With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it only seemed fitting that I do a little reflecting on the past year. This time last year I was planning my wedding and when I wasn’t stressing over flower arrangements and securing last-minute details, I was pondering my career and in all honesty, feeling unsure about my next steps as a travel writer. Anyway, I wanted to share a few of the things I’m most thankful for this year.
Laying down roots
Diego and I are hardly what most people would consider traditional. Because we have both traveled so much within the last few years, we’ve slowly become unattached to material possessions. I never really understood the depth of this until about my fifth move in New York City within three years. Even now, the thought of moving gives me instant panic and as a result, I’ve placed much less value on shopping and collecting things. Yet, after we got married we both wanted to lay some roots. We had so much fun going to IKEA and deciding how we wanted to decorate our Lower East Side apartment. It’s so refreshing to walk into my apartment and feel like I’m home. It’s also nice to not have roommates anymore.
Trying new things
Undoubtedly the biggest challenge for me this year was taking a position at a large corporation. I accepted the role because deep down I felt like I was missing out on having “a real job” in the sense of working from an office. It was naive of me to think that I needed this to validate how hard I work and of course I was genuinely interested in the project, but ultimately, I can’t deny that the fear of missing out was a main motivation in that decision. However, I discovered early on that this was not what I wanted for my career, at least not right now. I went from having 100% control and flexibility to having zero of my needs met. Working at this “dream job” made me realize that I had actually already created my dream job so I decided to go back to it.
Learning life lessons
Despite leaving this position, I don’t regret my decision to take it on. Besides learning new and valuable skills that I’ve since applied to Bohemian Trails, it opened my eyes to my faults. There were times when I felt frustrated by the tasks I was assigned and I grew tiresome of dealing with so many different personality types. It reminded me that I have to be more humble, more patient and more accepting of my failures. As a freelancer, I’m always concerned about meeting my own deadlines, but working in a team environment again taught me that some things are out of my control and that I should put the team’s needs before my own. Working so many hours and still finding time to write forced me to improve my time management skills.
Traveling the world
Going off the previous two points, working at an office again resulted in less travel. Granted, I’m aware that I travel more than the average person but having periods of no travel made me really appreciate the opportunities I did have. From watching the famous Indy 500 race and spending a long weekend in Québec City to traveling to Asia for the first time ever last month, I have nothing but gratitude for these experiences. In a few weeks I’m headed to Nashville to experience the city during the off-season and then Diego and I are spending Christmas and New Years visiting his family in Argentina. It’s been nearly two years since we went on a “real vacation” so that’s the thing I’m looking forward to most, plus it will be summer there!
Concentrating on friends and family
The ups and down of the past year has brought me closer to my family and I’m increasingly finding more comfort in their words of encouragement. There are several new babies in my family and I’ve even become an aunt to two! I’ve always believed that friends and family are the key to happiness and yet I haven’t always taken my own advice to heart. While I still have a lot of growing to do, I’m excited to experience the roller coaster of life with the people who love me unconditionally. Similarly, I’m investing in real friendships and distancing myself from ones I don’t find sincere. I’m also trying to meet new people at events rather than only chatting with the people I already know. It’s been another change that I’m welcoming with open arms.
What are you most thankful for this year? Tell me in the comments below!
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