Reflecting on Where I Was a Year Ago Today

A Year Ago Today Collage

It’s hard to believe, but a year ago today I started my around the world travel journey!  The time has absolutely flown by, it honestly shocks me that it’s been a year since I was boarding that first flight to Istanbul. Although a lot of things have changed, a lot of things still feel the same as they were a year ago.

The whole travel adventure started with a trip to celebrate my Dad’s retirement, and it blossomed into a 7 country journey that took me around the work. It ended with me taking a full time job in the travel industry and moving to an entirely new city, thus continuing the adventure into 2015.

Now that I’ve had a year to reflect, it seems as though everything was so well orchestrated and intentional, although it didn’t feel that way during my travels. I felt like I was doing something reckless or impulsive, even though I had put a lot of thought and planning into everything prior to departing. And to end the whole adventure with a job which was seemingly perfectly designed for my course in life. It’s just all a little too convenient.

I’ve found that’s how life just happens to work though. The saying of “What is meant to be will be” really seems to hold itself true for me. And I love that! It’s strangely comforting to feel as though everything is pre-destined to fall into place at exactly the right time in my life.


A lot has happened in the past year– starting work at Greenheart Travel, moving to Chicago, adopting a new cat, buying a car, buying a condo. The first 6 months of 2015 in particular felt frantic, as I settled into my new routine of driving from Madison, living with my aunt and working in an office setting.

For a while, it felt like I didn’t have any space to breathe and I was struggling to keep my head above water. And then something flipped. I just adjusted to it. I got used to this new pace of life, and once I found my own place to live, my life seemed like it was going back to “normal”, whatever that means.

Now, there are still so many new things to learn and discover about Chicago, but with each weekend that Sam & I explore, it starts to feel a little bit more like home. A little bit more like us. A little bit more normal.

I look back a year ago and the feelings I was experiencing– nerves, excitement, anxiety, relaxation– and they are not all that different than what I feel now. There is so much out there to see and do, and I have no regrets about making the decision to drop everything and travel because it led me to this moment. To this reality. And it’s pretty damn great where I’m at right now. While it has gone so fast and I wish time would slow down, I’m looking forward to what the next 365 holds in store for me.



Author: Megan Arz

I am a travel and food obsessed Midwesterner living in Chicago and dreaming of the world. I work as a full-time program manager for Greenheart Travel, but I am also committed to integrating the travel lifestyle into my every day routines. I am passionate about ethical travel, meeting new people, creating unique memories and eating local cuisine!

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