Where I Was
Spring | costa rica, panama, ecuador, mexico
Summer | vermont
Fall | cross country road trip, seattle
Winter | seattle
1. Costa Rica and Panama
I’ve officially transited the Panama Canal about 20 times. Very exciting news, I know. Early in the year, I did a contract on the National Geographic Sea Bird and the trip that we run is back and forth from Herradura, Costa Rica to Colon, Panama via the canal. It’s not my favorite trip in the world because it’s super hot and we honestly don’t see a lot of wildlife, but how can I complain when I can say that I work in Central America?
What an epic trip Ecuador was! I was there for almost six weeks and during that span, I had three big adventures. The first was a 10 day supported bike tour around the country with just me and C, which was fabulous. We hit all the great spots like Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, the Amazon rainforest, and so much more. I definitely huffed and puffed quite a bit struggling up the hills (ahem, mountains), but it was so worth it. After our bike trip we headed over to the Galapagos for a week-long trip abroad the National Geographic Endeavor. Work perks for sure (if I didn’t work for Lindblad there’s be no way I could afford that trip). After the Galapagos, C and I bopped around Cuenca for a bit (Cajas National Park was a major highlight) then he had to return to the ship for work while I flew down to Vilcabamba for a few weeks of R&R.
3. Baja, Mexico
I don’t have much to say about my time in Mexico this year. I was there for work on the National Geographic Sea Bird and while it was fun and I’m grateful every day for what I get to do for work, it wasn’t anything new or super exciting.
As you might have read in this post, I’ve decided to leave ship life (at least for now) and head back to school to pursue a masters degree in nutrition. I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition and healthy diets and to be honest I’ve been getting pretty burned out on the ships. All the travel, not having a home base, struggling with loneliness, and feeling like I’m wrecking my body with all the massage work. It’s time to change things up. The first step was to head home to Vermont to reorganize my stuff and tackle a few pre-req courses (one of which was chem 101 and I almost didn’t pass).
5. Cross Country Road Trip
As one final trip before diving head first into classes at Bastyr University in Seattle, I decided to drive across country and tick off some bucket list sites. I drove out with my boyfriend (bad decision, but I won’t go into that story) and for the most part, had a blast. Everyone should drive across country at least once in their life!
Welcome to Seattle! Says me to myself 🙂 After a long road trip across country, I finally settled into an apartment with a few roommates and classes started in September. I’m loving exploring the city and have already founds some favorite spots like Green Lake, Chocolati, Value Village, and a yoga studio that I’m absolutely in love with.
My Year In Numbers
Countries visited | 4
costa rica, panama, ecuador, mexico, united states
New countries visited | 1
States visited | 7
vermont, maine, colorado, utah, california, oregon, washington
(I did drive across country this year, but I can’t honestly say that I ‘visited’ states that I just drove through)
Plane rides taken | 8
Different sleeping situations | 6
ship cabin: 94
My Year In Feels
What a rollercoaster this year has been. There were major high highs and plenty of low lows. The year started out great with work on the ships in Costa Rica and Panama and then an epic trip all over Ecuador. Our bike trip and cruise to the Galapagos will forever be highlights to my travels. But to be completely honest, my time in Ecuador wasn’t all waterfalls and playful sea lions. There was tension between C and I for much of the trip (mainly because I am terrible at communication) and we parted ways – him to Baja for work and me to Vilcabamaba for a few more weeks of vacation – on pretty rocky and uncertain terms. Vilcabamaba provided some healing though, as I found a group of women who got together weekly to share ‘goddess energy’. I remember sitting in the middle of a circle and having the women surrounding me chant “you are loved”. Sounds cheezy, but it was powerful.
Things cleared up between C and I when I joined him on the ships in Baja, but ultimately we parted ways for good when I decided to enroll in grad school in Seattle and spend the summer in Vermont preparing for my big life change.
Speaking of life change, I feel good – really good – about going back to school. I never wanted to be a massage therapist full time or for the rest of my life, so I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of being a nutrition professional. School has proven to be incredibly challenging, but as someone who thrives on putting myself outside my comfort zone, I’m in my element 🙂
What’s In Store For 2013
I’m not quite sure what’s in store for next year. I know my priority will still mainly be school, but I’m hoping to get a few adventures in as well. I’ve taken a four-week contract with Lindblad to Alaska in August, but other than that my summer is wide open. I’m excited to explore more of this beautiful part of the world and the big old city that I live in.