2016: The travel year that was, 2017: The travel year that will be

Opotiki, New Zealand

Opotiki, New Zealand

2016 Was a year of highs and lows, some epic lows, hence how quiet my blog has been lately.

With the start of 2017 comes a time to start getting back into the blog groove (or attempting to) hence joining the linkup this month and it’s all about travel adventures and wishlists.

2016 saw me venturing into my own backyard of New Zealand more. With adventures to the far north of the Bay of Islands and Russell.

View from Flagstaff Hill

View from Flagstaff Hill, Russell

There was the sunniest spots in New Zealand of Nelson, Nelson Lakes, Kaiteriteri and Abel Tasman National Park.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Visiting the capital city of Wellington for the World of Wearable Art show and Zealandia.

Kakariki, Zealandia

Kakariki, Zealandia

Then there was the New Zealand South Island city of Christchurch (post-earthquake), Kaikoura (pre-earthquake) and French town of Akaroa. I even popping over to Sydney, Australia for my 30th birthday with my sister. I know I owe you all a few posts…

For my 30th I reflected on the vast epic adventures I’ve been on leading up this year. I marked this date with a series of blog posts leading up to my birthday that celebrated my 30 Greatest Travel Experiences before I’m 30 – check them out here »

Baby Gorilla

Baby Gorilla, Rwanda

2016 was a year of opening my eyes to the beautiful country that I live in. It was also a year of unsettling and unsure moments of if I’d made the right decision moving back to New Zealand. Sadly it took a death in the family to make me realise that sometimes life steers you in a particular direction for a reason.

Returning to NZ in 2015 from London (and extended travels) meant I was able to spend quality time (although brief and not often enough) with my Dad before he suddenly left us forever. I tell you this not for sympathy or pity, but because it’s made be realise how important being around family and those who are important to you really is.

You never know how long you’ve really got with the ones you love.

Appreciate the time you have.

New Zealand is my home and I’m not planning to leave anytime soon. Not for long periods of time anyway.

2017 Plans

It feels like it has been some time since I’ve had an epic adventure abroad and that means slowly I’ll get my life a bit more sorted and try to think about venturing abroad for a few weeks somewhere. I’m hoping those itchy feet will come back at some point.

It may be too late to organise Japan, to see the snow monkeys and/or cherry blossoms, but then again Autumn could be quite pretty there.

Borneo is another idea, I love wildlife and Borneo would provide a new and different taste of nature that I’ve never experienced before, with orangutans, sun bears, proboscis monkeys and more.

Burma (Myanmar) and Bhutan is still on the radar as is Africa (migration), but I’m really not ready to decide on any trips anytime soon. I’d love to visit Canada and my friends in Europe/UK too at some point as I miss them a lot.

As for New Zealand travels, my fitness has fallen by the wayside in Nov/Dec, so cycling the Otago rail trail may also need to be put off for another year. I’d still like to do a bit of a road trip around the South Island of New Zealand more as it really is so diverse and I feel like I’ve only scraped the surface with the few places I’ve visited so far.

Relaxing by Nelson Lakes

Relaxing by Nelson Lakes

So 2016 was a difficult year in many ways and sadly I expect 2017 to be pretty tricky too. With time comes healing and maybe a few travel bits is just what I’ll need to help get me through, then again solo travel may not be the best idea either. At least I’ve realised I’m where I’m meant to be and it’s just a matter of finding out how I can make living in New Zealand work with me properly.

To my readers, thank you for your patience during my absence. I’m not sure if I’ll share my recent travels with you, or just clean the slate with 2017, but stay tuned as I get my blogging mojo back – I promise there’ll be some stunning photos to share along the way!