Even if you're not one to celebrate the year change, one cannot help but be reflecting and reminiscing on the year that has passed. I have had a lot of people saying to me that I'm a lucky gall being able to work and travel, most of my time and resources being spent on the latter. Travelwise it has indeed been a busy year. I started off in Japan, where I spent 10 days in which I saw the main cities and soon grew to love this beautiful country and its culture. Any preassumptions about the Japanese were completely wiped away. Not soon after my return I went back to my teenage-roots, Northern Ireland. I think I was hoping to find something there, some sort of comfort or confirmation, which I didn't, except for being confirmed in my true belief that at some point I will return there indefinitely. [Who wants to live in a rainy country…Well, apparently I do.]
Soon after that I had to prepare for my longest trip of 2009: my travels through Scandinavia with the ultimate goal of reaching the Nordkapp (North Cape). Which I did. It was a journey full of reflection, lessons; a trip in which I finally found out that I have been fleeing from whatever it was worth fleeing from these past few years - living life like a rollercoaster and always on the go. But more about that later.
The trip originally was to be for 3 months, because once I had reached the North Cape I would zigzag down along the Norwegian coastline, which should take you a month at least, if you want to do it well. Well, guess what (and some of you know this already), Mel got homesick. Me! Moi! Io! Ik! I longed to just sit on my couch and watch an endless trail of movies and have my friends around. So, the trip got cut short by a month. I drove almost 10,000 km's in 2 months. And love Blommelstein, my caravan. (A major setback was that Blom couldn't come along at the very last minute…)
I tell you, I have seen many beautiful places, but this was the best trip until now, even though I have felt quite lonely at times. It probably has to do with the way I travelled, setting up my home in the middle of nowhere and not having a proper conversation for days on end. Upon my return I decided this was it for 2009 but of course I forgot one, no two minor details: my yearly trip with chum Sabine AND my yearly trip with chum Natasja. Which resulted in St Petersburg in October and Madrid in November. Then I decided, this really is it. No more trips in 2009. Well…except for this little wellness week in Slovenia. Which was just a lovely way to round up this wonderful year (also thanks to Dewi's company!).
And then I was broke, which I'm sure you can imagine ;o).
Now back to my need to escape. I can't tell you I have completely turned around, I'm still a person with too many interests, I guess sometimes too many friends (I say: too many because how can you offer quality attention to everyone) but I will hold on to them all the same and have learned to ignore little stabby comments like "well, when will you finally have some time for me?" because it just can't be helped and because most of the time they too, are busy people. But: luv'em, luv'em, luv'em.
And that has been 2009's biggest insight: I am blessed with a great circle of friends.
I truly can say I am a lucky ol' gall.
[And guess what: according to my hairdresser 2010 is going to be MY year (I think he is basing this on the ELLE horoscope but who cares….).]