Travel

2016: Year of Travel Review

Hi y’all! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So this year has been ridiculously memorable. Both in the amazing, life changing way and in the heartbreaking, life changing way. I’m finishing out 2016 in Tampa with the love of my life and, as always, missing my family and friends. Hopefully 2017 is the year I can unite everyone together under one roof. Resolution! I will say though that in 2016 I finally learned how to manage my time between work, family, and Luca. It’s all about balance. Below are just a few highlights of my first full year of traveling as an international flight attendant. Times were sometimes rough (20+ hour working days, blah blah blah) but in the end, I have great stories of exploring new cities (Carnival in Rota, beer festivals in Osaka), checking off new countries on my list (Riding an elephant in Thailand, standing next to kangaroos in Australia, everything about Georgia), and making the very best out of every thing that got thrown my way (typhoons, plane delays, many missed flights). Yes, I still whined sometimes but in the end, everything worked out. It always works out.

  1. I started out this new year with Luca (as am I finishing it). We flew to Italy (and my first time in fancy business class) to visit his family before he went into basic training. My favorite parts were seeing how and where Luca grew up, meeting his sister and family, and going skiing in Aosta (where I turned into a human popsicle because I didn’t have a proper ski jacket and it was blizzarding) 
  2. Guam was certainly one of my favorite layovers this year. Everything just worked out on this quick trip. An awesome hotel on the beach, an amazing crew of friends, and a perfectly sunny day. What more can I ask for?
  3. And then there was Abu Dhabi. Making friends with camels, intense sand dune off roading, and watching a brilliant sunset over the dunes. 
  4. I will take any opportunity to see my friends from home. For my 23rd birthday they surprised me with an afternoon in Schlitterbahn, which is my favorite water park. We lounged around, rode rides, and acted like the little kids we are at heart.
  5. DISNEY WORLD! Because Disney world is amazing and I got to experience it for the first time with the love of my life. (also shout out to Jeremy for helping us out a lot and hanging out with us!)
  6. And skydiving!! Of course jumping out of a perfectly good airplane was a highlight of 2016. It was even better that I got to experience it with Luca for his birthday! Also I completely did everything incorrect when I jumped. Everything the guy had told me to do escaped my mind right away, but he had it all under control!
  7. Everything about Tbilisi, Georgia was new to me. It wasn’t even on my original list of places I wanted to visit but it should have been!
  8. And finally, spending the pre-holidays with my family because this time is sacred and I wish there was more of it.
  • Rota, Spain
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Pattaya, Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Luca’s USCG graduation in Cape May, New Jersey
  • Clark, Philippines
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (a couple times)
  • Perth, Australia (though I didn’t take many photos)
  • Numerous visits to Tampa (air shows, Busch Gardens, 4th of July, etc.)
  • Bernkastle, Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • Eltz Castle, Germany
  • Worked to Angola, Africa for the first time
  • NASA and an Astros game with my parents and Luca
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Tokyo again but for a cat cafe!
  • Cowboys game with my family in Dallas
  • Amsterdam Roadtrip
  • Napa Valley

Still, every great year is not without its heartbreak. This year I lost my grandmother. As painful as loss is, I take comfort in the thought that she is no longer in pain, is with my grandfather now, and, I hope, is looking down proudly at me for doing what I love. I love you always, grandma.

It’s crazy to think about how fast 2016 went by. It puts me in the mindset to appreciate every single minute and the determination to live slowly and sweetly.

Many of my 2017 resolutions involve maturing even more financially (having a certain amount saved up, lowering my student loans), some are travel related (cruise, maybe a non-work related trip abroad), and one is to post more often (every neat layover) and dive into more fashion related posts. As for the things I can’t predict in my future, I’m ready to head straight on to them, hopefully always with grace.

To everyone that stood by me, traveled with me, supported me, called me out on my bullshit, gave me life and work advice, hung out with me in Houston or elsewhere, and helped me grow into who I am right now as I type this, thank you. I look forward to many, many more memories with you.

Special ceers to Luca (duh), Rey (my Bubba), Brianda, Jeremy, Laura, Edmar, Charlie, Kris, Cassandra, Thomas, and Analeise. Thank you for sticking with me and blessing me with your friendships for one/two/ten years. Shoutout to my sisters for always giving me fashion advice and for listening to my problems and giving me sisterly advice. Also a thank you to my parents, yes you, mom because I know you’re reading this, for loving me no matter how annoying, pestering, and determined I am and for always being there no matter where I am in the world.

Cheers, y’all. Happy New Year!

See you in 2017!

Xoxo Mary

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