it’s never too late to start anything

I know I’m super late on recapping my favorite memories of 2016 but I didn’t want to let that stop me from posting anything at all. I love writing and looking back on these posts, because often times I find myself so wrapped up in the obligations of my current life that I completely forget about all the neat experiences I’ve had. This is an awesome practice in gratitude and self-reflection, which I’m definitely trying to do more of this year.

I had a handful of random videos I shot on my iPhone throughout the last year so I decided to put together a quick montage to capture the mood of my 2016 as a fun little creative project.

It was a crazy busy and stressful year for me, but my inner adventurer could not be quelled. This video is a pretty accurate depiction of my life and the things that get me super excited about living. I spend many weekends with my neck craned out of the passenger window during long road trips throughout the west coast, enjoying dusk views and escaping to the mountains for our next adventure.

Tahoe became our second home for the winter where we snowboarded for a total of 23 days and down a cumulative 300,000 vertical feet for the season. The Sierras are only a three-hour drive from the Bay Area where we live, but I’d give anything to pick up and move there. It’s amazing how you can be transported to a completely different world and environment if you just drive a few hours. Being surrounded by mountains, snow and crystal blue water…there are only a few things in life that rival that kind of beauty.

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Frequent views during our winter; up and at ’em before dawn and on the lifts bright and early!

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Seeing Lake Tahoe in the winter is a special treat, even if you don’t ski it’s worth getting up there to enjoy the snowy views. The water is icy cold but it’s the most serene view, especially when it’s so still and glass-like.

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We spent a lot of time on the road this year and I loved every second of it. Most of 2016 consisted of me riding shotgun exploring parts of California we didn’t know existed, or up on a snowy slope somewhere.

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In April, we finally made it to Joshua Tree for the first time and discovered how much we loved being in the desert. We’d return again a few months later, only to be met with +110° weather that I was not entirely prepared for.

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We also explored some newer things closer to our neck of the woods in the Bay Area. Experienced very creative light installation exhibits at the Pace Gallery.

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The Crystal Universe.

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Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Knows, Bruce Nauman @SFMOMA

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Our favorite trip of 2016, back to Portland where we ate to our hearts’ content and found some unexpected things that would change our lives in a very big way.

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We spent nearly a week in the Pacific Northwest and to be completely honest, we were reluctant to come back home to California (said every millennial ever, but with good reason). As our trip was winding down, my boyfriend came across a listing for an old Land Cruiser that was just too good to not consider. We had plans to hike in the Columbia River Gorge that day but gladly traded our plans for the chance to own our next 4×4 adventure vehicle. We left Portland to fly home the very next day, only to return a day later…to bring the Land Cruiser home!

Driving through Oregon was so scenic. We decided to camp in Southern Oregon to break up the long drive and woke up to a gorgeous view at Hyatt Lake.

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Our very first camping trip with the cruiser at Mount Watson.

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It’s here where we’d break in our awesome Tepui rooftop tent, I felt like a kid again climbing the ladder and sleeping top bunk. We spent the night sipping ice cold wine listening to Camera Obscura, stargazing out the roof, and later slipping down to the foot of the tent while we slept because we were parked at an incline. It was an interesting experience to sleep while coyotes howled and hunted right beneath our tent–we heard animals chasing each other throughout the night and felt glad our tent wasn’t on the floor. It was around freezing temperature that night, but we managed to stay warm because we went to bed looking like we were dressed for the next big winter storm :).

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The next day, we explored the nearby forest roads and tested out the cruiser on some rocky trails.

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After forty minutes of climbing over dirt and rocks, we made it to the summit and took in infinitely blue views from the eastern side of the Sierras.

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This was just the start to many more remote camping adventures…

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A cliffside sunrise view outside our tent window. We had the place entirely to ourselves! The valley was expansive but incredibly quiet.

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Found an emergency cabin on the way up, really eerie but pretty cool. Fully stocked with beds, a stove, nonperishable foods, supplies, and firewood. There was also lingering snow from some early autumn snowfall!

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Then in December, I traveled to Iceland! Five days wasn’t nearly enough time and having only four hours of daylight posed a definite challenge, in addition to the inclement weather. The days were dim but when the sun finally came out, it was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t wait to go back and see the entire island. Southern Iceland was the furthest we were able to venture this time so I’m dying to return sometime soon!

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The previous year was full of so many new experiences and discoveries and I’m so excited to see how 2017 unfolds.

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