As repetitive as they have no doubt become, I’ve nonetheless very much enjoyed this week’s reflections on 2017!
From the narcissistic standpoint of my personal life, it was quite a mercurial year–featuring a volatile blend of unexpected medical troubles (remember when I injured my neck and spent weeks lying on the floor, or when my wisdom teeth attempted to destroy me?), drastic life changes (somehow I’ve completed a quarter of my MA by now!), and stunning romance that would have seemed impossible a year ago (hey, 2015-me, it’s very important that you get involved in snail mail and decide to write to a certain Welsh pen pal…)
At the same time, I enjoyed a shocking amount of whirlwind travels in 2017, at home and abroad: the saddest part, perhaps, is that my quasi-hiatus from blogging kept me from sharing many of those photos with you, readers! Consider this post, then, a bit of a preview for some travel-blog catching up that awaits later this month.
January 2017: Monterey, California
I spent my previous New Year’s Eve exhausted in a Monterey hotel room, as my family had just arrived on a flight from Kona at four in the morning — and I almost wish I could have spent this first of January at Monterey Bay Aquarium, just like last year!
Visiting that aquarium is like a pilgrimage for my marine-biology-loving family, and I still dream about those persistent otters riding massive waves.
April 2017: Edinburgh, Scotland
My solo trip to Edinburgh – my beloved former Scottish home, and the only city in which I feel comfortable – in the spring proved restorative and enchanting in so many ways. It helped that I also met up with my then-pen-pal now-fiance, and I will cherish our castle-roaming, bird-spotting, seaglass-collecting days always.
May 2017: CLYDE PEELING’S REPTILAND, Lewisburg, PA
I’d like to design one of those bumper stickers that proclaims “New York, Paris, Tokyo, Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland.” This cold-blooded roadside attraction with its wondrous animatronic dinosaur garden delighted my family during our trip to Pennsylvania for my sister’s college graduation.
the “reptils” themselves: lands before time
August 2017: Kaua’i, Hawai’i
For the first time since I was very young, my family left our Big Island home and flew across the archipelago to Kaua’i, the grandfather of the main inhabited islands and home of absolutely stunning landscapes (and monk seals!).
This trip was my last summer adventure before I started my Master’s degree in art history in the fall–consequently, I never had the opportunity to blog about it! Expect that to be rectified in the coming weeks: I suppose we could all use a bit of Pacific sunshine this time of year.
October 2017: a previously unexplored hill in Western Massachusetts
Wild international travels pale in comparison to the misty morning trek the aforementioned pen pal and I made through the dew to the top of Mount Pollux to propose to each other. I can’t wait until the separation necessitated by the fact that we were born on separate landmasses concludes this year – so we can always explore together!
our sentimental tale: fairy rings
December 2017: Lombardy, Italy, and Bern[e], Switzerland
Long-time readers of my blog are likely surprised by the lack of “wow, I’m so excited to spend Christmas at home in Hawai’i” posts this year – because for the first time since high school, my holidays carried me away from the islands! My family and I just returned from a whirlwind week in Italy and Switzerland, and though the cold weather (and lack of Alp visibility!) proved frustrating, I saw enough incredible architecture to satisfy any craving for monumentality. Look forward to many photos of bold buildings in 2018!