An Amazing Year in Review

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Sunset in The Hague
Sunset in The Hague

I’m not sure I know where to start! As you can probably relate, it’s hard to fathom how much is possible in just one year. Looking back, it was just this time last year my family and I were getting ready for our 6-month travels around the globe, and now here I sit writing this in our new home in San Diego. This trip, of course, is what stands out the most for me. We visited over a dozen countries, met hundreds of amazing people, saw some unforgettable sights I will remember for the rest of my life!

I have been asked time and time again what the best part of the trip was, the lessons learned and the places I would go back to. I would like to share my answers with all of you, in hopes that my experiences and recommendations may ever be of help.

Drew making bubbles
Drew making bubbles

Question 1: What was the best part of the trip?
The best part of traveling nonstop for 6 months was simply this: being able to totally disconnect from day to day life. The ability to just experience where we were and not have to worry about the daily grind of life in the US. We didn’t have to worry about anything other than being together and enjoying the city we were in. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of time planning the trip and documenting along the way, but overall is was peaceful in so many ways. I don’t believe that many in the US take enough time away from our daily lives to truly relax. For me, it took almost 2 months to wind down and feel the serenity of just enjoying where I was at that moment. 

Question 2: What were the lessons I learned?

Another sunset picture from Florence. Just jaw dropping!
Another sunset picture from Florence. Just jaw dropping!

For most of my life, and most of the people I have met here in the US, we are all chasing success. The happiest people that we met around the globe were the ones who were deeply connected with others. They knew who their Tribe was – others who have shared purpose and values. I believe that knowing our own purpose and values and finding others who share the same purpose and values is key to our happiness and ultimate success. I left the US thinking that finding our purpose was the key to our joy, but today I believe that finding purpose is just the first step, it’s the door to finding our tribe.

Since returning from our travels, I’ve been focused on finding my tribe. I’ve been meeting with dozens of people each week searching for those that have shared purpose and shared values. Now that I’m clear on what’s truly important in my life it’s so much easier to live and be myself, and I find tribe members in every aspect of my life.

DSC_0402Question 3: What were my favorite places to return?
Of all the places we visited, there were a few that I would go back to tomorrow. Those include – Istanbul, Budapest and Prague.
However, by far my favorite experience was our week long stay on the Greek Island of Santorini. It seems as though so much during this week worked out for the best. Our AirBnB landlord was terrific, the food was fresh, and our kids even got a chance to go to school and meet others kids their ages. The land was magnificent and all the hikes we did, especially from Fira to Oia, I will never forget. We were in Santorini during off season, so I’m not sure I would have loved it as much during the height of tourist season.

My experiences and lessons learned during this trip were invaluable. I have returned to my life here in San Diego with a new perspective and many personal motivations moving forward. If you ever find yourself traveling please feel free to ask for any insights and recommendations, I’m happy to share.

I hope you all have had a transformational year and many things to look forward to in 2016!

To a life well lived indeed!

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