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ten highlights of 2010

December 31, 2010

After much thought, I decided that I would appreciate and enjoy looking back on this post and reminiscing some highlights from the year 2010. I hope you don’t mind. Please share a link in the comments section if you wrote a post about the year 2010 for you!


Exactly a year ago from today I was packing what I could constitute as my material life into two large suitcases. It was ten days between the end of my finals for my fall junior year semester and the day I would get on a plane. My birthday was a celebratory affair, and Christmas was festive as ever, but I couldn’t quite let myself enjoy them the way I wanted to. In just days I knew I would be in another country and wouldn’t see home for five full months. Though I was excited as ever for this adventure, I was mentally and emotionally guarding myself.

But I finished packing up my suitcases. I said my “see you later’s” (because goodbye just sounded too final) and took the leap into the biggest adventure of my life. I boarded my plane.

Not only was 2010 a year of traveling, heartaches, laughs, and wonder, it was a year of incredible growth.

And I don’t regret one single thing.  

True, I love to make lists, but I’ve never been one to write out goals for myself or make New Year’s Resolutions. This was a good thing for 2010, though, because I surpassed any list of goals I could imagine. Not everything went as planned, struggles arose that I could never have anticipated, and my faith was tested in trials I thought would escape my heart, but I’m confident I’ve come out stronger.

Looking back on the year 2010, I see how blessed and fortunate I have been. From reading the above statements, it’s clear I’ve had struggles, but 2010 is a year I will always remember.

Here is a list of ten memories/moments/dare I say miracles? of this past year that have been highlights for me.

(There are far more than ten, but I decided to round it out and for the sake of length, keep it at ten.)


10 Memories for my year, 2010

1. I spent New Year’s on a plane to Ireland. From there I studied abroad for five full months. It was five months full of adventures (albeit sometimes cold adventures), love, strength, new friends, faith, and blessings.

2. I traveled nonstop for one full month throughout Europe. Never did I think I would actually backpack through Europe. But I planned. I saved money. I booked flights. I bought a large backpack. And I discovered more about myself than I could imagine.

3. I went from never having left the country (unless you count swimming in the Atlantic) to visiting seven countries. I always wanted to travel and explore and visit foreign countries. But Europe was a dream, a part of my imagination made real by books and pictures. Now those books and pictures are my own.

4. I met some of the most beautiful, faithful women I could ever hope to meet. I traveled with these girls, went to Mass with these girls, sleep in train stations with these girls, lived off wine and chocolate and cheese for days with these girls. I say that constitutes as a pretty solid relationship, don’t you?

5. I grew even closer to my parents. My mom and dad are the two most important people in my life. Everyone feels a certain way about their parents, but I’m blessed enough to have them as the people I respect most and the people I rather spend any moment of my day with.

6. I tried and fell in love with fro-yo. Alright, so I had to lighten up the post just a bit. The year 2010 was filled with excellent food and some great eats, both abroad and from home. I may have had to travel to California to try it, but I did have it for days straight all the while visiting with friends I made from abroad.

7. I tasted Brussel sprouts for the first time. The verdict? I just can’t get enough. I was afraid to try them because I “wanted” to like them. If I didn’t like them, I was going to be really disappointed. Well, I tried them. I love them. This is huge, people, just huge.

8. I dipped my feet into the Pacific. After traveling for months abroad I thought my days of journeying and hours of waiting on security lines for flights would be put to rest for a while, at least until my bank account could recuperate. Then one July afternoon happened. A quick email was sent, a phone call received, a flight ticket purchased, and another adventure, a cross-country adventure, was lived.

9. I met one of the bloggers who inspires me the most and unknowingly encouraged me to start my own blog.  I went out on a whim, sent an email, and had butterflies in my stomach waiting for a reply. It’s still an evening I smile about.

10. I started a blog. For awhile I had wanted to start one, but I didn’t. I finally took the step and started to put my words to type, my thoughts to pictures, and my heart into a community more welcoming and caring and friendly than I ever thought virtually possible. Thank YOU!


Psalms 54:4—-  Behold, God is my helper. The Lord is the one who sustains my soul.


Share a link to a highlight from your year or if you’re not a blogger, write one out! I would love to hear about your adventures, goals, and accomplishments.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2010 2:47 pm

    That first picture — WOW!! I’ve never studied abroad, but I can imagine what a life-changing experience it must be. Just the idea of having all those new worlds open up is kind of magical, but then to live it … what amazing memories you’ll have of this year. And, you know, I fully believe that challenges – and overcoming them – makes us stronger in the end. It certainly sounds like that’s the case with you. Your optimism and hope are truly contagious 🙂

    I know I only recently found your blog, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. You always have such sunshine and inspiration to spread. Happy New Year to you, and may 2011 bring you only the best!

    My NY post:

    • Natalia permalink*
      December 31, 2010 5:13 pm

      Thank you, Shari! Your comment was one of the sweetest and most genuine, it truly resonates with me and it means so much to me starting a new year tomorrow. Happy New Year to you and I can’t wait to get to know you more 🙂

  2. January 1, 2011 8:38 am

    Wow! What an amazing 2010 year you had. I would love to go to Ireland one day!

  3. January 1, 2011 12:22 pm

    LOVE that verse girl! 🙂 Sounds like such an amazing year!! Hope your 2011 is even better!

  4. January 2, 2011 12:43 am

    I love how travel can help you discover who you are. It’s such a beautiful thing.

  5. January 2, 2011 11:46 am

    I’m not really one to make resolutions either, I hear ya’!
    You had a great year! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2011!!

  6. January 2, 2011 1:29 pm

    Looks like its been an amazing year, but I hope 2011 brings even more happiness.
    Wishing you a magical 2011.
    *kisses* HH


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