Living Abroad,  Thriving

Letters to a New Year (Claudia)

Dear 2018,

Can I just say that I’m not ready for you yet? It’s not that I want to go back and relive 2017, it’s just that the New Year seems like such a finite end—and I don’t know what I want going into the next phase of my life. And, for me, 2018 means this next step (whatever it may be).

2017 meant the end of my studies—at least for now—, a serious internship, and English classes. It meant forming an association with friends about something I’m (maybe) passionate about. It also meant ending up in a fairly unhappy place for a while and, with the help of friends, family, and new adventures, finding a happier me. There is always something that could be better (mostly I would love to tone down my worka-holism), but overall I’m happy where 2017 is ending.

And, even though I don’t know exactly what I’m going for in the next year (and future in general), I do have some ideas:


Sharing breakfast (for lunch) with friends. New and old friends have made a big difference this year. I want to step away from negativity:

Whether it is when I’m talking to myself or to friends, and whether it is about me or others or a situation, I notice myself being more critical and negative than I would like. Therefore, going forward, I would like to make more of an effort to be constructively critical, worry only about what I can control (often only my thoughts and interpretations and not the situation), and be more positive with what I say both to myself and to others. In this way, I hopefully can help generate an environment where I can find more peace and happiness.


I've travelled a lot this year—both for business and pleasure. I want to spread more happiness:

I love doing things like making cakes or homemade cards and sending postcards, but I don’t always ‘find the time’ to do this kind of stuff. However, in the long run, this type of action spreads happiness and love—from me to those I care about. And if I don’t do it, everyone (especially me) misses out on the acts of kindness. So in 2018 I would like to up my happiness game—both with people I know and those I don’t. I wonder if I can make a difference in someone else’s life next year.


I want to understand success…for me:

I understand some basic ideas of success, but none of them fit 100% with what I want for my life. I imagine that 2018 will consist of a lot of self-discovery and understanding, and hopefully I will be one step closer to being able to visualize what I am looking for (at this point in my future).


I want to move towards what I want:A year of hanging out with fun dogs—Lyra is my favorite. 

In itself, knowing what I want is hard, but I also want to work towards achieving my own definition of success. Taking steps towards something different and unknown has never been easy for me, therefore, I would like to work towards being confident in my choices and having the strength to choose what feels right for me right now.


I want to grow our blog and its impacts:

On a personal (one-to-one) level I have already used some of the stuff we post on our blog to help people understand their situations and what they want out of their abroad experiences. In 2018 I would like to continue to devote time and energy to adding to and improving the blog. I want to connect with readers like you and figure out how what I know can help you have the most amazing experience of your life.

A new view from a new home. This is my short yet intense (I think) list of stuff I’m looking for in 2018…who knows what it will bring, but hopefully I will be able to work towards getting the most out of it.


What are you hoping to accomplish in 2018?


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