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As the year 2015 comes to an end, I begin to reflect on my journey this year. I believe that wherever you are in your journey is just where you are supposed to be, even if it’s not exactly where you want to be. Every season serves its purpose. And, after this year, I understand that better than ever.

Two weeks ago I turned 31 and while I used to do the biggest, blowout parties, this year I enjoyed a more low key gathering with close friends. Life definitely shows you who matters most to you and who is here to stay. This year I had to let some relationships, friendships and other connections go. As you walk through life, you come to understand that not everyone is here to stay forever, even if it hurts or if it’s hard to understand. I’m very thankful for, and blessed by, everyone that I have in my life: Not just family and friends. I’m even grateful to those whose temporarily presence taught me so much. I’m forever grateful.

Birthday party - 31

My 31st birthday

This year was full of blessings, love, new beginnings, friendships and many travels! Seriously, I took a record number of trips! It was one of the most amazing years of my life. My adventures led me to the Caribbean, South America, Canada, Europe, and across the United States. As a result of all my travels, I not only found balance, met new friends, but I also found myself.

Hot Air Ballon in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hot Air Ballooning in Santa Fe New Mexico
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Locals and Travelers hanging out in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Art Craft - Nova Scotia Canada
Making art!
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Liscombe Lodge in Nova Scotia, Canada.
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ProBaja Truck around the red rock canyons.
Helipcoter ride around Colorado
Helipcopter ride around Utah and Colorado!
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Colorado!

Two of my favorite destinations of the year were Switzerland and Ecuador:

Switzerland was like visiting four different countries wrapped up in one. There are areas of Switzerland that resemble Germany, France and Italy as well. The diversity and culture was most impressive. Best result, I got to interact with people from all walks of life…truly fascinating.

A stroll through Lugano
A stroll through Lugano, Switzerland.
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The magic of Bern, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
In Love with Zurich, Switzerland

In Ecuador, everything was about self-discovery and sisterhood. I bonded with five other female bloggers who were also invited to travel to Quito and Cuenca. They were critical to my  amazing experience and now we’ll always be connected by our shared memories. The trip really resulted in us women encouraging and empowering each other (which continues to date). I also found myself reconnecting to my Latin culture through poetry, music, art and nature. Ecuador, despite all the dormant volcanoes, was like an explosion of joy, emotions, inspiration and girl power!

US Travel Bloggers visiting Ecuador
Danielle Gray from StyleandBeautyDoctor.com, Diana Limongi from Ladydeelg.com, Tracy Kaler from TracysNewyorkLife.com, Terri Marshall from TrippingwithTerri.com and Katty from willrunformiles.boardingarea.com
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My boo Danielle and I being silly!
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The best views in Cuenca!
Cotopaxi Volcano Erupting in Ecuador
Cotopaxi Volcano erupting in Ecuador.
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I made it to The Equator / The Middle of the World.

Now it’s time to start a new year and I can’t wait to see what it will bring for us all! Remember to remain positive, help others and keep following your dreams,  while doing it all in style!

XOXO,

Olga Maria

Cheers NYC - celebrate

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