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2022 In Review: One Year of Adventures
2022 was an insane year filled with wild adventures, all of my childhood dreams coming true, checking things off my bucket list, meeting beautiful people, and getting out of my comfort zone.
This year has been an amalgamation of the good, the bad, the breathtaking, the soul-fulfilling, and the painful. I’ll write more about it. In the meantime here’s everything I got done this year.
4 countries, 14 states, 14 National Parks – 2022 was an incredible year.
My sister, dog and I originally planned on leaving on January 1, but decided to leave on December 31 because of two snowstorms. (of course) I’ve always wanted to take a road trip across the US and being able to do it with my sister was truly the trip of a lifetime. We passed through 9 states and 5 National Parks. After Colorado, the weather wasn’t too bad, and the National Parks were fairly empty.
February was dedicated to exploring my new home: California! I had so many people tell me, “you’ve seen more of California than I have…and I grew up here!” I’ve made myself a few promises in life. One of them is if I ever get tired of seeing a California sunset, I’ll move back to the midwest.
In February, my friend Chloe visited during Chinese New Year. We explored Huntington Beach, Disneyland, Little Tokyo, and more.
Wrapping up the end of the month, I visited the Trona Pinnacles and Death Valley National Park. (Learn more about that crazy trip here.) Watching sunset at the salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, was one of my favorite moments of this year.
My friend Rebeca visited right after Death Valley, with my friend Hannah coming shortly after that. The day after Hannah left, I was on a plane to Washington DC for cherry blossom season – one of my first solo US trips. I was planning on visiting Stockholm and Copenhagen solo the next month and wanted some experience using public transportation. It was also my first time couchsurfing with the group Host a Sister. My hosts went to college in my hometown and it turned out we had several mutual friends.
I made a quick pit stop to Maryland to visit a friend and got to see some of the Appalachian Trails.
I visited Sweden and Denmark solo just to see Sandro Cavazza’s last concert. (He sang with Avicii and Kygo.) The concert was in Stockholm, but Denmark has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl thanks to my all-time favorite novel, I Am David. Denmark didn’t have a ton to do, but this little country warmed my heart. The people were as lovely as I had imagined.
My friend Victoria also visited me this month and we went to San Diego. (Seriously – I just had friends visiting me back to back for a while. They are the BEST.)
I decided to “take May a little slowly” and visited home (Chicago and Indiana) to clean out my apartment and get the rest of my stuff. I visited Sequoia National Park and Hungry Valley – camping for the first time. (this trip was a mess but I had a blast with the girl I was with)
I also took an impromptu trip to Las Vegas with two friends as we visited Meow Wolf and camped out in Red Rock Canyon. I highly recommend both!
I started June off with a trip to Maui, Hawaii with some adoptee friends. Best. Trip. Ever. From the sunset at Haleakala National Park to wiping out while surfing, this trip was filled with the best views and the best people. For a variety of reasons, I cried so hard when it ended.
I had already set up a dog sitter for mid-June and decided to take a trip to Ensenada, Mexico in mid-June. We crossed the border, which wasn’t as bad as were expecting. (The trip back took forever.) Catching sunset at the Bufadora was a beautiful treat.
I started the month with two different injuries…before visiting Iceland. Iceland is more incredible than all of the pictures. Two friends and I took a camper van for part of the trip, and I stayed in hostels solo for the second half of the trip.
I celebrated a friend’s 25th birthday in Las Vegas, as she was in town for a conference. The next day, I was on a plane headed to Seattle and Mt. Rainier National Park. Mt. Rainier National Park was gorgeous, Seattle gave me PTSD for two months. I also ended up hosting another adoptee from the group Host a Sister and we went stand-up paddleboarding in Marina Del Rey. I brought my Go Pro and got some great shots of the sea lions and sting rays.
For my birthday, I visited Vegas to see some of my favorite DJs (Martin Garrix, Gryffin, Kygo, Chainsmokers, and Illenium – what a fantastic lineup) with two girls I only loosely knew. I was exhausted the entire time, but it was one of the best weekends ever.
I flew to NYC solo, my first time traveling and getting out of my comfort zone since the Seattle incident. I had the trip planned months ago and wanted to see Kygo perform at Madison Square Garden. I almost canceled the trip since I was so scared, but I’m proud of myself for braving the NYC metro system solo (I struggle with spatial awareness)
I visited Chicago briefly for a Google conference but overall kept November a pretty calm month. I loved visiting the Color Factory in Chicago!
The first weekend, my friend Sam and I road-tripped to Big Sur which resulted in several misadventures, such as getting caught in rock slides and it raining NON-STOP.
Not gonna lie: I ended the year with some depression, recovering from PTSD, and having to put my beloved dog down. I also paid double rent, as I was in-between roommates (Where is HerHost when you need it?). Because of this, I wanted to save as much money as possible. Here’s a beautiful shot of the sunset at Marina Del Rey.