Laila’s 2018 List

2018 has been good to me. I have much to be thankful for.

1. I’m so lucky to have been able to quit my job, pack up my house and roam this big, beautiful country. And I get to do it all with an amazing, patient and supportive partner, plus the sweetest goofiest puppies.

2. Eternally grateful for the wide network of family and friends who were instrumental in making this happen. From camping in people’s yards to helping us with our house when we were far, it’s no exaggeration to say we couldn’t have done it without you.

Now that the big, obvious ones are out there…

3. The realization that home is not necessarily a place, but a mindset.

4. The ability to quiet the wild mind and live life a few notches down from the normal.

5. To reflect on the vastness of my life thus far as I’m nearing 40.

Now that the existential stuff is out there…

6. Excellent tenants.

7. The number of women, LGBTQ and people of color who won elections in November.

8. A number of various travel companions with whom I get to plan new adventures.

9. Living, albeit temporarily, in my hometown, seeing it with fresh eyes and being close to family.

10. Yoga work trade.

11. Long walks and street art.

12. Green shoots in the garden.

13. Mama sending me the NY Times word puzzle every Sunday, and working it with Ben.

Best meal: KOKARRI ESTIATORIO in San Francisco. I put that in all caps on purpose because it’s that good.

Best show: BEYONCE. Janelle Monae strong runner up.

Best surprise: Winning the Hamilton lottery in NYC.

Best book: I read some old books this year that I’ve never read before, including the Bridge of San Luis Rey and The Left Hand of Darkness. But for new books, I really enjoyed the High Mountains of Portugal.


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