I appreciate that I’ve missed the boat on a mid year review of 2016 as we’re now at the end of July, but I’m letting myself off on that one. Given that I celebrated a little milestone in June with my blog turning one and that I am beginning to think that my general life style is swinging by on the seat of my pants, I think one or two months off is not so bad.
And it only struck me the other day that we were actually now seven months (nearly eight when I hit publish!) into the year. How does it creep up on us, year after year?
I wanted to take stock of what I have achieved over the first half of the year and think about what more there is to come.
Like most people, I set myself a few goals at the beginning of the year. These lay forgotten about until I was flipping through my diary today and noticed the post-it notes I had optimistically stuck in the front in January.
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve actually managed to keep one resolution. This was to move my blog over to self-hosted by switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and to update the look and feel of the site by upgrading to a paid theme. I finally achieved this the other day and will soon be writing about how it feels to move forward and learn a lot at the same time.
Travel Goals For 2016
2016 started off strong with two trips under my belt before January had even finished. I went on the hunt for snow in Les Arc in the French Alps and was rewarded almost too much by a week of the biggest blizzards I have ever experienced in all of my years skiing.
This limited the skiing that we could achieve over the week because a lot of the resort was closed due to zero visibility and howling 100km p/h winds, but thankfully the storm passed and on the last day we were treated to the most beautiful conditions. Soft, soft powder snow as far as the eye could see and bright blue skies made up for the frustrations of the days that passed before.
I followed up a week in the snow for a week in the sun in Tenerife, and I was overjoyed to rediscover this island and explore parts of it I hadn’t seen before. I’m now a firm believer in booking a winter escape from the grey skies of England and the next time I am in the UK in the winter months I shall be keen to repeat the process and discover somewhere else warm and sunny to while away the time.
What Came Next?
The big focus for early in the year was, of course, flying to Australia to begin my second year on a working holiday visa in February. I spent a year in Australia back in 2011-12 when I flew into Cairns, travelled down the East Coast and worked in Melbourne for several months. I enjoyed my time so much there and realised that there was also an awful lot more of the country that I hadn’t managed to see so I decided to squeeze in three months of regional work to qualify for a second year visa.
I was all primed and ready to return to Melbourne to carry on the shenanigans when I got distracted by New Zealand for two years. Whoops. A five month ski season in Queenstown in the South Island of NZ turned into twenty four months of working and travelling around both islands.
Then 2016 rolled around and I was finally ready to carry on my Down Under trip. I decided to fly to Perth in Western Australia so as to base myself somewhere entirely different to start my second year.
So far I’ve managed to explore a few places in Perth (although there’s still plenty more on my list to see and do here), travel up the West Coast as far as Broome and find myself a job to earn a bit more money to fund the onward adventure.
- The first time I set eyes on the city from the beautiful vantage point that is Kings Park in Perth.
- Exploring the gorgeous landscape that is Kalbarri National Park, including abseiling down into a gorge.
- Swimming with manta rays in Coral Bay and discovering all of the wonderful marine life on the breathtakingly beautiful Ningaloo Reef.
- Camping under a blanket of stars in Karijini National Park and spending my days clambering through another world in gorges formed hundreds of thousands of years ago.
- Spending down-time experiencing Aussie life in a small town on the sparkling Turquoise Coast, where I’ve been sea lion spotting, four wheel driving, cycling, walking and exploring caves.
On The Blog
Given that I’ve not been ‘on the road’ so to speak for three months now has afforded me plenty of time to share some of my travels with you. I’ve also been getting into musing regularly on how it feels to travel, which is something I like to dig into and expand on after my years travelling and away from home.
Recently, for example, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve managed to stretch what would have been a ten month round the world trip in 2011 into five years in my post about slow travel. Let me tell you, it came as a bit of a lightbulb moment when I admitted to myself that there was no shame in choosing travel as a way of life.
Where To Next?
Whilst the exact details at this stage remain sketchy there is still so much I’d like to cram into my remaining months in Australia. I’d like to travel up to Darwin to explore some of the national parks around that area. I’d also feel great shame if I spend two years in this country without visiting the cultural heart of it, which is Uluru, so that is a high priority.
Later on in the year I want to visit Tasmania, hire a van and spend a few weeks tripping about and hiking in the stunning scenery that bombards me from my Instagram feed.
Not bad for the first (nearly) eight months. It now seems like the clock is ticking for the rest of 2016 and I had better get cracking on the next leg of my adventures.
How have you been getting on with your 2016 goals? Are they work, home life, health or travel related? Are you on track or have you left some things by the wayside? What travelling have you done in 2016 and where are you off to next?
Let me know if you’ve ever been to the Northern Territory or to Tasmania. I would love to hear your suggestions of where to stay, what I should do and where to go!
Share your comments with me!