When I was 14 I used to keep a journal, page after page of which rattled on about how much I fancied a guy in my IT class, what new phone I wanted, what I had for dinner and occasionally the odd hint of a dream I had for myself as a grown up.
As most of it was mundane its probably a good thing that they were lost to the great cellar flood of 2002, yet whilst I can’t recall the content of those old dreams, now as a real grown up I make sure I write them down, as indicators of whats making me tick to help me forward in contemplating my next move.
Reading back over last years entry makes me smile. Whilst I didn’t become an Indian bike importing pannier making mogul I thought I would be, I have made steps towards one thing high on my list; creating a life and career of my choosing which makes me come alive and isn’t short on adventure.
Looking back at things I have written in the past year its easy to see where the seeds of future goals were sown and importantly, what influenced them. As a favourite quote of mine says, you never connect the dots of your life looking forwards, its always looking back, and I’m glad I have mine on paper for the days where I question what I’m doing.
But I’m not secretly working for a stationary company giving subliminal messages to you to rush out and buy a journal, what I really wanted to share was this awesome thing I nicked off Pintrest.
Apologies in advance if this came off your newsfeed but in the spirit of writing things down I saw this oh so cute idea of jotting down the awesome (or embarrassing, no judgement here) things that happen throughout your year, keeping them in a jar and then dipping in to them on New Years Eve.
As I didn’t come across this until a few months ago I’ve had to go at it retrospectively, but it’s here and its one full jar of amazingness. Some things are undoubtably big and some small, but I’m going to go at it totally pot luck and pick 12 to sum up the year, you may even feature if you’re lucky.
So here it is, 2014 in random bits of amazingness. Its been the most varied, adventurous and fun year which has seen me in all kinds of places and find that really rare and elusive thing, someone awesome to share it with. Thank you for being a part of it and here’s to 2015!!
1. Cycling through Sri Lanka and doing the thing I thought I couldn’t do
The year got off to an adventurous start cycling through Sri Lanka. Having never done any long distance cycling before and having to make panniers out of children’s school bags, it was probably the most out there thing I’ve done, yet despite the challenges it all came off! I met great people, got thighs of steel and learnt how get past aggressive dogs..
2. Making an unlikely new Australian friend
When I arrived in Melbourne it wasn’t my first time. I had been here before in 2012 on holiday with my ex boyfriend which is where I met Ollie. It makes me laugh now that we have become friends as we didn’t really see eye to eye on my first trip, but I’m glad I looked him up when I returned as he has been a good friend throughout the year.
3. Arriving in Melbourne and being welcomed by Gen
I think I will always remember the feeling I had on the Sky Bus approaching the city after I landed at the end of March, I was so excited to make Melbourne my new home! That and I was to be welcomed by my good friend Gen who I used to live with at University. Having her there in the first few weeks whilst I was finding my feet was invaluable and it’s been so nice having someone from home here for those days when you get a bit homesick.
4. The fantastic Mr S
He may be down here as number 4 but that is not to understate his place in my year. Unexpected and a tad whirlwind, meeting him has been a highlight for sure. From road tripping, helping me with my farm work and late night frog spotting expeditions (my favourite animal) I’m really excited as to what 2015 will bring and I’m sure Canberra’s Jolimont bus station will be the happiest place ever when I see him next week.
5. Moving to the farm and the generosity of my hosts
Moving to the country to commence farm work was a tall ask for me. As someone who has never lived in a place with fewer than 4 million inhabitants the quiet and remoteness of it all scared the life out of me. However I needn’t have worried as I was welcomed openly by my hosts Ruth and Tom who treated me so well in the 7 weeks I stayed with them. Now the country does’t scare me so much.
6. Fun times with Molly and sharing the Room of Dreams
Molly and I arrived in Melbourne the same week and by the time I left to do my farm work had hardly spent a week apart. When we found the self proclaimed House of Dreams in Melbourne we decided to share the huge victorian front bedroom, something I did not think I would do before I left, which turned out to be so much fun! Molly is my first American friend and its been a pleasure getting to know her the past year.
7. Seeing in the New Year in Unawatuna with Pernie
I met some fantastic people on my travels but one I will remember is Pernialla, the lovely Swede who taught me how to say alarm clock in Swedish and made me feel better when I was having a bad day. Despite having no electricity or running water on New Years Eve we got ready in the glow of my IPad and turned out looking pretty fab considering.
Bevan and I have been friends for a few years now from work yet was perhaps a friendship I understated before I left. During my trip he has been a consistent source of advice, chin up ness and being on the other end of a whatsapp when I was sick in India or hating Thailand. His presence certainly made those low times more bearable and I’m grateful we are still friends.
9. Despite living like an 18 year old for a large proportion of the year getting my shit together and re finding my passion
As I spoke about a few months ago my time in Australia has been the starting point to me to taking some action and start working towards a career goal for myself. Whilst spending long days in the library deciphering conflicting statements of law may not be the most fun use of my working holiday for me its been an essential part of the year as I finally feel like I am working towards something I actually want. The first few months of 2015 are going to be full on with four exams in March but I’m enjoying the challenge and look forward hopefully qualifying as a lawyer in spring 2016.
10. The House of Dreams and its many tales and parties
Ah the self proclaimed House of Dreams, how I will miss it! An old victorian house that now hosts 12, it has been the backdrop to endless fun and friendships that I hope will last long after the house has vacated. In many respects living in the house has been like a second university experience for me, we’ve had umpteen parties, a HOD pool, a HOD cat and so many mammoth dinner parties, the most recent being Christmas Day where I cooked for 20! I will certainly miss everyone when I leave for good next week and hope the spirit of HOD will live on!
11. A spontaneous trip to the underwater caves in Palawan
The day I arrived in Palawan I was in a bad mood following a slightly scary encounter on the island of Guimaras and didn’t want to speak to anyone. Luckily French Canadian Gabrielle was able to see through my steely exterior and convinced me to take a trip with him and New Yorker Adrian to the underwater caves the following day. The trip was one of my favourite memories from my travels and taught me a little lesson in getting over bad moods!
12. Living in a hostel for 3 months
Yes sharing a dorm for 3 months was actually a highlight! Again something I did not think I would be doing before I left, my time at Back of Chapel was full of fun and was the place where I met almost all of my friends and S. It was a fantastically care free time, one which I may not so again and again for which I am very thankful for.