My year in review: 2019

It is the shortest day of the year, and the first day of Winter. Just like I have done in the past few years, I’d like to reflect on my year. I have made some incredible memories in 2019, and I hope next year will be another good one.

The first seven months of the year were fairly uneventful for me. I spent most of it working, with the exception of visiting a music festival in Belgium. In Spring, I walked a couple of beautiful routes in different parts of Holland. I also spent quality time going on day trips with family. I dedicated a whole day to improving my photography skills in Rotterdam, which I’d love to do more often. As ever, I tried to read more books, but despite taking part in two weekend-long reading challenges, I only managed to read 8 books this year. In an attempt to improve productivity and creativity, I started bullet journalling. However, I didn’t pick it up very well after my big trip this summer. Hopefully that’ll change in 2020.

Hong Kong (S.A.R.)

My Holland to Hong Kong trip

Of course, my whole year revolved around my trip to Hong Kong. I spent the first half of the year preparing for it, counting down the days. The overland journey from Holland to Hong Kong that I made was fantastic. I travelled an incredible distance and fulfilled a life-long dream. In doing so, I have learnt so much. Every day was a new adventure and every country was a new experience. It was great to experience different cultures and see how people in other countries live, discover what makes them happy. It was also great to explore unfamiliar cities on my own, to learn about the history of those places and to discover new cuisines.

Lake Baikal, Russia

I loved how many people followed my adventure, read my journals and asked me questions about it. Although I haven’t quite finished writing my travel journals, I do still plan on publishing them, I promise! I can talk about my trip for hours, but when the inevitable question gets asked – “what was your favourite place?” – I still have no idea.

Russia was fantastic because I have always wanted to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The long train journeys were every bit as amazing as I’d hoped they would be. I loved Mongolia for the vast open landscapes and the friendly, hospitable people. China is so rich in history and so different from my own culture that I was sad to have spent such a short time there and to have seen such a small part of it. I loved Hong Kong, because I finally got to see the city that my best friend calls home. And finally, I loved Dubai, because it was fun to see its grandeur. I managed to visit both the old and the new parts of the city in one day, exploring old spice shops as well as the incredibly modern Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.

Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2020 plans

As for next year? For once, I don’t really have any plans. There are a couple of things I want to save money for, so the budget for travelling won’t be as big as I’d like. I have many ideas for future travels, but none are more than just an idea. I suppose I should continue to dig through this year’s photos and make a book, which is going to keep me busy for quite some time. Other than that, I don’t really know. I suppose I’ll just have to make it up as I go along. It feels pretty good to not have any plans at all for once.

I hope your year has been a great one as well, and that 2020 will be even better. I’m ready for a whole new decade. Bring on the twenties! Happy holidays to everyone who reads my blog and I hope you’ll continue to do so next year!

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