Ringing in 32 in Estonia ?

This year has been an absolute whirlwind. I mean, somehow we’re back in Estonia! How did that happen?! Between our travels, events, Hurricane Irma, dealing with getting the hotel back on track, and getting moved back into our house (still a work in progress) along with so many other moving parts, not only has 2018 flown by, this year of my life has whizzed past. I feel like I say that every year, and there’s truth in it. Older generations always tell you that the years move faster as we get older, and it often feels that way. That being said, I can’t believe how much we’ve crammed into this year. Lest it flies by without me taking the proper time to really stop and appreciate everything we’ve done, I always try to take milestone moments (birthday, anniversary, end of the calendar year) to look back and reflect a bit on where we’ve been and where I’m going. So, I’m interrupting my recap of our family getaway to Greece to look back a bit on where we been during this rather momentous 31st year of my life.

St. Barths
St. Barths for a bachelorette party, June 2017
Top 5 Experiences in Nantucket
Exploring Nantucket, July 2017
August Monday, Anguilla Carnival
Celebrating August Monday in Anguilla, August 2018
Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, California
Surprise trip to Tahoe, August 2017
Using the Salzburg Card
Exploring Salzburg, Austria in September 2017
5 Things to Do in Vienna
Getting cultured in Vienna, September 2017
Dubrovnik City Walls Walk
Exploring Dubrovnik, September 2017
Fortica Spanjola: One Day in Hvar
Exploring Hvar and neighboring islands, September 2017
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, September 2017
Croatia: Two Days in Split
Spending two days in Split, Croatia, September 2017
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Exploring Ljubjana in Slovenia, September 2017
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Exploring magical Lake Bled in Slovenia, September 2017
Motovun, Istria's Hilltop Towns
Exploring Motovun – and truffle hunting in Istria, September 2017
5 Photos to Take in Rovinj
Exploring gorgeous Rovinj and Porec, September 2017
Hotel Danieli, Two Days in Venice, Italy
Finding my new obsession with Venice, October 2017
Lago d'Iseo, Sightseeing from Venice to Milan
Lago d’Iseo and other parts of Northern Italy, October 2017
Anguilla After Hurricane Irma
Coming home to Hurricane Irma, 2017
Christmas in Tallinn, Estonia
Christmas in Old Town Tallinn, December 2017
Girls Getaway to Antigua
Enjoying a girls trip to Antigua, January 2018
Tentaciones Hotel, Zihuatanejo
Getaway to Zihuatanejo for a wedding, February 2018
One Day in Helsinki
Exploring frozen Helsinki, March 2017
Kau Manor, Estonia
Back to Estonia for one of our biggest adventures, March 2017
Cesis Castle, Latvia: 3 Days in Riga
Discovering Latvia, March 2018
Two Days in Symi, Greece
Symi, Greece with the family, May 2018
Brussels, Belgiu
Moules frites in my 50th country on my last day of 31: Brussels, Belgium, June 2018

I’m so grateful that this year has brought so many memories for us, including the unexpected ones. It’s been a year of amazing adventures but it also brought with it a number of challenges as we worked to get through the devastation of Hurricane Irma, and began taking steps to move forward with our own personal challenges in starting a family. If anything, I’m stronger for it and have a renewed idea of what’s truly important in life (my whole philosophy of experiences over things remains an anchor for me).

For me, every year is about learning and growing in some capacity. I hope to end every year better than I began, which takes a concerted effort in some ways. I’ve spent the past few months really educating myself and gaining a greater understanding on the wellness front, and that’s part of my major goal for this next year. I’ve been using essential oils for a couple of years with great success and recently jumped on board with dōTERRA in learning more about essential oils, sharing them, and understanding how it all relates to wellness in a broader sense. It’s brought with it a cool community of leaders and people focused on living in optimal health, which is something I’m focused on achieving this year. This year of travel combined with our focus on creating a family has really made that a priority for me. I love the life that we get to lead now, the energy that I’m able to have and the health that I feel (at least most days), and I want to ensure that I can continue traveling the way we do and enjoying it for years to come. Part of that equation is diet and exercise, and part of that is slowly trying to integrate healthier, organic products into our lives for skin care, healthcare and household cleaning. It’s a process but we’re working towards it slowly but surely. {For anyone interested in learning more about essential oils, feel free to email me – I’ve been so excited to learn and am excited to share with others who are interested!} In the meanwhile, we’re going to take these next few days to enjoy our time back in Tallinn, a city that’s become a home away from home over the past six months. ❤

So, 32, I have high hopes for you for a transformative year ahead.

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.