What. A. Year.

I will always remember 2014 as the year I didn’t take “no” for an answer. The year I lived in Europe, and made it my playground for the first 7 and a half months of it. The year 16-year-old me fantasized about. The year dreams were made into reality.

It’s already 2015 in my part of the world, and most of the world for that matter. But I couldn’t not talk about this past year. Because it’s been the best year yet!

A year ago I was ringing in the new year in Paris, France, with my famille française – and to this day I am still touched by the kindness and hospitality that I was showered with. Followed by several days in the City of Lights – in a 17th Arrondissement studio apartment – with my French pen pal whom I’ve been exchanging letters with for around 3 years now. How does one top that for a start to a new year?

Then, it was time for my semester abroad in Toulouse. Five entire months of 3-hour long business lectures taught in French that were actually spent on Buzzfeed, Facebook, travel sites, and 2048. These distractions made “study” abroad a bit more tolerable. That and the best distraction of all – the ever-elusive Colombian exchange student: hi Manu if you’re reading this ;)

All jokes aside, the best part of my time abroad (and of 2014) was all the travel I got to do. Paris, Carcassonne, Tarn, Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Budapest, Prague, Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, Venice, Rome, London, Cambridge, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, and last but certainly not least, Dublin. I left Europe not only with a few more stamps in my passport, but also with a yearning to return for a much longer stay. I also came out of it with newfound knowledge and life-long friends from all around the world. A dream.

And then it was time to return to a bittersweet reality. I completed the penultimate semester of my college career. Soon I will be off into the “real,” adult world and the mere thought of that is terrifying. And I think I finally have a clue of what I want – in every aspect – which has got to be even more terrifying.

But most importantly, I believe that 2014 was a year of tremendous personal growth. The Jasmin that started 2014 is different than the one ending it, and it’s a change that was inevitable and must be embraced. I’m ready for you, world.

So with that, I would like to bid adieu to 2014. Thanks for another amazing year, ’twas truly a dream come true.