New Year Reflections

I turned 35 about a week ago.

My birthday falls just after New Year’s so it’s natural for me to reflect back on the past calendar year and think about my hopes, goals, and dreams for the next turn around the sun.


2014 and being 34 was a memorable year, full of growth and challenges, joy and awareness, light and dark. Moments of lonely overwhelment and moments of pure glee.

There was an amazing exhilarating trip to Mexico


Caribbean paradise!

And several intensely rewarding backpacking trips into the mountain wilderness.


Perhaps the best camping spot, ever!

I took baby steps towards my long term goal of earning a location-independent income as a bookkeeper and realized that that’s all I can do, is to take it one step at a time.

There’s no fast forward button in this life, as I know it.

I used to want to be in India, like right now. And Thailand and Iceland and Columbia and Switzerland and Nepal. I wanted so desperately to hop on the next flight out of the U.S. and explore ALL the exotic lands to my heart’s content. While I will always be wanderlusting, as travel is in my bones, this last year has brought me greater trust (and patience) in the process to making a location-independent income a viable option.

And when I can earn an income from anywhere in the world, the freedom to travel whenever I want will be so so sweet.  

So rather than looking up flights to Nepal in this moment, I’m putting my time and resources instead into learning my new skills, enjoying what I have now, and planning more affordable domestic trips. My own U.S. backyard happens to be a pretty great one.

Next up in a few weeks, reconnecting with friends in Colorado and then visiting family on the East Coast. Also hoping to finally visit Death Valley and to explore more of Oregon this year. And perhaps within the year, a return trip to Mexico, it’s close enough, I say!

The other big realization of 2014 was about how done I am with city life and how ready I am for some small-town living. Which I wrote about plenty in posts throughout the year.

IMG_7493If 2013 was about finding direction and learning how to express myself (starting this blog!), then 2014 was about honing in on that direction, experimenting with this self expression, and showing up.

So what’s in store for 2015?

This year, I’m not coming up with resolutions per se, but I choose the following 5 words to encompass my hopes and goals for the next 365 days and beyond.


Now that I’ve honed in on my direction, I need to put the work in. This will take some dedicated focus as I get easily (and quite unnecessarily) distracted with future tripping. Focus, Sam, focus.


Big changes. The least of which is moving out of San Francisco. I don’t know the how yet, I just know.

Just being:

Yes, just simply being. I’ve recently begun taking at least a few minutes every day to take three deep breaths and just let it be. Observing what’s around me and in me, but not trying to force anything.


I want to find the light. In all situations. If something is going badly or I just feel like crap, too often I dwell on the negative, sucking me into a dark hole. I want to see light. I want to be a beacon of light. I declare this year, 2015, the year of light.


Perhaps most of all, I want to feel more connected. That I’m not alone in feeling these feelings, in dealing with life’s joys and hardships, in exploring all life has to offer and its fleeting moments. I’m learning that Connection has the power to heal and the power to inspire positive change.


I’m pretty thrilled to be participating in my friend Sarah’s e-retreat “Journey to Shine” for the next 3 months. To connect with fellow kindred souls and to learn from them and to be encouraged to embrace my whole journey (with all the highs and lows), well, it’s all very exciting and it’s already been an enriching experience just one week in. The perfect way to start off 2015.

May this year be full of positive change, connection, and light for you and for me!

One comment

  1. Philip Less · · Reply

    Enjoyed the blog, Sam! Can’t wait to see you again.

    Love, Dad

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