A Summer Of Big Moves

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I’m marking this summer as my favorite one so far. I jumped from adventure to adventure throughout all three months of travel, less clothing, bigger hair and the desire to set myself free. Free from irrational fears, insecurities and people holding me back. Free from feeling obligated to saying “yes” when the real answer is “no.” Free from letting anticipated judgement pull me from doing things I want to do.

The season began with a practical decision for Vadym to move in with me and my roommate because he was basically already living with us, but paying rent for a place 15 minutes away. Turning my room and life into our room and life was an easy transition. Our family-like support system is strengthening for each other while we try to balance our nine to five jobs and side hustles. He’s made me realize that I don’t have to do every little thing on my own because now I have an MVP to pitch in, and vice versa.

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When I wasn’t spending some much needed down time at home or at the beach (Vadym took me for my first surf lesson!), I was out of town quite a few times this summer. First stop was Ojai for a girls trip with my friends Jolene and Cathrine in June. We stayed in a cute Air Bnb house way off a main road and went into town to explore the local happenings, including a quick peek at the backstage area of an outdoor Vampire Weekend concert that was coincidentally the same weekend. Jolene wrote about our trip on her adventure blog, Jolene Goes, if you’re interested in reading more about what we checked out!

To celebrate mine and Vadym’s six month anniversary in June, we headed down to San Diego for a full Saturday at the impressive San Diego Zoo and a quick Sunday stop through SD’s old town and downtown neighborhoods. In July we took a mini road trip to Big Bear with my mom, best friend and my best friend’s fiancé for my mom’s 60th birthday. It was a quiet weekend with gorgeous views of luscious, tree-filled mountains and chill boat hangs on the lake.

A couple days after we returned to LA from Big Bear, my mom and I flew to Cancún to continue celebrating her birthday with a mother-daughter vacay. It was our first experience staying at an all-inclusive resort and we fully enjoyed Iberostar’s open bar, buffet, private beach, infinity pools and nighttime entertainment. For the most part, we reached maximum relaxation levels, except for the one day we took an hour ride on a tour bus for an excursion at adventure park Xcaret. It was a long day of walking in the heat and I was dehydrated at one point, but overall it was a mind-blowing, must experience destination. They have over 50 attractions, including an underground river, eco archaeological park, swimming with dolphins, a private beach, a Mayan village and an incredible show production at the end of the night celebrating Mexican history and culture. The best part of the day was getting over some fears and swimming (with a mandatory life vest) through the underground river that flows through a maze of caves and tunnels lit by natural light.

The last stop on my summer itinerary was Chicago, this time for work instead of leisure. Despite the exhaustion from a wild production week for Create & Cultivate’s conference, I had so much fun with my team in the windy city. As a self-identitied Vans girl, it was a dream come true to host this event at the House of Vans and escort some badass women, including Jennifer Hudson.

Here’s a quick look at each trip

Although all of the above were amazing experiences, I haven’t gotten to the greatest moment of the summer yet. This moment happened in our room at 5:00am on August 16 when Vadym proposed and I said “yes” to our forever. I’ve never felt so confident and secure in anything as much as I do with our relationship and it’s something I don’t take for granted. It’s beautiful to reflect on how we’ve grown together and as individuals, and wild to think that this is only the beginning of the most exciting adventure.

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With the arrival of fall, I’m thinking about what I want to accomplish during the remaining three months of 2018. I’m usually bitter about this season because the sun isn’t up as long and trips to the beach are less frequent, but transitions and change can be good. I have issue 2 of Thank You For Being Here coming out in November and some exciting work-related projects in the works. With goals to be and do better, I’m feeling sweeter about fall while I continue to move through a transformative year.

What are you looking forward to this fall? Let’s chat in the comments.