Happy New Year!!! Happy 2018....what? 2019? Already? I swear, wasn't it just 2017? Geez.
2018 has been quite a year, I've had some amazing adventures, got to experience some amazing places I didn't expect to, made some amazing friends along the way, and sadly had to say goodbye far too soon to some as well in 2018. It's been a year of some remarkable gains, but also of some significant loss.
So with that said, let's get on to the recap. I've decided to pick out some selfies that represent some of the adventures and moments of 2018 to share and write a little about, and maybe reflect on a bit as well.
I started out 2018 with a trip down to Miami.
I kind of forget why I went to Miami, but it was probably a cheap flight or something, but it was a great time. Got to see some friends and shoot with some great models. As well as got to go do some diving at one of my favorite places, Key Largo!
After I got back to Boston, I got invited to join a group of Instagramers from Boston to take a trip up to the amazing Ice Castle in New Hampshire! I went once before, but it was at night, so this was my first time during the day!
Fast forward about a month or so, and I took my first big trip of 2018. It started with flying out to Salt Lake City for just a few days, but ended up being a 3 week adventure across 3 states.
From Salt Lake city we made the drive about 4 hours south to the incredible Zion National Park! But on the way we made a little detour towards Bryce Canyon and Red Rock Canyon.
After getting to Zion at right about dusk hour, I went to bed and arose well before dawn to catch sunrise at one of the overlooks of the canyon!
After that, I headed back to the hotel to grab breakfast, and reorganize my gear for the next task: Angel's Landing. Called so because it was once said that only Angels could ascend to it's peak. We put that to the test, and saw why it is one of the most difficult and deadly hikes in the country, but also so, so beautiful.
The next day would be the day I drive back to Salt Lake to catch my flight to my next destination, so time was tight, but I just had to do the famous Narrows, and make it to the spot known as Wall Street, where the canyon walls are only about 10 feet wide in some spots. So I went and rented my canyonering equipment and waterproof pants and set out right at dawn, hiking up the Virgin river for a total of about 8 miles round trip if I recall correctly.
Made it back to SLC in time for my flight to Los Angeles! Got to see a great friend of mine that moved out there from Boston, had some adventures and did a couple of photoshoots, then it was time for a road trip to the last stop of this journey.
After a week in LA it was time to hit the road for the 14 hour drive from LA to Portland, Oregon! Oregon was incredible and the first full day we had there, my friend there took us out to the Oregon Coast!
The next day we set out to catch sunrise in the river valley, some waterfalls, and a crazy hike to one of the most beautiful places I've seen! But first, we had to explore The Bridge of Gods.
Then it was off to a secret waterfall, in a place where there is no cell phone service, no real trail, and crazy dirt roads. But it was worth it. Oh, was it worth it.
Now we'll jump to when my Miami brother came up to visit for a bit and we headed out to Martha's Vineyard for a day trip!
Next I headed to New York and New Jersey for a friends wedding. I also had the pleasure to meet the daughter of a good friend that had passed away this year while I was in NYC.
Next we head up to hiking in the White Mountains and my first mountain flight with my new drone at the time!
Then off to the coastal city of Rockport and more drone flying.
Next we take a trip down to Provincetown, which is the last tip of Massachusetts out on Cape Cod.
And more drone goodness too.
I then made 2 trips back to the mountains to hike the same grueling 8 miles, 3 mountain hike, The Franconia Ridge. These 2 photos are a week apart. Notice anything different?
Now we enter into my biggest adventure of the year, spending 2 weeks traveling through Europe. As I said earlier, this post is just a recap, so we'll run through some of the highlights and cities I got to explore. First, arriving in Paris, then heading out to Normandy. Here's one from one city on the Normandy Coast, Honfleur. If you want to read/see more of this segment of my trip, you can read about my visit to the D-Day invasion beaches here: https://travelfeed.io/travelfeed/@seangold/my-european-adventure-part-2-sacrifice-and-the-beaches-of-normandy
From there it was back to Paris.
From there, one midnight bus later and I find myself in Amsterdam!
From Amsterdam, I take an overnight train to Switzerland and make friends with an amazing Colombian Tattoo artist, as we both waited for our hour late train in Germany...
Then I arrive in Luzern!
I leave that same night and head towards the Swiss Alps and the town of Lauterbrunnen. I get there in the pitch darkness, and I awake to this!
I then take the train up out of the valley and to the cliff side town of Wengen.
Next, I head to Lugano and then Bellinzona to see the castles!
From there, it's back to Lugano, then off to Milan, Italy.
And that wraps up Europe, and we'll close out with my recent ski adventure!
Well, that was a lot to get through. Now it's time for a little reflection on 2018.
The biggest thing that sticks out to me this year is the loss of one of my closest friends to addiction. It was a big hit to me, and it also reminded me how important my friends and my relationships are with the people in my life, and that although I like doing things alone a lot, life is better with friends and happiness is better when shared. We're only here for a short time, and some tragically shorter. Try to appreciate that and be mindful of that more often. And reach out to your friends, especially the strong ones that act like everything is fine. We're in a weird time, we're more connected than ever, yet also furthest apart. We still need to figure out a healthy relationship with technology, and focus more on mental health and depression. We also need to remove the stigmas of these issues too. We all get sad. We all get varying forms of depression, it's a part of life, but we often make it worse on ourselves by feeling bad about feeling bad, which is even more destructive to us and our mental well being.
I think that's one of the main things I wanted to reflect upon for now, though there are many more, but it's New Years and there are things to be done before it's too late. How was your 2018? What did you learn? What did you gain? What did you lose? Let me know below.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and a great start to 2019!
- Sean Gold