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
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” posts this year! 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!