Happy New Year's Eve! We're down to the last remaining hours of 2017 and in the midst of the holiday season hustle I want to take a moment to reflect on what 2017 had in store - traveling adventures, crazy stories, and getting engaged.
Going into 2017 I had just graduated Youngstown State University, moved out, and of course, set some resolutions. On the first of January I declared I was going to say "yes" to every travel opportunity I could. At the time I had no idea how much this would change my life. I still remember seeing the post from Kirsten in our local photography group, Tuesdays Together. She asked if anyone wanted to go to Iceland with her and a bunch of strangers through House of Flynn (a huge camera bag company) in less than a month. I wasn't going to go. I mean, I couldn't right? That's crazy. I couldn't go on an international trip with a group of random people I didn't know, right? Or could I? I remembered my resolution and decided I needed to take it seriously and take a risk. I messaged her and told her I was in.
ICELAND - FEBRUARY 2017
I had been to Iceland the summer prior so I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into to an extent, but nothing could have prepared me for the bond quickly formed between our group of 9 sharing the top level of a Reykjavik Airbnb. I spent the week adventuring with this group of fellow photographers from all around the world. For countless hours we drove around in a huge 9-passenger stick shift van (turns out Ashley doesn't drive stick hahaha), chased the northern lights, hiked across glaciers and through ice caves, photographed in amazing locations, relaxed in the Blue Lagoon, enjoyed nightlife in Reykjavik, and more. There were so many times I laughed so hard my body ached. These people went from strangers to friends so much faster than I ever imagined.
Looking back to one year ago, I'm so grateful I bravely said yes. And it was all because I asked myself one simple question: what would happen if I said yes instead of no? Yes is scary. Yes is crazy. But yes is rewarding. This story and these photos are just a sneak peek to a huge two-part blog I'm creating which details our entire trip, so stay tuned in the future!
ITALY - AUGUST 2017
A group of four of us from the Iceland trip weren't over the travel bug. Kirsten, Misti, Ashley, and I decided to book a Groupon to Italy. Okay, I know what you're thinking. A Groupon? Are you kidding? We were super skeptical about what kinds of situations we were about to end up in, but it turned out to be the best decision ever. We did an Italian road trip for 12 days in a Mercedes-Benz (still don't know how that one happened), stayed in awesome hotels and villas and had the freedom to roam around wherever we wanted. There are so many hilarious and magical stories from this trip and I have another two-part blog series lined up in the future about it too! AND A VIDEO.
2017 brought me all over the U.S. as well. I went to Texas, Minnesota, Florida, New York City, New Jersey, and all over Ohio and Pennsylvania.
I GOT ENGAGED!!! - NOVEMBER 2017
After almost a year of saying yes to traveling I said yes to marry my best friend. My sweet fiancé, Donny, proposed to me in Buffalo, NY while I was there to photograph an engagement session. We've been together for over 5 years and he's the best person I know. It's so weird to be on this side of things and I feel like I'm in my client's shoes for the first time, but it's an awesome feeling. I love him so dang much. :)
Praying that 2018 will be just as full of life, adventure, and love as this year was. Happy New Year!