Where did the time go? I remember just writing the 2013 edition and now it’s the end of 2014 already?! What the?!
The year started off with a bang. My brother got married and it was a very joyous occasion. Friends and relatives flew from around the world to come witness the union of my brother and his wife *V. There were tears and laughter all round, but mainly tears of joy (we’re all a bunch of softies).
An aside: I couldn’t believe my brother was getting married. He is 18 months younger than I am and we are very close. I don’t know if it’s because of our age that we’re closer to each other than our other siblings. He was always the good one, the one who would diffuse the situation between my parents and I, the one who would play tennis with me when no one would (because they couldn’t) and the one who would be silly with me. God I’ll miss those days.
The wife’s extended family and friends could not make it over for the Perth wedding so they decided to put on a reception in Hong Kong. The whole family packed a carry-on (each) and took a quick weekend trip to Hong Kong for another celebration.
No travel to report but there was plenty of planning for our Latin America trip. Visa for Brazil? Check. Up to date vaccinations? Check. Accommodation in 4 cities? Check. Start following the USD rate? Check. The anticipation was killing me.
The time had finally come and I was on my way. There were so many things to tie up before leaving; projects at work, organise a cleaner so my house sitter wouldn’t think I lived like a slob, leave the fur child with her new friends, finalise flight changes, and a million other things. But it was all worth it. 30 days off work and travels to 7 countries. The time had come.
First stop was to Bali for my friend’s wedding. It was held at Ayana Resort and it was AMAZING. The resort is the height of luxury I’ve ever (to date) experienced and it felt good to feel and be so ooo-la-la (note to self: must do this more often!).
The bride looked stunning in her strapless dress with a feature bodice and the groom in his smart tux, with all the trimmings in a deep purple colour. It was hot as hell and we all sweated like a waterfall but getting those endless rounds of cocktails in us really helped. Hoping the groom isn’t broke after we blew the budget. Twice.
After the whirlwind trip to Bali, I headed out on the epic Latin America (and Cuba) trip, part of my 30th birthday present to myself (and I say part present because we all knew I was going to buy myself another adventure). It has been 5 years in the making and it was finally happening.
The trip consisted of Panama City (Panama Canal!!!), Cuba (mojitos and salsa!!!), Ecuador (random last minute overnight), Argentina (Malbec and steak!!!), Iguazu Falls (ticking another wonder off), Paraguay (to shop in the “black market”) and Brazil (caipirinhas and samba!!!).
In hindsight, Argentina was my favourite. All the sweet and juicy steaks, the hot men, the weird dinner time (people were still eating at 1am!) and everything else. I miss Buenos Aires so much!!!
June and July
There was an onset of PTD (post travel depression), work was busy with my manager away, I got offered a new job by my ex-boss and I had to start doing some of my maid of honour duties. Before I knew it, the months were gone.
I attended, yet another, wedding for the year and it was so special. One of my oldest friends married the love of his life and I was there to witness it. His parents were so happy, I’d never seen them smile, chat or laugh so hard. It was just beautiful. I was so happy for them, I can’t confirm or deny I got a bit tipsy on the bubbles.
That PTD was ongoing and got to me so I booked a mini adventure for the long weekend. I took the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to go up north to the turquoise waters of the Turquoise Coast and beyond. It was just what I needed. Time away, with a bunch of crazy international girls and a hot tour guide. I spent a lot of time clearing my head, listening to the water lapping the shore and the sound of the dolphins playing.
One of the perks (or curse?) of the new job is all the flying we need to do; seeing people and maintaining good working relationships with the team. On a 2 day PM workshop in Sydney, I extended my trip and headed up to the Blue Mountains, somewhere I haven’t been before.
With flight prices out, I started looking at flights to South Africa for *D’s wedding in Sept next year. I was due to take a long weekend in Melbourne for the last wedding of the year, so I combined the trip to also discuss dates for Madagascar with Jo, my tentie in Zambia 4 years ago. The talk was going well until we got to talking about lemurs…
The wedding that weekend may have been the second best wedding I’ve ever attended. My bestie’s little sister married her man in the most elegant and classic style ever. The wedding was set at the Stones of the Yarra Valley, with the ceremony held in a quaint chapel and the reception dinner in a homestead dripping in fresh flowers and greenery. The love between the groom and bride, and their families, could be felt from a mile away. What a stunning couple, and wedding!
I turned the big 3-0. As per tradition, there was a week of celebrating and a trip up north (as if the Latin America trip didn’t put a big enough dent in the travel fund). I tried to conquer my fear of heights by going skydiving. I don’t think it has helped but what an amazing experience!!!
Hope you had an epic 2014 like I did! I’ve been told I need to slow down and settle down now I’m in my 30s but the truth is, I need to slow down a bit because of lower back and knee problems. Ha!
Wishing you and your family a happy and safe holiday, many travels and plenty of rest and recovery for an amazing 2015 ahead!