2017: a year in review

Updated: Dec 7, 2018

As 2017 comes to an end, we spend our days reflecting on the past year. This year was our biggest yet. Daniel graduated, we quit our jobs, and traded in the 9-5 for life on the road.

Below, in chronological order, are our top ten moments of 2017:


1. Daniel's Aunt Claudia is a lady who I met and instantly loved. She just has a shining, infectious personality and a huge heart. In May, we flew to Los Angeles to spend a long weekend with her. We spent our days on the beach soaking up the sunshine, walking around Venice Beach, reminiscing about Rockwell family history, and making fresh margaritas. Daniel and I both consider that trip a highlight of 2017 and we can't wait to see Claudia again.


2. In June, Daniel graduated from Portland State University. Many of our family members and friends came to Portland to celebrate his accomplishments. We took them on hikes, out to our favorite restaurants, and had them sit through a 20 hour long graduation ceremony (kidding, kind of). My favorite memory was when we decided to take 13 people on a brewery tour via public transportation. It wasn't exactly a walk in the park herding 13 people from a light rail to a bus to another bus. My mom was singing a "filling up the bus" tune the whole day -- which we still laugh about today.


3. Summers in Portland mean that the sun is shining, people are outside 90% of the time, and the activities are endless. In July, we had the best weekend of the summer. Daniel and I drove to Eugene to see Trevor Hall in concert and go camping. We camped at this lovely campground right near a lake. All was great until we decided to go swimming. As we were walking down to the lake, the ground started moving with millions of tiny frog/tadpole things. They were completely overwhelming and freaky! We ended up making it to the middle of the lake with our inflatable tube -- only for it to get a hole and sink us. Needless to say, we didn't go near the lake again.


4. August 23rd was our last day of work. We had been planning our travels, in secret, for quite some time. The day we told our bosses we were leaving to travel the world was a wonderful day! Our last days at work involved lots of housekeeping and celebratory happy hours. Although we both loved our jobs and Portland, we were overflowing with excitement for what our future held. The day we left Portland and looked around at our empty apartment, we realized how much hard work and heart had been put into that exact moment. We left a lot behind to start a new adventure.


5. On September 3rd, we celebrated our one year anniversary. Although we didn't go out to a fancy meal or go on some luxurious vacation, we celebrated in true Daniel and Bre style. Before we left Portland, Daniel and I drove around town searching for the McMenamins Ruby beer we had at our wedding. We bought some cans of beer and bought the same carrot cake we had at our wedding. We took both home to Grand Junction and celebrated with my family. That day, we went to the Palisade distillery and ended the night playing corn hole in my parents' backyard.


6. India was our first travel destination. Although many many moments in India stand out, the Taj Mahal on September 17th is one of our favorites. We awoke before the sun in an attempt to beat the crowds. The moment we turned the corner and stood in front of this architectural masterpiece, we were covered in goosebumps.


7. Another moment in India that is a surreal experience in the back of our minds is the camel safari we went on near the Pakistan border. After a day of riding camels through the desert, we were fortunate enough to sleep under a blanket of stars. I have never, in my life, seen stars that shine so brightly. We spent hour after hour counting the shooting stars and counting our blessings. Sleep was minimal that night of October 12th but soooo worth it!


8. On November 7th, Daniel and I became an aunt and uncle. Our niece, Penelope Laine, was born after a long, intense labor. The sex of the baby was unknown before birth, so we were on our tip-toes waiting to hear. We are so thrilled for my sister and brother-in-law. Penelope is absolutely adorable and we dream about the day that we get to hold her, squeeze her, snuggle her, and spoil her rotten!


9. Making it through our first 43 minute lesson as English teachers was another huge accomplishment of ours. Daniel and I had both never taught a class before -- let alone to Thai adults! On day #3 of class (November 8th), we each had to teach our own English lesson following a very specific ESA format. We were both nervous and had no idea what we were doing. That sigh of relief after 43 minutes had passed without fainting, messing up terribly, or wondering why we decided to be teachers was a sweet sigh.


10. Our last major event of the year was the Indonesian wedding we attended on December 16th. My friend and former coworker Joan was sweet enough to invite us to attend. It worked out perfectly to stop by Jakarta on our way to Bali for the holidays. We were the only white people at the wedding of 300+ people. The after party included lots of awkward dancing, lots of alcohol, and lots of fun!


OVERALL

Months on the road: 4

Countries visited: 4


THE UNITED STATES

January 01 - September 11

Towns/cities we stayed in: (Grand Junction, Portland, Denver, Longmont, Twin Falls, Eugene, Mt. Hood, Lakeview, Seattle, Los Angeles)

Number of buses: too many to count

Number of trains: 0

Number of flights: 6

Number of boats: 0

Number of motorbikes: 0

Number of beds slept in: 11


INDIA

September 13 - October 30

Towns/cities we stayed in: 8 (New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Rishikesh)

Number of buses: 8

Number of trains: 1

Number of flights: 3

Number of boats: 1

Number of motorbikes: 4 (3 of them unexpectedly)

Number of beds slept in: 13


THAILAND

October 30 - December 13

Towns/cities we stayed in: 6 (Chiang Mai, Phuket Town, Phang Nga, Mueang Krabi, Krabi Town, Railay, Koh Lanta)

Number of buses: 2

Number of trains: 0

Number of flights: 2

Number of boats: 4

Number of motorbikes: too many to count

Number of beds slept in: 8


INDONESIA

December 13 - December 31 (currently)

Towns/cities we stayed in: 4 (Jakarta, Denpasar, Canggu, Ubud)

Number of buses: 0

Number of trains: 0

Number of flights: 2

Number of boats: 0

Number of motorbikes: too many to count

Number of beds slept in: 8


Wherever you are, Happy New Year! Thank you to all of our loved ones for their support. We couldn't do this without you! Wishing you a 2018 full of love. XOXO


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