Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2019! November and December were much busier months than I anticipated (I feel like I say that every month) and Suitcase Six was quiet, but I am finally getting settled at home in Indiana. That means I’m back to writing and learning about sustainable travel with you. The last month and a half of my trip was absolutely wonderful although there wasn’t a whole lot to report. I spent way more time talking with my girlfriends over wine than I did sightseeing, though there was some of that as well. I wanted to share my round-the-world trip updates, travel resolutions, and where Suitcase Six is going in 2019 as we kick off the year.
Thank you so much for reading my posts, commenting, or interacting with me over the past year. I hope you’re ready to join me for trip around the sun!
END-OF-TRIP UPDATES: RETURNING HOME
After wrapping up my time in Canada, I took a greyhound from Vancouver to visit Tahvi in Seattle over Halloween. The next two weeks I spent with a rental car, driving my way down the Pacific Coast Highway for about two week.
I stopped in Portland, the Redwoods National Park in Northern California, San Francisco, down to Los Angeles where I got to visit Marie.
After that I had a brief reunion with my mom and sister, Emily, in San Diego! We took the ferry to Coronado Island and walked around, explore one the Del, and grand old hotel there.
The next day I met up with Christian and his family to celebrate Thanksgiving and his sister’s wedding. Between the rehearsal and the wedding, Thanksgiving Day, and a visit to San Diego Broadway to see Wicked it was a pretty incredible week.
After California I took a bus to Phoenix where I got to spend five days with Laura, going for a hike, and relaxing with some much needed Netflix. She has a furry roommate named Paul, a black cat that looks a lot like my own and made me eager to get back to reunite with my Lil Spooks.
Another bus to Vegas was next, and I spent five days with Emily at her apartment. She took me out on the town in Fremont (the historic Old Town area), and walked around all the major hotels, casinos, and extravagant buildings on the Vegas Strip.
A final flight brought me from Vegas to Chicago where I spent a few days with Anna and Melissa before eventually getting picked up by Christian for the final trip home to Indiana. We ate way too much food, celebrated with a few holiday parties and outings, and generally had a great time catching up. (I hadn’t seen Melissa in over a year!)
Christian drove me home on December 16th to Indiana. We spent two days unpacking and unwinding at our apartment, which I was seeing for the first time. The next four days, we stayed with Christian’s 91 and 92 year-old grandparents who are in town indefinitely. The next eight days we were visiting family and friends for the holidays which has been a wonderful welcome home, albeit a bit exhausting.
WHATS NEXT IN 2019
Now I’m home and time for me to actually start getting settled. I’ve been getting lots of questions, understandably, about my next steps. And to that, I say my next steps are a work in progress. I’ve been asking myself what’s next in 2019 too, and while there is a lot up in the air, there are a few things I do know.
I’m going to continue blogging but the majority of my posts will be more focused on sustainable travel for working women. I’ll be continuing with my Woman of the Week interview series, but will be writing more about sustainable travel (eco friendly tour companies, accommodations, and products; highly recommended local tours; info about sustainable travel issues) and travel for working women (spotlights on careers with great travel opportunities, accounts of work and travel experiences, interviews).
I’ll still write some posts about the places I’m going, but more frequently, I’ll share my pictures from countries I’ve visited and the blog posts from other female bloggers that helped me plan my trip.
As far as the rest of my life goes, here’s the low-down. I’m still working part time for HOPE Mentoring on a mostly remote basis, though I’m living in Indiana for the time being and will be attending meetings when I’m able. I’ll likely be in Indiana for a while saving up money again, (with a few shorter trips thrown in) until I sort out my longer-term plans.
Graduate school is in the future – I want to get a Masters degree but I’m trying to figure out which program and school is the best option, and what the timeline is like for applying and beginning classes. And I certainly haven’t lost my travel bug after this most recent trip so there are plenty of travel resolutions I have for 2019 too. (See the list of 2019 travel resolutions below).
I’m also serving as an administrator for a Facebook group called Liberated Ladies this year. It’s a Facebook group for all self-identifying women to connect to other women, support each other, share our business opportunities, discuss travel, parenting, and other topics, hold challenges and contests, and lots more to come in 2019. We have lots of travel discussions hosted by yours truly, so if you’d like some chances to share your travel experiences with other women, or connect more broadly, join us!
2019 TRAVEL RESOLUTIONS
Here are the 19 travel-related goals I have for this year:
1. Have reunion with my best friends (the Suitcase Six ladies) ❤️
2. Apply to a masters programs for school abroad or online (or at least identify the one I want to apply to in 2020) 🎓
3. Practice my Spanish language skills 😝
4. Start saving for bigger travel again 💰
5. Do a workaway💼
6. Housesit 🏡
7. Volunteer somewhere with animals 🐷
8. Travel somewhere with the bf 💑
9. Explore more countries in North America 🌎
10. Visit Northeast Coast (NYC/Boston/Baltimore) 🗽
11. Take refresher on scuba diving 🌊
12. Fly less this year 🛬
13. Take a cooking class 🍳
14. Spend more time outdoors 🌲
15. Go camping 🏕
16. Read 2 books written by non-English authors 📚
17. Travel for a political event 🗳
18. Travel for a music festival 🎤
19. Explore the vegan/vegetarian scene more at home 🍍
It’s a lot, but I’ve already got plans for #8, #9, and #18. I’m going to try and be as sustainable as I can, combining these goals wherever possible. (I’ll probably #8 and #9 are already planned for the same trip, and I’ll probably knock out #16 while we’re there).
What are some of YOUR travel goals for 2019?
It’s going to be hard to beat 2018 in terms of travel, but I’ve got a lot of projects and exciting work lined up this year and I’m looking forward to grinding away in 2019. Tell me in the comments or email me your feedback on what you’d like me to write about this year, or to share your travel plans with me!
Happy New Year! I’m sending you all wishes of a year full of adventure, wonder, and appreciation for the unbelievable planet we inhabit.