Since I began writing this I have starting reading some other blogs a bit more, to see what works, what I like, etc, and a lot seem to do stuff like, "my top 10 blogs", or "look what I got in 2011", which is a bit tiring. But, it is nice to reflect on things that have past to get a sense of satisfaction to reassure ourselves that time past was not time lost.
So, this morning I was sitting in my villa in Koh Samui (my coffee was brought to me without asking exactly how I like it, thanks to my amazing house staff), I was trying to think of the places I had been this year. It wasn't a bad list, but not overly impressive either! I managed to get to Bali, Indonesia, for a family friends' wedding and stayed at the beautiful Karma Kandara (website here). Then later in the year I, obviously, came to Asia and have visited Cambodia and now Thailand. So, three countries in one year, which has been pretty standard for me over the last few years. In fairness though, usually that has been for work. As I ran study tours and worked for Curtin University I was often in Malaysia (often going through Brunei), China and Vietnam.
When I thought about it though, this years travels seems that much more awesome. Probably because I wasn't working! But because of that, the ability to focus on the travel, I met some really awesome people. Seriously, this year I have meet some of the coolest cats I know or reconnected with people who I had lost contact with and, for me, that is one of the beauties of travelling.
Then I got thinking more, still on the same topic, and thought about all the travelling I had done within Australia, and I was blown away with what relationships I had managed to make and maintain.
To give you a run down of the year:
I brought in the 2011 year in Tasmania at the Falls Festival with one of my best mates Benjie, his partner Narisha, and his friends Jimmy, Peter and Fleur, and Kajsa We spent four days listening to bands, and sneaking about with contraband alcohol, before touring Tassie for a day or two. (We had also gone to the Taste of Tasmana food show in Hobart just after Christmas where I had managed to catch up with fellow Perthian/JCLA'er/GV alum Tristan, and my JCLA buddy/down right LEGEND Aimee).
This lead to numerous trips to Melbourne as I started a new job in April for not for profit company called Teach for Australia (website) and required me flying to Melbourne every six weeks or so. The TFA guys were, hands down, some of the coolest people I have ever worked for! Not only that, the vision of the company (an Australia where every child has access to quality eduction) is a very humble, noble, and achievable one.
The travel to Melbourne for work saw me being able to catch up with my cousin Tim (and finally see his house in the hills - amazing) and Uncle Dave. Go out with the TFA crew for the Melbourne comedy festival (I got belly ache from laughing so hard), catching up with Mattie and Liam (and getting our party on before dropping me - bastards!! ;) ), being in Melbourne for the AFL Grand Final (offing Collingwood!), Brendan and the new TJ, also dead set legends, catching up with good friend and fashion blogger Carly (Lady Smaggle, blog here) and some how, yet again, turning lunch into an 11 hour adventure of coffee, ales, tapa's and ciders.... Then going back to Naked for Satan an hour after we left because everything was just far too good), catching up with one of dad's best mates Steve... the list goes on...
Half way through the year was Bali and Gili T, as I said, which saw me meeting Katie and so many friends of the Kotovski clan (if you know the Kotovski's, you are in the clan. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're not. Just... no). The wedding and the venue truly made the wedding trip a moment where friendship could be made over a few days and you could have some awesome times. For example, I spent over a million on tequila on the wedding night... ONE MILLION... rupiah.. :) It was just awesome meeting Asheesh, Ravi's mates, Claire et al.
After my TFA contract expired, I took a few weeks off. I hung around to see some champions of champions graduate from the John Curtin Leadership Academy before heading to Asia.
Since hitting Asia, I have met some awesome people from Europe, Johanna and Rose specifically from Siem Reap, Manu and Rachel from Koh Rong who I will be seeing again shortly, and in Thailand I am now in a villa with 8 other awesome peeps, all relationships I hope will endure.
I have to be honest, I am seriously downright shocked as to how many hits this page is getting. Russian reverse span bots aside, I love that it helps me remain connected to everyone I have met while travelling, and also my friends am family back home. I, of course, love you comments and messages on FB.
So, my 2011 was incredible because I managed to meet a bunch of wicked people and remain connected via the wonders of technology!!
But, what made 2011 big for you? Let me know!!
Until next time, and 2012!!
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