Thursday, October 3, 2013


I'm supposed to be hiking Half Dome right now with my husband and my brother, on my 30th birthday, and spending the weekend in my favorite place on earth, Yosemite. But, the government is incompetent and shutdown, so I am not there (I'm just a little bitter toward the government). Instead, I am spending the weekend with my family in Palm Springs. Life is pretty good if my turning 30 crisis is having to spend the weekend in Palm Springs instead of Yosemite, I realize this (first world problems). I had a bit of a hard time with the idea of turning 30 last spring, but since then, I say bring on the 30s. The future is bright, especially with so many candles on a birthday cake.

In honor of turning 30, here are 30 of my favorite life experiences 
(in no particular order):
-Teaching over 850 students over the course of 8 years. Hopefully inspiring some of them along the way.

-Taking students on a trip abroad to Costa Rica to study peace, and fundraising over $8,000 to make it happen. 

-Hiking Half Dome 3 times. Age 11, age 22, age 29. And all the regular trips to Yosemite with my mom, dad, and brother since I was just a baby. 

-Hiking Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

-Studying abroad in Spain when I was eighteen, and not gaining any Spanish skills but a whole lot of life changing experiences.

-Honeymooning in Greece.

-Marrying my high school sweetheart.

-Backpacking 66 miles from Mammoth to Yosemite (the biggest accomplishment was avoiding getting struck by lighting in a hail storm).

-Going back to school to get my master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies.

-Going to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain when I was 18.

-A summer trip of backpacking through Europe from Morocco to Barcelona to Italy to Switzerland to Germany to Prague to Berlin to the Netherlands.

-Being in Barcelona when Spain won the Euro Cup and joining the parties in the streets all night.

-Spending two weeks exploring Italy. Oh, the beauty and the food.

-Traveling around Guatemala and Belize for two weeks. Oh, the pyramids and the snorkeling.

-Taking a class at the United Nations' University for Peace in Costa Rica during grad school.

-Living with a local family in Nicaragua for three weeks, taking language classes.

-Traveling around Peru for four weeks, conducting research for grad school in Lima and then exploring the country.

-Hiking for four days to get to Macchu Picchu. Oh, the majesty.

-Road trip up the coast to San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. 

-Road trip to national parks: Arches, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon.

-Hiking the narrows in Zion National Park. Driving through Bryce Canyon National Park.

-Road trip to Death Valley.

-Road trips to visit friends in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Portland.

-Running a marathon.

-Running 5 half marathons.

-Staying with a family in a rural village in Nepal with no running water, no electricity, visiting the schools there, and being so inspired by the people. Meeting even more inspiring people in the capital. 

-Traveling to Merida, Mexico for a professional development for work and staying in a house with the most wonderful colleagues.

-Having different teaching experiences from helping run an after school program in college, to teaching international students, to teaching at a large public high school, to teaching at a small project-based learning charter school.

-Traveling alone to Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend a conference on peace education put on by Save the Children and conduct research for grad school. 

-Every moment I get to spend with friends and family along the way. 

-Trips and holidays with family. I really do have the best family in the world. Sitting around the holiday dinner table. Swimming in the pool. Laughter and talent shows. Learning from those who are no longer here, my grammy, my papa, and my nana. I cherish each memory with them. 

-Meeting so many inspiring, amazing people throughout my 30 years. I often sit back and think of all the people I know, some who have been in my life for a long time, and I am incredibly grateful for each and every person who has been a friend. I am the worst at staying in touch with people. Life is busy, and I don't always make the time I should for relationships, and it is hard when so many are spread throughout the country, but I have been inspired and impacted by so many throughout this journey and I am thankful for each person.

(okay, so it turned out to be 32, but who's counting?)

1 comment:

  1. Brooke! So glad to see a post from you! I switched over to blog lovin' a while back, so I had to add you to my reading list.

    Happy (belated) 30th! What a great year to celebrate soooo many wonderful things in your life!

    Hope all is well!