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2014 - A Year to Remember!

Do you believe in vision boards? I do, 100%. Before 2014 started, I put together a vision board of major things I wanted to accomplish in the new year. Surprisingly enough many of the items I listed on my vision board came to life; others just came unexpectedly or as others would call it - blessings. 

My 2014 vision board!

My 2014 vision board!

So to conclude this amazing year, I want to share with you the items I envisioned which came to life this past year. Here are my top moments that happened to this Traveling Latina in 2014. 

1. Became a Model for REI's Summer Campaign 

On a very cold January evening, I received a phone call from a great contact/friend that works at REI asking me if I would like to partake in a really cool campaign that her marketing team was putting together for their summer ads. I, without hesitation, said yes! But little did I know that the conversation would end with her asking me if I would be willing to travel to Oahu, Hawai'i for this photo shoot. (FYI - Oahu, Hawai'i was one of the items in my vision board!) I didn't even hesitate and once again agreed to this amazing trip.

2. Finally went to Hawai'i!

As mentioned before, I went to Hawai'i thanks to the folks over at REI. It was definitely a trip of many first but I'll just sum them up for you: 1. It was my first time in Hawai'i, 2. It was my first time working as a model, 3. I tried my first true Mai Tai 4. It was my first time seeing several Hawai'ian sunsets. Thank you once again to REI for allowing me to be part of this campaign and for the experience, it was priceless and one I will never forget!

2. I got ENGAGED!!

Literally a day after I left Hawai'i, I went to Miami to hangout with my father who was in town from Venezuela on vacation. Little did I know that my vacation and life was going to completely change. My wonderful boyfriend of 4 years (at the time of the engagement) flew down to Miami and surprised me at a quaint little breakfast shop in Miami beach. He went down on one knee, shared with me some beautiful words (which I can't remember) while I ugly cried and nodded yes to his proposal. February 1st, 2014 will forever be a date I will never forget. I am so happy to have such an amazing fiancee who supports all of my blog/travel dreams and is constantly making me happy and laugh. I can't wait to marry this handsome man on October 2015 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic....mmm yes, of course Traveling Latina would have a destination wedding! DUH!

3. Orgullosa Campaign

I was part of a great campaign that Orgullosa put together focused on empowering Latinas. I had the pleasure of going to their kick off event in NYC in February and attend Hispanicize 2014 in Miami. Both moments/trips where priceless, got to reconnect with so many blogger and media friends in both cities. Plus to represent such a great program was such an honor for me. I am grateful they selected me to be part of it.

4. Traveling for Beer

Earlier this year (until Nov) I was working for Goose Island Beer Company as their Communications Manager. I never thought that by working for a beer company I would get the privilege to travel so much. It was a blast until it lasted, my professional growth and development for me is very key so I made a switch in November and it was definitely the second best decision I made in 2014 (the first one was saying yes to be future Mrs. Smith)!

5. Elk Mountain Farms, Idaho

My biggest work project last year was setting up a press trip to a hop farm in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Before I arrived to the farm, I had forgotten how GORGEOUS Idaho is. The drive from Spokane to Bonners Ferry was stunning. Spending 5 days in the mountains and admiring the clouds, the dark sky filled with very bright stars just made the dinners in hop fields and beer by the fireside much more memorable. I can't wait to go back to Idaho - maybe tie it again with a road trip to Yellowstone like how I did in 2011.

6. Exploring Loreto, Mexico

Thanks to a great blogger friend of mine, I was invited to be part of a press trip to Loreto, Mexico. As featured in a previous blog post, this location is truly majestic and one that I am still to this date remembering. The hotel experience, exploring the city and clam diving where just some of the many memories I have of this trip. I can't wait to visit again and take my fiancee with me so we can experience the glamping option that the hotel offers. Just stunning!

7. Stuck in a Hurricane

I'm a spiritual person and truly believe that God puts us in situations for a reason. I originally wasn't sure if I wanted to go to Los Cabos for a weekend but after moving miles around and vacation days I said "why not." Well that why not lead me to experience my first hurricane category 4. It was scary (as you can read in my previous post) but it was an experience where I learned a lot of myself, my surroundings and how at times you need to just let go and let others help you out.

8. Traveling for Love - San Francisco, Wilmington & Scottsdale

2014 was a year filled with love! Not only did I get engaged but many of our dearest friends got married. It was great to travel to San Francisco, Wilmington, NC, and Scottsdale to see our friends tie the knot. Each ceremony and reception was unique to each couple but they were all filled with love, joy and excitement to what lies ahead. I'm so happy for our friends and must say that destination weddings is the way to go (I would say this since my wedding is in DR!)

9. Booking our Honeymoon - Thank you Etihad Airlines

On Christmas Day, as usual I was Facebook creeping and noticed a post that my blogger sisters Brown Girls Fly shared of special fares starting at $310 from ORD to Abu Dhabi. I couldn't believe it so I jumped onto Orbitz.com to see if it was true. Sure enough my girls weren't lying that fare was available on that date for travel anytime in 2014. I jumped the gun and told my fiancee, that's it we are no longer going to Greece we are going to Abu Dhabi for our honeymoon. On top of that, I later on searched how much round trip tickets from Abu Dhabi would cost us to go to Maldives....the next part is the shocker only $330. So we spent a total of $744 each in airfare to go to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Maldives for our honeymoon. Never in a million years would I have expected our honeymoon to be in any of those cities but I am EXCITED and can't wait to spend 2 weeks exploring new parts of the world I have been dying to travel to. Thanks Etihad for your "system error", we wouldn't have been able to go to these luxurious destinations without your help!

10. Being Healthy to Travel

The best part of 2014 was that I was healthy enough to travel to the many cities I did last year. So here you have it, my full list of all the places I went to in 2014: Hawai'i (Jan), Miami (Feb), Washington D.C. (Feb), New York City (Feb), St. Louis (Feb), Miami (March), San Francisco (March), St. Louis (April), Las Vegas (April), Wilmington (May), Las Vegas (May), Elk Mountain Farm (May), Spokane (May), Dallas (June), Loreto (July), South Haven, MI (August), Elk Mountain Farm (August), San Diego (August), Boston (August), New York City (September), Cabo San Lucas (September), Scottsdale (October), Los Angeles (October), New York City (October), Cleveland (November), New York City (November), Cleveland (December), New York City (X2 in December), and Boston (Boston).

2014, you were AMAZING! But I know 2015 is going to be OUT OF THIS WORLD! Can't wait for all the trips already planned for, those that are yet to be planned and to finally tying the knot with my one true love!

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