Today is my birthday. I am 33 years old.
I’m not a fan of birthdays. It’s not like today is any different than yesterday. My thoughts, feelings, successes, and failures are still the same. It’s the time in between the birthdays that changes us, not the day itself. And, anyways, why celebrate just one day of your life? Let’s celebrate life every day. I like to treat every day as my birthday.
However, as I look back on another year, I feel very stale. Life feels stale. This blog feels stale. Everything feels stale. Thirty-two to thirty-three was a year of great growth for me, both professionally and personally. But that hasn’t changed the fact there is a creeping sense of staleness coming over me.
Then I came across this blog post from last year about all the things I wanted to do before I was thirty-five.
In the last year, I’ve accomplished none of them.
Sure, this past year saw me visit a few new countries, but I don’t feel like I’ve gone on a big adventure. I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel, going back to the same places over and over and over again. While I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have, the people I know and get to meet, and the places I can go, I don’t feel as though my travels are growing, nor am I growing.
That list was intended to focus me, but instead, it’s collected digital dust. Like so many others, I dreamed big, talked big, and made grand plans — but when push came to shove, I just shrugged my shoulders and said “life got in the way.” There was always a conference, or too much work, or an event in New York City.
And while I stand behind my decision to balance life in NYC and life on the road, I realized it’s time to stop making excuses and follow my own advice. The only way to really ensure “life doesn’t get in the way” is to commit — to book that ticket and count down the days. It’s easy to say “I’m going,” but by booking that ticket, you’re committed. How can I encourage people to “just go” if I don’t?
So yesterday, I booked tickets — these plane tickets — and, to be held accountable, I’m posting them here. While my summer is filled with group tours around Europe, starting in the fall, it’s time for some new adventures!
In mid-September, I’m finally going to Iceland. I’ve talked a lot about going to Iceland, but it’s finally time to make it happen:
I’ve been promising my friend I’d visit her in Hong Kong for over a year now, and after finding a super cheap ticket (only $1k roundtrip from NYC), I booked it:
On November 2, I’m flying one way to Puerto Rico to spend 4-6 weeks traveling around the Caribbean. I’ve always want to travel the region by boat, and it’s time to finally do so. I have no itinerary. I’m just going south and east from Puerto Rico and will see where the wind takes me:
For New Year’s, I’m going visit the Philippines or Argentina, but ticket prices are close to $2,000 right now, so I’m going to wait on that and see if prices come down or what reward tickets are available.
There you have it. Tickets are booked. There’s no turning back. It’s time to go discover some new places instead of revisiting the old.
This next year is all about having new adventures, not repeating old ones.
That’s my birthday promise… to myself and to you.