I accomplished many firsts in this decade, I stretched my physical capabilities by running amazing races and summiting some amazing mountaintops. I have been more health conscious in this decade than any before and I plan to continue this trend by continuing to be active and focusing on my nutrition.
Each time I move to a new location regardless if it is for a week or a year I stretch my emotional capabilities. The ability to continually be starting over and being a stranger in an unfamiliar is both exhilarating and uncomfortable all at the same time.
As I learn about others and meet people from all different backgrounds and cultures, I learn more about myself as well. I am constantly amazed at what others have endured that I have taken for granted and the privileges I have been granted simply by circumstances beyond my control. These continual discoveries keep my gratitude list quite long and my faith in the human spirit high.
I have crossed a number of things off my bucket list and each time I do I think I add about ten more!
One of the most amazing things for me though is even as my bucket list grows, so too does my understanding that I will likely not get to everything before I get to the bucket. As I collect experiences along the way, the pressing need to achieve each and every item diminishes. I will continue to aim for them all but have no regrets if I can’t reach every one and I appreciate each moment in each experience.
As I am able to complete many of the items I desire I am in comfort and peace that I will enjoy all that I can in each. My ability to be present has increased and because of my desire to travel slow I have been able to really absorb the nuances of a location not just visit.
My gratitude for all I’ve been able to enjoy and discover gives me both the joy and peace that I have gotten to do more than I ever thought and the experiences have been rich and thorough. This is a unexpected benefit of this lifestyle.
I haven’t just collected airline miles and passport stamps, I have embedded myself in daily life, learned about the culture, volunteered with local groups and left footprints along my path. Whether I am in my home country in a new location, revisiting a location I have enjoyed previously or in a completely different culture there is so much I have received and in return I leave a bit of myself behind.
As I look ahead to the next year and decade I am filled with excitement. It is said that we over estimate what we can accomplish in a year and under estimate what we can accomplish in a decade. Being the over achiever that I am, I intend to blow it all out of the water over the next 10 years so buckle up, I’m just getting started!
I have some amazing adventures lined up for the upcoming year that I will happily take you along as best I can. My life is not just about the adventures and travels, I joke about wanting to have amazing stories to repeat when I’m old, but I really want to enhance my present moments.
Steve Jobs was quoted saying, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Having grown up in a household with a terminally ill parent has shaped the way I view life. No one knows how long or in what condition we will live, so as my sister likes to quote me, “How bout now? Now is good!”
As you step into this new year, may I remind you that you are already naked and encourage you to engage in every moment of this time we call life.