It is January 2, 2015 which means 2014 is in the history books. This time of year many people reflect on the past year, do the canned Facebook or Instagram “Best of 2014” crap (oh, did I just use my outside voice there?), or people like to reminisce about how wonderful, or how crappy, their year was. I don’t usually do this. A year is a year is a year. While mild reflection isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I have never been one to make a big deal about this in the past. So why now?

I wasn’t going to do this post at all. As a matter of fact doing such a post never crossed my mind even after reading many reviews of 2014 in blogs that I follow. Again, not my usual cup of tea. Then as I was leaving the “house” for yoga today, I noticed a comment from a fellow full timer pop up on Instagram. I was wishing her a Happy New Year and she came back with this:

“I think about you and your story often. Hope you’re finding fulfillment out there.”

Mind you this is someone I have never met. Someone who I only know through Instagram. But someone who shares the bond of travel and of a recent life change.

Her comment triggered something in me. Something emotional. And it made me think about the purpose of my journey and the purpose of my blog. I started writing this blog to chronicle my travels so I could look back upon it and be reminded about what I saw, and to some extent, to remind myself of my mindset at the time of writing. Which means I am compelled to write a 2014 in review post. So that I can remember.

Thank you, Kerri, for giving me the wake up call to do what I originally set out to do.

So 2014. Wow! What a year. On so many levels. So many things happened. So many life changes. What a wonderful ride. For reals.

I purchased my new home, realizing a dream of mine that has been percolating for years (closer to decades). I finished a 6 month stint living back at home, something I never thought I would be doing in my early 40’s (thanks Mom and Dad!). I hit the road. I met many amazing people (thank you Instagram!). I visited with old friends. I explored. I covered a lot of miles. Many states. And I settled down for a while.

When I set out on 9 April 2014 to travel around for an undetermined amount of time, I had few expectations. I really didn’t know what in the hell I was doing. I had a rough idea where I was going for the first few months, but had no idea where the end of the year would find me. I just set out.

I won’t recap the things that I did or saw – you can read my other blog posts if you are so interested. But I will mention that things, good things, happened to me in 2014 that I didn’t expect. And it makes me very happy. And happy is a good thing!

I knew no one else doing what I do when I departed in April, yet now I have a network of friends who are traveling around the country. Most I have only met virtually, while some I have met in the flesh. I have yet to be letdown by an in-person meeting. I look forward to meeting the rest of my friends down the road. All of which makes me happy.

I also found a reason to stay in one place for an extended amount of time. This was something I had hoped to find. Eventually. I had no idea I would find it so soon. None. But the universe works in mysterious ways. And I am learning to embrace what comes along and to not question or worry about the reason. I am learning to live.

So I have been in the Austin, Texas area since the beginning of September and will be hitting the road again this spring. But I will most likely end up back here. And that is a good thing. A very good thing. Happy.

When I am ready to tell this story, this part of my journey, I will. But until then I will be vague and you will just have to deal with it! 🙂

So 2014 was definitely a year of ups and downs for me (more up than down), but I think I can sum it up in one word. Happy.

Happy to finally realize a dream of being on the road. Happy to see new places and experience new things. Happy that I am slowly figuring things out. Happy to have found a reason to slow down. Just happy.

My sister and I made a pact earlier this year to do what has to be done to support each other’s happiness. Sis, I think we are succeeding! Thank you.

As I look forward to 2015 I can honestly say I don’t have a clue what it holds. And I like it that way. I was taught a hard lesson in 2013 that life can be short. And I just want to enjoy. To live. To be happy.

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