Last year, when I turned 24 I wrote down some thoughts/things I learned during that year. I wanted to do the same with the past year (even though I turned 25 six months ago already haha).
For my birthday last year I was in Laos and spent the night on an overnight train to Thailand. This year, Kel and I were at my grandma’s house in England. I woke to a delivery of a MASSIVE bouquet from my Mum, Dad and bro which was so thoughtful. Nadia also surprised me and sent a beautiful card with a little gift inside too 🙂 as well as video calls and messages from my other loved ones. I had a little celebration with my Auntie, Uncle, cousins and extended family. It was really lovely spending time with them as it is not a usual occurrence since they are on the other side of the world when we are in Aus!
For my 24th year of living (haha), these were some of my experiences:
Thailand: exploring the crazy smells and sights of Bangkok
Nepal: plucking tea leaves on the mountain side in Ilam, surviving crazy 20 hour near-death bus rides, meeting up with Guillaume, eating momo’s, DHAL BHAT!, the KULUNG family
India: feeling the Nepal earthquake whilst in Varanasi, experiencing the culture shock of Varanasi and the burning ghats, seeing the incredible Taj Mahal, countless cups of DELICIOUS chai, curry, dosas, lassis, getting sick and then dying from the extreme heat in Delhi, pannniiiii pannniiiiii
England: spending some time with the fam and figuring out our plan to live and work in Berlin for a year, then scrapping that plan the following week and buying bicycles, gear and cycling to –
France: 2 months in this beautiful country. France has a special place in my heart. I always loved the language but spending two months here was… INOUBLIABLE! We met some beautiful people, the Bassetts – our French family, cycling the alps (still question myself if that was real), camping, great Summer weather, the pastries… the fromage…. the wine… seeing Guillaume again 🙂
Italy: MOZZIES!, our longest downhill ride, gelato, thinking most of the northern italians were quite standoffish until we met crazy SALVO and family, using warm showers for the first time and meeting the lovely Monica, pizza
Switzerland: Ok technically just a bus stop over in Zurich as we got a bus from Milan to Frankfurt due to Kel’s bike rack being broken and not being able to find a replacement. Our half an hour stop which cost us $42, beautiful scenery, wishing we cycled through the country until we realised how expensive it really was… saying Hi to Federer’s home town haha
Germany: Staying with the wonderful PETER, seeing a calf being born, grapefruit beer, being able to bake again, eating lots and lots of chocolate covered german gingerbread, LIDL saving us, cycling 153 km in one day
The Netherlands: BIKE COUNTRY!, the flatness!, hoi, the kindness: used warm showers quite a bit here, seeing NADIA again 🙂 🙂 :), loving the netherlands so much… crossing the Afsluitdijk, cows, cows and more cows, fresh air, green, windmills, experiencing proper headwind, riding soaked all day, eating stroopwaffels, eating so healthy at Nadia’s and feeling good, Kel’s first yoga class
Denmark: getting the 45 min ferry to Denmark and not stocking up on food then paying double in the same supermarket, my seat breaking off my bike and having to hover and get a hotel, picking apples off all of the apple trees AND blackberries!!!, exploring Copenhagen, going into all of the home decor shops and LOVING the Danish designs and style wishing I could buy everything, wanting to buy new clothes because everyone was so stylish, staying with Iann and Marlena (who we actually just met up with in Tokyo!!), seeing EMMA and JONAS again, spending time with RASMUS in Aarhus which was an awesome city, planning to cycle 200 km but then quitting after 20 kms of head winds and having to pedal downhill, dull scenery so an expensive train ride it was!
Faroe Islands: MINDBLOWING scenery, Kel experiencing snow for the first time, getting depressed due to the 3-4 hours of daylight (sky was just lighter than dark) and experiencing the strongest WIND ever and RAIN, forming such a close family bond with the Johannessens, Kel hunting, me making lollies and lollipops, lots of baking, hiking, eating rotten sheep, dried fish and trying whale, knitting, living in a tiny and remote village, celebrating snow with hot chocolate and white rolls, christmas lights.
Iceland: Ah Iceland… a place I dream of every single day, the NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!!, hiking in snow to bathe in natural hot springs, reindeer, living in another small village, snow, snow and more snow! Swimming outside in the warm pool while it’s snowing, Christmas with our icelandic family, road tripping for New Year’s Eve, lighting fireworks, snowball fights with the hildibrand fam, skiing with Philip and Maja, spending 3 months here, eating sheep, sheep and more sheep, trying fermented shark (ew) and other ‘interesting food’, eating Laufabrauð – the prettiest crisp bread you’ve seen, making KLEINA!!!!, more knitting, the icelandic horses… gloves from Sila, contemporary dancing with Andy and Maja, Kel hurting his knee and using crutches that had spikes, our road trip back to Reykjavik, sleeping in the car in winter, being in a snowstorm and using our emergency blankets which actually work, feeling so in AWE at every moment of the road trip, meeting the loveliest icelandic people, ‘sleeping’ at the airport… I could go on
England: spending more time with my awesome cousins, Sarah and Andy, and his girlfriend Chloe, CLAZZA, hanging out with Tressy, Ryan and Stu in London, that DELICIOUS chinese meal we ate together, getting Grandma lots of cups of teas and cakes, selling our bicycles, drinking with my auntie and uncle, my birthday, carrying a 20 kg bag of our stuff as well as our backpacks for about 30 minutes, wondering where in the world to explore next….
It’s safe to say I had an AWESOME year!!!! I’m already half way through the next one and I’m still adventuring.
Time has been flying past so quickly which makes me realise that there is no time like the PRESENT to live your dreams and do whatever you want to do!
PS can’t forget this person… Sharing all these experiences with him has made it the best 🙂