For me, a birthday symbolizes a personal new year. Something tailored for the individual, no pressure of resolutions and cheesy champagne glass clinking. It is a moment for us to reflect upon the past year and to look forward to what is to come.
It is no secret that my love for travel is one that flows to the deepest parts of my soul. There’s nothing more freeing than to leave everything behind and embark on new adventures, meeting new people while not having a care in the world.
By removing myself entirely from external stressors is such an incredible feeling. More importantly, travel has always allowed me some time to reflect upon what is important to me in spite of the opinions of others. Heck, I can live happily barefoot and in a bikini with a bottle of water. Not kidding.
What I’ve found most helpful this past year?
Finally setting myself free from the toxicity that I allowed to control my life and well-being. I have been very fortunate this past year, despite the annoying and rather large obstacles that popped up along the way (thank you, epilepsy).
In the perspective of a solo traveller, not many of us get to reacquaint ourselves with the people we’ve met along the way. For some reason, this past year I was able to connect with quite a few people that I had stayed in touch with and most of whom I met travelling the Galapagos last year.
The latter part of 2015 allowed me to enjoy quite a bit of domestic travel. I was able to spend time wandering and eating through some pretty awesome cities like Montréal, Vancouver and Calgary. Admittedly, Montréal is definitely my favourite urban environment in Canada and I am super stroked to be spending my birthday weekend there with friends 🙂 Looking forward to bringing home a bag of Fairmount Bagels.
The first half of 2016 was a kick-ass year for South American travel, spending an aggregate of eight weeks which allowed me to launch my non-profit initiative, Project #ShowSumLove, in Argentina and more recently, assisting with three projects in Ecuador. I have to admit the latter trip was more work than play, but it was incredible to be able to provide resources to those affected by the earthquake and poverty.
Just a few of the many highlights of my travels this year:
- Discovering the rustic beauty of Punta del Diablo, Uruguay
- Enjoying delicious asado with my Porteño friends in BA 😉
- Launching Project #ShowSumLove in Argentina
- Exploring the gorgeous waterfalls of Iguazu, Argentina
- Attending a salsa class with Papa Perez in Santiago, Chile
- Taking an Astonomy class in the San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
- Experiencing paragliding & sandboarding in Iquique, Chile
- Hanging out poolside with the ladies in Scottsdale, Arizona
- Nerding it out with Spanish classes in Montañita, Ecuador
I have a few short trips upcoming that I am looking forward to.. but the bigger travel goals?
Honestly, ever since I found that Aussie coin in my Ecuadorean change, Australia & Indo have been looking more and more tempting. Costa Rica has always been a great (and easy) place to chill out but I would likely tack on a trip to El Salvador as well 😉
I don’t know what this year has to offer me but I’m looking forward to whatever crazy adventures (and people) are up ahead.
Cheers to another year of flashpacking ♥ #YOLO