How to top the most amazing year of your life
We welcomed in the new year in a new city – Bogota. While everyone rushed out to parties and clubs to celebrate, I decided to honour a tradition I started several years ago.
I like to find a quiet space and spend time reflecting on the past year, celebrating my successes and learning from my failures. Then I dream about the new year and take time to feel what it would be like to live my ideal life. What am I doing, who am I with, where do I spend my time.
I journal and write it all down – everything I’m feeling, everything I’m longing for, everything I love. Then I close off the old year with gratitude and welcome the new year from a place of excitement.
2017 was obviously a big year for me. I lived in ten different countries, made 50+ new friends, tried new experiences and pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone I can’t even see the lines anymore!
So now everyone asks how I’m going to top that in 2018.
Truth is, my idea of topping it is probably very different than most expect.
Yes, there are so many more cities and countries I want to visit, things to try and adventures to have. But success for me in 2018 doesn’t involve any of those things.
Success looks like celebrating my nephew’s seventh birthday with him, going to his baseball games and watching him in the school play. It means cheering on my niece as she learns to ride a bike, laughing as we splash in the pool and baking cookies together.
It means watching the sunset with my sister, as we talk late into the night. It means having a weekly dinner date with my baby brother and welcoming his first child into the world. It means planning adventures with my mom and reassuring my dad we’ll be fine.
Success is reconnecting with dear friends, seeing how their children have grown, listening to their stories of happiness, sadness and joy from the past year, sharing my journey and embracing it all.
Success is continuing to follow my passions, it’s doing something every day that I love, it’s dreaming big and knowing that I can achieve it. It’s telling my story and inspiring others. It’s believing that anything is possible.
It’s month 11 of this crazy year-long adventure and I thought I’d have mixed emotions about the end quickly approaching.
I know I’m going to miss the friendships I’ve built, I know it will feel strange to walk away after spending 24 hours a day together for one year. I know I’m going to miss the adventure and excitement of exploring new cities. I’ll miss the freedom of choosing how to spend my time every day.
I’ll miss the community we’ve created. But I know we’ll always be there for each other, that I can travel to nearly any city or country and have a friend waiting for me. And I’ll know they’ll come to visit me too.
The end of Remote Year isn’t the end of the adventure, it’s just shifting.
My next adventure is returning home and seeing family and friends, living in the home I bought just before leaving, exploring the changes in my hometown, rediscovering favourite restaurants and hiking trails and beaches.
I’m excited about this next phase! There are people to meet, experiences to be had and plenty of love and laughter to go around.
Will I get restless? Maybe.
Will I want to plan another trip? Probably.
Will I experience the full range of emotions? Definitely.
But isn’t that what life’s about? Letting ourselves feel everything, trying on new experiences, finding what we love and pursuing more of it.
At least that’s how I choose to live my life – go all in, play full out and love every minute of it!