And so, 2017 is here; and with it the end of a year that has been brutal yet brilliant on both a personal and global level. 2016 was my first full year living in Sydney; and while it’s been one in which I’ve put down roots; cemented friendships, and gained sponsorship to stay in Australia indefinitely, it has’t been without its struggles.
As Dickens so famously said in A Tale of Two Cities – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’, and never has an aged Victorian writer so eloquently coined the experience of moving abroad. The highs are bountiful and beautiful; the lows can call into question one’s very reason for leaving everything familiar on a wing and a prayer for adventures ahead. The pain of homesickness may subside, but being unfathomably far away from loved ones will never be easy.
For me, the best thing about the beginning of a new year is the chance to start afresh; to wipe the slate clean and set oneself a new list of goals, a new set of hopes for the months ahead. I’ve been lucky enough to tick off a number of quests from my bucket list in 2016 – from finishing the BBC Top 100, to learning to surf – so here’s hoping that the new year will be as abundant in unforgettable memories and moments as its predecessor…
My Goals for 2017:
- Travel More: while I’ve been fortunate enough to travel extensively since moving down under, I’d like to see more of Australia in 2017. Top of my wish-list is Noosa, a trip on The Ghan (as documented by Jayne from Girl Tweets World) and a walking expedition run by the Great Walks of Oz with my friend Krish from The Bucket List Diaries.
- Write My Book: writing a book has been on my to-do list for as long as I can remember; but with the fairly enormous feat of reading my way through the BBC Top 100, and as a seasoned book blogger, reading has always taken precedence over writing. With my reading challenge now done and dusted, I hope to dedicate more time to writing my book, with a view to having a finished manuscript before the year is out.
- Stress Less: 2016 was undoubtedly a tumultuous year; I was forced to contemplate moving back to the UK due to issues with sponsorship and broken promises from a company who left my future in Australia uncertain. Naturally, under such circumstances one is liable to undergo a certain amount of stress, but the experience taught me that nothing is permanent and the importance of finding comfort in discomfort. I don’t know what the future holds, nor how much longer I’ll live in Australia, but so long as both I and my loved ones are happy and healthy, I will do my damnedest to make this year a stress-free one.
- Learn to Meditate: I’m forever reading about both the benefits and importance of meditation, and have heard from numerous friends that it can be a complete game changer when it comes to dealing with life’s ups and downs.
Here’s to a 2017 full of love, laughter, travel and bookish delights a-plenty. Happy New Year to you all!