2013 in Review

Olympic Mountains in Olympic National Park

It’s always interesting to look over the last year to see where you were so that you figure out where you’re going. We choose what point we call a year in order to do this. It doesn’t have to be when the year changes. Maybe there’s an anniversary of something meaningful or another date in the year that makes more sense for you. Most people decide to do this as the year comes to a close on the calendar and a new one is beginning. I guess mentally it gives us a sense of finality and an opportunity to start fresh with the change of a number in the year.

Questions I like to ask are:  Did the goals set get achieved ? If so, were they beneficial goals? Was there satisfaction in achieving them? If not, why not? Should those goals be extended another year? Where there other achievements that weren’t set as goals but happened anyway? How did those unexpected achievements affect you? There are a number of other questions you can use to analyze the year and how you used it but these will get me started.

An Alaskan Cruise

My goals for 2013:

-Complete the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board

-Explore Olympic National Park

-Cruise to Alaska traveling through Glacier Bay National Park and hiking on the Chilkoot Trail.

-Share these travel experiences with others creating life long memories they can reflect on.

Well, how did these come out?

Before the Photography Experiment

I completed over half of the Photography Monopoly Board but have yet to finish it. I will continue this in 2014.  While working on this I got involved with photography so much that I spent quite a bit of time out and about taking pictures. Just to give you an idea of what I’m referring to, I took over 55,000 photos in 2013. While this seems like an incredible number to me, 48,000 of them are from a time-lapse project covering our entire Alaskan Cruise. That leaves 7,000 images taken while working on photography this year. Still a lot of images to go through for a year. Many of these are not great pictures but I still like looking through them as they remind me of the adventures taken in order to get the images. As I’m sure you can imagine there are a number of really nice photos as well. Just the laws of probability suggest that if you take enough pictures, some of them will turn out. This has created an unexpected issue for me. How do I display the number of images I really like? There are too many and not enough wall space. This photography experiment will continue into 2014 because it has helped me improve and I enjoy it a lot.

During the Photography Experiment

We did explore Olympic National Park and were joined by 5 other family members as we did so creating some wonderful memories while learning some great information. Also, the Alaskan cruise taking us through Glacier Bay National Park and to the Chilkoot Trail was accomplished. There were a total of 14 friends and family on that part of our adventure, 7 of which had never been on a cruise before. There are a couple of posts yet to come from this trip. So, all in all, 3 out of the 4 goals were accomplished. Why is sharing these experiences a goal of mine? I love seeing and doing things I’ve never seen or done before. Probably the only thing that I enjoy more than that is to watch others as they experience new things. These adventures don’t mean much to me unless I can share them. As an example, while working on photography I found a nearby park reserve that offers many opportunities for some great photos. There have been numerous trips there this fall with many more coming I’m sure. Only a handful of times has there been someone with me. It is those few times that stand out for me more than the others because I get to share that with the people who have been with me.

Some unexpected achievements this past year include a couple of trips to the North Shore of Minnesota along with a few weekends camping with friends. One big one was the opportunity for Lysa to go to Europe during the summer of 2014. That one has definitely altered this next year for all of us both economically and time constraints.

Minnesota's North Shore

Moving on, what are some goals for 2014?

-Finsh the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board

-Explore Gettysburg, Edison, and the Lewis Falls Trail

-Share these travel experiences with others creating life long memories they can reflect on.

-Send Lysa off on her own European adventure

May you have new life experiences in 2014 and find some great adventures!