Kristin Luna

In 2012…

I know come December, I always say the previous 12-month period was the! best! ever! but it’s absolutely and unquestionably true each and every year. And 2012 definitely has taken the cake, despite many challenges thrown our way.

vacation in Florida

On the personal front…

After a cross-country move and four months sailing around the globe, SVV and I moved back to my roots and permanently(!) chose a locale in Middle Tennessee. I absolutely love it here and have completely fallen in love with the South all over again. And I love the fact that so many people have wanted to come see Nashville and its surrounds—including two of my besties Lemon and Katy, my new pal Erin, and my study abroad companion Evan.

Sewanee, TennesseeSewanee, TennesseeBell Buckle, TennesseeI saw a whole lot of concerts, from Bonnaroo and Music Fest to two tapings of CMT Crossroads to Aerosmith to multiple shows at the Grand Ole Opry. (And I already bought tickets to two different shows of Taylor Swift’s RED tour next fall!)

Randy Travis at CMT CrossroadsGrand Ole OpryAerosmithCMT CrossroadsWe bought a house. We have spent months renovating said house, and I promise to blog about the updates as soon as we actually complete a room.

Queen Anne Victorian houseHome renovationVictorian house

On the career front…

I went back on the ship to work as the Communications Coordinator for a month.

MV ExplorerI graduated from an entrepreneur incubator program, which also resulted in me starting my own business: Odinn Media (website coming soon). I also started a production company, the details of which I still can’t share until our operating partner signs their t’s and dots the i’s. Soon I hope…

SMTEC graduationI continued to freelance and have added a handful of new magazine and interactive clients. I also conquered my fear of public speaking by giving a presentation at a major blogging conference, speaking at multiple Rotary chapters, giving talks to a couple university classes and being in front of a group all summer long for pitch sessions with our accelerator program. I also gave my blog a major makeover, continued to work with advertisers and companies who have the same ethics as I do, and began to form partnerships for the long term (such as one with a huge tech company that I’ll unveil next month).

Blissdom speakerI watched several friends get married, hosted more than a couple engagement parties and was excited when six(!) very close friends all got engaged this year (meaning 2013 is going to be wedding filled, even more so than usual).

tailgating party

On the family front…

We said good-bye to my grandfather.

Thanksgiving in TennesseeGranddaddyMy sister moved to Charlotte. I have confidence we will coax her back to Nashville sooner rather than later. We spent a lot of time with my three cousins and their spouses and children—the Memphis delegation came to see us four times, while I made the trip out to see them twice—and also started a #cousinsweekend tradition down in Florida. We have plans for #cousinsweekend2013 to be even more bourbon- and neon-filled.

Cousins WeekendCousins WeekendCousins WeekendCousins WeekendCousins WeekendWe welcomed a new cousin, Colt, to our clan in November. He’s just the most precious, even-tempered baby ever, and we’re all in love.

Baby ColtBaby ColtAll three of these baby cousins of mine—or my faux nieces and nephew as I call them—are just absolute joys. And fittingly, two of them were born within weeks of us all losing a grandparent; it was as if God were replacing loved ones in our lives with new ones. And I’ll get another niece in April when SVV’s sister has her first child, and my dad at age 61 will get his first great-great niece/nephew(!) as my cousin Tracy’s daughters on the other side of the family is also pregnant.


On the travel front…

I began the year continuing my love for skiing at Snowcial in Tahoe in January.

skiing in Lake Tahoeskiing in Lake Tahoeskiing in Lake TahoeThe next month, SVV joined me for a trip out to Vail to ski the most challenging slopes Colorado has to offer.

Vail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoVail, ColoradoIn March, I went to Savannah for work where I participated in the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and took way too many photos of Spanish moss.

Savannah, GeorgiaSavannah, GeorgiaSavannah, GeorgiaSavannah, GeorgiaLater that month, I spent my sister’s last spring break as a student with her, her friends, my mom, our friend Ginny and our cousin Kelly down in Florida.

Grayton Beach, FloridaIn April, SVV and I took a road trip to Virgina to see our Semester at Sea pals, then headed up to D.C. for the weekend while in the neighborhood.

VirginiaD.C.I also took a quick weekend jaunt to NYC to see my former city and its people.

NYCWhile back on Semester at Sea’s MV Explorer for my first Enrichment Voyage in May, my childhood friend Samantha accompanied me through nearly all of Central America and down to South America, beginning in San Diego.

Enrichment Voyages staffEnrichment VoyagesEnrichment VoyagesWe visitedΒ Mexico first where we picked up passengers in Ensenada and I explored the underwater landscape by diving in Cabo.

Cabo, MexicoCabo, MexicoCabo, MexicoCabo, MexicoCabo, MexicoWe stopped in Guatemala, where we hired a driver to take us to Antigua for the day.

Antigua, GuatemalaWe fell in love with Leon in Nicaragua.

Leon, NicaraguaLeon, NicaraguaLeon, NicaraguaLeon, NicaraguaWe spent two days and one night in a canopy lodge in the middle of the Panama rainforest and became certified birders.

birding in Panamabirding in Panamabirding in Panamabirding in Panamasloth in PanamaWe docked in Ecuador, where I took a group of 88 participants out to the Galapagos Islands for a few days, then our trip ended in Costa Rica.

Galapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorGalapagos Islands, EcuadorI returned back to Tennessee, where SVV and I immediately headed up to Kentucky with my cousins to tackle the Bourbon Trail.

Bourbon Country, KentuckyBourbon Country, KentuckyBourbon Country, KentuckyBourbon Country, KentuckyThe next month, it was back to Florida with all my family and our friends Tom and Ginny and their daughter Mallory and her son Gabe. My granddad and all the cousins and aunt and uncle joined us for part of it.

Florida family vacationMy mom, sister and I explored Scotland and Ireland together in September.

Edinburgh, ScotlandSkye, ScotlandScotland HighlandsSkye, ScotlandHighlandsScotland HighlandsSt Andrews, ScotlandSt Andrews, ScotlandDublin, IrelandCliffs of Moher, IrelandCliffs of Moher, IrelandAfter we got back from our European follies in October, the whole family managed to squeeze in a weekend in Knoxville for a UT game.

Knoxville, TennesseeKnoxville, TennesseeIn November, SVV and I headed on board the Star Clipper and saw a whole lot of new Caribbean islands: St. Maarten, Nevis, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadelupe, Antigua and St. Barths. And then we chilled out in Anguilla for a couple days.

Scott in Anguillatravel in AnguillaAfter heading to Memphis for Christmas, we now are ending the year in Florida with my childhood friend Andrea.

30th birthday party2013 will see me hiking the highest mountain in Africa, continuing my exploration of the Great American South and then spending two months aboard the ship I love so much over in my favorite continent, Europe. But other than that, anything is fair game. I just hope it involves a lot of new adventures with this guy.

Kristin and ScottMy goals for 2013? Well, those are yet to be determined officially, but I do know this: I want to get back into my peak of physical fitness (circa 2008). Shed some pounds while doing it. Get back into juicing for breakfast and lunch. Be prepared to tackle this mountain (both literally and metaphorically) on my 30th birthday. Continue to make progress on and renovate our house. Read more books than I did in 2012. Run a few half marathons and maybe even another full. Start swimming again on the regular. Buy a bike and get into cycling for both a hobby and for cross-training. Watch all 22 of the James Bond movies in chronological order. Oh, and as always, meet Taylor Swift. (What can I say? I have weird needs and desires.)

Bring it, 2013. I’m ready for ya. What are you most excited for in the coming year?

You can check out my previous year end recaps from 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 if you really have too much time on your hands.

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Comments ( 80 )

  1. Thanks for the recap. Even following you all over the globe it’s nice to put in perspective. You sure do get around. I love that you’re climbing a mountain for your birthday. I always like to treat myself extra special on that day. May the new year bring all your wishes and more.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Most visited posts of 2012My Profile

    • I’m actually doing it for a non-profit–I’m writing a book for them to raise money for schools in Tanzania. So! Personal and metaphorical mountain, 30th birthday, doing good. All-around, everybody wins =)

  2. Phew! I’m exhausted just reading all you did. And here I thought I was busy. And your 2013 sounds even more incredible. I’m with you on the shed the pounds. I just have a little more of the baby weight to go and I will be back down to pre-baby weight. Hooray! Other than that I need to learn how to drive a stick-shift car for a road trip I am planning up for Europe in the fall, and then figure out how to win the lottery without actually buying tickets so that the bank account in my head can finally match the one in the bank for all these travel plans I have in my head. Happy New Year!!!
    Keryn @ walking on travels recently posted..2012: A Year of Travel, A Year of ChangeMy Profile

    • I’m with you…only, not pre-baby, but pre-Southern weight. This change in eating has given me 15 pounds. Ugh! On a strict Kilimanjaro-training plan that should eliminate that soon, I hope =)

  3. Are you sure this isn’t the past FOUR YEARS!!

    By the way, I love the cousin weekend photos :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..8 Travel highlights of 2012 and why it is important to think about itMy Profile

  4. Love your recap. You do more in a year than many do in a decade! πŸ˜‰

    My goals for 2013 center around fitness, too. I look forward to tackling those! (More specifically, my priorities for 2013: Family, Fitness, Fun.)

    Question: How long does it take you to edit all of your photos? That is, maybe not editing each one in Photoshop, but sizing and placing in a photo-heavy blog post like this? I love how you make your collages…

    All the best to you in 2013 – I look forward to continuing to follow your adventures!
    Kara recently posted..2012 Was a Very Good YearMy Profile

    • Forever! No, on an average post day, maybe an hour or so. I’ve gotten pretty quick at editing in Lightroom (I auto-import everything there and tag right away), resizing and exporting, then building collages in Photoshop. But this post had 100+ photos! Luckily, most of them were from previous posts and already edited and sized, it was more locating them on my ridiculously disorganized MacBook Pro (and then uploading them on my friend’s slow Internet connection in Florida) that was the issue.

  5. Great Recap- what a year! Hoping for many more excellent adventures for you in 2013.

    I’m hoping for a month-long trip in the spring and I’m wrestling over whether to go back to New Zealand or to train around Europe. Either way, I can’t go wrong with those two choices!
    Erik recently posted..The Dark Horse Brewing ComanyMy Profile

  6. Epic Year in Review! You spent a quite a bit of time at sea which I think is great. I love being out on the water! Happy New Year and safe travels for 2013!
    Jodi recently posted..New Year, New Resolutions For TravelMy Profile

  7. Love your recap :) Most people will probably remark on the travel (which is amazing and awesome) but perhaps I’ll be the only big GEEK who is super excited about the businesses you are opening, and can’t wait to hear more :)

    Also, we have to sync up on the Europe cruise and figure out if you’re going to get into harbor anywhere near me!
    Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy recently posted..New Year’s in PugliaMy Profile

    • Yes! I can’t remember if I have talked to you about the secret one, but I have a feeling you will know (of) some of the players involved, and I’m hoping it will give us the opportunity to meet again Stateside!

      And as for Europe, here is my schedule:

      I’m actually sending my parents to Como and back home via Milan after the first segment, but alas, I am not actually going with them. How far is Florence from you?

    • Not quite sure if we chatted about it, but there’s always time :) Looking forward to hearing more.

      Livorno (that’s the docking station) isn’t super easy for me to get to, but Florence is, so we’ll have to see if we can meet up then!
      Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy recently posted..New Year’s in PugliaMy Profile

      • We are there for two days, so might go somewhere inland anyway. My parents will be with me then. Mom and I have done Florence and Pisa before–anywhere else you recommend in the area that’s not too far but would also appeal to first-timers (my dad)?

  8. What a YEAR! Very nice recap and obviously I DO have too much time on my hands as I did read through those other recaps. haha. And I am being a complete copycat because I am taking your idea and committing to a 52 book year. I also convinced my 2 best friends to join me in it. Hope you don’t mind!

    And Ps. SUPER excited to read everything about your next voyage! Such an incredible job!
    Chrystal McKay recently posted..2012 SummaryMy Profile

    • Ha, of course not! Pretty sure I’m not the first one to attempt to read 52 books a year, and I didn’t even succeed…though there’s always 2013! =)

  9. Happy New Year! You sure did have yet another full year! Good luck on your goals for 2013! I haven’t put anything to paper yet but I hope to take more trips this year, shorter, long weekend ones instead of two weeks vacation taken all at once. First up is Portland in about 3.5 weeks! I also want to start hiking on the weekends again. I’ve been laaazy this year! And I’d like to start keeping a paper journal more regularly. I don’t think I’ve written in mine in over a year!

  10. As usual you had another boring year, I don’t know how you stand it πŸ˜‰ !! Had so much fun following you on your adventures and loving your photos, looking forward to your 2013 adventures!
    Andi recently posted..Comment on Happy New Year 2013 and 2012 in Review by AndiMy Profile

  11. I’m hoping to travel more in the U.S., see more of this country! And more books! I want to read more books. :)

    And of course, I look forward to following YOUR adventures as well!
    Molly recently friday: nuns not on the run, but sitting.My Profile

  12. Another banner year for you! I’ve loved being along for the virtual adventure! Can we pleaaaaase get together in 2013?!
    Angie Away recently posted..2012 Travel by the NumbersMy Profile

    • Yes, yes, yes! I say the Orth girls + the Luna girls + the Baackes girls do something really fun! What say y’all? Bahamas? πŸ˜‰

      • Baackes girls say YES!

        Also, this post is so beautiful. Your photos ALMOST make me want to go skiing. They DEFINITELY make me want to go to Central America again. And I love the Caribbean, cannot wait to read about your cruise!

        • The cruise was really awesome since it was on a tall ship (117 people) and not a huge cruise liner. And! We got to dive in three different places (Dominica, Anguilla, Antigua). All of the diving we did was great, though I still want to get to Saba sometime…

  13. Dear Kristin, I wish you even more blessing days in 2013! ItΒ΄s always fun to follow your experiences and adventures during the year. Thanks for the inspiring articles, histories, pictures and tips in 2012!

    In the last ten years I have lived in four countries in four different continents, now in the end of my twenties, one of my goals for 2013 (even if IΒ΄m still loyal and constant in my love for travel) is to settle down in a place where I will finally stay for a long time.

    Happy New Year!

    • That is an impressive decade–wow! And I would like to think I’m a living example of how you can settle and still travel =) I love having a home and stability and a husband and a dog–I don’t think I could ever be a full-time digital nomad–but that I still get to explore plenty, as well.

      Best of luck to you in 2013!

  14. What a year, I can’t believe you squeezed so much in in just 12 months!! :)
    My goals for this year are fairly low-key, I want to learn to knit, run a semi marathon and send more letters. I figure I’ve got more chance of achieving them if they’re fairly easy!
    Oh and I’m looking forward to seeing you in Monaco in April of course! :)

  15. You’re such an inspiration! I thought I had done a lot this year but this is so beyond! Also- that pic of SVV in Anguilla on the rocks is phenomenal!

  16. You had a full year! Happy new year. Here’s to an even better 2013!
    The Modern Gal recently posted..I won’t cry for yesterdayMy Profile

  17. As always, your chronological adventure of a life is both awe inspiring and exhausting all at once. Congrats on the new house project and living like every day is your last. Great end of year Recap! W.C.C.

  18. You have taken so many wonderful photos this year, what a great way to remember your travels.
    Ayngelina recently posted..How I will remember 2012My Profile

  19. OMG lady that is a very serious year. I love your pics of your family. Everyone looks so happy!
    Erica recently posted..Photo Essay: The Red Light District in AmsterdamMy Profile

  20. I’m not too sure if my past post posted as I prematurely hit “Post Comment.” Ha!
    Anyway, I’m envious of your travels! I’m loving your blog and have been an avid reader for a while now..

    I’m actually planning an international trip to Peru for 2013! Any advice?!

  21. looks like quite the banner year! was that picture of randy travis before or after he went a bit crazy? i always love seeing how much fun you have with your family and that you guys share so many travels together. here’s to an equally exciting 2013! and maybe a trip to neyland stadium where the vols actually win…

    • It was after! This was in October, and he even made reference to being in the back of a cop car in handcuffs–HA!

      Vols winning in Neyland Stadium would be the best gift 2013 could give me…it’s been so long since that has happened (when I’ve been present).

  22. I’m looking forward to 2013 just being an all around better year, hopefully one where we move into the house our kids will call home for the remainder of their childhood. I love your post and how the photos and adventures inspire me to have some of my own!
    ememby recently posted..2013 ResolutionsMy Profile

  23. omg- this is why everyone goes back to this blog to read it and why we all love you. your end of the year posts are my most favorite and i can’t believe this is the umpteenth time im reading this type of post. how long have i been a fan? ha! you truly live life to the fullest and you sure do indeed relish each moment. 2013 seems like it’s going to be another fun roller coaster ride! keep on living life to the fullest, doing what you know and do best, and work it hard. you are too amazing! quick comments – 1) glad you wore a helmet during ski sessions, amen to that. 2) i believe this is the first time you revealed your age; in agreement to concurring beliefs, you are indeed very young even at the three zero mark and you have done and accomplished so incredibly much; you should be proud of yourself so amen to that once more; 3) 2012 seems to be more settling/family oriented/investing into domestic expenditures, nesting- which is all great. and 2013 has barely just begun…Go!

  24. What a year for you! You are so inspiring Kristin. I’m most excited to get big debt out of my way so I can start living and traveling again. I’m also excited to really start pitching the big travel magazines out there and getting my name published alongside McCarthy, Farley and company. I think it’s time to get that cred!
    Here are my 2013 goals – using the blog has really helped me be accountable in achieving my goals.
    Natalie T. recently posted..New Years Resolutions December, 2012: Monthly UpdateMy Profile

  25. It’s been such a pleasure to follow along with your adventures this year. Congrats on a 2012 well done!

  26. Wow, busy year! Good luck with the house renovations. Also, love your pic with the highland cow in Scotland – those animals were one of my favorite parts of the country! :)
    Gina recently posted..A Nature-Made Waterslide in Abel Tasman, New Zealand (Video)My Profile

  27. You had an absolutely incredible year, lady! Cheers to 2012 and all the wonderful things surely coming your way in 2013!

  28. Wow, just wow! Now that is a year!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Busy, incredible, and photogenic year you had there. Belated Happy New Year to you!
    jill recently posted..Climbing The Highest Peak of Bukhansan MountainMy Profile

  30. You really had a big year! It sounds like a lot of it was laying groundwork, so I’m sure 2013 will be even better, especially with that gorgeous house of yours. Maybe 2013 will even be the year our paths collide!
    Emily in Chile recently posted..Saturday in Santiago: Foto Ruta SantiagoMy Profile

  31. I am glad you had a great year in 2012. Totally looking up a semester at sea right now… (even though I’m not in school).

    I’m glad I found your blog, I needed some inspiration and yours is definitely inspiring!
    Cat recently posted..Networking And Making New FriendsMy Profile

  32. And I thought driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for a year was a whirlwind! I’m nearly out of breath after reading yours, ha! How fantastic, Kristin! Filled to the brim with adventures, stories and many new faces, it sounds like 2012 was worth any lost sleep, aching feet and bumps in the road.

    I’m all ears for your past Semester at Sea and upcoming Enrichment Voyage posts. I’ve got my fingers crossed my application winds up on the radars of the hiring staff at SAS. Any tips on getting my foot in the door for the Communications Coordinator opportunities for 2014?

    Caileigh recently posted..10 stocking stuffers (under $35) for travelersMy Profile


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  4. […] past year-end reviews, see my recaps here: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Going back and reading those makes me realize oh how my life has changed in five short […]

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