I don’t typically write short or personal posts like this, but today I want to look back at my past year.

I’m turning 27 tomorrow on October 6th and am feeling happier than ever. I can say without a doubt that this has been the best year yet.

On my last birthday, Dan and I celebrated by ice-climbing up Nevado Mateo mountain in Peru. It was new, difficult, exciting, and exhausting, and that set the stage for the year to come. Soon after, we went back to the States to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas at home.

2018 started with 2.5 months in Mexico, where the highlights were definitely swimming in the pristine waters of Laguna Bacalar and hiking among active volcanos in Izta-Popo National Park.

Then, for the first time since we started traveling in 2014, Dan and I had the money to come home more than just once a year. I got to see one of my best friends get married in March and take a weeklong trip to a city that’s always been on my bucket list: Portland. And yes, it lives up to the hype.

Finally, Dan and I started our 7 month tour of Eastern Europe and got to chill out in sleepy Sibiu in Romania, check out vibrant Sofia in Bulgaria, relax at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, go hiking in the Accursed Mountains of Albania and live in Zagreb in Croatia. Now we’re rounding out my 26th year (and Dan’s 27th) here in Budapest.

My biggest lesson this year has been learning that everything, everything, is in the details.

I’ve always been impatient, but I’m learning to slow down and focus my energy on the little things.¬†Forcing myself to be more social, challenging myself with a writing course, and spending more time tuning into my mental health and less late nights out have all helped me take small steps forward in every facet of my life. So, right now, I feel fulfilled.

Of course, 26 also saw more ignored emails and rejection letters than ever before, more late nights trying to decipher why our website traffic is going down (or up or sideways), endless edits of over 200 blog posts, and thousands upon thousands of words written both for Slight North and my freelance clients.

I’m turning 27 tomorrow and my goals, I think, are attainable. I don’t need to see my name in lights, but I hope to see it in print soon. Until then, I’ll keep working, keep writing, keep dreaming, and definitely keep traveling ūüôā

Love, Di



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