So this is 2017

Tonight I put away my Christmas decorations. My apartment feels a little less cheerful and a little more back to the regularity of everyday life.

While taping up boxes of ornaments and shoving the artificial tree in the closet, I thought of the John Lennon Christmas song “Happy Christmas.” In it, Lennon sings, “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?”

So now I’m thinking. We’re a week into 2017, and what have I done?

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25 Pieces of Beautiful Chaos

In what felt like the blink of an eye, my August Freedom turned into October Chaos and has now transitioned into November. I say chaos in the best sense of the word. I read a quote that sums it up:

“There’s chaos out there, and chaos means opportunity.”

My chaos has been the best kind. The kind where I’m constantly on the go, trying new things, meeting new people, going all in. I have said yes to every opportunity that has come my way. The last couple months have not been a “get your feet wet” period of time. Instead, I went for the cannonball, and Cincinnati was ready and waiting for me to make a splash.

In honor of turning 25 since my last post, here are 25 highlights of my Cincinnati experience in the last couple months.

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Cincy is for Dreamers

Last week while working on a pitch to a travel journalist, Debbie and I spent time talking about the locally famous phrase Cincy is for dreamers.” It’s one that you can find printed on tote bags and coasters in gift shops or on T-shirts of people walking down the street.

A better-known phrase, however, is the expression when pigs fly.” This popular colloquialism originally derived from Cincinnati’s history in the pork industry, but it takes on a much more inspirational meaning when applied to what this city has to offer.

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August Freedom

The familiarity of fall and the end of summer break is creeping up, reminding everyone that a new school year is looming. Pastel crayon boxes, spiral notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils and trendy dorm décor fill the stores. College students gear up for a trip back to their stomping grounds, while young kids push their bedtimes just a bit later, cherishing the hot, sticky summer nights.

This is the August I’ve known for almost my whole life. For 20 years I’ve followed this routine. Now, though, I’m in unfamiliar territory.

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On Being On

I am a very social person. I thrive on meeting people, trying new things, striking up conversations and hearing people’s stories. Lucky for me, that’s what the tourism industry is all about. It’s not just about planning a trip, showing people around and selling a city. It’s about making friends. It’s about making lasting connections. It’s about realizing that the people you work with, the people that run a city, the people that are visiting – they’re all just people. They’re wandering through life just the same way we are, just down their own unique paths.

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