Happy New Year

Happy New Year friends!! I can’t believe I’m writing to you from 2017. Where the heck did the time go? It feels like 2016 flew by at the speed of sound. Much ground covered, though. Check out some of my favorite blog posts below!

Top row:  A Weekend in Montreal // NYC in Color // Brunch at the Egg Shop
Middle: West Village Wonderland// Fierce Firenze // San Gimignano- What I wore
Bottom:  Take Me to Siena // The Rock and Other San Fran Goodness // A Storm Brewing over Cape May

What happened in 2016? I’m sure that you’ve all accomplished a thing or two that you deserve bragging rights for!

All in all, 2016 treated me well. I started this blog, which has been an adventure and something that I’m proud of. I was originally so afraid to put myself out there and I’m happy that I challenged myself to do it. I was anxious about what kind of response I would get, so I posted under the radar for a while. Finally, I decided that it was time to let the world know what I’ve been working on. And so The Dana Diaries finally surfaced.

I was promoted (I’ll go as far to say I work in the news business) a few months ago and while it’s been a whirlwind of a transition, it’s been a great experience. I’ve learned a lot about my own worth ethic and what I can handle. I’ve also learned so much about the world around me, which is the best part about working in the news industry. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and speak with a ton of different people like a non-proliferation expert; a Russian studies and politics professor; a student political organizer; and a national security and terrorism expert. My coworkers are AMAZING. They’re great colleagues, but they’re even better friends.

I moved to the greatest city in the world with one of my closest friends who also happens to be my sorority “little”.  April or any other local can vouch that it’s expensive, but it’s definitely the opportunity of a lifetime. If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen that I’ve spent a lot of my free time eating and drinking my way through the Big Apple. It’s safe to say I won’t be stopping either anytime soon. #NORAGRETS.

I managed to travel to California, Italy and Montreal all while working full time. We visited San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego during our week in Cali. We also drove down parts of the PCH, which I highly recommend doing. It’s such a beautiful ride. Ben’s dad rented the most gorgeous villa in Tuscany and it was an incredible week drinking Italian wine and visiting various towns and cities. We went to San Gimignano, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Siena, Pisa and Florence. Ben and I also did a quick trip up to Montreal for Halloween Weekend, which was so fun! My love for travel has only grown and I’m excited to see where I’ll end up next year. We’ll be heading to Spain in June, so that’s something I’m looking forward to.

I finished three books! Which sounds like a ridiculously stupid accomplishment, but at least it proves that I didn’t spend all of my free time watching reality TV. My friends and I also started a book club, which is a lot of fun (even if you skip the reading part.) We’ve read: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (mixed opinions, but I see what overarching message she’s striving for); Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso (completely overrated. She tries too hard); A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock (really entertaining read if you’re looking for a fiction story that’s easy to follow and kind of hard to put down); and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (didn’t read it, but went to book club for the good banter and Devin’s awesome snacks)

I have my health; my loving family; my boyfriend/personal photographer, Ben; and all of my close friends. While I know I can’t always rely on my health, I know I can rely on all of them to support me and motivate me to be the best version of myself. Unfortunately, my grandma, Mimi, passed away this summer, which was definitely one of my personal lows for 2016. She was always my number one cheerleader and I know that she would have really loved this passion project of a blog.

All of this said, I know that 2016 may not have been the best for everyone. We all experience exciting highs and ugly lows. These, of course, are some of my highs and everyone’s will be different. I hope that you were able to appreciate your highs, whatever they may have been in the scope of your own life, and I hope you achieved everything that you’ve hoped to achieve. If you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished, go ahead and brag about it for a second. If you’re not satisfied, well, it’s a new year and the world’s your oyster!

2017 lays before us and I think we should all be excited to see what comes next! I’ve been lucky to connect with so many talented bloggers in the WordPress community and beyond. I read your posts, so I’m confident when I say I know that you’ll all accomplish many more great things.

Thanks for sticking with me throughout this novel of a post! Sending you good vibez so you can keep at those New Year’s resolutions!

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