Adulting Life Updates Public Journaling Travel Blogger

2015 in Rewind | The Good, The Bad, & The Awkward

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

Holi Festival of Colors, Sabadell, Spain
Peace out 2015! It’s been real! // Holi Festival of Colors, Spain

I couldn’t enter the new year without writing a quick post reviewing the whirlwind of the year I had.

It feels like just yesterday when I was writing my 2014 Year in Rewind post, which is a scary reminder at how fast and fleeting life can be.

So much has happened this year and so many of you have just started following along, that it’d almost be a disservice not to recap some highlights and crucial moments that got me where I am today.

Reflection is such an important aspect and component to growth, because without acknowledging where you’ve come from, you won’t truly appreciate the journey [and struggles] of where you’re trying to go.

Even if that path is skewed and constantly under construction.

Like mine.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand

But what I love so much about my journey is that it’s the furthest thing from perfect, and anyone who really follows my posts through social media know that I’m transparent about my highs just as much as my lows.

There’s no need to be embarrassed about our struggles or shortcomings in life when you know there’s another you, standing victorious on the other side.

I was always inspired by my one too  many mistakes, because I knew there was not only a lesson, but a stronger and better person at the finish line.

So through this chronological compilation, I invite you to stroll down memory lane with moi to recap my 2015.


Grünau, Austria
Was biking to a lake in a remote town, got extremely lost, and ended up halfway up a mountain because I’m an idiot. Did I mention I got a flat tire too? Fun times. // Grünau, Austria

THE GOOD: While trying to ignore various symptoms over time despite my outward happiness and flamboyant personality, coming to terms with it and seeking help were signs of progress in what could’ve easily turned into a downward spiral.

THE BAD: Dealing with this in a foreign country, and living with a host family that you couldn’t share it with in the case they might feel guilty or responsible.

THE AWKWARD: Not knowing how to publicly address this issue without feeling like I’m throwing a pity party on social media.


the blog abroad weight loss the blog abroad weight loss

THE GOOD: When you get dead weight [literally] off of you, there’s an extra pep in your step and my outlook on life immediately turned upwards.

THE BAD: None of my jeans or skirts fit me any more.

THE AWKWARD: Coming to terms with the fact that pictures like these are still floating around on the internet. What up Chipmunk Cheeks! Blackmailers, have at it!

BEFORE: 30 lbs heavier, July 2014 // Barcelona, Spain
BEFORE: 30 lbs heavier, July 2014 // Barcelona, Spain


THE GOOD: I serendipitously got signed to play semi-pro basketball in Barcelona, Spain for almost 8 months (beginning in October 2014) and was given a sense of stability, both financially and mentally again.

I can also attribute a significant amount of my weight loss to playing, as I’d show up an hour before every practice to hit the weight room, motivated to get back in collegiate basketball shape.

THE BAD: Not renewing my contract meant saying goodbye to 80% of my income at the time and having to find a new way to support myself.

THE AWKWARD: Mentally checking out a month before season ended and scraping to find even the slightest bit of motivation to be anywhere near a basketball. Other teams were double and triple-teaming me, I was getting beat up, and I was just over it.


Marseille, France
Week-long birthday getaway through the French Riviera // Marseille, France

THE GOOD: Making it to 25 with great wealth health, and booking a self-made cruise through the French Riviera (with highlighted stops in Marseille, Saint-Tropez, and Nice) for a week that costed a total of only $100 for everything from transportation and accommodation to food! I shared my secrets on how I pulled that off on an old post HERE.

THE BAD: Because I used budget options, I took a 16-hour night bus back, all the way from Nice to Barcelona, with other passengers that had missing eyes, teeth, and reeked of poor life choices. I slept with three eyes open.

THE AWKWARD: The inevitable feeling of “am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing at 25?” put a damper on a week that should’ve been filled with celebrations, when in fact, it only posted more questions than answers.

Saint-Tropez, France
Birthday celebration with new friends // Saint-Tropez, France


Toledo, Spain
While new followers, emails, and comments were pouring in by the dozens, I climbed a mountain in the middle of Spain to get some fresh air. // Toledo, Spain


THE BAD: Haters. Like, a lot. Like, a LOT a LOT. See some of their colorful comments HERE.

THE AWKWARD: Meeting someone on the road who randomly brought up reading an article, talking about how much she hated it, having no idea it was mine and I was the author behind it. Haha. Good times. The article in question was this one.


Budva, Montenegro
Living out of a suitcase is both the most difficult and liberating thing you could do for yourself. // Budva, Montenegro


THE BAD: Dodgy hostels. Bed bugs. Fatigue. Adult decisions. Instability. Horrible Wi-Fi. Everywhere. Did I mention fatigue? Cold showers. Vomiting roommates. Constant confusion. Fatigue. More confusion. Doubt. Mistakes. Fatigue. Exhaustion. Tired.

THE AWKWARD: Not being able to visit a city without readers telling me that I “have to visit this!” or “must do that!” when all I really wanted to do was just catch up on sleep and get work done before my next travel assignment.


My Old Home Page
Old Home Page
My Old About Me Page
Old About Me Page
My Old Guestbook Page
Old Guestbook Page

THE GOOD: Hey, I’m a professional! Look at me! I’m ADULTING! Kinda. See my old trainwreck of a site in its full glory HERE.

THE BAD: Having to individually transfer every blog post I’d done, word by word to the new layout, since the formatting was so off from being hosted on such an archaic platform prior.

Note: I still haven’t finished formatting and transferring all my older posts to this new design. But honestly, reading some of my old articles, I think they’re better left alone and forgotten, lol.

THE AWKWARD: With my new design came a new contact form where readers were sending me feedback and emails to an account I hadn’t yet activated, so over 400 fan mails went unreplied/unnoticed for three odd months until I discovered them.


THE GOOD: Heaven had a name, a face, and a body. #LAWDHAMMERCY.

THE BAD: Our travel plans inevitably separating us.

THE AWKWARD: Trying to explain our “situationship” to the few thousand social media followers who became invested in our future kids, LOL.

Also, apparently he went to jail for 2 months. We kept in contact for a bit, then fell out once I got to Asia. So I let bygones be bygones, until he randomly contacted me again a few weeks ago explaining he had just got out of prison. Ha!

Looks like I dodged a bullet in the end. I didn’t reply.


Selfies on selfies on selfies!
Selfies on selfies on selfies!
Too cool for school. Just another day in the life of Serena.
Too cool for school. Just another day in the life of a global tennis star.
Selfie with some Russian teens! After getting some on their phone, I figured I might as well save a couple on mine.
Selfie with some Russian teens! After getting some on their phone, I figured I might as well save a couple on mine.
This bar was in for a treat as a friend from Vegas was in town, who they of course assumed was my sister, Venus Williams. Lol, it was too good of a story to correct, so we enjoyed our free drinks and kept quiet. // Budva, Montenegro
This bar was in for a treat as a friend from Vegas was in town, who they of course assumed was my sister, Venus Williams. Lol, it was too good of a story to correct, so we enjoyed our free drinks and kept quiet. // Budva, Montenegro

THE GOOD: Several free meals, drinks, and VIP treatment all over The Balkans of Europe.

THE BAD: Never having my tennis gear handy when signing her autograph. Ugh. So many missed photo ops.

THE AWKWARD: Having a bar owner legitimately upload our picture to his social media and claim how proud he was to have “Serena Williams” visit his bar, while his friends commented for me to sign tennis balls and get more drinks on the house… as if I wasn’t already on my 12th cocktail. Psh! I ain’t no rookie. Another Tequila Sunrise, please!

Hey 15 minutes of fame, I see you! #MilkinIt
Hey 15 minutes of fame, I see you! #MilkinIt


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Happier days of functioning equipment // Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


THE BAD: EVERYTHING. Imagine being a bus driver with no bus. Or a photographer with no camera. I felt so incomplete! My laptop is the powerhouse of my business; the writing, editing, and everything that goes into running this blog is done on my laptop and its software. Without it, I was on edge about unfinished work, broken contracts, and I had regular meltdowns watching my career and brand collapse before my eyes. I was so overwhelmed and it was horrific.

THE AWKWARD: Having to explain to a sponsor who was waiting on work that I was in a country that had literally no Apple stores and that my Macbook was so old that they stopped making the model of the charger I needed, so I couldn’t even find it online.

Rock, meet hard place. Then meet me in the middle.


Kotor, Montenegro
At least this view was free, #amirite? // Kotor, Montenegro

THE GOOD: When you’re forced to use creative means to make ends meet, and friends understand these phases happen and help you out, there’s a glimmer of hope not only in humanity, but in the beauty of struggle, because it’s never permanent, and the core of you is built around it.

You see what you’re really made of. How much are you really worth when you have no money? Learning the hard way was such a powerful lesson.

THE BAD: 48 hours with no food. I wrote an emotional and powerful chapter about it in my e-book, and you can download and read the preview chapter of it for free HERE!

THE AWKWARD: Have you ever been so broke that you had sleep for dinner? And then got woken up by your own stomach growling? Yeah, that happened.


I was at one of my lowest points in the year and this man brought back glimmers of hope and happiness. I'm forever thankful. Sometimes seasonal relationships are just as meaningful, because they help you overcome a dark chapter, and once you start writing your new one, you're in a happier state of mind.
I was at one of my lowest points in the year and this man brought back glimmers of hope and happiness. I’m forever thankful. Sometimes seasonal relationships are just as meaningful, because they help you overcome a dark chapter. And once you start writing your new one, you realize you’re in such a happier state of mind, and that’s the beauty and impact of having positive influences around you.

THE GOOD: Every woman deserves to get treated like a Queen at least once in her life. This was my “once” and hopefully not my last. Although he’s now in Switzerland and we eventually had to part ways as I knew my travels wouldn’t bring me to that side of the world any time soon, he reminded me that I should never settle for being treated like anything less than he made me feel. It was beautiful and sharing none of it on social media made it even more sacred.

THE BAD: One of the hard parts to this fully nomadic lifestyle is the instability in your relationships with both friends and love interests. C’est la vie.

THE AWKWARD: Having a total meltdown at the airport when we had to part ways in Serbia. I’ve never cried over a guy like that. I didn’t like nor understand why my contribution of salt water had to be exerted by the gallon.


Bangkok, Thailand
“Sawasdee-kaaaa!” // Bangkok, Thailand

THE GOOD: When I say nothing could’ve prepared me for this continent, I mean NOTHING! Asia is one of the most magnetic regions in the world and I was stimulated daily (dear gutter, exit mind).

THE BAD: Being nearly 12 hours ahead of most of my friends and readers and having to schedule and coordinate my blog posts to fit a schedule that was the opposite of my functioning one.

THE AWKWARD: Explosive diarrhea. #ThatIsAll


Buri Beach Resort, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Our crazy luxurious view for a week // Buri Beach Resort, Koh Phangan, Thailand

THE GOOD: Someone took me seriously enough to actually think I know what I’m talking about in this industry? COOL! I’ll take it.

THE BAD: Despite the raving reviews, my presentation was prepared 12 hours before I gave it. And all on my iPad which didn’t automatically load when it was time to give my talk.

THE AWKWARD: Laughing at my own jokes a few times out of sheer nervousness, and realizing I only said the punchline in my head, because what is adulthood for 500, Alex?


"From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World" PRICE - $10
“From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World” CLICK COVER FOR MORE INFO!

THE GOOD: Seeing a goal manifest into reality before my eyes.

THE BAD: Not setting up a better delivery system for the 150 pre-orders that came in 24 hours.

THE AWKWARD: Over half the orders got sent to people’s junk mails causing major confusion and even a bit of anger with some purchasers who thought I hadn’t delivered on my end 🙁


Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

THE GOOD: I can now join the rest of humanity in this basic skill of survival! Whoop whoop!

THE BAD: I taught myself in swimming pools around Thailand and tried to test my confidence in the ocean while in Vietnam, quickly realizing that without the safety net of a wall a few feet away, I couldn’t nearly let loose like I thought, and felt like I was back to square one.

THE AWKWARD: Getting so self-conscious about swimming in a pool vs. an ocean that I asked for two tires and a life jacket in order to jump in the ocean with the rest of my Busabout tour group. That’s a new level of pathetic I wasn’t ready to own.


London, England
Feeling lost, trapped, and alone in a city of millions. // London, England

THE GOOD: Truly appreciating that home is where the heart is, and pulling off a pretty fun surprise when I managed to get back for the holidays.

THE BAD: Going into a spiral of depression again, feeling alone in one of the busiest cities in the world, and having to cancel a few meet-ups with friends because I couldn’t stomach the idea of them seeing me have a meltdown.

THE AWKWARD: Despite having so many awesome people in my corner, not really knowing who to reach out to about feeling homesick.

Koh Phangan, Thailand
For every happy moment in my life, there were just as many confusing ones. This face pretty much summed up my year. // Koh Phangan, Thailand

All in all, despite the highs and the equal amount of lows, life is such an amazing journey and I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling, challenging, and rewarding 12 months.

Only God knows why He gave me this life, this journey, or this platform.

I’ve yet to tap into my full potential of what I was put on this Earth to do, but it’s amazing to feel like I’m getting closer every day, even if I’ve had to trip, stumble, crawl, roll, and creep my way there.

Whatever goals you had for 2015 and whether you succeeded at accomplishing them or not, I hope this new year brings you all the inspiration, motivation, and clarity you need to get [back] on the path of your purpose.

However you found me (feel free to state where in the comments), I appreciate you all sticking around.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some wine to bathe in toast to with my name on it. So I’ll see you in the new year. 2016 looks sexy already.


The Blog Abroad 2016

  • Kerwin McKenzie

    Deep Gloria, very deep.
    I empathize with a lot that you say here, strange…
    Thanks for opening your heart.

    It’s fun clawing your way to the top huh?

    To 2016.


  • Ericka Shonta Williams

    Because I used budget options, I took a 16-hour night bus back, all the way from Nice to Barcelona, with other passengers that had missing eyes, teeth, and reeked of poor life choices. I slept with three eyes open. ahahhahah what the hell.

    Despite having so many awesome people in my corner, not really knowing who to reach out to about feeling homesick. Understand.

    Bought the book right away I hope you got some nutella with it.. you desire it.. Thank you for sharing your life with the world. the huffington post was a GREEN EYED monster moment for many people who are running around making 60k a year or more with a spouse going you don’t understand all our membership fees,gym dues, starbucks and take out dinners we need to survive moment. It was funny people talking themselves out of easy jet prices… come on bruh 50 dollars, you better call dave ramsey if you do not have 50 dollars. we create the reality we want, live yours.

  • Helča Budilová

    wow, this article is just wonderful! especially the part with playing “Serena Williams” is really nice and I had to smile while reading it 🙂 anyway, I´m quite sorry for your love story, pity you had to part ways, but I guess it is not for everybody…I have long distance relationship with my boyfriend, he living in Nairobi, Africa, I living in Prague, Europe…I saw him last time in July, but I´m planning to get back to Africa this summer again and be with him again 🙂 By the way – your photos are wonderful! I love your positive energy in each one 🙂

    Helča from 🙂

  • Iain Dewar

    Such a good read. I laughed so hard at the Serena Williams part!

  • Rachel Sims

    GLO! I am such a fan of yours and it’s great to see how successful your 2015 was. My friend and I are planning a trip around the world starting in June 2016, so we’re constantly reading your posts for tips and tricks. But your sense of humor and attitude is what keeps us coming back. You are our absolute idol and we hope to meet you sometime in the future! Keep being the fucking rockstar you are 🙂 BTW, saw this article and thought of you:

  • Mackya

    Good conclusion.

    Your year of 2015 is colorful.

    Collaboration?Contact us.

    All the best,


  • Christana Fagbile

    Hey gurl! I think you’re AMAZING and beautiful, and it’s refreshing to see a female traveler that looks like me. I’ve been following you since I saw your infamous Huffington Post! I agreed with the article 100%. People should not let their income stop them from seeing the world. I will never allow money to limit my ambitions. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I’m currently studying abroad in Metz, France! I quoted you this past weekend when I went to Paris with a group of friends. “Traveling is only expensive when it’s as convenient as possible.” They wanted to pay 20 euros for a shuttle to Chateau de Versailles instead of just taking a metro there! I was like dafuq? Helllll nah….I pushed for the metro option and we only paid 1.70 euros to get there and back! Anyway, I wish you all the best in the coming year! 🙂
    P.S. I hope you get a chance to visit Nigeria and blog about it. My parents are from there and I hope to visit within the this year. It would be great to hear about your experience there.