With a new year upon us, I’m not surprised that I have been overcome by a sense of inspiration to become a better me. I’ve been on this soul searching mission all year and I’ve realized that the soul is something you won’t find when you set out to look for it. It is something that you just feel internally.

I’ve also realized that I’m not necessarily on a mission to become a new self, but rather rediscover an old one that has managed to get lost over the years. Things happen in life; you move away from your childhood friends, go to your first parties, fall in love, get your heart broken, start college, more moving, seeing and doing. We face tragedies, trauma and triumph. All of these experiences shape what kind of people we become.

This year, my travels have taught me valuable lessons that I don’t think would otherwise have been learned…

1. Challenge myself. No problem will leave me where I found it.

2. Think outside of the box.

3. Don’t rely on anyone else for too much of anything, especially when it comes to MY happiness.

4. It is easier to give advice than it is to take it.

5. The west coast is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen and will hold it in my heart forever.

6. Admit fault. Accept failure. Move forward.

7. Hot Springs are heaven on earth.

8. Never give up on true love.

9. Southern Cali has some of the best tacos I will ever eat.



10. There is no place like home.

2012 has been an incredible year of personal growth. I can’t wait to continue to grow and learn in the new year. Life is all about what you make it, and I plan to continue to make it amazing. Traveling is something that I am grateful for, but life is the real journey. Day to day victories, no matter how small, should be celebrated. I know this is what keeps me moving forward.