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Why I+#039;m Not Ready to Say Bye to 2015 Why I'm Not Ready to Say Bye to 2015

- (Huffington) - 1 years, 8 months ago...

I know, I know, I should probably be writing something like, "10 Best Places to Travel to in 2016," but in all honesty, I'm not ready to say goodbye to 2015. It might be because in 2015, I cut ties with anything holding me back, said f*ck it, worked my ass off, and traveled to 10 countries in just one year. But counting countries was not what my goal was. My goal was to to figure out what makes me happy, and push myself to conquer challenges I would have never expected myself to even think about attempting. In 2015 I changed my own life, and it was largely because I started traveling. This isn't an article about me bragging about the things I accomplished, it's me showing you real life proof that travel can change your whole world. So check out these 15 firsts I experienced this past year from traveling, and go purchase that plane ticket! 1. I Landed My First Paid Travel Writing Gig After traveling one full revolution to three continents solo in 2014, I vowed that the only thing I wanted to be writing about was travel. I applied for countless jobs, gigs, and opportunities on pretty much any freelance website there is, and finally, I got hired to write my first paid travel article for GeoChic Magazine in February of 2015. 2. I Got Sent on My First Article Assignment GeoChic Magazine thankfully liked my first two articles about places I had already been, and while discussing a pitch for another article, they mentioned they would be doing their next editorial on Cuba. Excitedly, I replied back that I could give several recommendations since my family is Cuban and mentioned how happy I was that the embargo finally lifted. GeoChic Magazine replied back with an offer to send me to Cuba for two weeks, all expenses paid, to write a double-editorial. 3. I Was One of the First U.S. Citizens to Legally Go to Cuba My whole life I was told I'd never be able to go to Cuba where my family is from. When the embargo was lifted, visas were still hard to get, but I just barely qualified for a "family visit visa" since I still have second cousins living there. On April 1st 2015, I was one of the first U.S. Citizens to legally get a visa to go to Cuba. 4. I Met Family Members for the First Time in Cuba Since we hadn't been allowed to travel to Cuba before 2015, I was never able to meet my family members that still live in the town of Santiago de Las Vegas, where my grandparents grew up. When the embargo lifted and I could finally go to Cuba, I not only followed my grandmother's hidden written journal of her life growing up in that very town, but met family who had only ever seen me in photos. 5. I Learned How to Fly a Plane in the Bahamas Curiosity got the best of me when I asked a pilot friend what exactly he did when he flew to the Bahamas every week. He offered to take me on a tour of his life as a private pilot, where MUCH to my surprise, he put me in the co-pilot seat and taught me the c...

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