heartbroken, but beginning a new life.
I take a last-minute trip to Chicago to visit one of my best friends from college. And when I say last minute, I mean really last minute. I book my flight less than a week out and it’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am type of visit with me arriving Saturday at 2 am and leaving Sunday at 10:30 pm to get back for work on Monday. That being said, even though we’re both sick with colds and Saturday was rainy, chatting for hours while we drink dozens of cups of tea between us is like a healing balm being applied to my soul. It’s exactly what I need and I return to California happier than I have been in a couple months.
I go to Monterey for Thanksgiving and Lake Tahoe for a weekend trip with friends and am reminded why my long-held belief that California is the best state in the Union is indisputably true. Some come close, and most have more water than we currently have, but in California the mountains, the beach, the desert, the valley, one of the best cities in the world, and so much more are all within only a few hours of each other. And that’s just northern California.
I see a real, live YouTuber in-person for the first time! Tyler Oakley comes to town to promote his new documentary, Snervous. I make a vlog about it and give my review of the film and Tyler and Korey Kuhl both tweet their thanks to me. It’s a nice way to cap off my first year on YouTube.
Another thing that’s nice is driving an hour and a half to get home for Christmas rather than the between 4 and 12 hour flights I’ve taken the previous eight years to come for the holidays. Considering I don’t particularly like flying, this is a wonderful little Christmas present to myself (and my wallet).
Now we’re in present day and I’m starting this blog! Let’s see where it goes!