2014 in review

December 16, 2014 in La Culture

Overall: 2014 was a good year. It was less about travel and more about lifestyle, less about checking destinations off a list and more about strengthening relationships and learning how to settle into a place without getting bored. I made some great strides, career-wise: in what I achieved at ONA, in securing a new job at Vimeo, in working with bigger brands at C’est Christine and in simply continuing to write (because that in itself is no small feat). But mostly, I feel like 2014 was a good year just because I was so happy! So many wonderful memories–I’m already looking forward to opening my “good things” jar on New Year’s Eve, but until then: here’s a little recap of 2014.Christine AmoroseΒ The overview:Β January and February felt like one long snowstorm. From March through June, yoga teacher training took over my life: I was in training on Friday evenings and all day on Saturday and Sunday, and was taking two to three evening classes a week and waking up early to meditate and study. I made up for that lost social time with an incredible summer: beach days, upstate weekends, rooftop parties and plenty of bike rides. September and October were hugely chaotic and transitional: a new job, a new roommate. And so far, the mild winter has meant plenty of laid-back, quality time with friends and long walks in search of red doors and adorable brownstones.

Casa Bonita in the Dominican RepublicCasa Bonita in the Dominican RepublicCasa Bonita in the Dominican Republic

January // Dominican Republic

Without a doubt, the highlight of the long winter was a long weekend in the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend. It was only our second time away together, but it really set the tone for our travels the rest of the year–and established that we are excellent traveling partners, even (especially!) when under pressure. There’s no one else with whom I’d rather tackle three flat tires in the middle of the night on a deserted roadΒ or read my Kindle (while sipping fresh coconuts and rum) next to.

Shaker Mill Inn in Berkshires in winterShaker Mill Inn in Berkshires in winter

February // the Berkshires

This was the second year in a row that I attended a silent yoga and meditation retreat in upstate New York with one of my favorite teachers. In some ways, it felt incredibly familiar: I wasn’t scared about the silence and I was able to fully enjoy the snowy, serene scenery. But my best friend had to cancel at the last minute, so I ended up with a lot more solitude and time to think. When I reread my journal from the year before, I realized that I had set a goal of having my yoga teacher training certification by January 2015–less than a year away! That solo weekend away was instrumental in cementing my desire to just go for it.

Christine Amorose in Alo Yoga gear

March // Yoga teacher training

And with that: my yoga teacher training began! Honesty, it was a lot more intense than I anticipated and I realized that I prefer DOING yoga to teaching yoga. Even though I eventually decided not to actively pursue teaching, I certainly deepened my practice, learned a lot more about the history of yoga and I made some incredible friends. When I think back on those four months, I’m still in awe that I managed to make it out with my certification, my relationship, my job and my friendships all intact.

Interlaken Inn in the BerkshiresChristine Amorose doing yoga at Interlaken Inn in the Berkshires

April // Interlaken

On a rare weekend off from yoga, my boyfriend introduced me to the Berkshires–and I fell head over heels in love with the region. We spent a couple of incredibly relaxing days at Interlake Inn: playing tennis, wine tasting, rowing across the lake. It was also nice to be away, but still be healthy and active: my boyfriend was training for a half-marathon, so he went on a long run while I practiced yoga outside.

Vic's Ice Cream in Sacramento, California@anniepaist in Elk Grove, CaliforniaTower Bridge mural in Sacramento, California

May // Sacramento

It was super fun to go back to Sacramento for a few days and try to see my hometown through a new perspective: as a guest Instagrammer for Visit Sacramento! I also loved just being able to relax in my parents’ sleepy suburb: walk the dog, read magazines by the pool, sing along to the radio in the car, catch up with high school friends and soak up all of the sunshine and fresh air. (p.s. check out @anniepaist on the Instagram for more photos of Annie the dog!)

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, TurkeyNevin Binkowski & Christine Amorose in IstanbulHot air balloons at sunrise over Cappadocia, Turkey

June // Turkey

I kept up with my tradition of celebrating every birthday in my 20s in a different country: I turned 26 in Turkey! I’m so glad that I was finally able to connect with my friend Nevin and have her play tour guide in Istanbul: we ate baklava, rode ferries, marveled at all of the gorgeous intricate Islamic architecture and just enjoyed each other’s company. But the highlight might just be watching the sun rise over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon: it was one of those rare things that is even better in real life than even the most beautiful photograph.

Lake in the Berkshires region, New YorkBash Bish Falls in the Berkshires, New York

July // the Berkshires

After our weekend away in April, my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to go back to the Berkshires TWICE in July with his family! We spent one weekend at a house with a pool and another weekend at a house right on a lake, and it was just so laid-back and fun. It completely cemented my adoration of the region: the fresh produce! The lakeside views! The complete and utter silence! Truth be told, though, it was the free tennis courts that really won me over.

Avalon beach on the New Jersey shoreAvalon beach on the New Jersey shore

August // Avalon

And THEN we spent a week in Avalon with his extended family (I know, my summer vacation plans were basically all taken care of for me!). My boyfriend has been going to Avalon every summer for his entire life, so I knew that the expectations were high for me to enjoy it too–and I’m so glad that I did. I had such preconceived notions about the New Jersey shore, but I just loved the small-town feel of Avalon. The fact that the beaches were gorgeous, and that the cinnamon rolls were out-of-this-world delicious didn’t hurt either.

Kendall Hall at Chico State

September // Chico

September was a sticky month for me: when it rains, it pours, as they say. After I left my job at ONA, I took advantage of a little bit of time off and headed home to Sacramento. This time, my boyfriend joined me–and without a doubt, my favorite part was showing him around my college town! The vast majority of my friends in New York City also went to Chico State, so he had heard A LOT about the fantastic little town of Chico. He was suitably impressed!

Christine Amorose at Costa Dulce beach, NicaraguaYoga retreat at Costa Dulce beach, NicaraguaCosta Dulce beach in Nicaragua

October // Nicaragua

I’m so happy that I was able to achieve my goal of three new countries in 2014 AND another yoga retreat AND one last burst of sunshine before winter–all in one trip! A week-long yoga retreat in Nicaragua was super relaxing, and a great opportunity to get introspective about all of the crazy transitions that were going on. The private beach didn’t hurt either!

Library in Honeoye Falls, New YorkΒ Taughannock Falls in Finger Lakes region, New York

November // the Finger Lakes

Overall, November was pretty quiet: it was wonderful to stay local for Thanksgiving. My boyfriend and I did have a nice little weekend away, heading (VERY FAR) upstate to attend a wedding. We took the scenic route on our seven-hour drive home, listening to podcasts as we carved our way through the Finger Lakes and stopped whenever we saw signs for waterfalls.

Christmas decorations in New York City Christmas decorations in New York City Christmas decorations in New York City

December // Virginia

I still can’t believe it’s already December! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of the Christmas decorations around town. This is my last full week of work before the holidays, and I’m especially looking forward to our company holiday party on Thursday night. Next week, we’ll be heading to Virginia to spend Christmas with my boyfriend’s family. Everyone keeps telling me how cute Charlottesville is, so I’m looking forward to checking it out. But I’m mostly SO excited for a whole week of relaxing in New York City (without work!) and having a laid-back New Year’s Eve: my only request is to drink beer in dive bar and to wear sequins!

Thanks again for reading C’est Christine this year! I still can’t believe that 2015 will not only mark my 10-year high school reunion, but my five-year anniversary of blogging. So grateful for another year of adventures in New York City and beyond, the most hilarious and supportive parents, a wonderful boyfriend and the best set of girlfriends around the globe.

 

  • What a year! You had so many incredible things that you did and places you visited. πŸ™‚

    You’re from Elk Grove?! I went to high school in Folsom πŸ™‚ Small worlds…

  • Andrea @destinationeu

    I love how you make an effort to do so much with your time. So even though you’re no longer an expat/long term traveller, you don’t seem to have the routine I associate with having a base. I hope I can manage the same when I finally find myself a home (probably next year). Have a happy New Year Christine!

  • Briel79

    Looks like you had a pleasantly busy year! I always love reading year in reviews. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2015!

  • What an awesome year! I am currently putting together a year of travel recap post and it’s so fun to look back at all the photos! Yours is making me want to put the hot air balloons and all the yoga retreats at the top of my list for 2015! πŸ™‚

  • Vanessa Simon

    I stumbled across your blog as I was doing vacation research for a vacation to Iceland. All I can say is I am so wrapped up in your blog! I love your approach to life. Thank you for being you.

  • What an amazing year! I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for you. πŸ™‚

  • I love your yearly reviews. It feels like 2014 just started! I hope 2015 treats you well and I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

  • camorose

    What a small world! I grew up in Elk Grove and went to Christian Brothers πŸ™‚

  • camorose

    Thanks, Andrea! Living in NYC does make it easier in some ways since it’s such an easy travel base, and there’s so much to explore around here that is brand-new to me (aka the Berkshires) coming from California. All in what you make it, as always!

  • camorose

    Yes! 2014 was awesome, but I’ve got a good feeling about 2015 πŸ™‚

  • camorose

    Yes! I 100% recommend flying hot air balloons in 2015 if you haven’t already–it’s THE BEST! Thanks so much for reading–2014 was a fun year πŸ™‚

  • camorose

    Oh yay! You’re so sweet. I’m so glad you found me!

  • camorose

    Thank you! I’m excited about 2015 too!

  • camorose

    I know! This year FLEW by, but I’m excited for the next one!

  • Jessica

    Christine, I’ve always loved following your blog πŸ™‚ I lived in Australia as well and also spent a week this year on a yoga/surf retreat in Nicagargua – we both have the travel bug! πŸ™‚ Happy holidays to you and keep up the great writing and adventures!

  • camorose

    Thanks, Jessica! So glad you’re enjoying it–and sounds like you had a delightful travel year as well πŸ™‚

  • Pingback: 2014 resolutions: what I did more of this year | C'est Christine()

  • Shripathy Hadigal

    Hi Christine, I have subscribed to your posts, and have always been marveled at your way of looking at life! It’s lovely. Traveling has been synonymous to life for me in last few years but haven’t been able to be a wanderer as much as you! This post is beautiful, hope your next year will be even more awesome! If ever planning to visit India, I would love to show you around!
    Merry Christmas, and have a fantastic new year!

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