Looking back at my “best nine” on instagram I can’t help but think that those photographs might have been the best mix of shots to sum up my year of 2016. I typically like to believe that along with the completion of each year I in some way gained some valuable knowledge through my experiences that resulted in personal growth and success. This past year has proved that to be true to a whole new degree. The amount of progress i’ve made in self discovery is so extensive that it literally feels like I don’t even know the girl who entered 2016 in January. Last new years eve I vividly remember telling myself that 2016 would be MY year of focusing on what I genuinely wanted after wasting another three months, a disney trip and a holiday season on a guy that inevitably took fuckboy to a whole new level. Being single wasn’t usually something I preferred especially considering all through high school I had 2 year relationship after 2 relationship but challenging myself to take time to explore rachel as an individual proved to be the most beneficial thing I could’ve ever done for myself. I pushed my limits, made shit happen and most importantly followed my passion fearlessly. The amount of places traveled, connections made and realizations discovered are incomparable. I hope you enjoy this post of my 2016 wrap up and it inspires you to command control of your life in 2017 to do what makes you happy, surround yourself with people who support you and be where you feel the most challenged and motivated.
I went into 2016 with the intentions of traveling as much as possible. When reflecting back on this past year of travels i’d say I did a pretty damn good job of accomplishing that. From visiting my sister & niece in tennessee, friends in atlanta, my legit 7 solo road trips to orlando, the ultimate dream trip to california for my 21st birthday, a spur of the moment 12 hour drive to new orleans with my now best friend to catch selena gomez on tour, to my two month adventure living in the heart of the jungle in the dominican republic. Keep in mind I managed to do all this with a full-time job and completely funded on my own. So many people act like traveling is so expensive and far fetch but it is genuinely all about prioritizing it into your life and wanting it bad enough. I whole heartedly believe my travels and interactions with people from all over the world has heavily influenced my outstanding personal growth this year. I HIGHLY recommend everyone to get out there, hop on a plane, explore a foreign land and push their limits. You will truly never know what you want or where you belong if you don’t see what else is out there waiting for you.
a t l a n t a
c a l i f o r n i a
t e n n e s s e e
n e w o r l e a n s
o r l a n d o
d o m i n i c a n r e p u b l i c
So now what? 2017 has a lot to live up to after the year i’ve had in 2016. But I can already see this year topping every one yet considering I am starting it off as a permanent resident of orlando again. Ringing in the new year with one of my best friends at a special event on Disney’s Boardwalk, toasting with complimentary glasses of champagne to a view of Epcots insane new year fireworks over the water was hands down the best new years eve i’ve ever had. I can only imagine this year following will be just as phenomenal. Thank you 2016 for introducing me to most of my life long friends, strengthening my family, allowing me to explore and most importantly giving me the opportunity to share with others in hopes to inspire them to live to their fullest potential. Cheers to your new year, do shit that scares you, spend it with people who care and support you and learn to love yourself unapologetically.
-xoxo rachel- passion over everything