They say you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been, so in this post, I’m doing a 2017 year in review.
My Year in Review: A Trip Down Memory Lane
“Life is like underwear. Change is good.”
This saying is true and was even truer (is that a word?) in 2017.
The year began with a big life change: in mid-January, I left my job of 4+ years.
I was very unhappy and had been for quite some time, so it was time for a fresh start. I needed a breather.
I’ve always been somewhat of an entrepreneur and had a job/business of some sort since I was a young child. I babysat, mowed lawns, pet sat, walked dogs, and delivered newspapers to make money.
I got my first “real” job scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins when I was 14 years old and worked there for 2 years. My last summer there, I worked double shifts so I could treat my family to a week at the beach.
So, a little time off would be good for me. It would give me time to reflect, decide what direction I want to take with my career, and plan for my future. I’m grateful for the time I was there, all the great people I met, and everything I learned and accomplished.
Despite the rough start, January DID bring something that I love: the annual DC Travel & Adventure Show. In 2017, I attended the show as press and was able to meet and interview some travel industry experts such as Peter Greenberg, Angel Castellanos, Jack Maxwell, and Samantha Brown. So.Much.Fun!
In February, I went on 2 short trips: one to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and one to Portsmouth, Virginia. Gettysburg was really interesting and so full of history. I also got to see a cool covered bridge! Portsmouth is by the water and also has a quaint historic area; I especially enjoyed seeing all of the historic houses.
In April, I headed down to DC to check out the annual BlossomKiteFestival, part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It was a beautiful day for kite flying and site seeing. The colorful kites made for some amazing pictures, too 🙂
At the end of May, I celebrated a major turning point in my life: the big 5-0! Although the number is big, I don’t feel (or act, according to a friend of mine) my age. LOL.
My boyfriend took me to beautiful St. Michaels, MD, for a few days to celebrate. We started the day with a delicious brunch, explored the Maritime Museum, then looked around some of the little shops. One of my favorite places to visit for sure. We ended each day with an amazing sunset like this one. What more could you want?!
My birthday celebration continued with a girl’s night out at the Muse Paint Bar in Merrifield, Virginia. My friend, Sheri, thoughtfully arranged for a fun night of painting, good company, and lots of wine! LOL.
In June, one of my oldest friends (in terms of time, not age) invited me to join her in The Big Easy for a few days. She had a conference she was attending and already had the room paid for. All I had to do was pay for airfare and some incidentals. I decided to join her at the last minute and had a blast! I’d been wanting to go to New Orleans for years and was finally able to check it off my bucket list. The best parts: I got to reconnect and hang out with my friend AND we got to see Harry Connick, Jr., in concert.
In July, we visited Oxford, Maryland and St. Michaels (for the 2nd time). Love being by the water as much as possible!
September brought several trips: Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, where we indulged in some delicious crabs and a very quick trip to Orlando, Florida with a stop in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, on the looonggggg drive back (another item checked off my bucket list – yippee!)
In December, we went on one last trip to Wheeling, West Virginia. We stayed in a historic hotel frequented by JFK, Marilyn Monroe (not sure if they ever stayed there together or not – wink wink), Senator Joseph McCarthy, and others. The town is full of history and the people were friendly.
The year ended quietly. In December, I went to see the National Christmas Tree with my friend, Sheri. My boyfriend and I spent Christmas with my family at my sister’s house. The year ended with a quiet night at home.
Some day trips were thrown in throughout the year, making life a little more fun and interesting 🙂
Where I’ve Been (By the Numbers)
Although I love exploring places outside of the country, this past year’s adventures were limited to the U.S. I’m not alone, though.
Did you know that in as of 2017, only 46% of U.S. citizens had valid passports? What’s up with that?!
Anyway, here’s where I went this past year:
Cities Visited: 21
- DC; DE (Rehobeth Beach); FL (Orlando, Steinhatchee); GA (Savannah); LA (New Orleans); MD (Frederick, Oxford, St. Michaels (3 times!); VA (Charlottesville, Delaplane, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Leesburg, Lovingston, Madison, Occoquan, Purcellville, Schuyler, Woodbridge); WV (Wheeling)
Craft Beverage Makers Visited: 30
- Breweries: 4
- Cideries: 1
- Distilleries: 3
- Wineries: 22 (aka waaay too many according to my boyfriend)
Festivals Attended: 4
- Cherry Blossom Kite Festival
- Turf Valley Balloon Fest
- Vintage Virginia Wine Festival
- Baltimore Wine Fest
What I Accomplished in 2017
This past year, I focused my energy on myself: my blog (which made me very happy) and personal development. Here’s some of what I accomplished:
- Wrote & published 49 blog posts
- Published 2 huge collaboration posts:
- Created 4 videos for my YouTube channel, 1 of which was an interview with a professional concierge (the first in a series I’m doing)
- Created the 7-Day Adventure Awaits Travel Challenge
- Continued to learn more about blogging through experts such as Jonathan Milligan of Blogging Your Passion
- Joined and participated in a weekly blogging mastermind group led by Jonathan Milligan where I interact with, learn from, and am held accountable by other bloggers
- Increased the number of followers on my social media channels
Career: Did some freelance work; learned new skills directly related to my field
Personal Development: Read and listened to a LOT of books including:
- You are a Badass at Making Money (Jen Sincero)
- The Miracle Morning for Writers (Hal Elrod & SJ Scott) (there’s also The Miracle Morning for non-writers – highly recommend either)
- Living Forward (Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy)
- Having It All: Achieving Your Life’s Goals and Dreams (John Assaraf)
- The 5-Second Rule (Mel Robbins)
- Rich Bitch (Nicole Lapin)
- Boss Bitch (Nicole Lapin)
What’s Ahead: My Goals for 2018
I’m very excited to see what 2018 has to bring and there’s a lot I want to accomplish. Here are some of my goals:
- Continue to write and publish 1 blog post per week
- Start a podcast
- Learn how to present myself on camera via help from pros like Val Brown (podcast: “Camera Ready with Val Brown“)
- Start doing Facebook Lives
- Create and publish more videos (how to’s, product reviews, destination overviews, etc.)
- Write and publish my first e-book
Career: Secure a new full-time job
Health: Improve my health through clean eating, meditation, exercise, and plenty of sleep
Personal Development: Continue to read and learn every day.
And last but definitely not least…
Travel: Check off more items on my bucket list such as:
- Banff, Canada
- Quebec City, Canada
- The Southwest United States (Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico
Thanks for taking the time to read this recap. I appreciate your support in 2017 and look forward to 2018!
Are there any topics you would like to learn more about?
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Wishing you awesome travels in the coming year!
A Traveling Broad