Thinking about the past year feels weird to me – maybe because it went by so fast, or maybe because it was the first year in a long time that I haven’t made any huge changes and things have just kind of stayed the same. We didn’t move, change jobs, add to our family, or buy a new car. But, despite that, it’s been a pretty good year of personal growth and fun travels.
I thought I would turn this post into kind of a mixed bag recap of 2017, so I’ll be counting down my top posts of the year, revisiting my bucket list, and listing out this year’s best big and little moments. Grab something to snack on and reminisce with me!
Top Posts of 2017
1. 7 Best Spring Waterfall Hikes – Utah waterfalls are the best in the spring, and these are seven of my favorites!
2. Exploring Salt Lake City by Bus – I got to take a fun bus tour around SLC and be a tourist in my own city for a day! Some of my favorite attractions in the city are on this post.
3. 8 Secret Spots in SLC – If you’re looking for even more to do downtown, check out my list of the city’s secret spots.
1. Things to Do in LA for the Weekend – We planned a super short trip to LA early this year and this post has the highlights of what we did there! There are so many fun things, I think we need a second trip!
2. Banff Hiking Guide – This was our big trip for the year and it did not disappoint. I started making videos this year as well, and this post has a pretty cool one if I do say so myself.
3. The Definitive Guide to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Hollywood – The whole reason we went to LA was to go to the Wizarding World again, and this is the only guide you’ll ever need.
1. Glacier National Park: Grinnell Glacier – This is one of my favorite hikes I have ever been on, and Glacier National Park is insanely beautiful. I have a video on this post too!
2. 10 Things to Do at Zion Ponderosa – I spent a weekend at this incredible resort right outside Zion National Park, and it was what dreams are made of. Definitely a bucket list item.
3. Capitol Reef National Park: Hickman Bridge – Another fun hike in a hidden gem park I had never been to before this year.
1. Where We Ate in LA – After going to Harry Potter World, LA was meant to be a foodie trip, and boy, did it deliver.
2. 4 Best Protein Packed Breakfast Recipes – It’s not often that I post recipes on here, but this is one of my favorite posts from this year because I loved making all of these and taking the photos. Try out a couple of these, they’re pretty bomb!
3. 3 Must Eats in Kansas City – We had less than 24 hours to spend in Kansas City when we were there this summer for a friend’s wedding, but we made the most of it.
1. 7 Tips to Better Instagram Stories – I love Instagram Stories, whether I’m creating them or watching them, so I decided to share some of my tips!
2. 5 Books Every Creative Should Read – I’ve been trying to read a lot more in recent years, and these were some of my favorite “business” books of 2017.
3. 5 Ways to Fall Back in Love With Instagram – It seems like everyone has been disappointed by IG this year, but it’s still my favorite social network. So if you’re feeling down about it, here’s what I do.
2017 Bucket List Recap
Instead of setting resolutions the past couple of years, I’ve created bucket lists instead, full of things to push me out of my comfort zone and experience more of life. Here’s how I did on it this year.
1. Visit 5 new national parks. I did not do this, but if you count Banff in Canada, I did made it to three (Banff, Glacier, and Capitol Reef). Plus I went to Zion another two times, because I just can’t stay away from there!
2. Go fly fishing at least 6 times. Major fail. I maybe went twice. It’s so fun and relaxing though, so I want to get back into it!
3. Travel to Canada. Done! For a while, I did not think this was going to happen because we had to keep moving it around so many times, and even changed our planned destination in Canada, but we made it and it was incredible.
4. Reach 10K Instagram followers. I did this! This was probably my most lofty goal of the year and I did it faster than I even thought I would, reaching 10K at the end of August.
5. Read 24 books. I actually have read 25, and I’m hoping to finish two more by Sunday for a grand total of 27. You can check out my Year in Books on Goodreads to see what I read and what my favorites were.
6. Attend a storytelling performance. When I wrote this down on my original bucket list, I wrote something along the lines of how I hoped Snap Judgment (my favorite podcast) would tour to SLC, and they actually ended up coming this year! I went to their show in October and I loved it. Some of the stories I heard live are on this episode of the podcast.
7. Go backpacking. Sadly I didn’t go on a single backpacking trip this year. Things just didn’t work out, but I’ll have to plan a couple next year to make up for it!
8. Eat at 5 new pizza places. The best goal of them all. I didn’t actually keep track of this but I’m positive I did it.
9. Hike to Diamond Fork Hot Springs in the winter. Done and done. This was a crazy day that started with a 3:30 am wake up call, hiking 12 miles in the dark + freezing temps, and changing in and out of swimsuits in the snow, all to dip into turquoise blue hot springs in the dead of winter. It was so worth it. I never wrote a post but you can check out some photos on Instagram here, here, and here.
10. Decorate our home. Maybe I am too indecisive or maybe I just spent all summer working on our yard instead of the inside of our house, but this is coming along pretty slowly. I did work really hard on this gallery wall that I finished in May, but I’m hoping to do even more this winter before I have to return to the yard!
2017 Best Moments
The best moments of 2017 weren’t really moments at all, but feelings and situations and understandings and relationships.
The Big Things
• Taking our first trip with our dog, Amaya, to Banff and Glacier National Parks this fall. The leaves were gorgeous, the lakes were blue, and cuddling all together in the van at night was bliss.
• Getting to know myself better. This year contained a lot of introspection and self improvement and it’s been kind of hard, but also good. I think I still have some work to do but it’s been really liberating.
• Eating our way through LA was so fun and I love debating over food with Colby, whether we agree or disagree on something about a dish or a restaurant. We’re probably those annoying food snobs but we like what we like!
• Becoming involved in causes I care about and making my voice heard. In the past, I’ve been nervous about speaking up for the things that matter, but this year has changed that. I’ve been to three marches, made countless calls and emails to my representatives, and tried to decrease my own footprint in my daily life.
• Making huge strides in my photography and social presence. I feel like this year I have really come into my own and created my own style and brand. It’s been so fun and so rewarding.
The Little Things
• Daily walks with Amaya to get some fresh air and clear my head.
• Growing closer to my family – both immediate and extended – even though we’ve all gone through some hard things this year.
• Putting work into my friendships, being more vulnerable, and creating deeper bonds.
• Learning to garden and successfully growing tomatoes, peppers, and lots of herbs.
• Leaning into my relationship with Colby as we both change and explore new life territory together.
What are some of your most memorable moments of 2017? Did you reach your goals? I’d love to know, so leave a comment and let’s chat!