To scream from the rooftops: thank you. So Many Places turns 2.

by Kim on December 20, 2012 · 47 comments

It was two years ago that I published my first words on this blog. I remember the moment vividly. It was an action that changed everything for me, though I didn’t know it at the time.

It was winter of 2010. I was sitting on a couch that I no longer have in a house I no longer own in a state I no longer live in working in a career that I no longer get up and go to every morning. I was a girl with a huge dream that seemed impossible. To write. To travel.

Two years since I sent my first words out into the universe and in that time I’ve disassembled the bricks of my life and laid them down as a footpath to a different kind of future. Life is certainly messier now than it was when it was tied in a tidy box of routine. But it is also zings and zaps and sparkles in a way it never did before.

Against the odds I have managed to scrimp together the kind of life that I dreamed of living when I sat on that couch and first hit publish. I earn enough money as a writer to keep me going, for now. I’ve built an audience of readers who are engaged and loyal.

For so long this blog was a chronicle of getting out the door. I wrote about the fear and doubt that comes will selling everything, leaving a good job and the things I love behind and stepping into an unknown future. Some people may have thought that, when my plane took off to Ecuador, I’d accomplished my goal. But I always knew that travel was just the beginning. Traveling is the door that has lead to a new corridor filled with choices and opportunities. I feel at the very beginning of a new phase in my life.

So Many Places is the story of a journey. Not just a journey through the world but the journey of one life, mine, and the potential of what it can become. We all have this story to tell.

I am learning so much. I have learned about faith, in myself and in things much bigger than I am. I have learned the value of leaping without the certainty of where I will land. I have learned to live with fear. I have learned to recognize and listen to that voice of truth that we all carry inside of us.

Volunteering in Ecuador

Volunteering in Ecuador

I have learned that life is a verb. And I have learned not to just accept whatever circumstances are handed to me but to sometimes say No! I want more than this! To scream it from the rooftops, even.

Frequently, now, I have great moments of clarity where I can really see how my perspective is changing and I know that I am meant to be out here, gaining a deeper understanding of the world and what it means to be human. This, exactly, is what I have always wanted to write about. Not travel. But the messy, confusing, beautiful experience of being human.

Attending a dance with a local family- Lake Titicaca

Attending a dance with a local family on Lake Titicaca, Peru.

So, So Many Places is two. An infant, a child, learning and growing every day, taking teetering, tentative steps towards a hopeful future. Falling down, getting back up, moving forward.

Thank you.

Yes, you, one of the 40,000+ people from 160 countries that read this blog last year, whether you comment or email or just read from afar, thank you. You have given me the most amazing gift: the great gift of doing what I love. I hope that my words and stories can bring you just a fraction of the joy that you have given me. Every email and kind word and shared blog post from you makes me proud and excited to do what I do. So always, every day, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Backpacking in Torres del Paine National Park- Chile

Thank you! Big smiles in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

(If you have an extra moment, please read what I wrote on the one-year anniversary of SMP because all of that still holds true as well).

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel December 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Happy blogoversary! I always knew you could do it. Words cannot express how happy I am for you and Brian.

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Thank you!! Can’t believe it’s been two years.

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Mr. Wallace December 21, 2012 at 6:41 am

B Brian always called me that, I hope he can now just boil that down to Charlie. I want to wish you a Happy Birthday on your blog and a very Merry Christmas to both of you and those around you Feliz Navidad.
I wanted to attach an eCard. I reduced it’s file size & attached to the email reply, so I hope this gets to you 2.

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Kim December 22, 2012 at 5:14 am

Thanks Mr. Wallace. I mean, Charlie. Merry Christmas to you as well. We got the eCard and loved it :) Happy 2013.

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Rhonda December 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Congratulations on turning 2! What an amazing milestone but just one step in the journey to your authentic self. Can you even believe that it’s only been 6 months since you’ve been out in the world getting that spark going? A very Merry Christmas to both yourself and Brian!
XO Jim, Rhonda and Porter

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I can’t believe it. In some ways it seems it’s been forever and in some ways it’s like it’s been no time at all. The world is so big and amazing. I feel like there is so much left to see and do (because there is).

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Sarah December 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Congrats Kim! It’s wonderful to see people living their dreams… gives the rest of us faith in our own. Can’t wait to see what 2013 holds!

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thank you Sarah. There is so much of “the dream” left to pursue, but I am on the right track. Can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for us all.

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Super stoked for you, Kim! Happy 2-year anniversary and may you have many more to come. As Sarah said, it’s so inspirational to see you and others following their dreams because it helps remind us that we can do it, too! :)

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thank you Kim :)

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Tracy December 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thank YOU Kim! Thank you for showing us that it can be done :)

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I couldn’t have done it without all of you. That sounds cheesy but it is true.

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Gillian @OneGiantStep December 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

What an amazing journey. It all goes by so quickly, and so slowly. I say that time goes by; it doesn’t matter what you’re doing it just goes, so you may as well be doing what you love! Happy Blogiversary So Many Places! Here’s to So Many More!

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

That is so true Gillian. Time flies and crawls but it’s all we’ve got- might as well be living like we mean it. Thank you for leading the way.

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Maryjean December 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hey Kim, Happy Anniversary! I remember the day you told me about this blog and when I read the first one I was hooked. Not only because you are a great writer, but because it spoke to that voice in my heart as well. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey and for personally inspiring me find my journey. Thank YOU! :)

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Thank you Maryjean :) I think we’re all on the journey, just sometimes it doesn’t feel that way (and sometimes it definitely does!) Thank YOU for all of your support. I am sending you a bunch of hugs all the way to Alaska.

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Lucie December 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Happy 2 years! A good milestone, and a preview of the many anniversaries to come!

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Kim December 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Thanks Lucie! Hopefully many, many more anniversaries.

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TammyOnTheMove December 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Happy blogiversary! You deserve the success you have experienced. I love love love reading your blog!

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Kim December 21, 2012 at 4:18 am

Thanks Tammy and THANK YOU for reading. It thrills me to no end.

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Hannah December 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Congratulations my dear, and thank YOU for all the inspiration, entertainment, friendship and support. Life would be a lot less interesting with SMP :)

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Kim December 21, 2012 at 4:18 am

Thank you as well Hannah :)

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Amy December 21, 2012 at 2:16 am

This is beautiful. As someone about to take that leap into the unknown and leave my life behind to travel, blogs like yours make all the difference. They inspire and encourage me but they also reassure me that what I’m doing isn’t crazy or impossible. Thanks for sharing your story – I look forward to hearing about the next chapter.

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Kim December 21, 2012 at 4:19 am

What you are doing isn’t crazy or impossible. I’m glad I can help you see that. The same went for me when I started planning this grand adventure, I had to lean on those that had gone before me, in order to see that is was possible. It is!

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Tyrhone December 21, 2012 at 6:11 am

Congrats on two years, I’m sure the next two will be just as successful :)

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Kim December 22, 2012 at 5:15 am

I hope MORE successful. I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me. Happy holidays Tyrhone.

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Laura December 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Hi Kim, I am one of those readers from afar, but this time I could not help myself from coming out of the woodwork and sending a congratulations on the success of your blog and of living your dream. I found your blog and follow your journey as inspiration and motivation as I countdown to my own adventure. My boyfriend and I are leaving in Jan. 2014 to travel extensively through Latin America for (hopefully) the whole year. I type away at my cubicle while daydreaming constantly about the world out there. Clicking to read your latest insight into the beauty of the human spirit brings up my spirits and hope for the future. Thank you and happy life travels :)

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Kim December 22, 2012 at 5:17 am

Laura, thank you for popping out and saying hello!!

Congrats on your new and exciting journey. You will LOVE Latin America, at least I did, and I am so pumped for you and all you will experience.

Thank you so much for following along :)

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Kelli December 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

“Life is a verb.” I love it! :) Wishing you many more lessons and adventures in 2013….

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Kim December 22, 2012 at 5:17 am

Thank you Kelli. I think 2013 has a lot in store…

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Steve Whitty December 22, 2012 at 12:54 am

Congratulations on reaching your 2nd birthday.

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Kim December 22, 2012 at 5:17 am

Thanks Steve :)

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Jenny December 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Congrats!!!! You have been an inspiration to me since we were 15 years old and you never cease to amaze me! Love you, mean it. Hopefully we can talk soon, in person.

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Kim December 23, 2012 at 11:56 am

Love you too Jenny and miss you like crazy.

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) December 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Kim, over the past two years you have written many posts that I have loved and related to, but without a doubt this is my very favorite. “Life is a verb.” YES! I love that line and am reminded of it every single day. Can’t wait to see what you share with us in your third year in this space!

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Kim December 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thank you Steph :) I know that we have been having a lot of the same experiences out here on the open road. Much love and luck to you in 2013.

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Tracey December 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

Thank you Kim! For your first post and all of your inspiring posts that followed!Your words helped my travel dream begin to be reality. Congratulations for having the courage to dream and pursue that dream. Merry Christmas!!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:24 am

Tracey, I’m so glad that the blog has inspired your travel dream to become reality. What an honor.

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Marc December 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

Hi Kim,

Congratulations!
Do you guys ever wonder and worry about what you’ll do when you finish your trip – in terms of an income etc.?

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:25 am

Hi Marc. To tell you the truth I used to worry about that all the time before I actually left. Now that we are on the road I’m not so worried about it. My view of the world has shifted a bit and I’m less concerned with locking myself back to a desk for the next thirty years. That said, I feel confident that Brian and I can find new jobs when we need to. I doubt that we’ll go the rest of our lives jobless. Someone will hire us!

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Stephen S. December 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Thank you Kim! Happy anniversary to so many places. Here’s to many more (lifting small glass of champagne) You couldn’t have put it better when than life is a verb! What a great way to look at things!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:26 am

Don’t you mean big glass of champagne? ;) Thanks for your support Stephen. I do hope for many more SMP anniversaries.

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Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

So happy for you, lovely! xx

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Kim January 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Thanks Bethany :)

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Montecristo Travels (Sonja) April 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Congrats on feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Congrats on LIVING!! I truly believe the world would be a better place if more people did what they dream and didn’t always “play it safe”. Live. Breath. Be.
Montecristo Travels (Sonja) recently posted..Dog Friendly Local Treasures: The Wakefield Spring – Wakefield – Quebec

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Kim April 10, 2013 at 7:09 am

I totally agree with you Sonja. Imagine if everyone did what they were pulled to do (and if everyone had the opportunity to do it).

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