We have a lot to be grateful for at AdventureWomen. 2018 rings in our most successful year in the history of the company. We hope Susan would be proud, and we are so honored to be able to write these words, continuing on the legacy she left us at AdventureWomen.
We thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect on aspects of our own lives that we are grateful for. In our own words, here are five things our team members give thanks for this year:
Grateful for Family
“I am grateful to have two daughters, Nicole and Erica. At 37, I was finally ready. Ready to begin a journey that I had heard would consume my life and move my love for travel to the back seat. Little did I know how they would affect my life. My life was enhanced with the addition of two girls, two years apart. They ran me ragged, they challenged me, they showered me with love and attention, they traveled with Rick and me all over the world, they made me think outside the box. They left, they came back. They got married, had children, and stayed close by. Now, they are my partners in one of the most extraordinary journeys I’ve ever been on…building AdventureWomen. How grateful am I!” – Judi
Grateful for the Power of Travel
“I’m grateful for the powerful experiences I’ve had throughout my travels. Traveling has allowed me to face — and ultimately overcome — my three major fears: flying, heights, and the ocean. I fell in love with the idea of traveling at a young age, but I had never been on a plane and the thought of flying absolutely terrified me. However, I knew that to experience the world, I needed to face this fear. So, I booked excursions that required flying, and little by little I became more comfortable traveling by plane. Had I not been inspired to see the world and travel, this may have never happened.
Once you hop on that plane to travel to a new destination, you’ve already decided to open yourself up to new experiences. Why take the risk of traveling somewhere if you are not going to push yourself out of your comfort zone? This is why whenever I travel, I try to do something that scares me. This has resulted in some of the most incredible life-changing experiences: sandboarding in Namibia, hiking the Big Tsingy in Madagascar, and recently, snorkeling with sea lions in Baja. I’m thankful that traveling has allowed me to tackle the things that scare me the most and prove to myself that I am stronger and braver than I ever imagined.” – Emily
“I am grateful for travel. I have been fortunate enough to have been raised on a global passport—exploring the world since I was a little girl. It showed me patience, kindness, adaptability, humility, and the amazing and varied differences across the world. I remember being a little girl and just in awe of the ever-expanding world around me. I tried new foods, some I hated, some I still make to this day, I forged new friendships with kids that didn’t speak my language, but it forced me to go outside of my comfort zone in moments of shyness, and I conquered fears I never new existed! I felt and continue to feel triumphant every time I travel and I truly believe it has shaped me into the person I am today. The world is a big place, and if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that it’s filled with almost endless surprises. Call it my inheritance (or call it an addiction): I know I’ll never stop searching the wide, wide world for my next adventure.” – Nicole
Grateful For Nature
“I tend to focus on the future, on all the things I want to achieve and all the things I need to do. While this is obviously necessary, it often puts me in an anxious, worried or stressed mood. Reflecting on what I am grateful for automatically brings me back to what is rather than what ought to happen. I think about all the good things, from the trivial and short term to the profound and general. This definitely affects my mood positively and more often than not puts a smile on my face.
I try to do a few different things that help me and remind me to think about gratitude, such as journaling or using a guided gratitude mediation on my meditation app. But my favorite is experiencing the natural world. I mostly go into nature, either with my kids and husband or just by myself. Even when my day isn’t going so well, being in nature helps me put things into perspective and think about gratitude. Nature is complex in its structure, but simple to our senses that can so often be over-stimulated. It smells pleasant and earthy, it looks beautiful, it sounds relaxing, and it feels peacefully alive. It is far easier for me to be present when in nature. Lying on your back on the soft ground and watching the leaves, listening to the birds, or observing the details of a mushroom, and taking in a deep breath can do wonders!” – Erica
Grateful for Friends and Community
“I am so grateful for the people in my life. My bonds with family and friends are like glue. I am so grateful for the relationships I have with friends near and far. Getting messages of congratulations after my wedding all the way from Maasai women in Tanzania as well as AdventureWomen guests in Peru was an incredible expression of love and support from all over the world.
I am particularly grateful that I got to travel with my younger sister as my Apprentice Ambassador in Peru. It was such a joy to share a phenomenal trekking experience with her in one of the most stunning places I have ever been, but also very special to let her see first-hand why I am so passionate about AdventureWomen and how special our trips are.
I also am grateful to my parents. From a young age they taught me and my three siblings to explore the world with an open mind and heart, and took us on trips to places that challenged us and our world-view when we were young. We still travel together as a family trying new things along the way.” – Eliza
Grateful for a Sense of Purpose
“To say that this has been a year of change for me would be an understatement. One of the things that has kept me both going and grounded is a sense of purpose. Specifically, identifying long-term and short-term personal and professional goals. In researching this blog, I came across a study that looks at self-determination theory as well as intrinsic motivation, or the “deep desire from within to perform a task.” One of the biggest factors is the ability to do the things we want. I find that I’m so thankful for not only the ability, but also for the desire. For a long time, I was looking for a way to combine my passion with my profession, and I couldn’t figure out how to make that happen. I now have the chance to make the most of the opportunities that have sprung up. Not an easy or a short road, to be sure, but this year has shown me that I’m stronger and more resilient than I thought. I am happiest when I am working toward a goal. I’ve thought about what I’ve worked hard for in the past and why, as well as what I’m willing to pour my time and effort into. In the process, I’ve been able to identify some specific goals that keep me moving forward. I’m determined to succeed—and I’m so grateful for that sense of purpose. That…and some wonderful family and friends!” – Katie
What are you grateful for this year? We’d love to know. Let’s count our blessings every day and remember that together as a community of women, we have the power to make this list longer and longer each year.