This year was one of the best ever. I say that every time but that’s how you want things to go, right? Better and better each year. It wasn’t without its ups and downs, however. If I were to summarize what this whole year’s been like for me, I would say defining yet doubtful. I worked a dream job, succeeded in personal journeys, forged really good friendships, and traveled my home country; at the same time, however, I experienced new levels of crushing anxiety, fought the rising bile of doubt, and faced loneliness.
Most of all, 2015 was a year in which I truly felt responsible for my own life. In a way, I grew through the knowledge that I could make of it whatever I wanted; yet I also shrank from what a magnitude of responsibility that was to me—a 24-year-old. What if my choices created a future that I was not willing to live with?
But, I’ve gained confidence in myself throughout the course of the year. And I’m looking forward to some more clarity that 2016 will have to offer.
Anyways, so much has happened this year that I’ve hashed and rehashed—I thought it would be easier to express in photos this time.
At the beginning of 2015, I was still serving my AmeriCorps term in Austin, TX at an education non-profit. Through it, I had tons of fun exploring Austin with my fellow coworkers.
While in Austin, I kept the travel spirit alive through various day- and weekend- trips to the surrounding areas.
Pedernales Falls State Park
When my parents visited me in Austin, I took them to one of my favorite state parks nearby: Pedernales Falls State Park.
Traveled 2 hours to visit Enchanted Rock with some buddies.
I headed to Houston to visit a close friend I hadn’t seen in years. Luckily for me, the Houston Rodeo was that same month!
At one point, I even flew to San Francisco for a week to visit a dear friend. This was before I knew I was going to habitually be in San Francisco.
First-time goer at SXSW
Unfortunately, no photos of any of this!
Arrived in Santa Rosa, CA
After finishing up with AmeriCorps and Austin, I left for my dream job of being a U.S. adventure tour guide with PEAK Adventure Travel (now AmeriCan Adventures). Arriving in Santa Rosa was on of the most scary and exciting things I’d ever done—I didn’t even know if the position was real until some managers picked us up at a motel to start training!
Went on an incredible training trip
Part of training was on a mock-trip that took us through California, Nevada, and Arizona. In these 2 weeks alone, I explored more of the lower 48 than I ever had before! Not only that, but I met 20 amazing fellow guides, some of whom I consider my closest friends today.
Started working as a U.S. adventure tour guide
After training, we were all thrown into the water to sink or swim. And boy, did I swim. Through the job, I visited places like… The Grand Canyon Zion National Park Monument Valley Shenandoah National Park Memphis New Orleans Yosemite San Francisco
While I was waiting to head off to the year-end party, I headed back to my old stomping grounds for a reunion with my college friends… just in time to witness a devastating loss to a rival.
I had a few weeks after Puerto Vallarta to not start a routine a home before I jet-setted off to Denver to start a trip that would end in Reno just in time for Halloween! There, with around 200 people affiliated with the company, we spent 3 hazy days partying our faces off.
Road trip to Dallas
Let the good times roll
I remember some time during 2015, I started a “Good Things That Happened” Jar. And, surprisingly, I kept track of it and kept up with it. Here are a few precious highlights from 2015:
- I conquered public speaking through AmeriCorps and especially through tour guiding
- When I lost my license in Austin, TX while on a trip, my passengers called HQ to ask if I could stay on
- Spending 5 days in LA with some of my closest training trip friends
- Saw Russell Peters live in Austin
- Went to a Martin Garrix concert for FREE
- Went to see Bill Bryson talk in Austin
- Fostered 2 wonderful senior cats
As I was going through my GTTH jar, I was surprised at how many moments I remembered—and wrote about! At the time of writing these things, I thought they were moments that would be easily forgotten… which is why I wrote it in the first place.
Turns out that because these moments were so good, they were memorable to me.
I knew a lot happened this year, but I wasn’t prepared for how quickly the year would fly by. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting down to write the Year in Review for 2014!
I’m looking forward to how I’ll continue to grow and craft my life in 2016. These few years to come are going to be fundamental and I’m interested to see what will happen!
Thanks for being a good one, 2015. But it’s now time for 2016!
How was your 2015? Link me some year in reviews!