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Don’t let my silence on Jetsetters Homestead fool you. This has been a crazy year despite my lack of chronicles.
In some ways, I haven’t felt like I’ve had enough to write about (certainly not in the world of mileage program changes or hotel reviews where I never scoop anyone). In other ways, I’ve felt like I’ve had so much to write about that it has weighed me down and challenged me.
2016 was a year where intensity hit from all sides. When 2015 ended, I had just experienced a year of tremendous change. I rang in 2016 from the Caribbean and vowed to embrace the word Yes. How little did I know how much more this would push me forward through the 364 days to follow.
My travels this year took me across the United States, across the Atlantic three times, and to the Caribbean three times as well. From a solo jaunt to Paris for my birthday to my first transatlantic sailing (16 nights across on Seabourn), followed by a late summer trip to stay with old friends in Dubai, and then my first true solo cruise in the fall in the Mediterranean, my travels were a physical manifestation of the journey I was taking on personally. Some of my side adventures were interesting including three of my more interesting quickie trips where I went to San Francisco to attend a friend’s party for his premiere on a season of Survivor, attended the Pan Am Experience in LA for the second time, and facilitated a sexual assault prevention workshop on a university campus in the Pacific northwest.
I ultimately flew 195,861 miles across 155 airline segments (across 7 different carriers), completed over 125 nights in hotels, and 36 nights on cruise ships (across five different ships on three different lines). My travels took me to 14 countries and non-US territories. And yes, I did end up meeting all my travel goals including requalifying for Hyatt Diamond one last time.
Professionally, I have had a great year. Business has kept me on planes and hopping around the United States to pursue new opportunities. I’ve continued to focus on my two volunteer activities – YMCA Youth and Government as well as my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, where I transitioned to new volunteer responsibilities over the late summer. I continue to travel for both organizations and look forward to several trips already planned for 2017 in service to these organizations.
Personally, my “Year of Yes” resulted in me tackling some big invisible obstacles in my life including an overall assessment of my personal well-being on a physical, mental, emotional, and financial front. I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time thanks to taking the time to step back and figure out what was and was not working for me. I’m blessed to have some amazing friends and family members who have been very supportive as I have reexamined many areas of my daily living.
I’ve had some small but fun personal wins – finally rounding the end of a major multi-year construction project in my neighborhood that boosted my home value overnight (and allowed me to finally rationalize some much needed remodeling), learning to properly blow out my hair, and doing a major closet purge were a few of the small accomplishments that made me feel good about my use of limited spare time. I also managed to binge watch all seven original seasons of Gilmore Girls which was strangely gratifying.
2016 also has not come without challenges including the death of my grandfather on Thanksgiving night and confirmation the following week that I’ll be tackling melanoma at an earlier age than anyone else in my family. I feel like much of my personal work earlier in the year prepared me for the challenges I faced.
With one day left in 2016, I’m still processing my current journey and deciding what next year will look like. I am still picking my “word” (or intention) for 2017 as well as Googling ways to cope with writers block!
Check back with me tomorrow as I work through my travel and personal resolutions for 2017.