26 was a crazy year of ups and downs, emotional and physical turmoil, and some really amazing highlights (including getting engaged!)
These 26 memories (in rough chronological order) are the most unforgettable moments of this past year.
I turned 27 yesterday, and had a blast compiling this 🙂 I hope you enjoy!
So goodbye 26, here’s to 27, hoping it’s filled with just as much love, laughter, and learning!
1. Celebrated Carnaval with my sister visiting from Michigan, and my then soon-to-be fiance
2. Fell in love with my balcony (it’s possible) and the band of monkeys that would come visit me
3. Quit my steady, stable job that saw me from an office in Thailand to a remote worker in Brazil… and became a blogger.
4. Became a volunteer English teacher and discovered my love for teaching
5. Rediscovered my love of the outdoors and hiking
6. Got engaged in Rome! (and had an experience that scared me off from Airbnb forever)
7. Visited Israel for the first time (and fell in love with the beautiful country, culture and cuisine) and also met my fiance’s awesome family for the first time ever
8. Made some of the most incredibly inspirational friends in Rio de Janeiro (and reignited my dinner party obsession)
9. Experienced my first Michigan summer in years, including 4th of July (my whole beautiful family is pictured here – “little” bro Austin, fiance Ran, ME, sister Becca, and my dad Steve)
10. After going back and forth about a wedding in Michigan, finally decided on a dream destination wedding in Thailand, and starting planning (and paying!!)… We’ll be getting married at the Koh Tao Viewpoint resort, a place that we had champagne at on our first trip as a couple, and dreamed of returning to.
11. Had my keys stolen and then sold back to me in Arraial do Cabo (the crime scene shown above)
12. Realized I would’ve never wanted to be an actress (it’s tough!) when I was filmed for a 1 hour episode of a TV show about Rio de Janeiro. I’m pictured here with the star and hostess of the show.
13. Lost my second computer in a year to a random crash – decided to finally go Mac and never look back
14. Started taking safety seriously by enrolling in self-defense classes (and learning Krav Maga from my fiance)
15. Completed Travel Blog Success (loved it!), started MatadorU (challenging and growth-inspiring), and finished a Gotham class (not recommended)
16. Got back into working out, thanks to an awesome trainer who has me hooked on pilates and strength training. If you’re ever in Rio de Janeiro, check out Ipanema Pilates with Guto!
17. Finally got a real camera (my love the Nikon AW1 – waterproof and shockproof) and dedicated myself to mastering it after years of blurry iPhone photos
18. Was affected by a kidney infection that landed me in the ER
19. Officially gave up on ever really speaking in Portuguese, and committed to learning Spanish by 2017. Even though I failed in my language quest, I met ALL of my friends through the amazing language school Casa do Caminho, and studying (and volunteering) there was by far my best choice while living in Rio de Janeiro.
20. Traveled solo for the first time in over a year – to Costa Rica!
21. Made a new bff when I met my travel soul sister (and ridiculously amazing photographer and inspiring writer) Lavi in Montezuma, Costa Rica.. this photo is courtesy of her!
22. Rode a (crazy) horse for the first time in years… in the pouring rain, somehow further inspiring a dormant childhood equine obsession (next up: horseback riding lessons in Puebla!)
23. Rappelled down a waterfall, succeeding in challenging (and conquering) my severe fear of heights
24. Modeled for a yoga-themed photoshoot in Costa Rica
25. Moved to Mexico! Instead of a city view or an ocean view from my balcony, I now have this volcano view…
26. Was reunited with this handsome hunk, the love of my life, after exactly one month apart! I vowed NEVER AGAIN, but then remembered I’m attending yoga teacher training in April for a month (eeek)… but after that, I’ll be keeping my solo stints to just a few weeks.
Sounds like quite a year!
Thanks Amanda! It’s been a blast for the most part! 🙂 Hope your year has gone well?
What an amazing year Steph and it sounds like you have so many more exciting things to look forward to! It’s always nice to look back on the good and maybe not so good things that have happened in the past 12 months, life is an amazing thing and what fun to see what has been accomplished 🙂
Thanks so much Emma! Agreed completely – it’s important to reflect on the amazing gift of life that we all have. Sometimes it’s too easy to just let it pass by without appreciation 🙂