two thousand and sixteen: resolutions

Happy New Year, loves!

So my reflections on 2015 post ended up WAY longer than I had planned for it to be, so let’s keep the 2016 resolutions short and sweet! (And yes, part of the reason I'm posting this is definitely so I can hold myself more accountable to keeping my resolutions)

1. Stop procrastinating:

… Starting tomorrow.

2. Get healthy and feel good:

Lots of medical trouble (plus my first semester of college) has left me feeling bloated, icky, and out of shape, so I’m planning to start up workout plans, get into self-defense and dance classes, and eat healthier, and try to shift my self-image to be more positive. I’ve never had the best eating habits, and although this isn't necessarily about losing weight, it is about feeling good in my own skin and this year will be the year that happens! If you want to get fit with me, check out my 30-day workout plan coming in my next blog post tomorrow.

3. Start saving:

Traveling takes money, and I need to start saving it! By cutting down on eating out (to once a week in January, and once every other week and special occasions only from February onwards) I’ll already be saving tons, and I also plan to curb my spending by saving half of my paycheck and doing the penny-a-day challenge to fill up my travel jar for upcoming adventures.

4. Write:

I’ve been kind of awful at updating this blog regularly so I want to commit myself to at least one post per week on this site, and I want 2016 to be the year that I start trying to contribute to bigger websites.

And while I’m on the topic of writing more, I’d like to make sure that I keep a personal travel journal when I’m abroad (especially since I’m visiting more than ten different countries this year!). While the internet is great for documenting travel, it’d be nice to have someplace to privately and personally reflect each day.

5. More service:

2016 is the year that Making Waves becomes the Passport Project!

In addition to starting up a brand-new philanthropic campaign, I’d also like to volunteer more, both domestically and internationally, encourage others to do the same, and focus on helping people.

6. Self-care:

And although I want to focus on helping people this year, I know it’s also important to take care of myself. I’d like to be much more conscious and aware of self-care this year, and make sure that I take the time to stay healthy both physically and emotionally. (Hello bubble baths and books!)

7. See the world:

This year is going to be HUGE for travel. I’ll be visiting more than 10 different countries, as well as all six inhabited continents! (But don’t worry Antarctica, you’re next!) This isn’t so much a resolution as a plan, but it makes this year super exciting nonetheless.

8. Be brave:

Finally, 2016 will be the year of courage. Whether it’s standing up for myself and others, putting myself out there, having adventures, or taking risks, I want to be more bold and fearless this year, and make 2016 the best it can be!

Keep an eye out for updates on these resolutions every once in a while, and good luck keeping all of your resolutions!

Much love,


What are your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

two thousand and fifteen: reflections

2015 has been a super significant year, so as it comes to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the downright crazy things that the past twelve months have held.

1. Taking some time:

2015 was weird for me in the sense that it was the first time that I’ve taken some “me” time. After finishing high school right before turning seventeen, I found myself in a position where taking a year off wouldn’t put me “behind” my peers, and honestly, I wasn’t ready to go off to college right away. Taking the year off was hard at times. I’m someone who needs to stay busy, so having that much down time took some getting used to, but it also gave me plenty of room to discover my strengths, weaknesses, passions, and to grow.

beverly beach, oregon

beverly beach, oregon


2. Applying to college:

Going through the college application process for a second time, this time during a year off, I found myself with a much more clear path. Knowing that I needed a strong study abroad program, deciding that international advertising and communications I want to do as a career, and having a firm idea of what I needed out of my college experience, I looked at schools I hadn’t considered at all during my senior year. I ended up applying to twelve universities in three different countries (The United States, Canada, and Australia) and…


chapman university, say hello to your newest panther cub!

chapman university, say hello to your newest panther cub!

3. Getting accepted to (and attending!) my dream school:

Deciding on Chapman University was easy. The friendly environment, beautiful Southern California location, and the ability to study abroad on my dream program were all major factors for me, and to be completely honest, I knew it was the school for me the second I stepped onto campus for my admissions interview. I adore my double major in Strategic and Corporate Communications and Peace Studies, my classes and professors have been incredible, my two roommates are both the best, and I go to Disneyland almost once a week. What more could a girl ask for?


4. Meeting amazing people:

2015 has taught me that some of the best people can come from the most unexpected places. Becoming more involved at my church led me to incredible people, and so did entering the Global Degree contest. Even though I wasn’t selected as the winner, I still feel like I won through the hundreds of big sisters and two big brothers that being a part of the contest connected me with, and taking the risk of entering pushed me to do so many other things (like starting this blog) and I started to let myself dream big.


disneyland with liv, september 28th 2015

disneyland with liv, september 28th 2015

And speaking of amazing people, one of the best things that going to Chapman this year has given me is my best friend Liv. We met by chance (she was actually coming over from the dorm room next door to talk to my roommate—who wasn’t home), and have been spending almost all of our time together ever since. We’re Disneyland buddies and partners in crime, we can and do talk about everything and anything (I’m not kidding. We’ll talk about boy problems and serious social issues in the same conversation) and I am so grateful to have her in my life!


5. Overcoming fears:

This was the year of #yolo. Despite being a big worrier for my entire life, I decided to start to put myself out there and start to push myself out of my comfort zone and face some fears. I overcame my fear of doctors and hospitals and needles (that last one I REALLY faced), my fear of traveling alone, and finally a little fear of big heights:

jumping off the auckland sky tower, may 2015

jumping off the auckland sky tower, may 2015

From jumping off the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere to zip lining over a saltwater crocodile, this year was insane and I probably gave my mother multiple heart attacks (sorry mom!)


6. Starting up and growing as a travel blogger:

After the Global Degree contest ended, I was super inspired to start my own travel blog like so many of the other girls had. And so after a few less-than-successful attempts, was finally born at the end of August. I’ve been lucky enough to reach over 5,000 people between this website and my Instagram, @nishaasharma, been featured in articles about gap years and travel fails, and have gotten the chance to work with amazing companies like Serengetee, The BoobyPack, BeyondBeanie, and Life Before Work Travel. This has become something so much bigger than I ever expected and I’m constantly amazed by how much has happened this year.

the boobypack, as seen on shark tank

the boobypack, as seen on shark tank


7. Making childhood dreams come true:

When I was six and first watched Finding Nemo, my obsession with Australia began. I knew I had to go to the Great Barrier Reef, see the opera house, and travel up and down the coast like Marlin did. I spent my free time watching the Crocodile Hunter, Discovery Channel (hello, Shark Week!) and Animal Planet, and this year I FINALLY got to go and find Nemo in Australia. From traveling alone for the first time, to celebrating my eighteenth birthday in Sydney, and to swimming with the biggest fish in the ocean, Australia was everything my inner six year old could have asked for and much more. 

great barrier reef, queensland australia (i finally found nemo)

great barrier reef, queensland australia (i finally found nemo)


8. Learning that I deserve happiness:

This was the year I started living life for myself. Moving to California like I’ve always wanted to, traveling to the other side of the world, and all of the things I accomplished this year were the things I wanted to do, and worked my butt off to achieve. I’ve learned that I can’t live my life to please other people and live up to their expectations for me, and I’ve started to take risks, pursue my passions, live up to my own expectations for myself and follow my own dreams.

chapman university, september 2015

chapman university, september 2015

I hope your 2015 has been a year of growing and change, and that you all have an amazing new year, loves!



What are you most proud of from 2015?