I welcomed the coming of 2013 outside on 34th street in Hampden (Baltimore, MD) with my boyfriend, good friends, a creepy santa, complete strangers offering Norwegian liquors, and a 46 yr-old man dressed as baby new year.

But don’t let my evening of hiding from loud illegal fireworks and trying to play Taylor Swift at the local dive bar mislead you- I take the coming of a new year seriously. There really aren’t many other times in our lives where we pause to reflect on what just happened in the last 365 days of our lives and maybe even take the chance to dream what the next 365 days could bring.

So I send emails to my future self. Here is what dropped into my inbox this new year.

(you can send emails to the future too!)

It’s a good way to remind yourself of where you were and what you hoped would happen for the next year. For me,

2011 sucked. It was a year of stagnation and frustration. I was afraid of being broke, worked at three jobs (concurrently) that I didn’t like, and felt trapped in a place where I wasn’t happy. By the end of the year, I was ready to make the radical changes I needed to make to break out of it – quit the jobs, pack the bags, and throw caution to the wind.

2012 was good. I moved back to Cape Town and worked for a website, but I was determined to leave job-hunting/work behind and just create my own projects and work. I raised over $3000 to bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles (545 miles) for the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride. Then I applied for the National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant, got it, and carried out my own expedition in South Africa. Boom. This was the year of being unafraid to dream and fight to them happen- and somehow I did it. I think learning to not be afraid of being broke helped.

2013 is the year $hit gets real. Time to make a living (income) off of doing what I want to do (media projects). Be professional, and act the part. Stop being the backpacker/vagrant/vagabond – time to buy clothes, wear deodorant, and remember to floss. Keep running, cycle even more, and remember to make time for backpacking trips into wilderness areas. Sing karaoke whenever possible and remember to be silly and playful (especially when everyone else gets too serious).

I am going to dream bigger, travel further, and work harder to get there. Be open and present to every experience and person I meet. To trust myself and be true to what makes me happy. Cause I deserve it and think that everyone else does too.

So if you haven’t thought about what you want to get out of 2013, do it. Cause this year is going to be good.