I’ll be continuing the Moving to Ireland series again soon, but I wanted to take a break and write a 2016 overview and reflect on the past year. Plus I’ll be sharing my plans for 2017.
There have been many drafts of this post. I know there are a lot of “2016 is the worst” memes out there, and sadly I have to conclude with that assessment. Not because of politics or all the talented people we’ve lost (seriously 2016 give it a break), but because I’ve faced a lot of challenges I never expected. Last year I wrote in 2015 overview that I was declaring 2016 to be “the year of awesome.” Truthfully 2016 has been the year of “oh you think you know what’s going on? Well, let’s turn everything upside down. Hahaha, fuck you” kind of year.
However, I also know about confirmation bias (where people only see proof of things confirming their current beliefs, like only seeing evidence that 2016 has been horrible). And I don’t want to create some self-fulfilling prophecy where I only focus on the negative, and that becomes all I can expect from life, and because that’s all I expect I act negatively and end up creating that negative reality. I know that sounds a bit new agey (creating negative reality), but self-fulfilling prophecies and confirmation biases have been studied and proven scientifically. And I don’t want to get all of you sad and angry reading another internet post about how awful the world is, because even though it’s been hard, I have had a lot of great experiences this year.
Where I Went
My first trip of the year started in Hong Kong. I went to Kowloon Park and fell in love with some statues of comic characters. I visited the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery and got a tour of the markets. There’s a lot more I did in Hong Kong, which I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts.
Next was a week in the world’s largest city. I got a tour from a local, went to a Kabuki show, and got lost many times, but still figured out how to get around the city. Tokyo was a challenging city for me to visit, but I’m glad I went and would love to go back and see more of Japan. I’ll be posting more about my time in Tokyo in upcoming posts.
As most of you know, I made a big move to Dublin, Ireland this year. Before setting up in Dublin, I spent a couple of days in London. I got to see a few shows on the west end, saw Napolean’s toothbrush at a quirky museum and went to a few more places that I will be sharing with you soon.
I moved to Dublin, Ireland in August. Since living here, I have mostly been getting settled into daily life. If you’re thinking about moving to Ireland you should read my series Moving to Ireland (the last 3 parts are coming soon). I have written about visiting the Guinness Storehouse and will be sharing more about Dublin (and hopefully other places in Ireland) soon.
Yes, while I didn’t announce it here I just got back from a short trip to Bath, UK. I’d been working at a department store in Dublin, and since it was a seasonal job that ended at Christmas, I decided to take a few days off for a quick trip to Bath before starting the job search again. Bath was lovely and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.
2017 Travel Plans
It’s weird because I don’t have a big trip booked right now like I normally would at this time. However, I do have a few places I want to visit. Before I moved to Dublin, I thought I’d be traveling somewhere new every month. I’d like to do that, but it hasn’t happened yet, mostly because it took me longer to get a job (and save for travel) than I wanted. I hope to quickly get a job in the new year and save up for some short (2-3 day) breaks around Europe. These are some of the countries I want to visit in 2017.
- Ireland. Yeah cause I’ve been around Dublin (still lots more to see here) and done a few local day trips, but I haven’t been anywhere else in the country. So I’m hoping to change that this year.
- The UK. Flights are cheap, and it’s pretty close. Hamilton is planning to open in the West End, so I want to go back to London for sure. I’d love to visit Northern Ireland (I can take the train to Belfast), Scotland, Wales, and other places (outside London and Bath) in England.
- Belgium. Did you know I’ve been to Belgium? That is if you count stopping at a gas station on a Contiki as being to a country. I mean technically accurate, but I really want to see Belgium and flights to Brussels are pretty frequent from Dublin.
- France. I have been to Paris, but when I was there 9 years ago I was sick and didn’t get to see much. So I’d love back to Paris, but I’m completely open to visiting other parts of France too. I mean they have wine and cheese, so you can’t go wrong.
- Portugal. One of my flatmates is Portuguese and I know several people who have been to Portugal and it looks amazing. A quick trip to Lisbon or Porto would be wonderful.
- Germany. I’ve been to Frankfurt (on a layover) and Munich on a tour, but I would love to see more of Germany. Berlin’s been on my to-visit list for a while, but I’d happily explore one of the many other cities in Germany. I’d especially like to go next year during the holidays during the Christmas Markets.
I’d also love to visit Morocco. It’s been on my must-visit list ever since I can remember, but I know I’d want to spend a few weeks there.
My plan is to use Skyscanner to find cheap flights throughout the year. If I end up going to some different places that what’s on this list then that works for me. It’s not often I live someplace where I can get a return flight to another country for $20. I’ll try to take advantage of this as much as possible.
So that’s my 2016 overview and some of what I hope to do in 2017. I wish everyone here a great new year with health, wealth, happiness, and of course travel.
What are your travel plans for 2017?