Far better things ahead

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Happy holidays and happy new year!

As we enjoy this holiday season, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the next; to think about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

2019 was an interesting year. We traveled to some places we’ve never been to before. In April, for spring break, we traveled to Aruba and enjoyed the hospitality of the people and the constant breeze blowing across the island. The beach will always be our happy place.

All smiles on One Happy Island

In June, Kevin and I attended TravelCon in Boston, Massachusetts, a city we’ve always wanted to visit. We loved the layout of the city, the history, and of course, the seafood. My biggest joy, the memory that makes my heart happy? The Boston Public Library! Yes, I let my English major/nerd flag fly. (Emerson’s name is on the ceiling!) I even played around in the original search engine, the card catalog. I want to visit the main library everywhere we travel. TravelCon was a great experience! Kevin caught up with travel friends from across the globe. We learned more about the travel blogging industry and got some motivation from our amazing mentor to keep pursuing our dreams. We want to travel the world and encourage other Gen Xers/pre-empty-nesters to reconnect as a couple by traveling. We also won two unlimited rail passes for Italia Rail – hopefully, in 2020 we’ll venture to Italy. (I see some gelato-making classes and other cooking classes in our future as we explore the country!)

Our views of Boston

Speaking of reconnecting, we logged another year in the books with 20 years of marriage for Team Hill! We spent our anniversary on the beach in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. We had a great weekend spending quality time with each other. That’s it. Just us. No kids!

It’s our anniversary!

And our kid-free streak continued when we attended AudacityFest in Memphis, Tennessee, where we learned even more about the travel industry.

As for the pre-empty-nester part of our journey, our youngest is almost out of high school. She has gotten her quest to attend a California school out of her system and, so far, appears ready to stick a little bit closer to home. Filling out the FAFSA, visiting college campuses, and figuring out where she will attend college is our top priority. 

Senior Season #ClassOf2020

We’ve dealt with the unexpected this year, too. Our oldest daughter moved back home and brought her *very* large dog with her. We’re all hoping this is just a short reset stay.

We experienced new adventures in 2019 – I won a writing competition and had a year of professional coaching from a published author. Kevin fulfilled a dream of staying in a hostel in New York City.

As we look toward 2020, we must keep the energy rolling. We are planning several trips this year. Our upcoming graduate wants to go to the Dominican Republic as her graduation gift. And our aforementioned Italy trip will be our “we got the last one out” gift to ourselves.

This past year flew by fast and we’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead. Change is coming and it’s a welcome change. Author C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

We wish all of you a great holiday season and we’ll see you with far, far better things in the new year. 

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