Happy New Year! I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks from France to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and writing now from London, England. I hope tonight will be as memorable as last year in Ghent, Belgium! I haven’t had time to write down any posts, so I’ve got some work ahead of me in 2015.
To commemorate the excellent year that was 2014, I’ve pulled together “panorama” shots taken throughout the year. If anyone remembers my resolution last year to be present, these photos are a special reminder of the places I’ve stood and my feelings in that moment.
Jay and I’s first adventure to Africa is a favorite memory for both of us. We got lost (literally) in the gritty, pungent maze of the Fez medina, stuffed ourselves with delicious, traditional food, rode ATV’s to the Sahara desert, and slept under the most beautiful, intense stars I’ve ever seen.
During my mom’s first visit to Spain we traveled with my aunt to Barcelona and Paris! I loved sightseeing with them and laughing about the oddities of Europe compared to the United States that I had gotten used to after six months living in Spain. I can’t wait for them to visit again in May!
For an entire month this past summer I worked at a summer camp in a rural area of the province of Burgos. It was extremely challenging for me in many ways: nightly hour-long staff meetings in a foreign language, too little sleep, and missing my boys. However, I grew from the experience. I seriously improved my Spanish level and saw areas of Spain I never would have otherwise!
In August I had planned a celebration trip to Italy for finishing camp, turning 24, and our two-year anniversary. It was more hot and hectic than laid-back, that’s for sure. But how could you forget a trip to stunning Italy? My favorite memories are walking through Rome’s ancient ruins and swimming in the Mediterranean near Cinque Terre. I’ll have some hilarious, “tragic” stories from Couchsurfing, hostel-hopping, and the hiker’s refuge disaster.
This fall we didn’t travel as much as last year because we have Guinness with us and we’re still trying to balance it out. However, some friends planned a weekend trip for a group of 20 to travel to Navarra to stay in a casa rural. We collaborated on meals, chipped in for alcohol, and spent two days outdoors or hanging out in front of the fire. Guinness even got to come along! It was a perfect weekend away surrounded by fun people and beautiful scenery.
This past month was the busiest of the year, especially in regard to travel! We opted to stay in La Rioja during Spain’s December puente, but traveled to Ezcaray with friends. I joined in last minute on a trip to Morocco with girlfriends, and just 5 days later we left on our Christmas holidays! I’m not feeling worn out at all yet… But maybe that will change after a 12-hour flight across the Atlantic. I love the adventures I’ve had this month with Jay and friends.
The last scenes are from our travels in Northern Freance: a visit to Chateau de Chantilly and a panoramic view of Paris from the top of Galleries de Lafayette. I love Paris! This time around we stayed in the beautiful area of Montmartre. The middle photo was taken yesterday during our visit to the British Museum. These are some of the sculptures from the east pediment of the Parthenon! It was special to find these because it really reminded me of standing on the Acropolis during my study abroad in Greece– my first trip to Europe!
As today is our last day in London we’ll be running around trying to see all we can and prepare for the NYE fireworks show tonight!
So what’s next for 2015? In the next few weeks I’ll apply for another year teaching in Spain! In the mean time, tomorrow I’m off to spend 10 days in Oklahoma surrounded by family and friends. Again, Happy New Year to everyone– I hope you’re spending this evening wherever and however your heart desires!