2018: A Year of Adventure

Last January I launched this little passion project of a blog. So far it is still just a fun way to keep tabs on my travels and an easy way to share advice with family and friends. Regardless, my Mom still announces to everyone that I am a blogger…

2018 got kicked off with a family dove hunting excursion in Argentina, while 2019 will be rung in with friends at a neighborhood restaurant in my home city of Washington, DC. In the days between, I’ve been up to a lot. This year has included four trips to Philly, three visits home to Michigan, two flights to California, a graduation in Utah, an unforgettable road-trip with my best friends in Colorado and Utah, and a family vacation in Argentina. I saw Dermot Kennedy in concert three times and heard 20+ other musicians live including Mumford & Sons, Maggie Rogers, Drake, Miguel, Kasbo, Odesza, Bon Iver and Jorja Smith. I read eight books, ate too many amazing meals to count, swam laps for the first time in 3.5 years, lost my childhood dog, and got promoted at work. All in all, I chalk it up to one of the best years yet.

While I learned a lot about people, places, and things through everything I have done this year, I also learned many lessons about life. Dermot Kennedy taught me that “doves and ravens fly the same.” Morgan Harper Nichols taught me the power of grace. My best friends taught me it is ok to be vulnerable. I learned the importance of alone time. I was reminded that a walk with a friend is a great cure to a hard day. I realized that I need to get out of my comfort zone more often. I learned to be grateful for each moment in time. And most importantly, I recognized that we are all grappling with many of the same things in life and that it is up to us to chose to be the kindness someone needs.

There was also this funny internal dilemma that I found myself battling: “do it for the blog” or “put down the phone and be in the moment”. My friends would tell you I always “did it for the blog” because they see me do the most when I do go for it (it’s fine because they usually get a good picture out of it). Despite what they think, I did find myself pausing to think and actually putting my phone down or leaving it somewhere so that I could focus on being more present in certain situations. The iPhone update that shares screen time stats is a scary thing! While I want to share all the best moments of 2019, I hope next year I can strike the right balance when it comes to picking which moments to share and which ones to keep for myself.

While I accomplished a decent amount in 2018, I feel extra motivated by the gift of a new year this time around. My 2019 goals are to:

  • Start a DC section on The Adventurous M.A.Z.

  • Make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

  • Read 10 books

  • Develop as a photographer

  • Start a new role in my career

  • Attend at least two events that will push me to think in a new way

  • Volunteer once a month

I look forward to keeping you posted on how I do with these goals. However, I hope that 2019 presents new inspiration and that this list will be adapted to support new goals.

Can’t wait to reflect again a year from now!

-MAZ

Photo Credit: #2 by Carl Maynard, #4 by Nicole Radivilov. Others by yours truly, Landon Garvik and my wonderful Mom!