At first when I thought about 2017 I was focusing on everything that I didn’t accomplish. So I wrote down everything that I did in the last twelve months and the list grew to 100 items. Ends up I was more productive than I remembered! For your sake I’ve cut the list from 100 to my top 16.
16) In January my mom and I visited my cousin Kadie in Taiwan. I loved it so much, that I’ve decided one day I will live there.
15) I transferred my childhood home videos from VHS to a digital format.
14) I downsized my possessions by 2/3. My excess stuff was holding me back. I kept only the things that gave me joy.
13) I learned how to sell stuff on ebay. I sold things that I’d been holding onto “just in case,” like my Grandma’s porcelain North Pole village.
12) I got to help my mom declutter and organize her apartment and garage. It was a joy seeing her home transform into a more peaceful space.
11) I launched ElizabethSymington.com. I posted a month long series called, “How backpacking enriched my daily life.”
10) I learned the basics to travel hacking. And then I created a list of things I can do now to help prepare for my future travels, like setting up a bank account that waives all ATM fees.
9) I learned the philosophy behind Lightweight Backpacking. That inspired me to asses what I pack and to look for lighter gear options. Overall I cut seven pounds from what I usually pack.
8) I planned my first RTW (Round The World) year long adventure. I want to volunteer at National Parks around the world. I’ve figured out my itinerary and the budget. Next step is to save, save, save.
7) I use to loath being on the computer, because I was so slow at typing. So I signed up for an online typing course. After two months I went from typing 24 wpm to 63 wpm!
6) I adore researching, which explains why I completed 10 research projects ranging from “No-Stove Backpacking Menu Ideas” to “How to be a certified Braille Transcriber.” I also made a brochure of Taiwanese Restaurants in the Sacramento area, plus a Google Maps version.
5) I ended my two year drought of not owning a motorcycle. After adjusting the Suzuki DR650 to fit me and relearning how to ride, I realized that I don’t like this style of motorcycle, so I sold it.
4) For six months I tried eating cow’s milk. I wanted to see if I was no longer allergic to it, but ends up I still react to milk. I will savor the wonderful memories of eating pizza with mozzarella.
3) I’ve worked at several custom picture framing shops, but this was the first time I’ve tried making a framing at home. I framed a family heirloom. It was my Grandma’s costume jewelry Christmas tree.
2) I researched how to live plastic-free. I started with evaluating my toiletries and then I slowly branched out from there. For Christmas presents I gave adorable utensil pouches.
1) I entered Scotch Tape’s “Most Gifted Wrapper” contest, that was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. The challenge was to come up with a new use for wrapping supplies. I entered four very different ideas. One of my entries was Braille wrapping paper.
Thank you everyone for a wonderful year! It was a creative, productive, learning-centered twelve months. I am optimistic about the future and all of the wonderful things that are in store.