Happy 2014, everyone! I hope you rung it in with champagne and loved ones, like I did (though, sadly, Hannah was in another state). Can you believe another year has come and gone?
2013 was a year of monumental change. I started 2013 off as an undergraduate at Emory University, living in Atlanta with my roommate Hayley, finishing up my degrees, and applying for graduation and graduate school. At the dawn of 2014 I'm living with my girlfriend in Portland, Oregon, working at Old Navy and slowly working my way towards a Master's in geography. Things could not be more different than they were 12 months ago.
A little recap of my life in 2013...
In January I began my final semester as an undergraduate and went through my last recruitment as a sorority girl in Gamma Phi Beta. My goodness, it feels like eons ago that I was in a sorority!
In February Hannah and I celebrated our sixth month anniversary and I was accepted to grad school. At the end of the month I flew to Phoenix, AZ, to visit and interview at Arizona State University. While there I also got to see my grandparents and uncle.
In March one of my classes, a barrier islands field course, went to the Georgia coast for spring break. While there we visited a handful of islands, took lots of pictures, and saw some amazing things (including ring tail lemurs!). That class is still one of the best I've ever taken, and I made some wonderful lasting friendships during the experience.
In April I flew to Sacramento, California for another graduate school visit, and I made the decision to attend Portland State University in the fall. I also played one of my last rugby games, celebrated Hannah's 24 birthday, and toasted to graduation with an Emory event at Sweetwater Brewery. Hannah and I also went camping with friends, saw a bear, and took a drive to Helen, Georgia.
In May I graduated from Emory with a degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Hannah, my parents, grandmother, uncle, great uncle, and cousins were there to celebrate with me. It felt like I spent most of the month saying goodbye to people I love as Hannah and I prepared to move to Oregon. It was wonderfully bittersweet, and it felt good to be moving on to another chapter in my life. I spent a lot of my free time working for a gym, and Hannah and I took a trip to Providence Canyon in Georgia.
In June my best friend Marie came to visit me in Atlanta for a few days, and Hannah and I began the arduous process of packing our belongings. I went to Augusta for a few days to see family, and Hannah and I went to Arabia Mountain and explored the nooks and crannies of Atlanta that we wanted to say goodbye to. I also made some rockin' homemade pasta sauce.
On July first Hannah, her roommate Amanda, and I left for an 8 day road trip from Atlanta, GA to Portland, OR. It was truly an amazing life experience. I saw Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore (on the Fourth of July!), and countless American backroads. I also made a visit to Seattle to see family, and explored Portland and Oregon with Hannah. Two of my favorite things were a visit to Cannon Beach and seeing Seattle from the bow of my Uncle's boat.
In August I started working for Old Navy and went on my first backpacking trip with my Uncle, in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the Enchantments of Washington's Cascade Mountain Range. Over the course of four days we trekked over 18 miles, climbing over 6,000 feet and descending nearly 8,000 feet with 35 pounds on my back and my camera strapped to my chest. It's one of the most empowering things I've ever done, and I'd love to do it again. Hannah and I also celebrated our one year anniversary with a trip to the Portland Zoo and a visit to Multnomah Falls. We also started selling my photographs on Etsy via Birch and Supply Co., and attended a corgi walk in the Pearl District.
In September Hannah and I went to Crater Lake for three amazing days. My parents visited me in Portland, and we all went to Seattle (it was Hannah's first time!) and Daytona, Washington, to see my Uncle and Aunt. We explored the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Fruit Loop, and downtown Portland. I also started graduate school and TA work at the end of the month.
October was quiet month, full of school and work and cuddling on the couch. Hannah and I went pumpkin picking and took luxurious fall walks in our little corner of Portland. I also overhauled my blog design, and learned a lot more HTML in the process!
In November we took a little trip to Mount Hood and Hannah and I celebrated Thanksgiving together. It was quiet and lovely, and I managed to convince her my mom's mash potatoes are, in fact, the best on earth. I also worked Black Friday, which was a harrowing life experience. Hannah, my cousin Anna, and I also cut down our first christmas tree together and visited Portland's Cathedral Park, which was a lot of fun!
In December I finished my first trimester of graduate school. Hannah and I celebrated Christmas together early, and I flew home to Philadelphia from Seattle. I relaxed a lot, saw my grandmother, finally visited Terrain, spent a day in Philadelphia with friends, went kayaking in the Pine Barrens with my dad, and went to New York City for a weekend. I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with my sister and my parents, and it was good to be home for awhile. Come Friday I'll be back out west, gearing up for another round of grad school!
How was your 2013? What big changes happened in your life? What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?