Saturday, December 31, 2011


As I look ahead on my calendar to see that I have 22 days until I leave for Italy, I think back to one year ago. We were all eagerly and anxiously awaiting the day that we would leave for London. And now here I sit, slowly assembling the pieces I need to board that plane to Italy and fly off to a new adventure. Now if only my visa and housing assignments would come through.

This year has actually been pretty awesome, despite one of the hardest semesters of my life (take that Fall 2011, I still owned you!). Shall I list the reasons why? I think so!

1.) London. London probably accounts for the most things on this list because without living there, nothing would have been possible. Basically if I got an offer to move to London tomorrow, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

2.) Travel in general. If you noticed, I changed the name of my blog. Not just because it's an awesome reference to The Hobbit, but because it is highly appropriate. I have traveled a lot this past year and plan to do so again. I'm literally going "There and back again" and I do it numerous times throughout the year. I love to travel and getting to adventure around Europe was definitely a highlight of my year, if not life. But I know that somehow I will always come home.

3.) Phantom. Come on, you all knew this would be on here. I saw Phantom a sum total of 10 times this year, which, unless I end up living very close to NYC or London in the future, will probably be a lifetime high for me. Don't worry, I have other trips planned already! But it wasn't just seeing the show. Lots of amazing things happened with it this year, the highlight being Sofia Escobar's generosity and kindness. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would get a birthday visit and card from the star of a West End show, let alone Phantom. Yes, this year has been full of Phantom phavorites, from meeting two of my all time favorite Phantoms, to befriending people from the show and sharing many of my show experiences with people I love. I am one happy Phan.

4.)  Game of Thrones. Ok, this one is dorky, but it's one of my favorite series of all time, both television and books. I haven't had a series I've been excited about since The Hunger Games, and for an avid reader like me that sucks. Game of Thrones (or as the book series is called, A Song of Ice and Fire) is an epic fantasy series that I love and I am happy I finally found something to read just to enjoy it, unlike boring textbooks or class assignments. If you haven't heard of it, check it out, though I warn you it is an HBO show and is very intense, violent and erm, inappropriate at times. BUT IT IS EPIC. It has also served as a bonding tool for myself and my brother. Don't worry, he still calls me a fatty.

OK now to the actually really important stuff

5.) Family. With my father officially retired now, I feel like I can make up for lost time. We've hung out for the last few weeks and it has been great, now that he isn't working or tired all the time. I think living away and especially going abroad has brought my family much closer together, and spending time with them has become much more special to me in the last year and I'm much closer with them all now.

6.) Friends. What can I say? Old and new, Lockport and Ithaca and all around the country/world, you've made 2011 a great one.

Well, that's all I have to say. I've been reflecting a lot and these are the basics, but here's to an amazing 2011! May 2012 be even better!

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