2018 in Review

2018. It was surely one of the best years of our lives. Although it wasn’t all in the van, it all led up to this grand adventure. We’ve been reflecting on everything we’ve done and seen in 2018 and it all adds up to an amazing, adventurous year. Here is our month by month recap (get ready for a long one, friends).

January:

We flew to Japan for our last CVN 76 availability before quitting our jobs. We moved into an awesome apartment right by base and began working really hard. We took a trip to Kyoto, went hiking and skiing in the Japanese Alps, saw snow monkeys in their little onsens, and hit the gym + trails really hard. We also tried to figure out how the hell we’d plan a wedding from across the world.

February:

We continued working hard and explored closer to home on the Muira Peninsula. We trail ran often and ate as much ramen and curry udon as we could. Kyle trained for and ran his first trail marathon.

March:

We trail ran a bunch more, Kyle worked long hours, we went on an amazing trip to the Yatsugatake mountains, and tried and failed to get up Mount Fuji. We continued wedding planning.

April:

Chaniel came to visit in Japan! We celebrated cherry blossom season stoke with all of Japan. We continued trail running and fell in love with the Hayama area close to Yokosuka. We climbed Mount Fuji via the Gotemba Route on our fourth attempt in three years. We ate all of our favorite foods and said goodbye to Japan for the foreseeable future.

May:

We flew to Nepal and hiked the Three Passes route near Mount Everest with our friend Kirk. We got really sick and stayed sick through June. We moved in with our friends Barb and Todd and their three girls for the month. Michelle and Sam got married in Minnesota!!! We continued wedding planning from our new temporary home.

June:

We DIY-ed the crap out of our wedding and left way too many tasks to the last minute. We quit our jobs!! We got married!!! Our wedding weekend was a dream and turned out even better than we could have imagined.

July:

We went on hikes and backpack trips as we finished setting up the van. We vegged at Kyle’s parents and really enjoyed our month hanging out with Pam and Colin. We left on our grand adventure July 26! We started the trip with a weekend in Portland and on the Oregon Coast with friends.

August:

We explored Oregon - from Bend to Crater Lake National Park to the Alvord Desert! We made new friends and fell in love with Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountains. We backpacked the Teton Crest Trail and explored Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. We surprised my best friend Leah for her 26th birthday in Vail, Colorado.

September:

Kyle biked Mauna Kea in Hawaii with buddies and I went to Cancun, Mexico with my mom and sister. We explored Rocky Mountain National Park. We dipped into Nebraska before spending time in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We checked Wind Cave, Badlands, and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks off the list. We drove across North Dakota seeing friends along the way. We spent time with my family in Minnesota and saw Voyageurs National Park and paddled in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We explored the North Shore and camped with my parents. We had an adventure to Isle Royale National Park and started driving toward Wisconsin.

October:

We saw friends and family in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Indiana. We explored Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio. We drove long days to get to Maine at peak fall colors and hiked Mount Katahdin. Then we started zig zagging all over New England. We leaf peeped in Maine, went to Portland, did a super quick tour of Boston, saw friends in Rhode Island, went back to Acadia National Park, over to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, dyed my hair pink (!!!) saw friends in Salem, Massachussets, explored Stowe and Burlington, Vermont, and ended the month in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Phew, that was busy.

November:

We stopped in Connecticut on our way to NYC where we saw more friends and family and walked our faces off. We got Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia and got our history on in Washington DC where we saw more friends. We checked off Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We spent a weekend with family in the mountains of North Carolina. We saw Asheville, NC and went down to Congaree National Park. We spent a week in Nashville with family for Thanksgiving and then drove to Atlanta to see more friends. We explored Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA to end the month.

December:

We spent a week in the Florida Keys before visiting friends in central Florida. We snorkeled with Manatees and drove a ton checking off Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana + New Orleans, and Arkansas + Hot Springs National Park on our way to Oklahoma to see friends. We saw more friends in Kansas City before jetting across Kansas to Denver to spend a week with family for Christmas.

Holy cow, even just writing it out I’m astounded by the sheer number of places we’ve seen. We are thankful for this year of change, growth, and adventure. Cheers to 2019!