365 days. Wow.

A lot can happen in 365 days.

People can lose their job. Can find another job. Can fall in love. Can have a child. Can lose someone they love. Can see the world.

365 days ago, I embarked on a life-changing journey that would take me through Europe and parts of Africa, that would introduce me to new worlds. To new people. To a new way of thinking.

365 days ago I would have never imagined being where I am today. I would never have fathomed the experiences I would find myself a part of.

Yes. It was one year ago, today, when I left America. When I took my career-break. When I began my Adventure. It started in London.

Now, after one year of truly living, I can still vividly recall the moments leading up to leaving America. The moments on the airplane. The thrill of seeing the Atlantic sparkling in the sunrise. The anticipation of grabbing my backpack at Heathrow, getting on the Tube and the DLR and ending up at Sean’s place in Poplar.

I will never forget getting lost in Poplar. Wandering the streets around that part of London for hours, searching for a tiny sidestreet. Walking into bakeries and asking people where I was going. And the excitement I felt when I finally came across Sean’s place and found the little key tucked under a bench in her front yard. I will always remember meeting Tim and being quickly whisked from her house to the city, grabbing beers and then going back to her house and catching up on a lifetime that had happened since we had met in Croatia only months earlier.

It’s days like today, when I find myself sitting, reminiscing about the life I lived in those seven months abroad that make it impossible to do anything but hold tight to those memories. To those instances of life when you realize you are truly doing something so spectacular, so monumental …

Now, one year later, I have many moments, mostly when I am sad, where my mind transports me back to my trip … to a time when the world was my oyster (it still is, just in a very different way). I will be going to sleep at night, and an image of my journey will pop into my head and it fills me with such hope, such inspiration, such happiness.

Am I where I thought I would be a year ago today? Nope. Not even close. I am somewhere different … living a life that took me an adventure to realize I wanted. Is it permanent? No. Nothing is.

There are many moments when I find myself longing for the culture of Spain … for the crystal waters of Croatia … for the amazing friends I have met along the way. And the beauty of the past year is that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I can capture that again … perhaps in the next 365 days. Or longer. I just know it is there, smiling on my shoulder, rooting for me …

10 comments

  1. Three months before I began this year in Australia my mind swirled with thoughts on the upcoming life change. Now I’m in the last three months of the visa and my mind is racing again with thoughts on how things will be different when I get home. I don’t want to feel this way yet — I want to be present focused *until* I have to face going home and figuring out what’s next.

    Anticipating “re-entry” is going to be a challenge for me. I’ve been reading your return to the US and Vegas posts and am eager to know how things continue to go for you now that you’ve been home a while.

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    1. Heather – thank you so much for the comment. I have to be honest — it isn’t easy. I want to start a support group for people returning from long-term travel. I found it really difficult as the time ticked closer to returning to America to be in the moment versus thinking about the future. I think it is something everyone goes through. Just know you make it out OK. 🙂

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  2. Wow, it is so amazing what can change in a year. Looking back can be make you feel like time has gone by so amazingly fast while at the same time there was so much packed into those days that you can’t believe you made it through.

    It seems like, even though it may not be what you’d planned, you are happy in your new place! I’m glad to hear that! One great thing about travel blogging is that we can all keep up with each other’s lives and see all the crazy places the years are taking us!

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