My belated Happy New Year 2018 wishes!
I know, “who is this again and where has she been during the last year?!” Well, part of my absence was due to unforeseeable circumstances and part due to not being clear on where I wanted to take this blog. I spread myself too thin last year, trying many different things. But I have found a renewed sense of purpose, so let refreshing winds blow through our sails and carry us to new shores!
Let me welcome you again on this website, wish you a Happy New Year 2018 and share with you my reflections on 2017 and my resolutions for the year ahead!
Reflections on 2017
This year was definitely full of highs and lows!
2017 found me in Thailand, relaxing with my boyfriend in the charming island of Koh Lanta. In April I finished my teaching contract in the school I was working in Bangkok. Shortly after, my siblings visited me in the Land of Smiles where we had some amazing trips and times together.
Then in the beginning of May , I took a solo trip to Malaysia for 2 weeks. An absolutely fantastic destination that filled my wanderlusting heart with joy and memorable experiences! It’s such an underrated country! Blog post coming soon praising this southeast Asian gem.
Another short trip to Koh Samed followed in June, and after that my man and I said goodbye to Thailand and returned to our countries to see our families and in my case, attend a wedding.
Lessons I learnt from the bad experiences
So far, so good. And then, the lows. What was supposed to be a short visit turned into 4 months of being apart! Ugh. (If you need advice on long-distance relationships, ask away!
But I’m not doing it again! I’ll do it again if the circumstances arise and there are plans to reunite soon, as it happened in our case, but damn – it sucks!)
While we were looking for new teaching jobs abroad, I got the chance in July to visit a relative in the USA for a while. And that proved to be my worst traveling experience ever. I arrived at the airport in Chicago, full of joy that I’d visit the United States, only to be interrogated for hours and locked in a waiting cell. They didn’t allow me in, accused me of coming to America to work illegally, went through all my personal belongings, my phone and my private messages…
And then locked me in a detention room, to wait for the flight back that they put me on. Said flight was after 24 hours. The longest hours of my life! At least I had 5 other girls for company, all denied entrance into the US for dubious reasons – and most of them Europeans.
But at least the year ended on a good note. Finally, for the last 3 months of 2017 my boyfriend visited me in my hometown and we spent the time going on day trips, sightseeing in Thessaloniki and planning our next move to Asia! Yay!
So, lessons learnt:
- Don’t leave a beautiful country where you’ve worked for 2 years without a good chunk of savings and especially without having secured another source of income. And if you do, be prepared for the stress and uncertainty. And for staying back with your parents!
- Don’t resent said time spent with parents. See, if you’re living abroad for a long time as an expat, you can appreciate the extra time you get to spend with family (provided that you are on good terms with them, of course.)
- Don’t be over-optimistic and convince other people to leave their jobs in search for greener pastures. (In this case, my boyfriend). At least, have a better plan before doing so. It’s good to take risks and be self-confident, but:
- Don’t expect things to go as planned in the time-frame you planned them. Have patience!
- Don’t have expectations, period.
- Don’t succumb to the confusion and procrastination it causes and work harder on your goals that you CAN control. Release the worrying about the things you can’t control. Practice acceptance.
- Don’t make decisions out of FEAR and a place of worrying – instead, act out of LOVE and of knowing what you really want! (example, don’t take just any job in fear of not having money – know what you’re worth of and direct your energies to finding something closer to your purpose)
Now, lets talk about resolutions!
Don’t make common New Year Resolutions that you Won’t Keep
Some of us, after making the same and same resolutions every year, have concluded that setting goals just for the sake of setting them doesn’t work. Some people are just addicted to lists and feel compelled to make one every new year!
- I’ll reach my target weight goal and keep it.
- This will be the year I will learn a new language.
- I’ll hit the gym 5 times a week.
- Finally I will become a morning person who never hits the snooze button!
Just because our planet has completed one more trip around the sun, and the year number on the calendar changes, doesn’t mean we will automatically turn into new people. Or we’ll be offered a full jug of motivation that will never run out. Or that we’ll stick with the new habits we’ll form in January.
But this doesn’t mean that we can’t change! The truth is, that in order to stop disappointing ourselves each year, there is only one thing we need to nail down: our “WHY”. The reason behind our list of goals. With each passing year, our plans and goals evolve, because we evolve as people.
With self-awareness, we know the areas in our lives where we need to improve. And we don’t need to wait for January 1st each year in order to change direction, set new goals and go after them. No, that can happen any time! (and some people even choose their birthdays to do a re-evaluation of their lives and set new goals).
Choose a word for 2018
A few years ago, I read somewhere that what’s more effective than detailed lists is to just choose one word that we can let act as a compass for us in the new year. Whenever we are in doubt about decisions, or we feel lost and confused, we can just repeat to ourselves the word we chose and see if our actions align with the general direction we aimed for our lives in the beginning of the year.
Some words you can choose from include: Focus, Accept, Abundance, Wealth, Release, Love, Grow, Inspire, Productive, Expand, Bold.
My word for this year is “CREATE”. I spent too much of last year being in a consuming mode; consuming other people’s work, like articles, books, blog posts, online courses, TV series, movies, posts on social media.
Therefore, this year I want to be more in creating mode. Create more blog articles, posts on my media platforms, income opportunities, memories in new places. Write more, draw more, create abundance and savings and the foundation for going location-independent.
Keep creating a life I absolutely love!
*** And if you want to get reacquainted with me and this blog, please read my first post here! ***
I wish you an amazing year filled with health, happiness, precious moments with your loved ones, exciting travels to new destinations (and if you can’t travel, new discoveries in your own city), inner peace, growth in all the areas important to you and exhilarating adventures!
–> Drop me a comment and let me know what your most exciting trip was last year and what your plans are for 2018! Are you ready to crush the new year? Lets do this!