Happy New Year 2014!

Today is the last leg of a two-week trip bringing me from Minneapolis to Orlando, Florida to Belize, Cozumel, Fort Lauderdale and then Tucson, Arizona via Dallas and Phoenix. It has been quite the way to end 2013 and ring in the New Year.

My journey over the last two weeks.

My journey since December 18th

Over the last two weeks, I have set my watch up and down an hour multiple times adding a little confusion trying to keep track of what day and time it was and where I was when I woke up in the middle of the dark night in yet another strange place. I have covered lots of ground and sea and now am looking forward to heading back to the frigid cold winter of Minnesota.

2014 marks the beginning of my fourth year of blogging. It is hard to believe that once January rolls around it will be three years since I began writing thirdeyemom. It has been an amazing, life-changing journey in which I’ve met lots of new friends and have learned a lot about my own hopes and dreams.

As I head into the new year, I am finally going to be pushing the button so to speak and moving this blog over a self-hosted site (which I have been working on since August). You should notice nothing on your end as long as all goes smoothly. I shall hope to have all email subscribers be automatically moved and all you shall notice differently is that my blog layout is just a little bit changed. Other than that, all should be the same and I hope to continue expanding my content with new travel adventures, social good stories and whatever else comes my way that inspires me to share.

I still have some wonderful photos to post from my recent journey and hope to do so as soon as I get back home. In the meantime, wishing you all a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2014! Thank you all, each and every one of you who reads my blog and also who comments to brighten my day. I sincerely appreciate it.

Top Five Favorite Moments

  • Seeing my youngest start first grade.
  • Sipping wine at the Bastille in Paris with my mother and sister on a special trip.
  • A family ski run down a black diamond with my husband, son and daughter in Big Sky Montana.
  • Meeting the beautiful girls at Protsahan in India and seeing there is hope to move beyond what you’ve been given.
  • Skiing on that windy day in Loveland, Colorado with my father and brother.

Top Five Favorite Books

  • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo
  • “Baking Cakes in Kigali” by Gaile Parkin
  • “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
  • “Keeping Hope Alive” – By Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi with Sarah Robbins.
  • “I am Malala: the Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By the Taliban”  by Malala Youszfzai with Christina Lamb

Top movie that made me think: “12 Years a Slave”

World Events that happened that made me act:

  • Typhoon Haiyan
  • Syria crisis
  • Approaching the end of AIDS and fighting to end preventable childhood deaths.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL THE BEST IN 2014! May the year be full of joy and happiness. 


  1. Happy New Year, Nicole! I am thrilled to be following your amazing blog. I hope the switch to a self-hosted site is an easy one for you. Safe travels home. Can’t wait to see more of your incredible photos of your holidays. Oh, by the way, the book “The Alchemist” changed my life. I often wonder where I would be if I hadn’t read that book. I even shared it in English with my ESL students on Ometepe.

  2. I’m considering making a similar move to self-hosting. Suppose it’s about time. Congrats on the decision, Nicole.

    I’ve been away from the blogosphere for nearly two weeks. We’ve had guests from the US and have been traveling around our new home country. We are at the airport getting ready to fly from Quito to Cuenca, at which time posting should return to normal. Sorry to have missed so many posts.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  3. Pat

    Beautiful photos. You sure covered a lot of ground in two weeks. As you are looking forward to going back north, we are heading to our winter home in Florida. It is very cold and the snow is coming down quite hard. My husband is on the back roads coming from Detroit Metro Airport because I-94 is clogged with traffic from Canada and Detroit for a hockey game in Ann Arbor. I am so looking forward to warmth. 😀

  4. Love your photos, Nicole! Looks like the skies were at their best when you did this trip. Happy New Year and good luck with the new journey of your blog!

    • I think it was all those blogging conferences Debra! Out of many of my fellow blogging friends who I work with outside of WordPress all swear by self-hosting. I really just wanted more freedom and flexibility down the road to do whatever I want in my space. I also wanted to include SEO so people can find my work easier by search engines. Finally I decided now or never since I have over 10,000 images it took forever for the programmer to merge and I would rather make the change now then in five years. I hope it is a good decision. I am keeping my other blogs on WordPress free service and hope that there is minimal external change to my blog thirdeyemom. We will see.

  5. Your adventures and big heart always inspired me. I hope one day, I can share a similar adventure, even just a mere fraction of it. God bless you and your family always. thanks for starting 2014 with hope, positivity and yes, with everything exciting. The possibility is endless and bright for this new year. All we have to do is claim them and make it real.

    • Thanks so much. It has been a very trying year for me as a very close family member is battling cancer. Through difficult times though we go stronger, even when it is so utterly hard.

  6. Wow. that was quite some trip, Nicole! What a gorgeous Arizona sunset! Congrats on your 4 years of blogging and good luck with the new site. Wishing you and your dear family a wonderful 2014. I look forward to hearing about more of your adventures this year. xx

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