Can you believe we’re already a third of the way through 2023?! Holy moly.

Usually, I like to start every year reflecting on the year before and sharing goals for the new year, but things have been so busy I’m only just now getting a chance to write this post. So late I’ve already accomplished some of my 2023 goals, which is really exciting.

Before I get into 2023, let me quickly revisit my hopes and goals from 2022. How much did I accomplish?

2022 Hopes & Goals

  1. Travel to 2 new U.S. states – I did, kind of! I made my way to Washington and Illinois. With Washington, I saw Seattle as well as Mt. Rainier National Park and Northern Cascades National Park. With Illinois, it was only Chicago, so I’m not sure how much that counts.
  2. Return to Spain – Check! I went to Barcelona for a few days to see Elissa graduate and then I did a road trip around Andalucía with Alyshia. It was hot but so nice being back!
  3. Explore UK & Ireland – I did right at the end there. While I didn’t make it to Ireland, I did land in Edinburgh for Hogmanay and started 2023 off in London for a bit catsitting and hanging out with Caitlin.
  4. Get back to Korea and Vietnam – It’s funny because this very much felt like a pipe dream when I wrote this, but I did make it back to two of my favorite countries. Korea was quite literally last minute and for only the briefest of weeks but Vietnam was a full, proper month! Caitlin and I did two little weekend trips to Yen Tu and Cam Ranh, and then I crashed at her place while in Saigon. I may have spent too much at my tailor lol.
  5. Go down to Mexico for a bit – Negative, BUT Alyshia and I are planning to go here in the summer when she’s finished school.
  6. Finish writing one novel – Also negative, boo! I think I’ll bump this to this year. I took on an extra job that had me writing a blog post every week, so it took up a lot of writing time!
  7. Publish 100 blog posts – Definitely didn’t get close to this, but I did write 30. If you count the blog posts I did for my other client, I wound up with nearly 80, which actually isn’t too shabby, but I’d like the 100 to count for here :)
  8. Finish all my pending Vietnam content – Negative. In fact, I think this list has grown lol.
  9. Get a better social media calendar – I started this actually! I’ve been pretty consistent on Tiktok which has mostly just been fun. Facebook I could be better but I actually had my amazing assistant help with Twitter and get into a groove. Unfortunately, Elon Musk has ruined the platform :(
  10. Make my goal income amount – Not quite, but actually I’m doing the best I’ve done yet! Next year I’m really making that push. My reward will now also be a necklace from Van Cleef instead of the Sarah Flint slingbacks.
  11. Get my health under control once and for all – I actually think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of this. I can’t say I’m amazing at food but I’ve definitely gotten better, and I’ve consistently kept up a running routine all year with my 10k in June and my half marathon in November!
  12. Run three races this year – Almost! I think the original plans were a 15k in April, a 10-miler in May, and the Philly half in November. I changed all that because things opened up and I traveled a bunch, so it wound up being a 10k in Tromsø and my half in Philly. Not too shabby!
  13. Try 10 new hiking trails – Hmm… I feel like I did maybe 4? Off the top of my head, I did Blåisvatnet in Norway, the Thunder Knob trail in Northern Cascades, Fremont Lookout Trail in Mt. Rainier, and kind of Yen Tu in northern Vietnam. I planned to do more but time or the weather got in the way. I did however, get new hiking boots that I’m kind of obsessed with, so you know more hiking is in my future!
  14. Go to bed before midnight – *looks off to the side and up in the sky*
  15. Watch one Spanish TV show in full – I haven’t! I know, I’ve been so bad but I did get to practice some in Spain.
  16. Read at least 1 Spanish book – También, no…
  17. Finish one. of my Vietnamese workbooks – Absolutely gathered dust in my closet. I promise I’ll return, I actually liked learning it!
  18. Get back into Korean language practice – Also no…
  19. Save at least $12k towards a housing deposit – No, but I do have some news on that front! Also I ended 2022 a little in debt to be perfectly transparent. Got a little too excited with the borders opening and went to way too many independent bookstores.
  20. Start doing proper investing and retirement saving – Not sure that I did this but I did start a SoFi account to invest like $100 every month into.
  21. Read 52 books – Not quite. I think I made it a little over 30 (will ALSO write that post!).
  22. Read at least 1 classic book – No lol.

Okay, so 2022 was kind of a mix of success but it’s funny because I don’t feel like I particularly failed at anything. It was such a good year to dive back into travel after being limited for two years, so I can’t really complain. Plus, I got to see so many friends in person after so long, and I made new friends, it was a good year for balance! Anyway, on to 2023….

2023 Hopes & Dreams for 2023

iceland winter itinerary


1. Finally visit Mexico.

It’s gonna happen this summer!! The details are fuzzy as we’re waiting on some dates, but it’s gonna happen! Ideally I’d like to do some Mexico City (and in my delusional dreams run into Diego Luna and have him fall in love with me), Oaxaca, and probably Tulum. We’ll see based on how long we have.

2. Visit 5 more new U.S. states.

I have two major road trips planned this year. The first is to visit my friends, Ryan and Stephanie, in Oklahoma! I’m meeting them in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and then they’re showing me around their home state. I think I might be a bit limited in time getting down to them, but I’ll take my time coming back. I’m hoping to hit up Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee on my way back.

Then in the fall, one of my oldest friends is getting married in Atlanta, so I’m like 85% sure I’m roadtripping down! I’ll spend some time in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, and my new state will be South Carolina.

3. Visit 5 new countries.

Okay, I kind of cheated because I already have visited three new countries this year – Scotland, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Cuba. I don’t know that I’ll have time for another new one, but never say never!

4. Get ready to move to the Netherlands!!

GUYS, REALLY EXCITING NEWS! After my sister’s wedding next year, I’m planning to move to the Netherlands for at least two years. My friend, Hallie, told me about the DAFT visa, and I’m ready to go. I’ll visit again later this summer to check out neighborhoods, but I am beyond excited to move to Europe. Not only will Hallie and Autumn be living in the Netherlands, but I’ll not be in the same time zone and a few hour’s flights from a bunch of my friends. This is like the most concentrated my social circle has been since college!!!

In an ideal world, the Netherlands becomes my home and I stay here forever and travel from Schipol Airport, but I don’t want to jinx anything. I’ve already told a bunch of friends in the US to come visit and stay with me next year, eek! My family even have passports now!

things to do in granada, spain

Business & Finances

5. Get to 100k page views monthly.

Ok this is another bit of a cheat because I’ve already met this goal this year. It just happened, and it feels surreal to see the number. I was on my way there pre-pandemic and then things crashed way down after March 2020. They’ve been climbing up slowly but it’s been quite the slog. Last year I invested in a developer to help with some technical things on the site, and it’s just been writing and updating like crazy since then. I’m so excited it’s finally happened!!! My new goal is 100k sessions :)

6. Meet my income goal.

Same goal as last year. Based on my contracts for this year, I know I’ll get pretty close, so let’s see if I can get it this year. This Van Cleef necklace is mine when I do; I literally walked by the store today.

7. Save at least $15,000 USD.

You know, I actually think I can do this. It’s just a matter of putting away $1,250 a month which I can totally do. I’m counting this separately from my SoFi investment account!

8. Start planning for an exciting idea I have.

Over the last month, I’ve begun putting together an idea I have for a future project that I think could be really cool. I don’t think anything major will happen for at least a year, but I’m going to start doing the business planning now and try to learn everything I need to know. Don’t worry if it amounts to anything, you guys will be the first to know. It could also end up in the graveyard of all my other ideas lol.

Health & Fitness

9. Run 4 races this year.

So, technically I’m signed up for 3 already – the Brooklyn Half, Philly Half, and Rothman’s 8k. (The Philly Half & Rothman’s 8k combined are called the Patriot Challenge and you get an extra medal). I think I’m going to squeeze in another race somewhere during the summer or early fall, but TBD on which one! It’d be fun if I could do one somewhere abroad again, but we’ll see.

10. Break my Diet Coke addiction once and for all.

It got really bad, and now I’m trying to be better little by little. Right now I’m only allowed one a week (usually when eating out), and I’ve consciously made decisions to NOT grab a Diet Coke when eating.

11. Get really good at planks.

Silvia, Sher, and I decided to do a month-long plank challenge which I promptly forgot about after Day 3… I’m not sure how I’ll define what getting good at planks means, but I do know when I do reformers pilates again, I don’t want to have to be on my knees!

Maybe if I do solidcore again, that’ll be my ultimate success marker?

12. Hike 10 new trails.

Got to put my hiking boots to work! Again I’m not 100% sure which trails those will be, but at least while I’m in Korea, I’ll try to do at least 3. I’m finally going to do Hallasan in Jeju, and then I think I’ll do something in Jeolla and one of the trails in Seoul. When I’m in Oklahoma, I know we’re doing at least one in Wichita, and there’s, of course, plenty to do in Pennsylvania and nearby!

13. Learn 15 new recipes.

I want to make an effort to learn 15 more recipes to just have on hand when cooking. Easy, healthy ones that I can put together when I don’t know what to eat but need sustenance. So far I’ve learned a really delicious oatmeal recipe and a miso salmon recipe!

If you have any recommendations, I’m all ears.

14. Move out of the pre-diabetic range.

So at my doctor’s check-up at the beginning of this year, I moved slightly more into the pre-diabetic range and have a few other health flags. My big goal last year was to just make sure I move more consistently, so I think this year will just be mindful of how much sugar I’m eating and moving even more consistently – especially long, lower stress workouts.

15. Learn to not pizza when skiing.

Random goal, but next winter I plan on skiing more and I really want to work on going down French fry style instead of pizza. Sher and I have talked about doing a ski school at some point in the winter, so stay tuned!

16. Commit to going screen-free at least one day a week.

I’d really REALLY love to give my eyes a rest from looking at a screen and get into the habit of going tech-free once a week. I think my ONLY exception would be having my phone on me to listen to music or podcasts while running, but otherwise I don’t want to do anything that involves a screen one day a week. This is kind of what I’m imagining:

  • Physical books over scrolling on my phone, watching TV, or reading on my Kindle
  • Walking around nearby malls or shopping streets instead of shopping online
  • Taking pictures on a film camera instead of on my phone or camera.
  • Using a physical map to get around instead of relying on Google Maps.
  • Writing in a notebook instead of typing on a laptop
  • Getting into vinyl instead of Spotify

I dunno, it’s an experiment I’d like to try and make a regular part of my schedule


16. Watch one Spanish TV Show.

It was on my list last year, so it’s migrated to my list this year! There are a few on Netflix I’d like to watch, so here’s to making an effort this year (or maybe finally watching Season 2 of “Cable Girls”!)

17. Get to a beginner level in Dutch.

Since I am planning to move to the Netherlands and all… Might as well get a head start on learning Dutch! If anyone has any books or apps they really liked, let me know. Otherwise I’m relying on my trusty methods of self-learning (just need more self discipline).

18. Watch 2 K-dramas this year.

Guys, I’m so behind on what’s popular in the K-drama world. What should I watch? I really want to update my K-drama post with all the dramas I’ve started and not finished because there’s quite a lot I abandoned after a few episodes but that commenters keep recommending. I feel like I’ve gotten even less tolerant of shitty plots or the second half curse, so I really need to be drawn in to commit 16+ hours to a new drama.

Anyway, I do feel like my Korean understanding is better when I listen to it in movies or dramas, so I do want to commit to watching at least two this year. Maybe I’ll finally watch “Goblin”?

19. Do like one page of my Vietnamese book.

Smaller measures of success! If I can do at least one page in my book, I’ll consider that an accomplishment for the year. I literally just had a brain fart and forgot how to say thank you Vietnamese which tells you how much vocabulary I’ve forgotten.

Just for Fun

21. Learn to color grade videos.

My friend Megan and I have really gotten into well-edited short videos on Tiktok and Instagram. The key to them is how well they’re color-graded and edited, and now I kind of want to commit myself to learn how to properly color grade a video. I’m thinking I’ll download Premiere for a month or two and practice.

22. Write a novel.

I already made a Tiktok about how this is my challenge for the year, and I’m really going to try to finish a first draft no matter how clunky and shitty it is!

23. Read 52 books.

Andddd finishing with a constant – my 52 book challenge! Every year I set this as my goal and last year I didn’t make it to 52. Let’s see how I do this year! I’m trying to read the physical books I have because I’ve gotten way too shop happy in independent bookstores and now have a whole drawer full of unread books.

And there we have it – 23 hopes and goals for 2023! What are your some of yours?

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