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That time of year........

Travel Forums Off Topic That time of year........

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1. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 7y

The same thread always pokes its head up at this time of year so hey ho thought l would be the instigator of it this year!!

So what are your New Year resolutions for 2009? Any hopes and dreams? Planning to do something outside your zone of comfort? What would you like to envisage for yourself in 2009?

And what about 2008 - how has the year treated you - good bad or indifferent?

Me well lets see


This has been a pretty huge year for me to be honest - about 90% good.

Started of the year with a break up - my choice, my decision and a good one - so l hit 2008 as singleton and its been great lve enjoyed getting to know myself standing on my own two feet and not being part of a couple - l think l needed it to be honest.

My career has gone really well - l had just received a promotion in my old place of work and a nice hefty pay rise when l was approached by old employers who asked me to come work for them - with another nice hefty payrise - and alot more responsibility - how could l say no! And whilst work has been taxing and stressful at times - l wouldnt change it for the world!

Holidays - well trips to Budapest, Spain, Stateside twice and a few times to London - not my most exotic year but still good times had! AND l got to visit the world famous Isa Manor eat dolma drink cocktails and learn to chill out!

I had 3 (yes 3) new neices and a nephew born this year doubling the size of our family!

On the downside my dad tried to scare us all by doing an impression of a man dying (actually he did 3 times and each time l was in the room with him) but thanks to the mircales of modern medicine and amazing medics he had a quadruple heart bypass which was sucessful and he is at home recovering and alright he wont ever run a marathon but hes alive and doing fine. May was a scary scary month for us but we pulled through and now are stronger as a family unit because of it.

I got a fancy new convertabile 2 seater - no need for in Northern Ireland but hey so what!! And l finally got my bathroom remodeled!

In Oct met an absolutely gorgeous new guy who to be truthful is not like anyone lve ever dated before - well the fact hes a single father for one thing makes it totally different - but he makes me extremely happy right now and thats all l can ask for!

So thats my 2008 in a nut shell! 2009 - what can it bring

Well this year lm stepping outside of my comfort zone - lm intending shark diving in Jan when in South Africa; lm going rally driving sometime before March and lm down to do a parachute jump in April as well!! And if l can get my stamina and fitness level up a bit more l intend being part of a relay team for Belfast City Marathon in May.

As for the rest - l believe in fate and karma therefore its in the lap of the Gods but lm with beerman - lets upgrade from "Year of the Smile" to "Year of the Giggle"

Much health happiness and love to you and yours

Heather xx

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

Heather, I'm giving you a great, big hug from way over here. Yay for you!!!

So since I'm working from home today and putting off having to actually start anything, here's my own recap:

This year has been a year of big changes that don't feel like big changes--they all just nicely fit.

We rang in 2008 in Belfast, which was a lot of fun. Our visit was so relaxing and stress-free and it was so nice to get to know Neal's family better. Even managed to sneak in a TP meetup over the holidays!

Then Neal moved over for good in May, after 5-odd years of travelling back and forth between Belfast, Luxembourg and Montreal. It took a little adjustment, but we finally figured out the beat.

Much of 2008 was spent planning:

  • first, for our wedding in September. We had such a blast--our families got to meet and we all had a really great time. It also meant I got to spend lots of girl time with my very best friends, who are so busy with families and babies it's hard to get together sometimes. Everyone had fun, and that's what we'd wanted. It was a fantastic day with lots of sun and dancing till my feet were aching.
  • and second, for our honeymoon in South Africa and Mozambique. Best trip ever, with great people and great scenery and great everything. I'm still pining to go back!

As for 2009, well... we're thinking of looking for a house, since my beautiful 3 1/2 is getting a little crowded. Haven't actually started to look, but the thought's there. We've got plans for a trip back to Belfast in May, then 2 weeks TBD. Can't decide between renting a cabin up north, renting a seaside house in Maine, Austria (just saw The Sound of Music again, so that one'll probably pass), Savannah, or somewhere else entirely. Our options are open! Other than that, it's a gym membership for me (DragonBoat's proving to be a more and more difficult option--I can't do 10 a.m. practices on Sunday mornings when it'll take me 2 hours to get there), and lots of focus on just being content and happy, especially with what we already have. Which is really a lot.

Happy New Year's reslutions to you all!

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

You forgot that you stopped smoking Heather;)

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Oh my... You're making me think...


The highlight of my whole year was Beerman getting a "clean bill of health" on Valentine's Day. Considering what he means to me, nothing else quite measured up to that.

The second highlight was the TP Meet-Up in Chicago as we got to see Heather again and meet some new friends. Though it's questionable if Katie has yet to figure "how to get off", I'm sure between a CTA map and GPS she'll do just fine. As for Heather visiting - she did learn that cell phones are not the be all and end all of the world if they don't work. She also went barefoot for more days in a row (while here) than any other time in her life. Shoes are bad - dolma is good!!

I turned 55 and still feel 15 - can't argue with that. Okay, maybe you can but...

The rest of the year was quite uneventful and the economy has taken it's toll, as it has done for so many others. Future travel plans have been put on temporary hold but who knows what will happen in 2009...

The downside - we had to miss Tina's wedding because of a conference. Grrrrrr!!!!!! We even had reserved seats in the church's smoking section (aka parking lot). We wanted so badly to see T walk down the aisle and meet Neal for the first time but shit happens. Sorry T - we were there in spirit!

The upside - all of the great post cards, letters, e-mails, PMs, gifts and phone calls from TPers. We feel blessed to have such friends as we have found on this site. Money be damned - relationships are worth their weight in gold.


Another year with Beerman by my side. (Again, can't ask for more.) ;)

Year Of The Giggle.

Stealing Heather's rally driving gift certificate. (I am soooooooo jealous!!!)

Stay tuned - it hasn't started yet...

5. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 7y

I'm hungover and the kids woke me up at 6:30am so I'm not happy.

The wife is still asleep.

I love the people on TP; there are so many truly excellent people here.

I need a cup of tea.

6. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 7y

Seems like 2008 has been fab for people here on TP!

As for me, I can't find any adjective in particular to describe the past year.

I lost two people I know. First was a pharmacy school classmate who died of cancer in April. She was 24 and had a cancer so rare and resistant that she's only case no. 3 in Singapore and no. 48 in the world. Second was a doctor I used to work with at the hospital when he was undergoing training. He died in a bus crash, on one of those long-haul bus rides from Malaysia to Singapore. He was 26 and a budding surgeon.

Things like these make me ponder on the point of life sometimes.

Family-wise things are the same at home. My immediate family is pretty scattered but the extended family is comparatively close-knit. My grandma turned 80! My elder cousin got a new boyfriend and since I'm the second eldest grandchild, I'm automatically upgraded into the unfortunate hot seat for the usual 'when are you going to get a boyfriend' nagging from the aunties coming Chinese New Year. Oh the woes of being single!!

Career-wise it's been blah. I started in a locum position and things were going good until I started to get bored, realised there's a monopoly of things at work, confirmed what I did out of work isn't much appreciated, and changed bosses. Now I'm deciding whether to change jobs or to give this place another chance by taking a paycut and going part-time permanent. I started thinking of getting my own pad in September but then the whole financial world came crashing down so plans were shelved.

Health-wise, I had to have two ops done in 2006 and 2007. I was given the all-clear in February but there's a 20% chance of recurrance. So far so good.

Travel-wise, all places I visited this year were first-timers for me. New York in March burnt a hole in my pocket but it 1) made me think how different I am from my family and why I'm never ever going to travel with them again 2) revealed more about people I was working with and made me think harder about the concept of colonisation and aid. Nonetheless it was an okay trip, I've never been to a more commercialised place on earth!

Switzerland and Slovenia in September definitely ranks within my Top 5 trips so far. Congress went well and I got some new prospects, but best of all was being able to meet up with my friends from all over the world again, in two beautiful countries. Zurich is by far the most expensive place I've ever been to, and in Slovenia I discovered the best museum in the world, the Velenje Mining Museum.

Bali last month was disappointing, the place is too overrated. But I had a great time with my friends - good company can transcend all lousy settings! And I learnt how good lower back massages felt.

2009...I'm going to change things for myself at work. How, I do not know yet. I'm intending to make more time for exercise, perhaps join a gym to tone up and gain strength now that I feel much better. Hopefully I can get my diving licence this year.

In March I'll be going to the Netherlands again, with side trips to Brugge and Rome. September will be Istanbul and Belgrade and maybe some other Balkan countries (yet to confirm my route). I was thinking of a '30 countries by 30' thing, let's see if I can achieve that. That's an average of 3.75 new countries for the next 4 years!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2009 be filled with special moments for you all :)

7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 7y

I actually just posted a blog entry on this very subject.

2008 was a year of big change. I quit my job and moved to London right in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns in decades. Good time to be looking for a job . Oh well, such is life. I'm still pretty happy about the move, even if it hasn't quite gone according to my plan (which was admittedly pretty vague).

In 2009 I hope to get a job, keep living in London, and see what else comes my way. Rolling with the punches, that's my plan. Not much of a plan, I know, but pretty easy to execute. Here's a punch... now I'll roll with it. :)

Best of the new year to everyone.


8. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 7y

2008 - Was a bit of an odd year, but not too bad of one, really. Obviously the high point was finally making it to St. Helena, though there were also lots of other blips. I also started to finally understand and see a couple of truths, which was a bit depressing.

2009 - I've got the same damned resolution i've had for almost 15years, and this year I hope to actually keep it!

It's also one of those potentially "big" years with lots of change. Basically, i'm faffing around. I am currently deep into my midlife crisis and trying to work out who I am, what I am, why i am, what I want to do with my life, what i should be doing with it, what I will do with it, where i want to be going, where i should be going and where I will be going. *sigh*.

Answers on a postcard, if anybody has any (answers, that is. Not postcards).

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3715 posts) 7y

2008 was a mixed year for me. I moved to New Zealand in January and although I love the country, I have hated my job which has inevitably made me feel unsettled and caused doubts about the move to flit through my mind, as I gave up a job that I enjoyed in the UK to come here. So, I'd like to think that 2009 will be a more settled year for me, which will hopefully start with me getting a new job, seeing as I have now stuck it out for nearly a year. It's not the best time to be looking for one with the way the economy is at the moment, but hopefully something will come up soon and I am definitely looking hard for one as of now!

The move to NZ is not a permanent one anyway, so by the end of 2009 we'll hopefully know more about if/when we are going to return to the uk, and when we are going to travel round South America, which is our next big trip. We're also planning 2 weeks in Indonesia in October.

10. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 7y

2008 - Rang the year in offshore Angola working, and that pretty much sums up the year, worked in Angola until mid January, then just as i touched down in the Uk was off to Houston then Brazil before heading back to Angola in May until July. Spend 10 weeks back in NZ visiting my dad dieing of cancer (where he passed away 10 days after i returned to UK). Paid for my sister and her twins to visit parents (they live in germany) which just happened to be good timing. Back in the UK for 6 weeks and then back to Brazil for work yet again, been working 7 days a week since the beginning of December (including xmas day and new years 2009).

2009 - This year is going to be a me year. When i finish in Brasil i'm taking a holiday to Cuba, new motorbike and time to play. Might be out of a job in april (low oil price sucks) so use the time to hit the road again. Need to spend more time with friend too, so watch out i might drop by.

Have a great 2009