How do you measure, measure a year? 2017 was the year I spent time in 13 different countries and 11 different states. I traveled to Europe three times. I set foot on my fifth continent. I revisited London, Indianapolis, Ireland, and Portugal. I reunited with friends from college in Prague and Dublin and old coworkers in London, Chicago, and Dubrovnik. I traveled for 10 days in Cape Town with someone I met in Mandalay and for 12 days in Croatia with someone I met in Dublin. A twelfth of my year was spent dog-sitting, both in Chicago and Jersey City. I added Shenandoah National Park to my list of U.S. National Parks.
Hi! If you’re reading this, it means you’ve probably made your way over from my old website, a hell LOVE a town, which I’ve had since October 2010. It started out as a blog about my adventures in New York City, but as I’ve been traveling more and writing more about these travels, this name just didn’t fit anymore. Lately my life has been so much more about travel than NYC and I wanted a name to reflect that.
Earlier this year, I remembered that my passport was set to expire this month. I was a little sad to stop using it. My first passport had only held an embarrassing photo from middle school and stamps from Ireland and Niagara.
When I was at home recently, I came across a shamrock-covered notebook and my face lit up. I knew that this was my journal from when I went to Ireland with my family in 1998, when I was 13. I’ve come across old journals before, notably from my second trip to NYC when I was in high school, but this journal contained details about my first adventure outside of America, to the homeland of half of my ancestors.
Last year at this time, I had just finished up a big life project of mine, “28 Things to do Before I Turn 28.” This project was incredible for me in so many ways, but terribly stressful at the same time. For a few weeks after my birthday, everyone kept asking me what I was going to do before I turned 29. What I wanted to say was: “Are you kidding me? What have *you* done in the last year?!” But I just told them that I needed a little break from the self-imposed pressure.
I know it may seem like I’m perfect (kidding), but I actually have several things I’d like to work on in the new year.
When I was home this weekend, I went through some of the relics in my childhood bedroom and found quite a few gems – horrible photographic evidence of my awkward teenage years, notes from old classmates, and some journals that I had completely forgotten about. I settled down under my covers with my ceiling fan on blast and took a trip down memory lane.
Wednesday is Third and Long’s last night open as a bar, but it represents so much more to me than simply a bar. It was the first place I felt at home in the city, even before I could officially call the city “home”, when I was still taking the PATH in every day from Jersey.
So now that I’ve been 28 for a entire week, I feel as if I can finally reflect on my 28 Things in NYC to do Before I Turn 28.
Today I am moving to the East Side. Wish me luck.