“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives”. – Henry David Thoreau

As 2016 draws to a close, it is time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’ve yet to go. It always comes as a surprise that the year has moved along so quickly. Time seems to flow faster and faster each and every year. It astounds me.

As my children grow older I realize that the years they have left at home are less than those difficult exhausting years behind us when each day felt like an eternity. Now when I look back with nostalgic eyes, I wonder where the days of diapers, meltdowns and sweet moments of kisses and cuddles all went. I miss those days yet I didn’t have a lot of time for myself.

Now it is time to plan for the path ahead. The words of poet Mary Oliver sing inside my head, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Those words both inspire and haunt me as I find myself at a crossroads a bit unsure of which direction I want to take. Will it come to me before it is too late? Before I settle in to the comforts of life? Let’s hope so. I don’t ever want to look back with regrets of the path not taken.


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shira Camp, Machame Route Kilimanajaro

“Every every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley”.-  Theodore Roethke

Shira Camp, Machame Route Kilimanajaro

Happy New Year!


  1. Glad I found your blog this year, I have really enjoyed it. One morning you will wake up and your pathway will be waiting! Enjoy each moment now to the fullest, those little ones will be gone before you know it!

  2. I am 73, and can relate to what you are saying. My challenge seems to be the same even though I have been retired from work for 6 years and retired from active parenting for almost 30 years.

  3. You’ll know what to do. Just be gentle with yourself until it reveals itself. Exquisite photos Nicole. Wishing you and your family all the best for the new year.

      1. Mexico/Guatemala/Cuba until Mar 1st, then Vancouver for 2 months, then Spain/Portugal and either some eastern European countries or north African countries until the end of Sept, then 3 month back in Vancouver. That’s the plan anyway but it can change in a heartbeat. You have any travels planned?

      2. Wow that sounds wonderful Alison! You will have so much fun and lots of wonderful stories to share. I’m going to Costa Rica next week and then we are going as a family to a different part at the end of March. Should be fun!

  4. Thought provoking and true. Our paths are before us. Some are lighted and some are obscure, or dark; some are wide and some are narrow. Our personal emotions sometimes guide us toward a particular path but we must be aware our emotions don’t always guide us to the correct path. It’s an occurrence many times a day don’t you think? Thanks for sharing.

  5. Happy New Year with all its possible paths, Nicole! I went down a few dead-end ones myself this past year (and in previous years), but there are always new ones that branch off and beckon.

    1. Thanks Sue! Just got back from Costa Rica. Now that is a trip for you! I can’t wait to start writing about it. It was one of the best adventures in a very long time. Amazing!

  6. You, my lovely and dear WP friend, are living your destiny every day of your life. I would think that for you, it’s not ‘what will I do in the future?’ but deciding which of the many things possible you will put first, and which ones for ‘later..’ It is a wonderful ‘problem’ to have – a lovely polar opposite to those who have few interests or lack that intrepid gene…

    May 2017 bring beautiful moments into your life!

    (Stunning images, btw!)

    1. Oh Lisa, thank you so much for the kind words. Sometimes life gets so busy that I forget. Just got back from a week in the Osa Peninsula in CR and all my dreams are back. It was amazing and just what I needed. Happy New Year!

  7. I understand your thoughts in this post Nicole. It can certainly be daunting to reinvent yourself after all those amazing years with the best job in the world.
    Things will come to you in their own good time. All the best to you and in the meantime, enjoy where you are now my friend. Xx from Di

  8. The photos are beautiful, Nicole. 🙂 I’m having trouble looking too far into 2017. Plans can go awry. I do try just to enjoy the day but it doesn’t always work that way. Our son is 26 and we still find ourselves weaving our social life around him!
    Very best wishes to you and the family for 2017! Keep doing what you’re doing and you won’t go far wrong. 🙂

  9. Happy New Year Nicole! Wherever your plans take you, I’m sure there will some lucky folks who benefit from you along the way. I hope the upcoming year is filled with lots of love and adventure for you and your family.

    1. Thanks LuAnn! Just got home at 1:30 am from Costa Rica. Can’t wait to share the trip with everyone. It was so amazing. I feel so refreshed! happy new year!

  10. Thank you, for you words of kindness. This is something my wife and I go through daily. “Happy News years” God bless.

  11. Looks like you’ve found your path here today. I love the quotes. Love the photos. But that third shot—that’s a stunner!!! where is it? where are you?
    happy new year, Nicole

  12. Nicole, I can’t ever imagine you “settling” for anything other than a fabulous life – whatever that path may be. 🙂 James and I want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year filled with love and adventure. All the very best, Terri

  13. Somehow I feel certain you will find your way Nicole. You’ve already followed more paths than most people do in a lifetime! Happy New Year to you – enjoy the journey!

  14. Happy new year Nicole. Beautiful photos and accompanying quotes. It is wonderful to have options and choice to make. And to finally have more time, once kids are older. Took me years just to feel rested and not tired all the time ( once the last one left home.)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Yes it is hard raising a family but I’m trying to embrace every moment I can as it is going way too fast. Happy New Year Peta!

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