By Juliette

Reflecting on 2017

For the first time since I can remember, I‘m not completely enthusiastic about the year ending. A new beginning has always felt like a breath of fresh air, a moment of clarity in the fog of reflecting on the past year. It isn’t so much that I’m not eager for 2018, I definitely am, but this year has given me more than I could imagine. As they say, some years ask questions, and others answer them. After moving to Virginia from New York seven (7?!) years ago for a new job, a whole new world of questions opened themselves up to me. How long will I stay here? Is this the job I want for the rest of my life? Will I find a circle of friends-turned-family in this new city? Am I courageous enough to step outside my comfort zone? Am I willing to take the metro everywhere? (That last one is still a no.)

Bubble Rock, Acadia National Park

While the first few years were tumultuous to say the least, the past couple have slowly started to seam together a picture that resembles the life I’d imagined when I first rented an oversized U-haul. It’s not so much that my questions have conclusive answers, but more that I’ve found so much good in this space that I can’t help but feel confident that it will continue to flourish over time. Meeting a life partner has certainly enhanced very aspect of my life, but it isn’t the be-all-end-all. In fact, if I’ve learned anything at all through the darker times, it’s that I’m responsible for my own happiness. In order to find the light, I needed to become it. Simple, huh?

Ehh, something like that.

To for those the questions that are firmly planted themselves in the back of my mind [see above]? I’ve learned that their answers aren’t always so apparent. And that, perhaps, no answer at all is the exact response I need to be okay with. I might stay here in Old Town forever, or I might not..and I’m okay with both options. The idea of moving now excites me rather than adding another dimension to my anxiety. The thought of staying warms my heart just as much.

For my career, some days it’s the richest of moments, and others I’d like to walk out and never look back. Yet, finding yoga and creating an online space *here* has fulfilled my purpose in the world. While I may not always feel successful in the classroom, the studio and Namastay Traveling are able to fill me with hope and spirit when teaching can’t.

Warrior 3 in Gamla Stan
Warrior 3 in Gamla Stan

And when all of the above stress me out? I’ve found a circle of kind, loving, genuine and honestly, super interested people who inspire me to answer my next question, uncovering my courage.

Not coincidentally, my courage has grown in accordance with how well I care for myself. Finding balance in both my workout routine and wellness habits has made life just overall easier. While the 5am hour might be shunned by most, starting my day with a serious sweat has armed me with endorphins to seek enjoyment the rest of the hours, no matter how crappy it can get. The powerful feeling can’t help but carry over to my passion in writing and my determination to turn it into a part time gig. And, welp, caring for myself allowed me to set my own standards of how I should be treated (by my own inner self-talk and by someone else)..which led to finding an s.o. who only further illuminates all that is good.

So while 2018 will probably be my biggest year yet (gah marriage), I walk away from 2017 with a bittersweet feeling. It’s given me so much that I almost struggle to appreciate all these little moments that have, ultimately, changed the world I live in. Nevertheless, I smile at knowing that some of the best days of my life have yet to happen. And until then, I promise to recognize the best that is in each day.

Looking for more? Go back and visit the top ten visited posts on Namastay Traveling!
1. How To Plan the Best Trip Ever My step-by-step plan on how I begin organizing a trip. One of my favorite posts that I still refer back to!
2. The Must-Sees (And Eats!) In Madrid, Spain Churros, paella, sangria, and more!
3. Top Five Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland There’s os much more to this city than Guinness! But a cold dark beer is a very good start.
4. Meditation Guide for Beginners: Create Your Own Practice Finding a meditation practice is the single most important routine I’ve started this year. Find out how it can change all aspects of your life!
5. The Absolute Best Carry-On Luggage for Long Trips I refuse to check luggage…and with these suitcases, you won’t have to either!
6. A Magical Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm in home to one of the greatest museums I’ve been to, and I live in D.C.!
7. How to Visit Charleston, South Carolina We turned a weekend wedding into a tiny getaway. Find out the ins and outs of this charming city!
8. Top 12 Things to Do in Santorini, Greece The paradise of all paradises. The sunset pictures over Oia say it all.
9. Top 11 Must-Sees in Barcelona, Spain The perfect balance of beachy vacation and urban getaway, Barcelona has a dynamic like no other.
10, And, of course, Our Next Adventure (We’re Engaged!) 2018 will be a big year! Both on the home front, and beyond!

Stay tuned for my New Year’s Wanderlust Resolution for 2018! And why I decided to create some goals after snubbing them for so long.

How would you sum up 2017 in one sentence? What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

Xx,
Juliette

P.S. The metro is the worst. I’m just going to walk.

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