Oh Fernweh was optimistically begun in March of this year, only 9 months old and in that time much has happened. Firstly, I declared that my love for travel was no passing affair, and that I wanted to pursue it as a prominent part of my life. And I did that as best as I could. I created a bucket list and ticked off a destination that was one it, and went to another that never featured there. As for my ambition of going to three new places this year, I’m going to cheat and allow myself some breathing room for visiting Kochi thrice and landing at Kuala Lumpur where I expected a relaxed layover that turned into a sprint with my little strolley. Thanks Air Asia! :p
Let’s take a look at where my fernweh took me, and what I did there.
- First international trip in 15 years. Yes, 15.
- First solo trip – and that, to the beautiful Bali. Still hungover from the beauty and a marvellous je ne sais quoi that suited me perfectly.
- I snorkeled, again first time! And saw a bit of the amazing underwater world. Having no photographic evidence to show for it has made me determined to get an action camera for the next time. Saving up as we speak.
- I had a variety of animal encounters. I touched a baby white tiger, an elephant (which I had actually done before), held a giant fruit bat, a rare sea turtle, an eagle, a hornbill, held a baby siamang gibbon, and had some pretty colourful birds perch on me.
- I swam in the sea for the first time. Sure, I’ve spent many, many days by the sea in my life and played in the waves, but swimming, na.
- I got paid for my art and my writing, separately – ecstatic about this! I include this because it was all a result of my travelling.
- I embraced Kozma Petrovich Prutkov’s wise words: “If you want to be happy, be so.”
- I went on my first familiarisation trip, to Chhattisgarh.
- I took my mum and sister on a holiday to Goa. Yep, wrote all about it back in April.
- I travelled quite a bit within my own state.
- I made friends with people not of my own age; an author and a chef! And others of my age, all passionate about travel. Double goodness!
- I got to test the theory that I’d love to travel alone and happily proved myself right.
- I had some excellent meals!
This year has, as evidenced by all the great things above, been wonderful. I lost my way and found it again. I learned to persist in my dreams, to not let someone else’s (whoever they are) idea of success and a life worth living make mine feel any less worthy. The amazing experiences this year have shown me that no dream is too big or unreachable. I learned a little bit more of who I am, found that I enjoy my own company, and that it’s okay that I might never be at an all night rave.
Above all, I learned that life goes on and that when we’re given those rare second chances, we should recognise it. Never settle for anything less than you deserve BUT continue living in the meantime. There is no excuse for wasting time, none of us has a backup supply. Get the dress, book the tickets, invest in your life and savour every experience – that, my friends, is what it is about. Nothing more.
How was your year? Did you achieve all that you set out to? Are you looking forward to 2016 as much as I am?