2024 Anticipation

The fleeting moments of 2023 present a perfect opportunity to glance over my shoulder and catch a final glimpse of this past year, and even more importantly to reflect on how I want to mold the coming year.

Anticipation of 2024

Cue the trumpets as 2024 has the framework to be another great year. Its critical to be affirmative and optimistic in that declaration and then work with every ounce of energy to make it a reality.

I met the most deserving, and yet positive and appreciative family at my last Habitat for Humanity build. I’m kicking off the new year with another build to contribute in a small way to help provide a family with safe and affordable housing.

Spring will certainly be epic with a trifecta unfolding. Both my son and daughter have been dedicated to making the investment and sacrifices to establish a firm foundation for their future. In a world surrounded by instant gratification, I am unbelievably proud of the path my kids patiently forged.

Its nearly time to reap the rewards of their sweat equity as they both graduate in May. My son with a Master of Business Administration and my daughter with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Of course their graduation ceremonies are only four days and five hundred miles apart!

To round out the May trifecta, we are headed to Europe to celebrate their graduations. Our flights are already book into Rome and back from Edinburgh, leaving lots of details to finalize in the coming months. They picked perfect destinations, as Italy and Scotland are new countries for me, making them the sixteenth and seventeenth countries I have visited.

Then I’ll make my way to South Dakota to volunteer at Custer State Park for the second half of the summer. This will allow me to experience the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the iconic Buffalo Roundup. Then its a quick exit south in October as the frost and potentially snow nips at my heels.

What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats.

– Paulo Coelho, Brazilian author of The Alchemist

A Year In Review

An eclectic year of fulfilling experiences filled this past year as I passed the five year mark of living my retirement dream. I traversed through twenty states sprinkled in time with with friends, both old and new, and time with relatives. A six week spring journey meandering an indirect route from Florida to South Dakota was living life at its best.

I arrived in South Dakota to frozen lakes and snow in April to volunteer at Custer State Park through the end of July. Seeing the Northern Lights again, hiking Black Elk Peak, finding Poet’s Table, and being present to see winter shoved aside and spring gradually evolve into summer were some of the highlights. Everyday exploring the flora, fauna and scenery in the Black Hills was a highlight reel!

Before and after South Dakota, there were 5 weeks of volunteering on Habitat for Humanity builds, a weekend in Nashville with my son and daughter that included the Grand Ole Opry, a trip to Washington, DC with my son and Christmas with my daughter.

A 12-mile hike up to Mount Cammerer in the Smoky Mountains got me back on the Appalachian Trail briefly. A stay at Topsail State Park in Florida allowed my feet to feel the sand and splashing waves of the Gulf. I could go on and on with all the adventures I jammed into this past year.

What’s Next?

Although I have 2024 plans in pencil, there’s plenty of time in-between to wander, stumble on new adventures and find new experiences. As I continue to live and travel fulltime in my RV, I’ll attack every morning with vigor and relax in enjoyment every evening feeling fulfilled.

As we close the books on 2023, I wish each of you the best of luck in catching a few of your dreams in 2024 and may you enjoy your journey.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year in the words of others…

Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” —Mike Dooley
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” —Carl Bard
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” —William Shakespeare
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela

View out of truck windshield with double rainbow in the distance through the rain.
A double rainbow appeared through the last remnants of a rainy morning departing North Carolina.
United States Capitol building in Washington DC with reflection on a clear day with a blue sky
I find visiting Washington, DC and absorbing all the history inspiring, and the United States Capitol stands prominently on a beautiful day.
Author Brad Saum walking to White House door in Washington DC
We were even able to get a tour of the White House all decorated for Christmas.
Kids standing as ping pong balls known as snow balls are dropped from the sky above as part of holiday festivities
The opportunity to spend a couple weeks with some of my young cousins was invigorating and we ventured out to catch “snow balls” falling from the sky at the Christmas festivities in Ohio.
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