Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

On this day of 31 Dec, I am almost taken by surprise our time together is coming to a quick close.
Each month of you brought surprise, adventure & choice.

In January our first hello was had in sunshine over a cup of coffee in a newly gifted mug. I welcomed you with excitement and wonder in my eyes. We cheersed to the adventures that were to come. I met you in the state of Colorado.
Less than a week and we were in the state of Georgia trying to prepare for the coming travels, community & experiences. I snored and laughed in my sleep (so I was told), thus jumping into a wild ride.

You took me on my first plane ride across the Pacific, dumping me in Indonesia. The sights and sounds were so many, I was unsure of which window to look out as we squished into the Angtuk that first torrential rainy, humid day in Bandung. We were all wet & without much space, but so happy to be where we’d never been.

I took many a selfies during your first few weeks.
I was awoken by the call to prayer for the first time & never knew horns would make me laugh so much.

We saw the lands of Asia, and I fell in love with Asia more than I thought. Asia doesn’t get the credit they should, it’s a beautiful place, with incredibly hospitable people.

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We rode 19 long distance trains, the longest ride being 60 hours. ๐Ÿš‚

We flew in 24 airplanes. โœˆ๏ธ

We sat in 16 large buses and 9 minibuses. ๐ŸšŒ

We got to ride 2 ferries, 1 legit boat on the Caspian Sea, and a taxi boat in Bangkok. โ›ด๐Ÿ›ณ

And too many taxis for me to even remember. ๐Ÿš•

We rode trams, metro, tuk tuks in India, bicycles in Thailand and China. ๐ŸšŽ ย ๐Ÿšฒ ย ๐Ÿšก

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We walked miles of streets with sidewalks and non-existent sidewalks; trails up mountains, trails of mud; roads of dirt & dust; we slipped and pretended to ice skate on China’s wet sidewalks; we wandered cities & markets; we touched beaches, seas & a couple rivers; we crossed bridges, did a couple handstands & kartwheels, skipping and splashing in puddles; we danced on rooftops, in a wedding & on a boat deck.

We saw city views from above; I pointed out the moon nearly every time he made an appearance. We stargazed. We laughed, we cried. We watched the sunset and the moonrise.

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Ate the best food, drank the best juice in Marrakesh. The best fruit in Thailand, biggest carrots in Bishkek, freshest bread in Georgia…

We sweat, had to carry our own toilet paper, used countless squatty potties, smelled many a fragrances, talked to strangers at train stations, made friends on the train.
We got sick a couple times, slept in a tent in the mountains of Nepal, twirled kiddos long after I got dizzy, ate and ate and ate.

We cried on the floor of a hostel after realizing we weren’t going to Turkey.

Broke a pair of flip flops getting off a train in Burma.

Had rocks thrown at me by a kid in China, stepped on a thorn barefoot, peed on my own foot and flip flop.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –ย – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – –
2016, you were full of adventure, the unexpected, pain, memories, and the least amount of alone time ever. You were a year I’ll never forget. I got to experience cultures & life like never before.
I cried for Syria, I cried for Turkey.
I cried for leaving my friends in Kyrgyzstan & Morocco.
I met the most amazing people, heard stories on the edge of my seat.
I met sweet babies in Greece, a sweet papa in Nazareth.
I got to live, eat, travel, cook, walk and sweat with brothers and sisters that have my back. I got to experience true community and Papa redefined family.

As this year ends, I encourage you to think of the good this year. Remember the sweet moments, remember the amazing people you met or realized you have. Think of the ones you talk to the most, how they’ve loved & valued you this year.

Let your mind ponder the good from this year. End on a good note, start in a good note.

Cheers to you 2016! Thank you for what you taught me. I’m better because ofย you & the people I crossed paths with.
2017, I’m excited to see the adventures and wild rides we’ll take together.

 

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