2018 has snuck up on me, as did my twenty-fifth birthday. I’ve been meaning to post a little recap of 2017 for a few weeks now but kept getting sidetracked by “the more urgent” matters, or whatever the never-ending excuse is. Originally, the title of this blog post was going to be “The 12 highlights of 2017”. However, after I finished going through my favorite memories, I realized that these “twelve highlights” are simply the moments that have brightened my life, therefore, making me into the happy human that I am (most of the time, anyway).

So here we go, I hope you enjoy the quick “What Makes Me Happy” recap of the past year of my life.


Witnessing the sun slowly set over the city of stars, at the Case Study House #22, with La La Land soundtrack stuck in my head.


Swimming in the refreshingly cold Grand Cenote after an exhausting day of exploring the ruins of Tulum under the burning sun.


Overlooking the majestic Lake Crescent from Mount Storm King lookout on a gorgeous spring morning.


Watching the sunrise at the Isle of Palms after a few magical days of falling in love with the charm of Charleston.


Getting lost somewhere in the Wenatchee National Forest on the hunt for the most beautiful wildflowers.


Standing way too close to the edge while exploring the unique curves of the Crater Lake National Park.


Watching the sunset at the Glacier Point in Yosemite after an excruciating hot day spent in traffic without A/C.


Taking in the majesty of the Pacific Ocean from the dunes of Cape Kiwanda on a lovely Bachelorette weekend getaway.


Making it to a nearly empty Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise after a few failed attempts to wake up the previous few days.


Being in complete awe of the most incredible little human I’ve ever held in my arms, my precious niece.


Staring down the Brandywine Falls after jumping the fence on a wonderful weekend getaway to Canada.


Running around “The Bean” at sunrise because I’ve got it all to myself. That, and the strong desire to not turn into an icicle.

Judging from these happy moments of the past year of my life, one may come to a conclusion that my life is all sunshine and rainbows. While there’s a lot of truth to that, there’s another side to my story that not many of you get to see or know. For starters, I do have a full-time job + a remote part-time job and most of my traveling is done on weekends or during my vacation days. Second, my life isn’t always as happy and perfect as the pictures that I post. Just like everyone else, I’m on an up-and-down roller-coaster of life, but no one wants to hear about our “down” moments so I choose to stay away from posting them on social media. And lastly, since I have learned to focus on the positive moments in my life rather than dwell negatives, I have turned into a generally happy human, because, well, we are what we think.