When we launched this little blog on Australia Day in 2012, it was not only a way for the three of us to share our love of travel and food, but also a way to create a destination where we could write, put some ideas out there, and start some conversations. We always love a good conversation!
The past year has been pretty busy for all of us. We have individually been through some highs and lows, and like this blog, we have endured in the face of pressure and, occasionally, a bit of doubt!
As I look back on 2012, I wonder how I managed to achieve and fit so much into this exciting and jam-packed year.
I welcomed in the year in Japan with some glorious powder skiing and a lot of ramen, had some sensational diving in the Similan Islands of Thailand in April (including diving with manta rays!), saw an amazing sunset at the top of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, and married two of my closest friends in a beautiful intimate ceremony in Koh Samui.
I also bought my first motorbike, earned greater respect at work, owned my first puppy, and finally met the man of my dreams. I had some amazing meals at Golden Fields, Movida, Quay, and Jonah’s, as well as some cheap and cheerful date night meals. Aside from my absolute failure to practise my español at all, on the balance of it, this year has overwhelmingly been a very good year.
In 2013, I plan to ski and dive new destinations involving my first ever trips to Canada and the Philippines. I also hope to make a great impression in my new job, read the Song of Ice and Fire series, launch a new venture, do some long weekend motorbike rides, and return to regular taekwondo training (something that I’ve been missing terribly the last 12 months due to my dodgy knees!), and maybe tick a few more things off my bucket list. Life is pretty damn sweet right now, so I hope all my friends and family continue to be happy and healthy so that we can share more wonderful memories together!
Looking back on my aspirations at the start of the year, I’ve had a mixed bag of success. I got married in Thailand, was a bridesmaid in Oz, visited my family in Malaysia, had a girls holiday in NYC, a gastronomic time in France, changed jobs (involving many trips to Amsterdam and another trip to NY), moved house, and added another two new countries (Sweden & Maldives) to my list. I didn’t dive in Sipadan, but had amazing dives in the Maldives; had my French lessons severed at my old job so only ever managed to learn a handful of verbs; and only managed to keep at my novel until July when the time pressures of wedding organisation and a new job took over my life. On the upside, I’ve managed lots of amazing meals this year, like Noma’s pop up in London which I think more than makes up for the fact that I didn’t manage to learn another language!
So, what does 2013 have in store? My little bro is getting married, so it’s off to Oz again in a few months. I’m planning a girls holiday to Russia, a dive holiday and a friend’s wedding in Jamaica, a “last blast” party holiday in Vegas and maybe a Man vs Food style challenge in the States. Berlin and Tallin are high on my weekend breaks list. The other half is on standby to organise a meal at The Fat Duck for my birthday. And of course, I want to grow my brand and team, making real inroads into our recent launch in the UK. I’m not going to sprout any self development aims. The truth is, I’ve never been happier in my life. If life stays as good as it has been, 2013 will be another wonderful year.
As the old adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… and for me 2012 was certainly a year that was survived more than thrived, from a professional perspective at least. With a failed business venture behind me followed by difficulty finding my way back into the work force, it wasn’t a year that stands out as one of my best. But it brought many valuable learning experiences and taught me once again that when the universe throws you a curve ball, you just gotta do the Tubthumpin’ thing and get back up again!
2012 wasn’t all doom and gloom, with many highlights along the way. A fabulous trip to Canada, sunny and beautiful Majorca, a wonderful experience sharing European adventures with my parents for 6 weeks, visits from my beautiful friends, lovely weddings in Thailand and Australia, successful cohabitation with my Frog (and his first visit to Australia) and a development of my life in Paris that has brought me new friendships and near fluency in the beautiful French language.
As for 2013, it’s really a big unknown at the moment. I’ve got as far as kicking off the New Year in my favourite way, watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour. Then a road trip down the south coast of NSW to a friend’s wedding, a few days in Dubai and 10 days of relaxation, yoga and soul-searching in India on the way back to start my new job in London. A large amount of time spent in trains commuting between Paris and London will probably follow. And the rest? Who knows! But hopefully it involves laughing lots and travelling often.