Another year has come and gone and, like most, I’m looking back and thinking about everything that’s happened over the last 12 months.
I went back and read my reflections on 2014 and I realized that I definitely fulfilled one of the goals I had set for myself, which was to make travel a priority. It’s no secret that I love to travel, but this past year I managed to squeeze in more trips than I ever have. Even with working a full time job and being in school for my MBA for 7 months out of the year, I traveled to: New York City, Phoenix, Boston, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Cambodia, and Charleston. I also visited a lot of new places in my home state of Florida.
It was crazy and sometimes stressful to travel so much considering I had so many other responsibilities, but I loved every second of it! Of course, money was always tight. People at work still don’t understand how I do it. But I always tell them the way I afford to travel is by not spending money on stuff I don’t need and prioritizing what’s important to me.
It’s hard to say what my favorite travel experience of 2015 was. However, I think if I had to narrow it down, it would be finally visiting New York City for the first time, exploring Machu Picchu, learning about elephants in Thailand, and walking around Angkor Wat.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I often traveled with my boyfriend Will. Back in September, however, we broke up. I won’t go into detail, for obvious reasons, but I will say that I took it pretty hard. As far as my blog goes, he had been a part of it from the very beginning. He was my first follower on Instagram. He would proofread my posts. He’d hold up Buddy for me so I could take pictures. But most importantly, he was always so encouraging. For this reason, I decided not to alter any of my old posts. I had considered going back and changing them to say “my ex-boyfriend…” or even deleting him from the posts altogether. But I don’t think that would be right, considering how much he helped me with the blog. And as hard as it was to realize that he would no longer be a part of the BTTM team, I have to believe that everything happens for a reason.
What a year it’s been for my blog! I was still floundering with it for a bit in the beginning of the year. I wasn’t writing as much as I wanted to because of work and school. I kept comparing myself to other bloggers and thinking how horrible I was. I even wrote a post about how blogging was depressing AF. But eventually I got into a groove. I started writing pretty consistently and my followers were growing. I went to two blogging conferences, WITS and TBEX, where I learned more about my craft and met some amazing people.
The only hiccup I had was after the breakup. I didn’t write anything for a while and I barely touched my social media accounts. Naturally my motivation was low and my numbers dropped. But I’ve gotten back in the swing of things and I’m getting back to writing consistently. I’ve recently hit the milestones of having over 2,000 followers on both Instagram and Twitter. And, I had my first comped stay at a resort in Thailand and had a comped tour in the Everglades. All things I thought would never happen.
I honestly have no idea. I don’t have any trips planned for 2016 yet. I’m not sure whether I should stick to smaller trips throughout the US so I can travel more frequently, or save up and go on a bigger trip out of the country. I’ve also been considering teaching English in another country. So I dunno. As of right now, I’m just gonna wing it and see how things go. The only thing I do know is that I’m going to continue to blog about my adventures and hopefully it will inspire others to travel and go on adventures themselves.
What was 2015 like for you? What are your plans for 2016? We’d love to read your comments below 🙂