December 30, 2016 1 Comment Australia, Blog, Europe, North America

16 Reasons 2016 was Awesome!

Doesn’t a year go so fast? January feels like it could have been an entirely different lifetime and yet how many people actually think about what they have achieved through the last 12 months? Looking at some of the current news and social media posts rounding this year up, I understand many are branding 2016 as the worst year ever with a horror movie even being made of 2016 (definitely worth a watch).

Sure, globally there has been some awful changes; The death of many celebrity icons, the shock of Brexit, Trump and the unjustice of Harambe the gentle giant to recount just a few reasons why this year may have sucked. Although these headlines have made us think ‘what exactly did we do to deserve this?’, I still believe that you have to look at the silver-lining.

I’m sure those that voted for Brexit and Trump are pretty stoked. Harambe’s sacrifice will mean parents will be more watchful before letting their kids jump into a gorilla pen (hopefully). The loss of some of great artists means that younger generations are actively revisiting their work and effectively immortalising them. See, silver-lining!

The year can be what you make of it and I want to add some positivity to the frankly abysmal media headlines by recounting exactly why 2016 was personally an incredible year for me. Note, this is not an opportunity for me to brag (I would never do that) but I hope that this will allow you to revisit some of your best moments in 2016 and think “actually, 2016, you weren’t all that bad’.

So without further a do, here are my highlights from 2016!

1 New Years Eve in Sydney

With only 1 day to go until New Years, this is a bit of a fore-sight about how incredible this experience will be. But as it has been hailed again and again as one of the best festivals / celebrations / parties to go to, I intend to celebrate the end of 2016 as I mean to continue 2017.

2 Australia

I’m currently writing this in West End Brisbane at The Burrow over some iced-coffee. I’m literally loving this trip so much that I have extended my holiday and taking un-paid leave from work. There’s still a few weeks to go but surf, tan, beaches and cute koalas. How much better can it get?

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3 Christmas in Malaysia

It has been 2 years since I’ve seen my family in Malaysia, so celebrating Christmas over satay in a warm and muslim country with cousins I’ve never met before is a pretty unique experience. Not to mention seeing my Pops and siblings too!

Check out what to eat in Malaysia here

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4 Sailing

Every year my friends and I arrange some sort of activity filled holiday and this year sailing around Croatia with Sail Week Croatia won out. It was genuinely one of the most memorable (drunken), but wonderful trips I’ve been on. Dolphins, naked-beaches, getting stranded in the ocean, it was insane! I could easily do the same trip right now.

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5 Croatia

Dubrovnik, Supertar, Makarska, Bol, Vis, Hvar, Split. Each of these little ports had a personality of their own with assortment of activities that you wouldn’t find within the other areas. Cliff-diving, cave-parties, some of the most scrumptious seafood I’ve ever tasted. I would highly recommend a visit to any if not all of these areas if you have the chance.

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6 Cruising with OAPs

This was a year of many firsts and as a treat to my old man (a sprightly 59 year old) we decided to take a family holiday on a cruise. The cruise itself was a little bitter-sweet (I was the only person my age on-board), but it was still a relaxing family trip. Not to mention the stars you can see whilst in the middle of the ocean makes it all worth while.

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7 Kotor, Montenegro

I had a total of 10 hours in what is the most picturesque views I’ve witnessed. Rolling mountains, calm seas and kitsch architecture. I also decided to spend 4 of those hours climbing the city wall whilst my leg was still healing. I think we can all agree it was worth it.

Check out how to travel with a broken leg here.

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8 Delphi & Athens, Greece

I’m not usually one for historical holidays, however I am a huge fan of Hercules (the Disney film). Walking among the ancient ruins, where Gods are said to have lived and seeing its stark contrast to the built up cities surrounding it is spectacular.

 

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9 New York, USA

Technically this was strictly for business, but it would have been rude not to latch on the weekends either side to explore. My first time on the continent, staying in Brooklyn and catching up with a friend I had not seen in a year and meeting locals to do the rooftop New Yorker thing. Amazing!

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10 Hosting Couchsurfers

Would you believe I’ve ticked this off my travel resolution! I hosted 7 wonderful individuals from different ends of the world who have shared their thoughts and culture. I still keep in touch with them today!

Check out what my resolutions were for this year here.

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11 Budapest, Hungary

After a pretty rocky Easyjet flight there (too many stagdo’s and drunk Brits) the long weekend in Hungary was fantastic. Ruin bars, Spartys and watching the sunset over the city, I wish I could have stayed longer.

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12 Edinburgh, Scotland

My first time in Edinburgh and I fell in love with this city. Being the setting of one of my favourite books (One Day), it felt amazing to retrace the steps of the characters and absorb the culture of the city.

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13 Marathon (on crutches)

As a fundraising activity I opted to run the marathon in Edinburgh. What I did not count on was breaking my leg prior to the run. Never one to back down on a challenge I did it anyway, albeit nearly passing out at the half-way point hah!

Check out my fundraising page here!

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14 Being offered my dream job

Not travel-related but still a huge personal achievement. After a year of preparation, interviews and all that boring stuff I have been offered a role in a management consulting firm (Hi – fives welcome). Note. Okay I know my dream job would probably be getting paid for travel but this is still pretty good!

15 Mumbai, India

One of my oldest friends and his childhood sweetheart invited us to their traditional Indian wedding at their hometown. It was spectacular there were colours, ridiculous dancing, incredible street foods and all-in-all a romantic and loving event.

Check out what you can expect in Mumbai here.

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16 London

I’ve lived in London for 2 years (1st dream completed) and its only now that it feels that I know areas well enough to be able to show guests around. Sure there will always be places to explore but that makes it all the more exciting!

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This year has been an extensively travel heavy year and for that I’m eternally grateful. I hope these highlights may have reminded you of some incredible times from 2016. Who knows what path 2017 will follow but I wish it delivers you everything that you want for the year! Until then, Happy New Year! Speak to you in 2017!

What has been the highlight of 2016 for you? Was this year really THAT bad? Were there any resolutions that you still haven’t completed yet? Let me know in the comments below!

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

Brad Paisley