Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Year Ago...

One year ago today, I landed in Africa for the first time. Looking back at my journal, I arrived at my hotel, discovered I had no hot water, went to the office, and ate some chicken with jolof rice. Pretty typical day in west Africa, really, but it was anything but typical for me. I've come a long way since then, establishing an entirely new life and lifestyle for myself.

In short, some of my greatest accomplishments this year:

  • Visiting 2 new continents and discovering a newfound love for parts of the world I hadn't even thought of before.
  • Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and visiting my friend Alma in Rwanda after over a year of planning.
  • Hitting 20 countries in the span of 12 months, many of them for the first time, and many of them more than once.
  • Expanding my culinary comfort zone by eating all sorts of unusual ethnic dishes (see Nigerian giant land snails).
  • Discovering frequent flyer miles and learning how to sleep on planes.
  • Becoming comfortable taking bucket showers and surviving without proper toilets or electricity.
  • Finally achieving platinum status on the Starwood Preferred Guests program (I'm actually way too proud of this given the fact that it just means I've spent way too much time living out of hotel rooms).
  • Making friends with some pretty extraordinary people.
  • Learning that I am in fact good at the work I've wanted to do for several years.
  • Coming to understand a lot about myself, what I value, and what kind of life I want to lead.

Here's to hoping that this coming year holds just as much growth, fun, and adventure as the last!

1 comment:

klaygenie said...

Achieving status on airlines or hotels is definitely awesome. And almost the exact opposite of taking bucket showers :)