Living, Traveling

Adventure: One Little Word Recap

January 12, 2016


As I said goodbye to 2015, I waved to adventure, my one little word for the year.

I can’t tell you how well this word served me.

Adventure colored the whole year from rock climbing to camping to pregnancy to leading work projects to a new blog home to hiking to miscarriage to friendships to reading to traveling outside of the country for the first time.

What is most amazing is that adventure gave me a lens to see my world through, even when things were shitty. Day to day, I thought I was doing OK, but in retrospect, I can see how much of 2015 was in a grief haze – how much of it was tinged by a general sense of being very sad.

When I look back, I see a not-so-great year – one that side-swiped me with grief, loss and major work upheaval. So many amazing things happened to buoy me though, sweeping me up in adventures with H and friends, that if I can peel away the heartache, I see what a magical year it was…

I celebrated my birthday with a photo walk through downtown LA.

This blog became self-hosted.

Through the year I rock climbed at Stoney Point, Echo Cliffs, Point Dume, Acadia, Malibu Creek, Tahoe and our indoor gym.

I traveled to:
San Francisco
Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre
Virginia for a friend’s bachelorette – at which point I hit my 10th flight in 8 weeks
Acadia, Maine
Boston (for work and a friend’s wedding)
Truckee, outside of Tahoe
Manhattan Beach (stay-cation)
Palm Springs for a weekend
Philadelphia and New York (home for the holidays)

We camped in Acadia, Silver Peak Wilderness (South Big Sur) and the Angeles National Forest a few times.

We drove all over Southern California so I could see Jim Adkins. AND THEN WE MET HIM.

I wrote in Have Love, Will Travel that we decided to travel to Italy after a miscarriage in late December 2014. This was the most popular post I wrote all year.

Grief came in waves. Through the fog I decided I am a badass.

I got my very first tattoo.

My original due date passed, I felt ready to try again.

I found out I was pregnant. It was difficult to blog without writing about it and then it ended suddenly at the 12 week mark. I wrote about that experience in It’s Yours To Feel, which became the second most popular post this year.

I attended a Myers-Briggs Certification Training. I went to the library a lot, a little adventure in itself. I read over about 30 books, 5 of which I didn’t finish yet or quit. We had lots of visitors – Chelz, Jo, Steph, KT, my parents, and H’s parents.

In a year heavy with disappointment and loss, I can see how amazing my life is. The privilege I’m afforded is astounding – nature, airplanes, a stable income, a comfortable home, a happy marriage, good friends, travel and good health. All the people I love as happy and healthy as they can be. That first loss weighed me down for so much of the year, but the second loss propels me. I am here for a reason – for one little adventure alone – to live my “one wild and precious life“.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Kira Elliott January 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Holy, cow Adventure did serve you well. How utterly amazing all you did and all the places you went. I think what struck me the most reading this is how you took care of yourself and didn’t just curl into a ball on the floor (although I am sure you did that too and for the record I am a firm believer in giving ourselves space to fall apart, it is good for the soul) You Dared Greatly as Brene Brown says. You are in the arena and you got be up and are still getting up. We lose people, dreams, things and even babies and yet life keeps happening. The butterflies still float along on an effortless blue day and the fat robins still perch on snow covered branches.

    • Reply jtao21 January 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Fuck yes. Thanks for *getting* it. And thanks for the kind words. There was lots and lots of curled-in-a-ball moments, but the overarching year was amazing. So lucky to live this life.

  • Reply Renee January 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    You truly embody the spirit of what it means to embrace life and honor every single heartbreaking and beautiful part of it. The true meaning of living out loud. I hope this year holds you much more kindly than the last. XO

  • Reply Rita January 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I have had lots of “adventures” in my life. When I’ve been mired in hard things, I’ve thought about how I’m living a very interesting life with experiences that not everyone gets to have. Some day, I tell myself, I’m going to write about them all. It could happen!

    • Reply jtao21 January 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      I def use this space to write about some of mine, or else they wouldn’t get documented. It’s hard to balance the living and the reflecting!

  • Reply Fav Books of 2015 – Allowing Myself January 14, 2016 at 5:05 am

    […] read more books in 2015 than ever before (I also kept the best, if still incomplete, record so that may have something to […]

  • Reply Embarking On A New Adventure – Allowing Myself February 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    […] man – my word from 2015 carried right over into this new year. I’m embarking on a new journey, becoming a certified […]

  • Leave a Reply