Well, the decade is over – and just about my 20s with it! As of writing this, I have exactly one week left of being 29. Seems an appropriate time to reflect back on the past ten years…
January, 4th I landed in London for the first time, where I studied abroad, turned 20, met some amazing, life long friends, and most importantly… Gareth!
I also travelled to France and Spain for the first time and ignited my love of travel!
This year was mostly the depths of college and working (at a brew house in Harvard Square with basically all of my friends and roommates), but the highlight was the three weeks Katie and I spent in Guatemala and El Salvador!
On January 1st, Katie, Sam, Jussie, Faye and I set off for a cross country road trip for our move to Los Angeles! The trip was amazing, and on January 10th I arrived in LA for the first time – a city that become home in the most real way. I still plan to end up back in Southern CA some day…
I also graduated college, interned for Steve Carell and Shoemoney (The West Wing!), and got my first proper industry job at Gersh.
This year I worked a lot, made Los Angeles my home, and ADOPTED BRADY!
I left Gersh and got my first job with writers on a TV show, between that ending and starting my next job I went back to London in October to visit my old study abroad friends… and fell in love with Gareth. Went back to spend Christmas with him in December and we officially started dating.
After the show I was working on ended, I spent a few months living with Gareth in London, getting to know what daily life would be like together. Also Lee and I went to Turkey and Katie visited and we went to Iceland (one of my top trips ever) and Morocco (one of my worst).
To start the year, the Patriots won the Super Bowl on my birthday.
This was the year I said goodbye to LA, something that was horrible and so hard and scary. Just before leaving I remember sobbing in Katie’s new kitchen (I was crashing at her new apartment, where she was living without me for the first time since January 2012) and wondering why I would ever leave a life I loved so much.
But leave I did and I spent one of the happiest years of my life in Spain! In 2016 I went to Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, and Czech Republic. Also my mom visited me in Spain! We went to London and spent Christmas in Cornwall with Gareth and his family – thank god, because it means our moms were able to meet.
The year of two halves…
The first half was wonderful, with visits from Lee, Rachel and Faye, a Super Bowl win, trips to Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. I also finally got my Italian citizenship.
And the second half was extremely difficult with the sudden illness and death of Gareth’s mom. It also had me move to London unexpectedly, which was stressful and definitely took some adjusting to as I had not planned to settle down, especially in London, so soon.
But! It was also when I got hired at Marie Stopes and sent me down a career path I love and of which I am so proud! I also took some Autumnal/Christmas trips to Norway, Sweden and Finland.
We went to Egypt, South Africa, and Greece, which was incredible. I started my Masters of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and moved to Madagascar as a Project Development Officer!
January: Gareth came and left, and honestly I mostly spent this month feeling very unwell with various tropical illnesses
February: I turned 29, and celebrated with nearly all of SEED at my favourite pizza place in Fort Dauphin.
March: We celebrated International Women’s Day, and I went to Addis Ababa and Nairobi – and Spain with Gareth 😉
April: I spent two weeks in France, studying French which was booked last minute when for health reasons it was decided I couldn’t go back to Madagascar. I also went back to LA for the first time since leaving in 2016 for two of my friends’ wedding.
May: I started back at MSI, this time on the South and East Asia regional team.
June: I took (and passed) all my finals – which was really, really hard!
July: I went on a work trip to visit our country programme in Myanmar, which was wonderful and so inspiring.
August – October: I worked a lot?
November: We bought our first flat! And got engaged! And celebrated Thanksgiving/Gareth’s 30th birthday with most of our favourite people in the world.
December: We went to Boston and hung out with my family (and Katie for a weekend!) for two weeks, saw some snow, and ate a lot of delicious food.
I’m really excited to see what the 20s will bring. (Also is that what we’re calling it?? What about the flappers? The great depression?)
We’re having a wedding and attending a few as well. Quite a few of our close friends are pregnant. We’re slowly fixing up our house, I’m working on the second year of my masters, and I’ve also just had a big promotion which is equally exciting and terrifying.
2020 is going to be a huge year!