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2014: Year in Review

I called 2014 the Year of Foundation since I believed I would laying the groundwork for the future. Check, check and check. Things didn’t always go 100% according to plan, but overall I am happy with how the year unfolded.

Big moments of 2014:
  1. I got engaged to the love of my life!
  2. I visited five new countries: India, Morocco, Qatar, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.
  3. Ryan and I planned our big, RTW trip, and now are making it happen!
  4. I finished out my service working with an amazing NGO in Bahir Dar.
  5. I became a RETURNED Peace Corps Volunteer.

What were a few of your top moments of 2014?

2014: The Year Ahead

It’s 2014 already?? That’s crazy. When did that happen?

A lot of big things are happening this year, mainly that I end my Peace Corps service in December 2014. It’s weird to think that this experience that I dreamed, wished and hoped to have for so long will be coming to an end. I’ve been thinking for awhile about what’s next, but this coming year will definitely set the tone for the future.

That said, I’ve decided my word for 2014 is Foundation. At first it sounded kind of silly to me, who has “The Year of the Foundation”? But the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense. So here is what the year ahead looks like and the things I’m considering this year…

Location

The guy I’ve been dating and I have been making a lot of plans for the future and things are still super in flux right now… we have an idea of where we’re going, but not literally WHERE we’re going, if that makes sense. He wants to go to grad school but won’t apply until next fall, so location is still up in the air.

Travel

I want to travel, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. This year I’m hopefully visiting at least two new countries and will begin planning my big trip after my close of service (COS) in December. Right now we’re shooting for around 4 months travelling and visiting five or more countries… stay tuned for more details on that as it develops. Additionally, there are still some places I’d like to visit in Ethiopia—namely the Danakil Depression—that I can’t visit until after my service.

Work

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what’s next for me. There are a lot of options floating around… some depend on the place we end up, such as getting a job. I plan on taking the Foreign Service Officer Test this year and seeing if that is a possibility. I am also considering getting TOEFL certified so that if we end up abroad, there is always a job I can do. And lastly, I want to attend yoga teacher training next year after COS… again another job I can do almost anywhere, but it’s mostly for me, especially if we’re living in places that practicing yoga with other people isn’t an option (like Ethiopia).

Learning

This is a big focus of mine this year, because there really isn’t a better time and place to do so! I want to take a couple of free online courses through edx.org (internet/network gods willing) and read 30 books. It sounds like a lot, but since I have to be home every night by 6:30pm (when it gets dark), I have an amazing amount of free time that I’ve never had before… usually at least 2.5-3 hours a night. This amounts to over a month (38 days to be exact) of time that I can use to further my own interests.

2013

It’s hard to believe that another year is down already. It seems like just last week that I was reflecting on 2012 and looking ahead to 2013… but alas, the year has flown by and I’m again reflecting and looking forward. A couple of my favorite tools that I use for this is Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review template and Susannah Conway’s Unravelling.

2012 was the Year of Goals & Change. In 2013, I wanted to Grow and Be Open. I set that intention at the beginning of the year—living in Ethiopia for a full year would be a huge growth experience and I wanted to be there embracing the growth—but now looking back at my year in reflection, there is one word that pops up over and over.

Love.

He was unexpected, but certainly not unwelcome. Although it was the last thing I expected to find here, somehow I did… or maybe it found me? Tuesday is a year after we started dating, a sort of defacto anniversary since that’s the only date that really sticks out in either of our minds.

So I guess I’m just trying to say this past year has been a major turning point in my life and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings me.