Year So Far…

This year has been crazy and I blame it all on this post. I had read someone's 101 in 1001 (101 things to do in 1001 days) and that, combined with Wait But Why's post made me feel behind. How in the world could I accomplish everything I wanted to on earth with such limitations? So I decided to create my own bucket list. One hundred and one things in one thousand days seemed overwhelming, so I started simple: five things to accomplish before my next birthday, in six months. And then I got to it!

I succeeded at following through on two out of the five things, but wow! Those two things (visit a beach, do something cultural every month) were … amazing. Breathtaking. Life-altering. Earth-shattering. Just … wow. My life will never be the same, and I am so grateful that I got to do those things!

Today, for the last #AugustBreak2016 prompt, I decided to take a look at my year and what I've accomplished both pre-WOW! (January, February) and post-WOW (every month since…)! :)


Dresden, Germany (January 2016)

Despite my claim that January was a pre-WOW month, my husband and I started off the year with a bang! We traveled to NYC on points with Delta for Christmas night, spent the weekend in NYC doing everything Christmassy we could think of before taking off on a plane to Paris, France. We continued our Christmas-trend as we worked our way through Strasbourg and on into the new year visiting friends (and their friends and family) in south Germany before heading off to Prague and Dresden. I kept blog writing simple since I was recovering from a stressful Christmas season. I wrote reviews, read books, and discussed in detail the lessons learned from travel to Europe, the emotions I conquered (or felt) during travel, and threw back to day 1 in Paris (which was probably one of my favoritest days from the whole trip!).


Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic (January 2016)

As soon as we returned from our travels abroad, I noticed a letter in the mail: I had been served notice that I was to appear in jury duty. For the first time ever. :( Asking off from work was the last thing I wanted to do after having just returned from vacation, but I did. And on that fateful February day, I appeared in the courtroom bright and early. I convinced myself to pack a snack and a water bottle since, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't eat a thing for breakfast that morning. The mere thought of breakfast made me feel sick to my stomach. :(

Once at the courtroom (where food and drink weren't allowed), myself, along with the 20 other jurors were assigned seats in alphabetical order. The room remained silent as the police officers on duty and courtroom secretaries introduced themselves. Just before the judge arrived, still feeling sick to my stomach, I got up to go to the bathroom where, unfortunately, there was a line. :( I sat with my back against the wall hoping the nausea would pass. Was this just nerves? ?? After only a few minutes of waiting, my body couldn't take it anymore. I ran to the trashcan. A kind, elderly woman came over to comfort me telling me not to be worried; she had been anxious before her first jury duty too. She made me feel better. :)

I went back to the courtroom a little lighter on my feet thinking that maybe now I could sit patiently without feeling sick.

As it turns out, that wasn't the case. I got dismissed from jury duty due to my job, but rather than enjoy my day off, I found myself in bed. ALL. DAY. LONG. *sigh*

I was last sick in 2013, and I rarely get sick, so it was beyond irritating to be down for the count. The worst part? The weak feeling that comes with being sick stayed with me for nearly the rest of February. I thought I'd never get over it. :(

Meanwhile, on the blog, I was struggling to keep up with the fast-paced Loveblog challenge. I was struggling to connect with you all, my readers, and yet I, also, wanted to provide useful information that would be worthy of reading (and not merely a journal). I'm not sure I ever found a balance, but I did think it was nice breaking from my typical blog dance of fact, fact, opinion.


Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL (November 2015)

March was the month of #30Lists. I am definitely a lists gal. :) Justin and I explored Cathedral Caverns in Alabama and I had the opportunity to review Gwen Stefani's This Is What the Truth Feels Like and Germany for Beginners (among other things). We also went to a book talk for Ryan Gravel's book Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities. The talk was boring, but it was good for us to support the reclaiming of "infrastructure", as Gravel's calls it, within the city of Atlanta. Being there made us feel as though we were a part of something important. :)


Dresden, Germany (January 2016)

Even though most of April A-Z ;was written in March, it was still a big time-suck. I wrote comments and people responded. :) That's what you are supposed to do during that challenge, right? ;)

We went to another book talk on the subject of career success. Despite the fact that I follow this blogger's travel blog, we ended up not purchasing his book. Justin thought he was filled with phooey. So.

Onward and upward.


Bowen's Island, SC (May 2016)

The first weekend in May, we attended my brother's graduation! Woot!

And this was followed up with us being in Charleston for the second weekend in May where we celebrated Justin's mom birthday and Mother's Day. It was quite the excursion. :) We had fun sharing a few of our favorite spots with Justin's parents.

With the challenges brought on by February's #LoveBlog, March's #30Lists, and April A-Z, I felt like I was on top of my game with blogging. My favorite posts were: The Places I've Been (round up of my favorite images from my travels), Tasting Rome a cookbook review, The Intensity of Visiting the Louvre For the First Time (or how not to do it), and Coastal Beaches Wanderlust (beautiful beaches on the east coast that I had dreams of visiting. Fernweh ftw?) Also, I asked Justin for his travel opinions via a survey and reviewed a small, local town near me that I dream of calling home.

Our month concluded with a BIG trip exploring the Carolinas, seeing the coasts of Charleston, Hunting Island Beach State Park, Beaufort, and Hilton Head followed up with a trip to the mountains of Asheville NC. We were dodging a hurricane on Labor Day weekend, so all of the diving that ensued was well worth it.


Beaufort, SC (June 2016)

I considered our late May/early June trip through the Carolinas to be my cultural event for the month. :) And I followed up with that on the blog with thorough reviews of all-things Charleston including restaurants, activities, plantations, and hotel recommendations. I dissected one of my favorite cities providing you with all of the juicy details you need for planning the best vacation there ever!

Meanwhile, I found myself filling up two months of blog posts as I prepped for a busy vacation-filled July. As if that weren't enough, I stumbled across a new blog template and started working on a blog re-design. It still needs work, but I think it looks better than it did before…


Raclette NYC in NYC, NY (July 2016)

Justin and I started our month with traveled to NYC, where we got to see New Jersey fireworks and enjoy yummy raclette cheese! Then, we continued on to Paris, and the Brittany coast of France where we met up with friends. I did have a lot of fun writing about wacky (and not so) national and international holidays on the blog. My favorite posts included this post featuring many of the Beatles' songs (that I couldn't get out of my head for days afterward!) as well as this Hot Air Balloon throwback, a Savannah, GA walking tour, and my fun review of Ellen's Stardust Diner (NYC).


Brittany, France (July 2016)

As if July wasn't busy enough, so far this month we have gone to Myrtle Beach (SC) to visit family and Fort DeSoto/Madeira Beach (FL) to visit friends. We've also planned a Labor Day getaway to Callaway Gardens and Savannah, GA for my nephew's birthday. I've edited a lot of beautiful images from our travels (1, 2, 3), got to write about oranges, and was retweeted by Raclette NYC. All in all I'd say it's been a good month. (And you should see the number of blog post ideas I have for the next few months!)

So, yeah, you can kind of see where the WOW in the past eight months occurred. I've been busy and taking advantage of every single moment that has been offered to me. No regrets; just fun.

What have you accomplished in the past eight months? Anything exciting? Does Wait But Why's blog post on the topic of life-shortness give you as much anxiety as it does me?

* I'm participating in Susannah Conway's August Break. Today's post was written with the word "August was…" in mind (day 31).

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