As 2017 begins, I’m looking forward to another great year of being out in the world. I hope you have plenty to be excited about. Here’s what’s topping my list:

Service Trip to Nicaragua

Paying it forward is something I try to do in small ways every day, but service trips allow me to learn about a new culture, make a difference, and touch lives. In 2017, I’m going to Nicaragua and am looking forward to being on the ground again with my service community

21C Nashville

My experience at the 21C Hotel in Bentonville was so unforgettable that I’m planning to stay at their new location in Nashville which opens in Spring 2017. What makes 21C hotels special is the way “preservationists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson pair their preservation and contemporary art passions to make contemporary art a part of more peoples’ daily lives” – and the penguins are fun.  I’m looking forward to dinner there with the people who first introduced me to the chain.

Great Restaurants

I may not make it to Modena, Italy to experience Osteria Francescana this year, but it is my goal to feed my inner foodie by exploring some of hottest restaurants in New York. Also on my list are Olives, Mesa Grill, Scarpetta, and Blue Ribbon Sushi. 

Science Books

Last month, the New York Times published a great best sellers list of science books. I’d already read a few, including the number-one book on the list, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, and now I that I just saw Love Cirque du Soleil, I may jump down to #20 on the list as my next read.

Our National Parks

In 2016, I spent time in rockin’ cities including Las Vegas. Less than a 30-minute drive away from the lights, noise and cigarette smoke is Red Rock Canyon, Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. I had forgotten how beautiful the Western part of the United States is. The number of U.S. National Parks has more than doubled since I did the circuit as a child, so there’s even more new and beautiful sights to discover.

I’m looking forward to being out in the world, touching and being touched by more lives, and doing something scary – maybe even another ride on a roller coaster.