The sun is setting on 2015 and it’s time to do a year review of all of the great things that happened, all the achievements, some disappointments, the things that got done and the ones that are still outstanding….
A year review is quite a personal exercise but it’s definitively something necessary before being able to define goals for the New Year to come.
Because this blog is about travel, I’ll obviously start by this, but because travelling isn’t everything, I will share with you some other items, maybe more intimate.
First of all, I want to say that setting goals on New Year isn’t really my thing! We all know how it goes, we make big promises to ourself and… forget about them almost instantly!
I think that to make progress on personal or professional goals, you have to treat them as a project: Define S.M.A.R.T. objectives (you know Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/ Realistic and Time bound), define a process to achieve them, plan accordingly, review periodically… and celebrate your achievements of course!
So we are here at my year review and celebration!!
The BIG highlight of this year was our amazing summer road trip which took us through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Going to Norway had been on my bucket list for a long time and now that I’ve been, I just want to go back!! The only downside is that, we weren’t the only ones who wanted to go… Why the hell all these people weren’t laying on a beach somewhere?! 😉
The next best thing, was my trip to Italy. If Paris is always a good idea, Milan, Florence and Rome are always a great pleasure. While I was in Italy, Mr A. was in London, which was a bit weird. I’m used to travel alone while he is busy at work. I don’t like it when he is seing the World without me!! It may sound a bit selfish but it’s not. I like travelling with him, at least most of the time 😉 Adventures are best when share with a loved one, don’t you think?
Before starting this review, I thought those 2 trips pretty much summed up our travel year and I was shocked and hugely disappointed. How could that be it?
But I then took my little agenda and realized we did far more city trips and long weekend’s road trips than I thought. Paris, London, Brussels appeared several times, more than I recalled. We also did 2 marvelous road trips in Germany, one which took us through the Black Forest and one along the Moselle Valley in Germany which enable us to visit some great castles.
Speaking of castles, we also visited several in Luxembourg, Belgium and France in addition to amazing cathedrals and churches. And in case you didn’t read one of my latest post, we finally slept in a church on our tour of Brittany!
Overall, when looking at my 2015 agenda, I realized, that we were gone most week-ends, doing new things and visiting new places and, although I wished there had been more distant and exotic destinations in the list, I was pleased with the result. Getting to discover your own ‘backyard’ can be just as interesting as discovering someone else’s ‘backyard’. You know, the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere…
The craziest thing that happened this year is….drum roll…. the re-launch of this blog!
I started Road Trips around the World as a mean to share pictures with family and friends and to my surprise, other people liked it – Thank you so much! I’m truly honored!
So in 2015, I finally took the plunge and decided to re-launch it and take it to the next level. Transferring it from WordPress.com to WordPress.org was the first step of a long learning curve. I LEARNED SO MUCH in the past couple months. From using all WordPress tools, learning about all those necessary plugins and widgets, to understanding SEO, as well as getting my Amazon affiliate program up and running and my blog published on Kindle…. Not forgetting the all too many other issues that needed fixing, it’s just been crazy!
To advanced bloggers, this may seem ridiculous because that’s really nothing! I know, I know, but I’m still very proud I managed!
To non bloggers, this may seem complicated. It kind of is, but if I can do it, you also can!
Road Trips around the World isn’t yet where I want to take it. It’s missing lot’s of sections and links, I need to reorganize things and correct some mistakes I now know, I have made. There are also a lot of things I haven’t done yet. But I’m really happy with the current result considering how much work it represents.
Road Trips around the World now has:
- Very close to 100 blog posts available. Yep yep, hooray!!
- 1500 pictures loaded!
- A really cute logo and a banner I made myself.
- 2 mini guides I’m super proud of!
- Only 3 hand drawn maps but I love them very much and I hope you do too!
- A boutique with Amazon for you to shop all the essentials items I like.
Not bad I think, in just a few months and considering this is not my sole activity!
Although 2015 ended on a high note with regards to my consultancy services (which was more than welcomed!), I’m not going to talk about this in detail right now. The thing I can say is that it will have consequences on my 2016 travel but I’m not yet sure in which way.
Life & Lessons learned
Life has been hectic and peaceful at the same time. Quite and odd thing to say, really.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
Although I’m not sure how, it seems that I have managed to leave by this quote. I sure hope to continue on this path in 2016!!
Despite this, it’s a bit hard to jungle with a multi-faced life & career. With 3 jobs (including blogging!!) which all represents major commitments, I have to get more organized to fit it all in. More on this to come in my 2016 resolutions.
Still speaking of work and I guess life in general, I somehow realized that there are things I just don’t want to do and I decided, that I’m just not going to do them.
Again this may seem odd to say. I’m not talking about the party I don’t want to go to. Not talking about anything illegal either! Not talking about not doing the dishes, or not cooking on Wednesdays, although those could be valid decisions 😉
I’m talking about things that I don’t enjoy doing but have been doing anyway for social reasons, professional reasons or simply because everybody else is doing it. Well, in 2015, I stopped doing most of them, and although I kept wondering if I was right or wrong and if the sky was going to fall on my head, nothing happened! I’m still alive and happier than ever! So in 2016, I’m going to keep on not doing these things and only do what’s right for me.
One thing I did this year is to put family first. It may seem to be an obvious thing to do to most of you but in practice, I don’t think it’s that easy. When I had to chose between being there for a hugely important meeting that could change everything and skipping it to be with my loved ones in a difficult time, it wasn’t a so easy choice. Yes I hesitated.
What I learned later is that, me choosing to be there for my family, actually didn’t damage anything. I took the best decision I could and at the end, despite what I thought, didn’t lose the great opportunity I was offered. What is meant to happen, will happen.
So never again will I hesitate if faced with such dilemma.
That’s it for 2015! It’s almost over and it’s time to set new goals for 2016. But that will be in another post!
If you haven’t set any goals for 2016, it’s not too late but remember, they need to be SMART!
What’s your biggest achievement in 2015? What’s your biggest disappointment?