525,600

“How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles,
In laughter, in strife?”

-Seasons of Love, Rent

Man were there so many laughs, miles, midnights, sunsets, and cups of coffee had in 2016. This year has been one hell of a ride. I think back to the midnight in Barcelona wandering the cobbled streets, lost and without a care in the world. I think of the constant laughs with my new friends at work, the brilliant sunset on the 4th of July on the Thai Islands, and the many cups of coffee consumed to help study while in my last semester at school. I’d like to think that I made every single minute, all 525,600 of them, count.

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Stunning Stockholm

It’s hard not to look back on this year and ask how 2017 could possibly be better. I don’t have a global trip planned and no huge life milestones coming my way, yet I couldn’t be more excited. As amazing as last year was, I view each new year as an opportunity awaiting me, a blank page waiting to be filled.

One thing I am excited about this year is to explore parts of our country that I haven’t seen or been to in years. There’s something cool about seeing a place you’ve been to many years ago with more experienced eyes. I look forward to weekend trips to visit friends in new cities, getaways to escape the cold, and seeing family far away. These opportunities within the US are great ways to treat my persisting case of wanderlust, and all without breaking the bank. Although it is hard to have friends and family living in different states, it’s a great excuse to take some time off and travel (though I really don’t need an excuse for a flight to anywhere).

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Exploring the US – South Carolina

I used to think that being stationary was a negative thing, that I was meant for constant travel and the road. But I’ve found that establishing a new life, making friends, and “settling down” into Columbus has been a whole new adventure, and one that I look forward to continuing in the new year.
While many people worry about resolutions in the new year, I want to keep my opportunities open. Rather than setting one resolution and struggling with it a few weeks later, I’d like to keep my mind open to new chances and grow as a person in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’d like to say yes to everything that comes my way, because saying no never leads to anything new and exciting.
So cheers to you, my friends. I hope you all have a year to look forward to, and have had the most amazing 2016. Take a chance to step back and cherish the ones you love. Enjoy a cup of coffee, stay out past midnight, appreciate every sunset you see, travel as many miles as possible, and laugh until your tummy hurts. Take all of your five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes and make them important.

With love,

Ian

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Charting new paths in Prague
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