I believe that life can be full of adventure and wonder and risk—in people, in adrendaline rushes, in nature, in life lessons. I believe that in order to grow, it's about embracing the unknown and leaping forward into vulnerability.
I believe that for me, it'll always be people, places, things.
On the morning of December 31, 2016 I stepped onto my 7th, and final, continent. So the goal that I had felt was so far-fetched years ago, so complicated and far away and a distant dream that I personally know no one else to have done, was something I did.
It felt surreal. It still does.
Over the course of 15 days we lived the van life through wild landscapes that were constantly changing. We drove through high winds, hiked in the rain, stood on the southernmost point of the country where trees grew horizontally, helicoptered over glaciers and mountain ranges and swam in lakes.
My favorite moment was laying out under the Milky Way Galaxy on an empty mountain road at 2am, "The Notebook" style.
While living in Morocco for a month, I worked and adventured through Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakesh and the Sahara Desert.
I also met a man named Hasan in Fes. His childhood spent nomading in the Sahara, living in a home with 30 family members and making rugs for abused and divorced women in Morocco still resonates with me.
Study abroad came during my final year of college, which meant I visited in a new European spot almost every weekend for 5 months. I traveled more than I attended classes (with the encouragement of professors), and had been eyeing Iceland the whole time. But as a broke college student paying for all travels on my own, there was no way I could afford it.
Cut to 10 years later, a couple of friends and I planned out a 2 week road trip around the country's Ring Road.
Our hike down was at a steep 45º angle for a majority of the way. After about half an hour of going down through the clouds and traversing carefully through mud, a woman hiker ran past. She was yelling about a bull moose coming right behind her—so we ran.
Our final month on Remote Year, in May 2017, brought my group to Santiago, Chile. It’s a city known for its earthquakes, hugged by the Andes mountains to the east and of course for its wine. It was my first time to not only Santiago, but to the country itself.
Easter Island had never been on my radar before this year. But it turned into a spot for marriage proposals, sea turtles, wild horses, cave exploring and constant views of Windows 98-like wallpaper backgrounds.
We had an Airbnb home that fit 16 people, wifi at 200+ MB per second speeds, and more soju than anyone would ever want from the 7-11 across the street. Seriously. Way more than anyone would ever want.