2014 was a year like no other. It was full of new experiences, changes in perspective, struggles, freedom, and personal discoveries.
For the first half of the year, I spent four months living in a foreign country (what an accomplishment!) and learning a new language. I worked on a bilingual magazine and realized my passion for traveling. In the summer, I worked with a local nonprofit and developed a blog vision. As the next semester rolled around, I dove into my classes for my major and learned new skills. It was a huge year, but full of small details that made a huge difference. Here’s a monthly breakdown of my year!
January: My First Time in Europe!
- In January, I finished up my winter break by packing to study abroad in Spain, spending time with my family and crafting with my sorority sister who visited me in DC.
- I moved 3,765 miles away to Seville, Spain to start my semester studying Spanish and digital & visual culture in Spain and Europe.
- I got to know my host family and loved playing with the two young kids I lived with, Ángel and Adriana.
- I ate my first tapas and my first café con leche, and I went to my first flamenco show.
- I learned how to cook Spanish tortilla de patatas.
- I finished my two-week intensive Spanish grammar course.
February: Starting Classes in Spain
- Classes began for my semester abroad. I took a magazine class, a religion class, a digital/visual culture class and a design class.
- I traveled to the coasts! I visited Barcelona and Cádiz, Spain for weekend trips.
- I had my first interview in Spanish for my magazine course with a man who sold antiques during one of Seville’s famous street markets.
- I went inside an ancient Roman tomb in Carmona, Spain.
- My intercambio and I met for the first time and we began meeting to practice English/Spanish and walk around the city!
March: Exploring Morocco & Sevilla
- We went to Africa! I spent a weekend in Chefchaouen, Morocco, getting to know a group of students there.
- I took a Spanish cooking class.
- I explored new parts of Sevilla, taking walks by the river, trying out new foods and exploring with friends.
- I made my own graffiti by the river on a graffiti tour for class.
- I began writing my feature article to be published in the bilingual magazine for my class.
April: Traveling Around the Mediterranean
- A group of girls from my program and I had a relaxing trip to the beaches of Portugal, where I found one of my favorite beaches in the world.
- I continued to write my magazine article, and prepped for finals before spring break.
- I had the most amazing spring break, traveling to: Rome, Istanbul, Athens, Santorini and Madrid. Wow, I can’t even believe this and I am so thankful for this week with some awesome friends!
- We published our magazine, and I enjoyed sharing my article on a new street market and the artists involved with my class and the program.
- Finals and classes ended!
May: Coming Home
- I enjoyed Sevilla’s famous spring festivals, Feria, and visited some of my favorite spots before heading back to the U.S.
- I spent two weeks in North Carolina at school to watch my friends graduate.
- I rode my first ATV!
- Started to get back into blogging and getting into a summer routine of running, riding bikes, working for a local nonprofit and eating lots of fruit.
June: Starting Summer
- My best friend and I attend our sorority convention at James Madison University.
- My family celebrated my brother’s high school graduation!
- I explored DC with my little, who visited me for a long weekend. We also went to a OneRepublic concert and talked about her upcoming travels to London for a semester.
July: Family Time
- I traveled to the mountains to pick berries with my family.
- My aunt came to visit us and it was a great time to see her!
- I fell in love with doing DIY projects and making a travel inspiration journal.
- I spent the end of July in the countryside of Kentucky, visiting my cousins and spending time with my mom’s side of the family, who I don’t get to see too often.
August: Going Back to School
- I spent a lot of time blogging and doing nonprofit work.
- I started my Destination: College series and prepared to go back to North Carolina for my senior year.
- I made my first spaghetti squash recipe and visited multiple farmers’ markets.
- My family and I moved my brother into college before moving my things into my apartment at the end of the month.
September: Turning 21!
- I started my courses: Travel Writing, Strategic Campaigns and Media Law & Ethics.
- I went to my first blogging mini conference in Durham, NC with Madison of Wetherills Say I Do and I learned from the many speakers and bloggers there.
- I tried Maxie B’s Bakery for the first time for a blogger book club!
- I spread awareness for Ovarian Cancer Cancer Awareness month with my sorority sisters.
- I celebrated my 21st birthday with my amazing friends and lots of Mexican food!
- I went to Myrtle Beach for my last Intervarsity Beach Retreat and had I wonderful time with the Lord and new friends!
October: Traveling around North Carolina
- I spent several weekends traveling along Highway 64 to visit small towns in North Carolina for my travel writing class, and I also went to a hot air balloon festival!
- I watched one of my really good friends get married.
- I celebrated my senior homecoming by going to the game and seeing some of my alumni friends! And also laughing like crazy over milkshakes and cookies.
November: School Work & Prepping for the Holidays!
- I read many books for my classes and stressed a little bit over getting work done.
- My friends and I packed several boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
- I attended Bright Blog Bash, a holiday party hosted by Katie from Twin Stripe and Susannah from Feast & West.
- I had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family and I had a chance to rest for a little (while also coding a website for the student-run agency where I work).
December: Websites are launching! And Christmas is Coming!
- I attended my school’s festival of lights, and the Christmas party at the home of the president of our university. We also had a Christmas party for my sorority and drove through a light show.
- The website I developed launched for our agency!
- I traveled home for winter break and launched a blog design when I got home!
- My family and I had a great time getting ready for Christmas and getting in a festive spirit!
- I launched my blog on WordPress with a new design–I hope you’re enjoying the new site!
It seemed like this year went by really fast, but I enjoyed all of what 2014 had to offer, and I am excited to see where 2015 takes me and this blogging community we have! What was your 2014 like?