The Documented Year
It’s impossible to remember everything packed into the past year, but I found a couple of ways to document the experience of 12 months of travel and adventures with my Remote Year Ikigai crew. One little passion project was the yearbook that some friends and I created as a gift to our group. A digital version can be seen on the Blurb website. (Half of the book’s design and cover art credit goes to my partner in crime Lauren Bernal.) I couldn’t stop there, though, and compiled some of the essentials into an infographic:
I also used the One Second Everyday app to compile a video with super-quick clips from the year:
And to round things out, I curated a Spotify playlist of the songs that permeated the year:
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the conclusion of the yearbook:
What a year, Ikigai. We grew, we changed, we worked, we played, we adventured, we loved so hard. Through it all, we learned more about ourselves, and as we learned about ourselves, we also grew closer together as a tribe and a family. Think back to orientation after our first Friday night out at K Urban Beach; recall how we fought through our hangovers to introduce ourselves to 70+ strangers. Could any of us have predicted how close we would eventually become? Who can forget the Lisbon airport strike on our first travel day and the rush of triumph as Claire came running toward our gate? And if surviving the travel day from hell wasn’t bonding enough, talking about our bowel movements in Morocco sure brought us closer.
Shared challenges made us appreciate even more the beauty of Bulgaria (not to mention the ability to drink the water!) and the quiet ease of life in sleepy Split. Whether freezing time on our chartered flight to the Czech Republic or avoiding freezing our toes thanks to the mulled wine in the Prague Christmas markets, Ikitime was always cool (possibly because we were constantly in fall/winter?). Future New Years Eve celebrations will never live up to scarfing down 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight in Valencia. Marking time can be bittersweet, as when we celebrated our 6-month mark and realized that the end of our Remote Year was now closer than the start.
Shifting continents to Latin America seemed to also shift our perspective and bring us even closer. Bonds of friendship already forged strengthened as we simultaneously widened our social circles and got to know each other on a deeper level through Wisdom Wednesday conversations. Together, we gorged on #allthetacos in CDMX and #alltheaguardiente in Bogota. Together, we floated, flew and fell (ok, rappelled) all over Medellin before wrapping up our time there with an epic finca farewell in the countryside. The adventures of Colombia set the pace for our month in Peru, where it seemed like our entire tribe was constantly coming and going. After Lima, Cordoba was a welcome respite where we could pause and gather our thoughts (and emotions) before descending upon Aspen in Buenos Aires to wrap up our amazing year together.
From mountaintops to rooftops, nothing will ever top the year we spent together, Ikigai. May the memories contained in this book and the friendships that extend beyond these pages continue to enrich our lives and compel each of us to continue to reach for our ikigai with confidence, knowing we have already found our Ikigai.
Also published on Medium.