Life & Stuff

2015 year in review

I think it’s important for everyone to look back to their year and recognise what they had done and achieved. It isn’t a show off exercise, but one that can give you the chance to sit down, relax and think of all the memories that you’ve accumulated in the year, revisit some of the happy and sad moments and to get ready to welcome a whole new year.

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Here’s my year in review.

2015 had been a good year. It was the first full year that we have lived in London and I have had many experiences and opportunities along the way.

Going down to the world's deepest metro station in Kiev - the elevator trip (in 2 sections) took 4 minutes!
Going down to the world’s deepest metro station in Kiev – the elevator trip (in 2 sections) took 4 minutes!

It had been a year of travel

Our big move last year gave me the opportunity to work in an environment with an international focus. My work took me to Moscow and Kiev on multiple occasions, as well as Lausanne and offices up north in England.

Being so close to Europe, we were able to just hop over the channel once every second long weekend to re-visit some of my old favourites – Germany, France, and The Netherlands.

I had successfully dragged my parents all the way from Australia to visit Europe, which is not an easy task as they were not convinced that my mother could travel as a disabled person. They enjoyed themselves so much that the trip has even inspired them to write up their own blog posts which I’ve posted here for them.

READ: My parent’s travel here –> 爸媽的遊記 (written by my parents in Chinese, translated very roughly by me)

Taking mum and dad out on a stroll in Hampton Court
Taking mum and dad out on a stroll in Hampton Court

 

We spent 2 weeks back in Sydney visiting family and friends, which very pleasantly had us travel business class all the way to and back, with a warm and refreshing stop over in Bali.

And for Christmas we just spent 4 days in Iceland, a place where for most in Australia would only see in documentaries, and many were surprised the city of Reykjavik was so modern and chic! (More stories on Iceland early in the new year).

Will trying out his brand new camera in the very photogenic Iceland.
Will trying out his brand new camera in the very photogenic Iceland.

 

Of course, it has not been all that great a year for travellers – terrorism attacks have everyone fearing for their lives but my response to this is to continue to travel, because I believe it is through mutual understand and learning about each other’s lives that we will ultimately achieve peace and friendship.

I can imagine a world of travellers who understand each others ways and spread the word of tolerance throughout.
I can imagine a world of travellers who understand each others ways and spread the word of tolerance throughout.

 

It had been a year of writing – kind of

To be completely honest I haven’t really tried all that hard on writing this year, and I had expected my writing activities to slow down since most of my energy had been used on the intense travelling for work as well as just enjoying being in Europe.

However, to my own surprise my writing income actually increased a little this year compared to last, thanks to the regular commissions from Expedia Asia for their online web content.

I have had some breakthroughs, with one of my commissioned articles finally being published by the Sydney Morning Herald, and currently three articles are being considered by International Living magazine.

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During the year I also started a new website called Forking The World (please like!) which is taking very slow steps to a frequent readership. It is a small project of mine to showcase the fantastic world of food from where I travel but I have since realised that I couldn’t possibly eat that much to fill a website with articles – so, here’s a call out for help – if you would like to contribute let me know!

What about that book?

Some of you might know that I’ve been planning to write a book for a very long while now. Unfortunately this is one part of my plan that my lazy bottoms still haven’t got anywhere with.

I had began the year really working on that book I’ve planned to write about my grandmother’s ancestors. I went to a writer’s workshop at Regent’s College in London, began researching into history to ensure I get the dates and historical events right and I started to plot.

But I’ve since placed the book at the bottom of my list. I realised that what I had really wanted was to establish my freelance writing career a bit more before tackling the book, which will require some intense work hours that my currently full time employed status just won’t provide.

What I am looking forward to in 2016?

As usual, I have a lot of plans for the year ahead. There will be more travel of course, although with only 4 blank pages of my passport left to last me until 2017, I really need to be strategic about where I go to preserve the pages (or pay the money to renew my passport and another set of money to transfer the visa sticker over to the new passport).

I am looking forward to the start of another new year!
I am looking forward to the start of another new year!

 

And there will definitely be more writing.

A couple of months ago, I was toying with the idea of taking 3 months off everything to write that book. So that might still happen! There are also other ideas of doing more writing of course, and I will be trying very hard to break the freelance market here in the UK. I’ve not had any success with the UK market so far, but then again I haven’t really put all that much energy into it!

I know it will come, as I am already slowly being inducted into the bloggers world here in London, having been invited to participate on a media tour with Eating London Tours!

I am also looking forward to more adventures with this guy!
I am also looking forward to more adventures with this guy!

 

With my job I will continue to travel to Moscow and hopefully somewhere new in the not so distant future when we have more projects to take on. Many bloggers/writers out there have quit their jobs completely to travel – but having a job that take me places is a good compromise for my sort of lifestyle, one of the reasons that I am still not yet a full time travel blogger/writer.

I think I’ve had a good year, and I know next year will be just as exciting and wonderful!

What about you? What have you achieved this year? Don’t be shy! Any achievements big and small are all worth celebrating!

Share your thoughts below!