Dear 2017,

Everyone loves a little bit of reflection at the start of a new year - it gives us time to feel good about the places we've been, cringe a bit at the mistakes we've made, and laugh because of all the lessons we've learned from them. It's been good for me to ponder over you and all of the adventures you've provided for me. I've managed to move twice and call three different islands home. I've snorkeled with manta rays, watched land being formed as lava poured into the Pacific, jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet the day I turned 25, observed a solar eclipse in 99.8% totality, swam with wild dusky dolphins, and seen more whales than my happy pumping heart can handle. It was a year spent in nature, underwater, on my yoga mat, and with thousands of different people (thanks to the wonderful folk who came out on my tours). It was also a big year of struggle. I tried to come to terms with how dire the situation of our ocean's health is. I poured over articles and and papers and magazines, trying to figure out if graduate school is the right next step. I started and stumbled over a new blog. I fell in and out of love. I did a lot of yoga and tried to develop a regular meditation regime. I made my own kombucha and I ran 460 miles. I've grown a lot as a human. I've met some of the most pure-hearted friends and coworkers. I've gotten to spend time in both the North Pacific and South Pacific and see a huge variety of the magical cetaceans that call it home. 

And it's nice to look at how far I've come. Although I haven't been as good with daily reflection as I'd like, I still use my Day One app as regularly as I can. Below, I've strung together a series of video clips that I find entertaining from the year, and I'm enjoying how blue and ocean-y the whole thing seems. Plenty of saltwater, waterfalls, hikes, and plane rides made up a pretty epic year.

And the best part? 2018 is shaping up to be another solid year of adventure, new scenes, new peeps, and more of the big blue.

Stick with me through this whole early-blog thing, we'll figure it out as we go!

Lots of love,
Lauren