Reflecting on 2017

It’s crazy to me that we’re already ringing in a New Year, but as I look back and reflect on 2017 and all of the experiences I’ve been able to have, I feel so incredibly grateful. From moving to London to traveling the world, to landing some of my biggest collaborations & campaigns to date, 2017 has certainly been a year of growth for the books and I cannot wait for 2018!

MOVING TO LONDON

Moving to London from Los Angeles was by far one of the best decisions and leaps of faith I ever could have made. Not just in 2017, but in my entire life. It had been on my heart for over 2 years and with a major goal of 2017, being to stay more true to myself, I am so glad I listened to my gut and moved here in August 2017. With the move has come so many incredible opportunities — meeting lifelong friends both in grad school and day-to-day life here, accomplishing more in both my professional and personal life, relying on my faith and completely re-focusing my priorities, not to mention the unforgettable experiences and travels I’ve been fortunate enough to embark on since moving here. It’s one of those chapters that up close may not seem like it’s affected me immensely in such a short time, but after taking a step back and really reflecting on even just a few months here- I feel so thankful for the circumstances to step outside of my safe bubble and comfort zone and be exposed to so much opportunity for personal growth.

As I kick off 2018 and round off my graduate program here, I’m excited to savor every last second in London and see where this nomadic journey keeps taking me! I have my current lease here through August, then who knows where I’ll end up next! A lot can happen in 8 months, but for now, I’m savoring my time and continuing 2018 with the goal of being present and enjoying every moment!

TRAVELS

Travel has always been one of the biggest blessings throughout my life, especially this past year. When I look back on 2017, I feel so immensely grateful that I’ve had the opportunities to be exposed to so many new places with lifetime memories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Each time I’m able to experience a new place, it always reminds me how thankful I am to live in the era that we live in. Often times, especially this past year, it feels like the weight of the world can get very very heavy, but traveling always ignites a new wave of gratitude — I think we’re incredibly lucky to be able to hop on a plane and be in a new country or even continent in just a matter of hours! While I’ve racked up too many passport stamps to count, 2017 has definitely been a year of experiences and adventure and I’m excited to bring this love into 2018 and channel it even more on Erie Nick with a lot more travel content!

SOME OF MY FAVORITE TRIPS OF 2017

* Charleston, South Carolina & Savannah, Georgia: One of the biggest blessings of 2017 has been the friendships I’ve made through blogging! Back in March I FINALLY got to visit one of my most cherished friends, Taylor-Rae in her hometown of Charlotte, NC. From there we road tripped southern style and had one of the most memorable trips together eating our way through Charleston, biking our way through Palmetto Bluff, antique-shopping our hearts out, and taking a little rosé-influence jump into the harbor after one of the most care-free days sailing! It’s a trip & friendship I’ll forever cherish and is so neat to me that it all came about because of blogging!

*Caribbean – St. Martin, Puerto Rico, and Haiti: Every year it’s tradition for my family (immediate & extended) to take a trip together, and this year’s destination was the Caribbean. After seeing the aftermath of the devastating hurricane that came through the exact areas that we visited, I felt even more grateful for our time on this trip. From family game nights to lot’s of R&R, snorkeling, hiking through the rainforests, and getting the sail through some of the most beautiful waters— this trip was easily one of my favorites of 2017, especially because I got to spend so much time with my cousins!

*SPAIN – Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza: One of the hardest parts about living in London and having lived in LA with a lot of my childhood friends still in Texas, is that I don’t get to see the people I love as often as I’d like. For some reason 2017 was the year of the reunions and I am SO thankful I was able to take this trip to Spain with two of my best girlfriends since elementary and middle school! Madrid and Valencia were absolutely beautiful and we had such an enjoyable time roaming the cities and scoping out the tops sights, but nothing tops Ibiza on my 2017 list! Spending the day completely in the moment, with the greatest company, and the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean takes the cake as one of my all-time happiest moments. I’ll never forget the sheer joy and happiness I experienced on this trip — a destination and experience I definitely recommend if you’ve never been!

*IRELAND – Dublin, Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeways: This year more than ever, I’ve really discovered the pure happiness I get from being outdoors. As much as I love cities and the architecture in all of these beautiful places, to me, nothing beats the beautiful outdoors and a stunning natural view. This trip meant so much to me, not just because I was reunited (yet again!!) with one of my best friends, who was living in Ireland at the time, but because I got to experience so much of the natural beauty in this world. The Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway definitely deserve a spot a top anyone’s bucket list and as many incredible places as I’ve been lucky enough to experience, some of my most memorable are the simple days like we spent in Malahide!

*Salzburg, Austria & Berchesgarden, Germany: I have my travel guide coming ASAP I promise, but this trip was the most ideal way to send off 2017! With the perfect mix of city break + beautiful outdoors, I’ll forever remember it as one of my favorites and happiest!

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Budapest, Amsterdam, Oktoberfest, the Cotswolds, Windsor Castle, Telluride, Joshua Tree, Flying back to Santa Barbara for one of my friends’ wedding, Yosemite, San Francisco, Dallas,  Austin

As much as I am a “go go go” person and want to see and do everything on trips, I have to say my happiest memories during travel are the ones where I truly embrace the moments and slow my pace down! It’s so easy to want to hit every top trip adviser suggestion, but my experiences have taught me a lot about myself. I’m excited to be more intentional and continue savoring each experience in 2018 starting with another English escape to the Cotswolds then a ski trip to Switzerland!!

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All in all, I’m so thankful this year had far more ups than downs. While my life is certainly not perfect and I have plenty of struggles and “real-life” stuff of my own, I really am so grateful for the ongoing opportunities to chase a life that excites me, filled with people I love and care about,  and hopes to be the best me I can be! I hope 2017 brought opportunity for growth and gratitude for you too! Cheers to 2018 and another year ahead with even more to be thankful for! I’m so incredibly grateful you’re a part of this journey and really excited to share all that I have in store for Erie Nick in the new year!

xx Erica

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