2019 Reflections

It’s officially the last day of the year, and though I’ve been rather absent for the last few months, this year has been full of new experiences, love, and more travels.
2018 was a bright, shining, adventurous year.

I visited Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Spain. I was traveling for nearly four months and by the end of it I was quite literally a different person. I finished that year by attending the wedding of one of my dearest friend’s and by returning home to a place that suddenly felt way too small for me.
2019 began with a lot of change.

I had to shift my entire world view. I began taking better care of my body by changing my diet (I became vegetarian) and brought yoga and meditation into my weekly routine. I began to reframe my situation from “trapped” to “on my way”. My new romantic relationship bloomed and I decided to move from my home in Hawaii to Germany. On my way, I stopped to spend a week with my best friend in LA. This was one of the highlights of my year.

By April I was in Germany, trying to adjust to life in a new country where I don’t speak the language or know the culture. It took a lot of trial and error, questions, awkward moments, and a bit of feeling utterly hopeless, but I finally had the experience that I had long dreamed of— living abroad.

In June, I did something I never expected to do in all my life, and got married! It was private, intimate, and perfect for us. The next day we headed out for Italy for a mini-family vacation, to the place where we first met. I spent my birthday looking out over the Atlantic Ocean while sipping espresso, eating pizza, swimming and lounging on the Italian seaside, and we had a beautiful dinner of pasta and chocolate cake.

In September I headed back to Hawaii, and spent a week with my aunts in Miami on the way. A wonderful week of family time, delicious food, and Miami sunshine. My time back in Hawaii for the visit was filled with so many emotions. Leaving your family behind is never easy, and for me it was nearly impossible in some ways. While I was there I embraced every moment— waking up at 6 am to watch the sunrise, tending to my tiny garden, hours of snuggles with my fur babies, and most importantly, seeing friends that I had missed and spending precious time with my loved ones.

While I was in Hawaii we also took a trip to Maui, an island that holds so much nostalgia for me sometimes it makes me want to burst. Maui is the island where I was born, where I was raised, and where so much of the “what ifs” in my life reside.

Finally my time back home came to an end, and I set out on an exciting nightmare of an adventure to somewhere I had always wanted to visit— Edinburgh. After five flights, one of my airlines not allowing me on my flight, and much running from one busy terminal to the next, I made it to Edinburgh. I plan to write about my time there in greater detail in the near future, but I have to say that it was magical. If you are thinking about going to Edinburgh, do it!

Then, finally, after nearly two months apart, I returned to my love here in Germany. Since then, I have begun a German language integration course, been to a satisfactory amount of Christmas Markets, and celebrated my first Christmas and New Years without my loved ones on the other end of the globe.

This year was so fulfilling, and sometimes frustrating, and other times a little lonely. This year felt like a stepping stone, a breath between one great adventure and the next. I am so thankful for this year, and I am beyond excited for the next.

I’m ready 2020– may you bring me (and anybody reading this!) many travels, growth, and happiness.

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