Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi celebrated turning 53 this week.

She shared some of her reflections over the past year in the caption of an Instagram post, detailing both the highs and the hard times she has faced.

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“It’s been such a full year with highs and lows,” she wrote. “I am over the moon that I was able to finally film a whole second season of Taste the Nation, as well as receive the great honor of my first @jamesbeardfoundation award as well as three @criticschoice awards, for both Taste the Nation and @bravotopchef.”

“Personally, I lost two beloved people in my life this year, my grandma, Jima, which many of you know about, but also Arthur Chadbourne who was a close and deeply trusted friend for over a dozen years. I am blessed to have had their love, support and counsel with me all these years. The world will seem a bit darker without them,” she added.

Finally, she concluded with a message of hope and gratitude, “But still, I have so many blessings to count. Littlehands continues to flourish and we are both happy, healthy and productive. This birthday has me feeling content and thankful, even if it is with a somewhat heavy heart.”

To celebrate Lakshmi’s birthday, we couldn’t help but highlight one of her best travel photos of the year. Lakshmi took a trip to Hawaii in April. The model and television host had fun swimming in the river and jumping off a rope swing up north in Hanalei.

Travel like Lakshmi and plan your trip to Hanalei for one of the best boat tours on the island, sweeping views of the Hawaiian mountains and calm atmosphere.

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