I am a bit behind on this end of year summary, but I have a really good reason for it - an unexpectedly fun Christmas vacation that made me so lazy. More on that later.
2012 was a great year overall. We celebrated its beginning at a street party in Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) where – don't ask me why – the countdown started at 8 instead of 10. I also remember glancing at my watch and seeing 12:03… But hey, who cares? The notion of time is relative anyway.
In the spring, we did what has now become a traditional drive around Niagara wineries, and I resolved to always come back in off-season! No crowds, no cars, no lines, no waiting!
My favourite icewine at Inniskilling winery
Then was a trip to Peru that I wrote so much about
. For a relatively small country, Peru's nature is wonderfully diverse! We've been to the mountains, the coast, and the desert (missing only the Amazon rainforest), so it felt like several separate trips and not just one. I can't wait to come back to see the rest!
In August we drove to Quebec, visiting Quebec City and Montreal
. I am ambivalent about the French-speaking province but it's always great to get out of Toronto.
Iconic hotel Château Frontenac in Quebec City
In October I did a quick visit to Russia to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. I didn't write anything about it just because these trips always live me totally confused. Life in Russia is changing so rapidly, the country is trying to catch up with the Western world, which I guess is good. But I hate to see that many people are being left behind in the midst of this progress and are struggling to adjust.
Finally, the last trip of the year was to the island of Roatan in Honduras. Having no expectations whatsoever, I was blown away by the beautiful beach, easily accessible but very healthy coral reef, and friendliness of locals. You will read all about this trip in the next post.
At that street party in Dominican I resolved that 2012 would be the year of change. I was bored at work, unfulfilled, and felt that life was steering me in the wrong direction. I needed a meaningful project to work on. That's how the idea of TripsThatWork came around.
Starting this blog was the best thing I did last year. It obviously takes a lot of time and effort - and I'm not gonna lie to you, writing doesn't come easy - but at the end of the day I go to bed satisfied and sort of calmed down. Also, having a blog made it so much easier to be a part of this awesome community of travelers who are as crazy about seeing the world as I am. It feels good to belong.
Not everything was great in 2012, however. At the end of November one of my babushkas past away. It was the same babushka I’ve written about
only a few months before. My sister and I keep reassuring each other that she had a long, healthy life and that it's okay that she left -it was her time to go. But I hate to let go of that last connection to the simpler, unspoiled life that she represented. Rest in peace, grandma!
The end of 2012 brought some changes to my life: both Jonny and I are starting new jobs in January. He will be having a ton of free time and a 7-week vacation (whaaaat??), while I'm getting only busier and possibly losing the 10-day winter break that was always used to escape the miserable Canadian winters. But no matter what, I'm excited to see how the new year will turn out. I am half way through planning a big trip to China and the Koreas, so lots to look forward to!
Happy New Year everyone! It's going to be great!
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