In true Just-in-Time tradition, I’m bookending the year with a roundup of my favorite trips from 2015. Looking back at this year, I feel strangely fulfilled with everything that’s happened in 2015. It was a productive year, one filled with new opportunities and real progress toward career moves, finishing law school, and learning more about myself.
As usual, I went home to Vancouver Canada for a few weeks to see my family and friends. And I made my usual trips out to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my second home. Although, I purposely limited international travel this year to concentrate on school and making New York feel more like home, I embarked on a handful of adventures that are of epic proportions.
Birthday in Puerto Rico
I turned 25 this year against the cobble streets of Old San Juan. Puerto Rico is one of my favorite Caribbean getaways, second only to Cuba. This was my first trip to Puerto Rico and I can already see myself returning for a vacation year after year. In particular, I love the fantastic colors of Old San Juan and visiting the lush El Yunque rain forest.
Week-long Hike Through Utah’s National Parks
I’ve always loved the great outdoors, but this year marked the peak of my outdoor adventure enthusiasm. My favorite hiking trip of the year was experiencing the Utah Mighty 5 with Southwest Adventure Tours. I’d been to Utah before to see a few of the national parks, but I didn’t get the chance to spend 5 full days hiking all 5 stunning national parks. My favorite hike is Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, and my favorite park is, hands down, Bryce Canyon.
Roadtrip through Eastern Canada
For the last two years, Alex and I have been following (and envying) the story of vanlife nomads - they live in campers, driving cross-country and waking up next to beautiful coastal views. After years of research, Alex and I embarked on our first camper van tour. We spent 2 weeks driving across Eastern Canada in our self-built camper van fitted with a small barbecue and customized bed. We began in Toronto Canada, and planned to turn around once we reached Cape Breton, but only to find ourselves so enamored with the experiences that we extended the trip all the way to Newfoundland. Yes, our van broke down once. But we also slept under the stars with no light pollution and no city noise for miles. We ate breakfast while overlooking the Bay of Fundy, and sailed for hours next to beautiful whales.
Making New York Home
I can’t talk about all the places I’ve been in 2015 without talking about making New York home. This is the first full year I’ve lived in New York since moving here in the summer of 2014. Although I initially thought the noisy, polluted, and hurried city would send me running back to California in no time, I feel completely at home here. I can find food from every culture, drink coffee to my heart’s content, and revisit my favorite shops in Harlem. It's also comforting to know that whenever I want to get out of my own neighborhood, I can hop down to cozy West Village, or take the subway to hipster Brooklyn. The beach is a train-ride away and the mountains are just a few hours upstate. In a nutshell, New York gives me a license to be myself.