Tough and lacking emotional development towards the beginning, the year was just getting started. It’s hard to judge it on the premature nature it exuded so early on, but as days turned into months, roses were shed and development was had. I grew older and wiser and out of bad habits. New lands were explored and familiar places were rediscovered. I manifested a change in direction and became a teacher of yoga. I took my first group abroad to Bali. I spread awareness about breast cancer. I gave back to the world, to Mother Nature, which has given me so much in return.
Here are my 18 highlights from 2018!
If you’ve been following me for a couple of years now, you know a big piece of my heart lives in Puerto Rico. My first trip of the year (just like 2017!) was here with The Points Guy for more hurricane Irma clean up!
Hmmmmmm. I suppose I can’t exactly skirt over that time I went back on reality television huh? And I wouldn’t want to – I LOVED being back in the land of roses tbh. I remember filming in Vermont and everyone was hanging around the breakfast bar. In that moment I thought to myself, “I am having the time of my life!” And it was…until it wasn’t. Break ups suck. Public break ups suck even more. I never regret a relationship, though. They all serve as lessons. Like Ariana Grande said, I’m so fuckin’ grateful for my ex. Thank you, NEXT.
If you’re currently going through a hard time, read about ways to get through a break up or adversity here.
I traveled to rural Honduras not once but twice with Humanity & Hope. Purposeful travel fills my soul, and if I can do that AND support good friends, that’s a win/win. I wrote all about our time in Honduras here.
My best friend from UGA (not even pictured in the above photo but go dawgs!) got married back where it all started – in Athens, GA! Being back in the Classic City with my best friends was EPIC. As we grow older (but not up), it gets harder and harder to find quality time to get together. Acting like young 20somethings again while seeing one of my faves marry the love of her life was good for the soul.
I booked a ticket to Guatemala on a complete whim. I’d never been but Lake Atitlán was calling my name for a solo adventure where I met up with an old friend, and damn did it not disappoint. Right before Guate, I was in Oaxaca, Mexico which was equally as cool. I added Guatemala instead of Oaxaca because I can only have a limited number of highlights (18 duh) and I traveled to Mexico THREE times this year. Other countries need their moment in the spotlight, too 🙂
First Apartment in THREE Years!
The last apartment I rented was in Buenos Aires, Argentina in May of 2015. I didn’t rent another one until May of 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. What a hell of a three years it was living out of a suitcase, but I was SO happy to learn what unpacking was like. And taking trash cans to curbs on trash pick-ups days. And french pressing coffee. And meeting neighbors. #roots Read more about my domestic life here.
Every time I think about Yosemite, my blood pumps a little harder. Maybe it’s because this place is full of undeniable beauty. Maybe because Upper Yosemite Falls hike was THAT hard. Phew. Whatever the case, I can’t wait to return for more soon. Read more in my Yosemite National Park for First Timers blog.
Half Moon Bay
I went on a California road trip this summer from LA all the way up to Lake Tahoe. Half Moon Bay and Tahoe are tied for favorite stops… may have to return to both in 2019 for a tie breaker.
What can I even say about this island paradise that totally transformed my bodily make-up? My 25 days in Aruba taught me far more than how to become a yoga teacher. I am more understanding. I am a better listener. I am more intentional. With action, with words. I am compassionate, generous, grateful. I’ll forever look fondly upon the Luna Shala and remember the many hours I spent on my mat or in a cushiony chair as I listened intently to Rachel’s lectures. July was one of the best months of my life, and YTT at Island Yoga was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’ve always wanted to hike a 14er in Colorado (mountain with an elevation of at least 14,000 ft). When I was invited to climb Wilson Peak in Telluride with Coors, I knew it was the perfect time! I went into the whole thing a bit nervous – I’d just spent a month at sea level on an island doing yoga and now I was going to 14,017 ft in the Rockies. HA. Was I strong enough? Would the other participants be way faster than me? I shut that inner critic up real fast and quickly accepted. Of course I could do it! And I did. See more photos from the climb here.
You only turn 31 once…so I got my family and 14 best friends together for a beach weekend in sunny Florida. On August 19th, there was no other place I’d rather be. I remember feeling so utterly grateful for amazing people surrounding me and another year of life on this beautiful planet!
From Florida, I travel straight to Norway! I had spent a little time here a few years prior, but the norther islands were calling my name. I couldn’t wait to see, touch, smell and taste this Nordic country. It remains one of my absolute favorites!
On October 7th, I taught my third ever yoga class to a group of beautiful people at Lululemon on 5th Avenue in New York City….and I wanted to pee myself. I was SO nervous and truly felt like I wasn’t worthy of teaching there to anyone. But that’s human nature, right? We constantly tell ourselves that we can’t do it, can’t amount to that, can’t accomplish this….when we absolutely CAN. And I did. I was so thankful for that insanely cool opportunity and even more thankful for the gems that showed up at 8am on a Sunday. Y’all are the real MVPs.
In October, I hosted my first ever Intentional Escape #LimitLesInBali. We were a total of 14 women exploring, eating, sharing stories, connecting, giving back and yogaing together. In partnership with non-profits Bali Pink Ribbon and The Breasties, we participated in the Bali Pink Ribbon annual 5K, donated mastectomy bras to Balinese women in need, and made a contribution to both organizations. We’re doing LimitLes in Bali all over again in 2019 so be on the look-out for the application soon!
Lisbon and Porto, never let me goooo. From the lemon custard tarts (pasteis de nata) and Port wine to views straight out of a storybook, I loved every second and calorie of this country! Read all of my to-dos in Portugal here!
From the moment I stepped off the plane, South Africa had a scent. I noticed it from the beginning – natural, earthy, wild. I immediately liked this place. Smell is the most evocative of the 5 senses. The olfactory pathways where scent travels are connected directly to the limbic system, the area of the brain responsible for emotions, memories and stimulation. Mood and behavior can therefore be directly influenced by smells, and the African bush has no shortage of them. My favorite place to be is the middle of nowhere. The scent reminded me of far away lands, stillness, peace, happiness. Now I can tack elephants onto the list!
Turtles in Mexico
Life is fleeting. The life of a human. The life of a turtle. Any life. My last international trip of the year was to Zihuatanejo in Mexico to build turtle sanctuaries for these little guys in hopes that more will get to grow into adulthood. It was a trip for the books – daily yoga, meeting amazing humans, eating bomb authentic Mexican food, and caring for animals because in the end, all life is interconnected. More on how you can help in your every day life to help save turtles: Don’t use single-use plastic, stop with the straws, look into education programs or documentaries, donate money to deserving non-profits, support any pro-environment legislation.
HOME for Christmas
Traveling is cool, but going home to see my family is even cooler. What a privilege is was to do that…to be able to go back to Arkansas and spend time with the seven people I love most. I’ll never take that for granted.
2019 Intentions: Pitch a travel show, grow my YouTube, execute yoga pop-ups around the county, redesign my website, lead with love, plan more LimitLes trips, be of service in whatever ways I can, say ‘no’ to more of what doesn’t serve me, read more, write more, travel more with old friends, be happy, stay healthy.
Location Wish List: Antarctica, Germany, Russia, Alaska, Croatia, Italy, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea
Over to you! What are your 2019 intentions – WRITE them down and SPEAK them out loud. Where do you want to see The Road Les Traveled in 2019?