Christmas in Arizona, New Year’s in Vancouver, and looking back on 2015

Happy New Year!! And just like that another holiday season has come and gone, leaving me with post-holiday withdrawals – let the countdown for Christmas 2016 begin!

I’m back in Austin after a 2-week vacay, which means I am finally able to reflect on 2015. Over the holidays I spent Christmas in Arizona with my family, and I gotta say it was good to be home. It was a week of sunshine, delicious home cooked meals, and lots of hiking. Coming back after a few months made me really appreciate the beauty of Arizona. I have yet to see a sunset as beautiful as an Arizona sunset!

DCIM100GOPROWatching the sunset at the Hole in the Rock in Arizona

IMG_5664On A Mountain with my sister (just to clarify the mountain is actually called “A” mountain, I’m not just referring to the mountain in general terms).

I went straight from AZ to Seattle where I reunited with my best friends from high school. Our New Year’s Eve crew was a conglomeration of people who all shared a mutual friend who moved to Italy (casual). From Seattle we journeyed up to Vancouver to ring in the new year! I’ve never been so cold in my life up in Canada, but man is Vancouver beautiful. We stayed in a hostel right in the center of the city. After club crawling around town, we ended up counting down the new year right out on the streets outside our hostel (with all the other people who didn’t want to pay a cover to get into a bar). The bliss of the new year took over the streets and strangers were hugging strangers – it was a contagious feeling and such a beautiful thing to be apart of!

Back in Seattle we took advantage of the unusually sunny weather and walked around UW campus (there was a Harry Potter reading room that legit looked like Hogwarts), saw amazing views of the skyline, and visited the EMP museum and Chihuly Glass Garden. If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend the Experiential Music Project Museum!! Especially if you like music and film.

IMG_5785View from Gasworks Park in Seattle

IMG_5801Stanley Park in Vancouver

IMG_5813Night stroll in Gastown (Vancouver)

IMG_5850Chihuly Glass Garden Museum in Seattle

While at the airport on my way back to home, I started to think about how uneventful my 2015 year was compared to 2014. In 2014 I traveled A LOT and scratched off a ton of bucketlist things, where as 2015 seemed like a mix of being unsure of myself and trying to find myself. Then I realized that while 2015 may not have been as explosive as 2014, there were some major milestones that took place in my life over the past year that are equally as important as scratching things off my bucketlist.

It’s always nice to look back and see that I met quite a few of my new year’s resolutions from last year. I learned a lot of things over the past 365 days, mostly about myself and what I want in life. I am so grateful for my family, yoga, my music, opportunities, and the strength of long distance friendships and the friendships that have lasted over time. I think my main takeaway from 2015 is that life can be what I want it to be, I just need to go out and make it happen.

Hello, 2016! I’m ready for you.

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✌Carissa

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