This was the biggest, scariest, craziest thing I have ever done. It was also the most amazing and most inspiring adventure I have ever been on. Traveling around the world to places I had only dreamed of going and doing it alone seemed like an impossibility a year ago. It’s now almost 7 months since the end of my tour and I still can’t believe I did it. Planned in about 3 weeks, I’m surprised I didn’t run into more problems. Part of that was luck, but I’m also big on planning and researching, so preparation vs. just winging it helped.
I finished my tour in Denver, CO. After a long flight from Auckland to San Francisco, and then to Denver, I was beat. I didn’t get much sleep and was a zombie on the hunt for coffee when I collected my bags.
I was only there for a few days, looking at apartments, and hanging out with my friend, Chris, from my Everest Base Camp trek. He took me out to get coffee and look at places, which was soooooo nice of him. I wasn’t really feeling Denver and instead of going apartment hunting again, we went for a hike! We did the Royal Arch Trail at Chautauqua Park. It felt great to get back on the trail and sweat again! We followed that up with a delicious lunch and beer!
After spending a few days in Denver, I was undecided on whether I wanted to make the move there or not. It wasn’t feeling right. I went back to Grand Rapids, MI to figure things out, ending my tour of the globe. It felt very strange to be back home without a home. I have wonderful friends that were willing to put up with me, thank goodness! I was only home for a few weeks before leaving for a long weekend to spend in Canada with my friends Dean and Kelly from the Everest Base Camp trek. It was so wonderful to spend more time with them and meet their amazing kiddos and dog! We went hiking and enjoyed the awesomeness that is Collingwood! Dean and Kelly raised a lot of money for the building of a school in Bigu Village (in Nepal) with a presentation they gave on our trek to EBC. It’s part of an initiative that Anywhere has started called Elevate. They do great work and invest in the communities that they work in. Kelly and Dean’s efforts helped raise enough funds to finish the library portion of the project. If you’re interested in helping out, follow this link here. Team Canada made sure I had a truly authentic visit with them, taking me out for poutine and a beaver tail before I left! I had so much fun with them and hated to leave, but my next adventure was less than two weeks away and I had some things to take care, so I had to get home.
Although my trip has ended, the traveling and adventure continued! This year has gone down as the best in my life! I have met so many different kinds of people, from all corners of the earth, all kinds of backgrounds and I realized how much we all have in common. Flying as much as I have this year, I observed that we all experience the screaming kid on the plane, or those who are incapable of following directions. Some of us are nervous fliers and need a bit of booze to get through. There are those that are sticklers for rules and some that bend and sway to make others happy. These are our experiences no matter who we are or where we come from. We all know these people or have been seated beside them, or maybe we are these people. I’m not trying to say the places in the world aren’t vastly different, they are, but I’m saying the similarities are there, too. The thread of commonality that runs from person to person is there. From culture to culture. From family to family. We aren’t so different that we can’t find a way to love each other, respect each other, and accept each other for our similarities AND our differences. It is possible to come together with a group of strangers and love them by the end of two weeks. I’ve experienced that a few times this year. I know how lucky I am to have had those experiences. Traveling has taught me a lot about the world. It has made it feel smaller and bigger simultaneously. It has also taught me a lot about myself. I have grown into a stronger and more confident woman. I’ve learned that travel and experiencing new places and people are crucial to me being a happy person. I have to make time for the things that I love because a life without those moments of pure bliss is a life unfulfilled. My cup is very full. It runneth over.
P.S. This is not the end! I will continue writing about my experiences as long as I have something to say about it and photos to share! Thanks for following along, I love knowing that I’m not just writing this for myself, even if it is just one or two others 🙂