yearly review

The boy who strayed from his path

‘Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn.
Work hard, and never give up on your dreams,
even when nobody else believes they can come true but you’

– Phillip Sweet

It is suffice to say that 2017 didn’t really turn out the way that I thought it would. When the year began, I was of the opinion that I would have spent some time soaking the sun up in Byron, that I would have whale watched over in Western Australia, and that I would have travelled to hell and back completing the necessary 3 months of agricultural work required for a 2nd year visa up in Queensland. However, the reality is that none of the above occurred. And yet, looking back on my 2017, I don’t believe that I would really want to change it at all.

This year saw me forge some extremely strong friendships, revisit destinations that I first went to all the way back in 1999, and finally fulfil a bucket list wish that I have dreamed of for as long as I could remember. Most importantly though, it allowed me to (more…)

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The boy who moved away

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re doing something’

– Neil Gaiman

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Sitting atop Mt Ngauruhue with my mascot, Khaleesi

In my 2015 year review, the boy who started to live, I finished my post with the above quote by Neil Gaiman. If anything, it is more relevant for 2016 than in any year previously.

Why? Because over the course of this year I have made mistakes. Some were negative, but others did lead to positive outcomes. That is just on the surface though. If we look at it as some sort of checklist then;

  • Making new things? Check
  • Trying new things? Check
  • Learning more about the world around me? Check
  • Pushing yourself? Check
  • Changing my world? Check
  • Doing things I’ve ever done before? Check

If we measure 2016 against this then, without doubt, it is my most successful yet. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though. I may be extremely fortunate to have ended up in my current situation, but it didn’t come without sacrifice and hard work. So, as the year pulled into its home strait and the emotional goodbyes were had, there I was. One a plane bound to New Zealand. Now here I am in Australia, my home for the foreseeable future.

When I say it that way, it just seems to cap off a very strange year. Not so much for me, but just in general. Those working in the newsrooms have certainly earned their keep in 2016, because when there wasn’t tragedy striking at the heart of Asia, Africa or Europe, then there has always been another high-profile death. There was no such thing as a slow news week either because, if there was nothing new to report regarding the above elements, then the various forms of media outlets could always fill their boots with Brexit and the rise of Trump.

As I said, 2016? A very strange year. On a personal level though, I have to admit, it’s been pretty great… which is probably an understatement.

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The boy who started to live

‘Open your eyes, look within.
Are you happy with the life you’re living?’
– Bob Marley

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At the start of the year I wrote a post titled the boy who began to grow up, which reviewed my 2014 and outlined what I hoped to achieve by the time 2015 came to a close.

The focus for 2015 was to forge an environment in which I could reclaim my life as my own, creating a plethora of stories and memories along the way. This is something I truly believe I have managed to achieve. I would argue that 2014 provided me with a disjointed roller-coaster ride, replaced by a 2015 which – for the most part – was relatively smooth-sailing and ended with a trip of a lifetime.

(more…)