Es Vedrà, Spain

Es Vedrà, Spain

Last year, I created a list of everything that went beautifully and what can be improved upon. I thought after completing my second year as a nomad that I would continue the tradition of writing everything down.  I strongly suggest that you write down all the moments that were successful which in turn increases your gratitude. To me, success is just whatever makes you happy. Success means to live a life that you love.  It has nothing to do with money, fame, or recognition.  If it makes you happy, you are successful.

Below, I chose five items for each topic but they are in no particular order.

Five Things I get an A+ on

1) Traveling. 2016 Started with a trip to Istanbul, Turkey, a return trip to Prague, and a new town in this beautiful country called Karlovy Vary. I always try to discover small towns wherever I go. Then, I went to London, Ibiza, Formentera, Barcelona, Tarragona, and Sitges. Finally, my European adventure for 2016 ended in Paris, France (as it usually does). After Europe, I returned to The Riviera Maya and climbed Coba before it closed and discovered the dreamy island of Holbox. Speaking of Mexico, it brings me to my #2 accomplishment.

Holbox Island, Mexico

Holbox Island, Mexico

2) Travel Organizing: The Riviera Maya tour 2016 was a success! I took a group of people to experience some of my favorite places, beaches, and food in this part of the world. Judging by the laughs, glasses of wine, and the sore legs after climbing a pyramid, the trip was a joy for everyone. I do not just create budget friendly trips, I help us create happy memories that can never be taken away from us.

Thank God for our differences.  Life would not be colorful if we were all the same.

Thank God for our differences. Life would not be colorful if we were all the same.

3) Reunions, reunions, reunions: 2016 Was definitely the year of reunions. From my 20 year reunion from the moment I moved to New York City to seeing my best friend and old friends from AMDA, it was a very happy year when it comes to seeing people from the past. In addition, new friends from 2015 transferred into 2016. I had reunions with my new found friends from 2015 in Prague, London, Barcelona, and Ibiza.

2016-amda-reunion

4) Growing www.finallyelaine.com: Having a blog is a full time job but I manage to keep the ball rolling. I have managed to keep the integrity of the blog by not adding unnecessary ads. The blog has affiliate marketing links that you do not realize as a reader. These links are there to make your experience better not to annoy you. For example, with my Travel Apps, you will see a link to them on my website for your convenience. In addition, you will see one very soon for a wonderful search engine that combines airfare, train fares, and bus rides all in one site. Also, this year I have fully designed a tour to Thailand and two other tours to Spain.  I was also invited to do a speech for the first time in 2016.  I did not realize that I did so much this year until I started writing this:) The best way to get information for my tours are to join my travel groups:

MyBeachesOnly  (Female Only Travel Club)

FoodieNotSnooty  (Open to Everyone)

5) Writing: In 2016, I got some exposure as well as some paid projects for larger corporations.  It finally happened. Many people told me that writing was more of a hobby and that it was hard to make a living out of it. While my income does not come solely from writing, it felt like anything is now possible.  I learned that people are willing to pay for my skills that I was once very unsure of. In addition, I won a Liebster Award for my blog and took a Master Writing class with my favorite contemporary writer Jeff Brown. Hearing his wonderful criticism of my work made me cry with joy and gratitude! I added Atlanta Bread Company and Microsoft to my resume of companies I have written for.

I won a LIebster Award in 2016 for Best New Blog

I won a Liebster Award in 2016

Five Skills I Can Improve

1) TRUST:  I am still working on trusting myself and my instincts.  It never fails me.  However, there are times that I still question myself or make excuses for others.  I am still consciously working on trusting that inner voice that never steers me in the wrong direction.

2) MARKETING:  As a blogger, there are all of these terms that we must become aware with.  People talk about likes, shares, followers, and social media marketing.  It feels very overwhelming to me but I am learning a little bit more each day.

3) DATING:  Truth be told, I have not dated in years.  I think it is a combination of being very busy and obviously being nomadic.  My mission and purpose has been motivating my actions.  I believe this was on my list last year too.  I am working on this.  At least I have made the effort in 2016 to heal some of my issues with the past so that I can finally move forward.  I did go on ONE date this year though:)  We celebrated Dia de los Muertos together:)

Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in Mexico

Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in Mexico

4) SAYING NO:  I have not always been comfortable saying no.  I have been a bit naive most of my life and cannot tell if someone is taking advantage of me until a gut feeling gets too loud for me to ignore.  However, I have learned to say NO when something simply does not feel right to me.  Our cup is not always full and we need to take care of ourselves first.  We can only give from what is overflowing.  Setting boundaries with those that want my energy is not always easy.  I simply cannot do it all and I cannot be there for every single person that wants my attention.

5)SOCIALIZING:  I am an introvert.  There is no doubt about that.  However, I am not shy and I actually do enjoy myself when I make the effort to socialize.  I do not always do this because it is always so much easier to fall into the habit of enjoying my alone time.  I can definitely improve on getting out there and socializing more often.  I enjoy it in moderation.

Five Memorable Moments

1) Seeing Es Vedra and doing affirmations there.

Affirmations with my buddy Mirko. ¨I am open and receptive to all of the goodness and abundance in the Universe.¨

Affirmations with my buddy Mirko. ¨I am open and receptive to all of the goodness and abundance in the Universe.¨

2) Finally seeing La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

3) Seeing THE TOWER OF LONDON and the Queen’s jewels

Tower of London

Tower of London

4) Climbing Coba 

I am afraid of heights so this was a personal accomplishment.

I am afraid of heights so this was a personal accomplishment.

5) Seeing Holbox

holbox-hammocks

Five Most Annoying Experiences

I had significant problems with my accounts while traveling.  From blocked credit cards to frozen accounts, it ALL happened this year.  The joys of being nomadic!

1)  Getting Wiped clean by a hacker:  Somehow someone managed to take all of my money from my checking account.  I am not sure how this happens, but they accomplished this without stealing my wallet or using my ATM card.  Unbelievable.

2) Frozen accounts overseas:  Gotta love it when you tell your bank that you will travel, only for them to freeze your account anyway.

3) Protests in Paris had me on a bus for almost four hours going around in loops due to locked traffic.

Paris Traffic makes NYC look like a small town.

Paris Traffic makes NYC look like a small town.

4) No internet on the first day of my new contract.  As a digital nomad, I DO depend on having fast and reliable internet.  The first day on the job was stressful to say the least.

5) Exhausted myself to the point of getting head to toe hives.  I am not sure what went wrong here, but I need to remind myself that my body needs rest.

5 Measurable Goals for 2017

1) Enjoy the success of my foodie tour of Playa del Carmen.

 FreeFoodieTourPlayaDelCarmen

2) Host these group trips:

RivieraMayaLikeABoss and TasteOfThailandTour

3) See at least two new countries. (No preference I like it all).
4) Have more speaking engagements
5) Finalize a publishing deal.

And as always THIS or SOMETHING BETTER:)

Thank you readers, friends, family, acquaintances and beautiful countries for being a part of my life in 2016. I look forward to 2017. We can make OUR WORLD better. We make a living by what we do—but we create a happy life by what we GIVE away with no expectations or strings attached. On that note…..Let´s welcome 2017 together with health and enthusiasm!