Happy New Year, my friends! I hope 2016 is starting out on the right foot, but before we dig into all our plans for the next year of life, let’s take a moment. While we’re setting resolutions and intentions for the new year, we also get the chance to reflect on how far we’ve come since last January, and how much further we have to go, and sometimes that’s disheartening. Sometimes we fall short of where we think we’d be by now. Some years don’t bring a lot of progress. But some do. The small things add up.
Although I don’t feel like I’ve taken any great leaps forward this year, 2015 was full of beautiful things. Jesse and I continued on our Motorcycle Trip from January-September, making our way from Phoenix all the way across the South, and up the East Coast to Newfoundland. 2015 took us through 27 states, 5 provinces, 43 national park sites, on 4 road trips, 50 flights, and more than 10,00 miles by motorcycle.
Now, since it’s too much to sum it all up in one short sweet tribute, here is a month by month portrait of our year:
In January we spent some time in Kelowna. Skiing, snowshoeing, and seeing Bryan Adams in concert.
February brought our journey from Phoenix-Houston, through cactus country, snow white sand dunes, to literally snowy Texas when we had a bad tire and thought we might die, across oil country to San Antonio and beyond.
In March we went to Mexico and San Diego, and Rachel and I joined some relatives on a Spring Break trip to Hawaii’s Big Island.
In early April we traveled from Houston, TX to Huntsville, AL via Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, making a loop around most of the Southern States. Then I came home and got my tonsils out (ugh).
Into the beginning of May, Jesse and I road tripped around Utah for the better part of a week. These red rock deserts have become one of my favorite landscapes in the world, and we did some serious hiking and van camping as we road tripped through 6 National Parks.
Memorial Day Weekend took us to San Diego again. It was graduation weekend and I helped Rachel and Parker move into a new house before the three of us drove back to Boise together.
June meant another road trip, this time to Kelowna for winery tours, then to Moscow for a friend’s wedding, and back to Boise/Stanley for the sweet summer bliss of lake swimming, bike riding, beach beer drinking, and a new puppy in the family.
July brought more time in the Sawtooth Mountains, another annual backpacking trip, a road trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons, and the start of a whole month on the road as we flew to Atlanta and began a journey north.
The rest of July and half of August were spent traveling from Georgia to Nova Scotia. From the Smoky Mountains all the way up the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah, and Acadia National Parks, through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, a tiny slice of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York’s Catskill Mountains, the corner of Massachusetts, all of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, into Canada and through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
By the time September rolled around, we’d finally caught up with Jesse’s parents (who we’ve been chasing around the country for a year and a half) for a motorcycle tour of Newfoundland. We ferried from Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques and spent a week crossing the rock to end up in St. John’s. It was a lot of rain and wind, but beautiful sunsets and ferry rides.
After that adventure, I came back to Idaho and moved into a house in Boise’s Hyde Park neighborhood with an old friend. We repainted the place, settled into our new old neighborhood, and tried to get used to living without a dishwasher (spoiler alert, it still sucks).
October saw some heartache, another trip to San Diego, chilly cabin weather, my 25th birthday, a road trip to my college town for the Homecoming game, a new nephew born, and our most elaborate Halloween costumes to date.
November turned colder, so we headed south again to San Diego for Thanksgiving, and then north to Kelowna for skiing and family time.
The holiday season and December meant more snow, more family, more skiing, a minor concussion on the ski hill, and fireworks to ring in the new year.
Now I’m thinking about it all. How many places we saw, and how lucky we’ve been to travel so far. How I’ve grown up a little more.
I’m starting 2016 with intentions of taking ownership of my life. I’m shifting gears into more design related work, continuing to publish things, trying to learn more about photography, while also working on personal relationships and pruning down the ones that no longer serve me. More than anything, I’m letting go of what it’s time to move on from, and striding into the second half of my 20s with my chin up.