I literally don’t even know where to begin this post. SO MUCH has happened over the past few months. My life has been wild.
So I guess I’ll just take you along on a little story ride. And at the end I have some big news to share with you!
In the past few months, I…
1. Graduated with my masters degree in social work. (#23, long-term list; #2, short-term list)
Graduation was such a fun time for me. I have never been more proud as I watched my friends walk across that stage. Literally I stood up and cheered for them super loud like a dork, even though I was also graduating. It was embarrassing. I didn’t care.
This degree is my favorite thing. I love social work to pieces and sometimes I’m amazed that it exists. Like, sometimes I think it has to be some magical fairy dream thing and it’s not real that I get to literally just help people achieve their goals all day and fight injustice at the same time. Thank goodness for social work.
2. Traveled to Thailand! (#32, long-term list; #5, short-term list)
So get this. I graduated on May 17. At 1am on May 18, I was on a plane to Thailand.
Talk about life being cool.
The honest truth is that I just don’t have the space here to write all about how awesome Thailand was. Maybe one day in the future I’ll publish a whole post on just Thailand and it’s amazing sights, food, and people, but for now I’ll keep it short.
Thailand was an absolute dream. It was a dream because of all the beautiful temples, mountains, wildlife, and scenery. It was a dream because the people were so nice and friendly (especially in Chiang Mai!). It was a dream because it was cheap (we’re talkin’ like $4 a night for a nice hotel, people). It was a dream because we feasted on delicious meals. And it was a dream most of all because I got to spend it with three amazing women who I love.
I’ve written before about how shared experiences create human connection, and how that connection is what makes life meaningful. I’m so glad I got to share in the adventures of Thailand with girls who were spontaneous, easy-going, cheerful, and absolutely kind and loving. I am the luckiest.
3. Took a one second video every day for a year! (#77, long-term list; #8, short-term list)
I won’t post the video yet or even say too much about it, because I think it deserves a post all it’s own. But I finished taking a 1 second video every day for an entire year and it was AWESOME. I’ve written about how this project was impacting my life at the 3 month mark, but after a full year I’d have to say it’s done even more for me than I can imagine. I’m super excited to share all that in the future.
4. Traveled to a new city…or two. Or three. Or just too many to count. (#10, short-term bucket list)
When I was making my short-term bucket list, I really wanted to do a bit of traveling before graduation. But I ended up doing way more exploring than I anticipated.
So even though I set a goal to visit one new city this past spring, I found myself setting trails in a whooooole bunch. I’ll try to keep them in order of when I went to them.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Most of what we did in New Orleans consisted of eating, sleeping, eating, listening to jazz, eating, meeting fun people, eating, looking at art, eating, and eating. And eating some more. This city was so much fun and I know we barely scratched the surface in the three days we were there. I’ll definitely be back for more.
Who knew Portland, Maine was so cool?! Seriously, I am convinced this city is a hidden gem in America. It was kind of a weekender’s fantasy. We didn’t even intend to go there – we had plans to go to Bar Harbor further north, but realized we wouldn’t make the drive with enough time to explore and take it all in, so we stopped in Portland along the way and we did not regret it one bit. When we were there the summer tourists hadn’t yet arrived and it was still somewhat overcast chilly, which was the perfect climate for my ideal getaway. Plus, the food scene was unreal. Tom and I had the best lobster roll either of us had ever had in our entire lives – he literally got goosebumps while eating it. And the donuts from The Cookie Jar? Don’t even get me started. Mostly I liked frolicking along the coast, watching the waves crash against the rocks. There’s something about the ocean on a grey, cold day that just gets me. We also car camped one night and it was my first time doing that. I’m sold on car camping forever and ever.
Okay, so we were really only in Boston for one night, but it was a pretty great night, so I’m putting it in. We had no plans to explore Boston either, but we missed a flight we were going to take from Boston to Nashville and had to wait until the next morning to fly out. So of course we made the best of it! We rented a car, drove downtown, grabbed pasta from a restaurant in Little Italy, scarfed down some cannolis, and then went to the oldest bar in the city. They were having a karaoke night and it was absolutely unreal – the people performing were hilarious! After that we were both pretty exhausted, so we hopped in our rental and slept a couple of hours in the airport parking lot until it was time to fly to Nashville.
Alright, alright. So I’ve been to Nashville before. This past spring break, my childhood friend Lizzie and I went to check it out and it was my first time there. But every time I go back I feel like I see it new again. There’s always more things to do. I’ve actually been back twice since spring break and Tom always shows me something I’ve never seen before. It’s so relaxing being there with him and seeing the city he’s called home for the past few years. My last visit was especially bittersweet because he recently moved out of the city, so it’s unlikely I’ll be there as frequently. But I know it’ll still be magical when I do visit.
Beach Haven, New Jersey
My roommates and I took a little weekend trip to New Jersey when I got back from Thailand to see where Angela grew up. Her family was so hospitable to us and the beach was such a great reprieve from the bustling city. We also knew it would be our last weekend together as the four of us, so it was so nice to soak in their company. I love those four girls and the memories we share together. They are the best people.
The few days we spent in Aspen were breathtaking. I can see why people flock here from all over the country to spend their vacations in this gorgeous city. I did not want to leave one bit. We stayed with a couple of Tom’s friends who showed us around and made sure we had a blast. I would go back in a heartbeat.
There were plenty of other travel destinations over the last month, including some places in Michigan to visit Tom’s family as well as a quick stopover in Alexandria, Virginia. But I didn’t take enough pictures in those places and this post is already super long, so I’m cutting them out. But you get the gist. These past few months have been stocked full of travel. Southwest loves me.
5. Threw one last awesome party with my roommates in my apartment (#11, short-term list)
My roommates and I threw ourselves a little end of year party when we were all done with classes and it was so much fun. I loved seeing all my favorite faces in one place. I have been so fortunate to have such good friends over the past couple of years and I enjoyed getting to spend some good times with them one last time before we all got jobs and parted ways. These girls made it especially awesome.
I do have one last big life change that occurred over the past few months that I’m itching to share with you!
Are you ready? Are you SURE?
Wait, I don’t think I’m ready.
Okay. Let’s do this. Ahem.
6. I MOVED TO DENVER. AS IN, COLORADO.
Yes, I moved! It’s quite a long story that deserves it’s own post and will get one very soon, but to keep it short I got a job offer in Denver and found myself packing every single thing I owned into my tiny little Toyota Corrolla and hitting the road a week later. I’ve been here about two weeks now and I am adjusting to all the changes. Leaving New York was no easy goodbye, especially considering how much I love that city and the people I was so fortunate to meet there. But I’ll be back to visit. And for now, adventure awaits here in Denver.
I’ll say more on this later, but moving here was scary as hell. And it’s still scary as hell at times. But I am also full of excitement that this is going to be big. That life is happening. I am so, so glad it’s happening.
Anyway, I know that was the longest post ever, but thanks for reading along! Here’s a few other photos of miscellaneous fun things that happened over the past few months:
What have you been doing over the past few months to keep life meaningful and fulfilling? Done any traveling lately or do you plan to in the near future? Have you ever made a big move and how did you manage the transition?