I was sitting at my desk at home on Sunday 2nd July 2017 drafting this, quite happy to be home. Just like that, we’re in the 2nd half of the year 2017! The month of June was so busy for me that I’m catching my breath from it all and playing catch-up on my own life. The mid-year point is a good time to do a check on how I’m doing with my travel goals and in general.
All-in-One Life Update
Life’s good, albeit a little hectic here and there. January and February were….hectic at work. Since April, things have been a bit more manageable but it ebbs and flows. Work is going well, there have been new opportunities but those have been ‘balanced’ with a different set of challenges. I’ve recently returned from being on the road for work for almost three weeks! I was scheduled to be in Amsterdam for work right after all that but had to cancel since my Schengen visa just expired and I didn’t have enough time to renew it. The Lord knows I needed the rest so I ain’t even mad about it. My family is doing well, three close friends are engaged, and two friends had healthy babies a day apart during the month of June!!
Living in the UK
It’s hit me that I have about nine months left living in Europe and it sets off alarm bells on how much I have left to do here. Time flies ya’ll. To be honest, moving countries as an adult is not easy but I have to say I finally feel like I’ve found my space/rhythm and I’m really good! It just took longer to get here than I expected.
This Little Blog of Mine
I started blogging this year but I’ve not been as consistent as I’d hoped. Why? It’s partially due to work and travel, but I have to admit some elements of laziness/procrastination take over me sometimes. Are you still reading? Hang with me!!! My goal is to get to a point where I post at least once a week. Regardless, I’ll never put up a post just to have a post up. I’m still very much a novice at the technical aspects of blogging, there’s so much I’m yet to learn about running a website. Thank God for YouTube tutorials. I was so excited when I finally figured out how to add my Instagram feed, you’d think I discovered the cure to a disease!! Baby steps, I tell ya!
Travel Goals Update!
I have some ambitious 2017 travel goals here , and boy have I diverted! Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to and what I plan to do for the rest of the year. Overall, I had some time to consciously reassess and decide on my priorities as far as travel for the rest of the year. That reassessment has shaped my future plans. In April and May I had a few trips to London but I kept it local in line with said priorities above (family, old friends, and just some reflection time). Anyway, here’s how I’m doing:
January: Austria, Prague, and Brastislava. With this trip, I crossed the 30 countries mark!
February: This wasn’t officially in the plan but I went on a weekend trip to Belfast, Northern Island with three friends/colleagues.
Philippines & Qatar : I went to the Philippines and it was everything I wanted! I did not however go to Qatar on my layover as they did not approve my visa (they just never responded). I ended up having to pay to change my flight. Look out for a post or two on the Philippines. I’d really like to go back as I only barely scratched the surface of this beautiful country. After the hectic time at work in January/February, I needed that getaway.
London: In April, I also went to London for the Hillsong Women’s Colour conference, hands down one of the best things I’ve done for myself in a while, it was so refreshing!
Budapest: I postponed this trip but all is not lost, keep reading!
May: I’d planned to go to Italy in May but instead I went to London again, met up with an old old friend from high school and went to a concert. I also visited family in the area. At this point, talks of a work trip to India came up and so I submitted my passport and was kind of stuck anyway. In retrospect, I needed the break from international travel.
I also had a bit of work travel within the UK in May so this kept me quite busy.
Russia: We postponed the trip to Russia early on as our schedules weren’t lining up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the first quarter of 2018
London: I went to London 3 times in June. First to see family, then the next two other visits were for work.
India: This is trip that was not on my radar for this year. I got my Indian business visa, but it took a while to process so I took it upon myself to make the most of the trip. We worked quite a lot during the week and literally only had the weekend for non-work stuff. We packed it FULL and came back soooo exhausted, but it was worth it!
Milan, Italy: Well, this was a last minute trip. I’d missed my Italian adventure in May and on my return from India I definitely wanted to take advantage of the free flight and ‘branch/stop’ somewhere. Thankfully my friend was in town and happy for my visit to happen earlier than we planned and just like that, I made it to Milano! My hostess/friend is the best and it was so much fun exploring on the back of her scooter.
The Rest of 2017:
I still plan on accomplishing my travel goals for the second half of the year. It already looks to be busier than the first half as I’m deep into booking and planning right now. I still plan on visiting:
- Budapest (Hungary) – I’m here this weekend,
- Nice (France) & Monaco- September
- Croatia- September
- Belgium, Amsterdam – September
- Nigeria – not booked but committed – December
- Cape Verde – I reaaaalllyyy want to make this work – hoping for cheap tickets in November!
Biggest Change: Soo…I was mega hyped up for Kenya/Tanzania in August but my friend and her husband had to cancel for reasons beyond their control. I decided not to go to Kenya since I gave my word on waiting to go together…like 13 years ago. So you can say I’ve had a change in plans on what was to be my ‘main’ trip of the year. I’m currently planning a different African adventure for next month and I’m going solo! More to come on this.
Life happens, things change but we have the innate ability to reset and bounce back. Sometimes, all we need to do is give ourselves permission to sulk a bit, take time for a little bit of introspection and come up with a different plan. Sometimes a different plan is a better plan. How has your year been? Has everything gone according to plan? Or are you ‘re-routing’? What about your travel goals? Let’s play catch up in the comments section below!