I've been at my happiest this year and here are the highlights of what made this year so awesome for me and my family:
1. I've been with family near or far, nothing beats family time for me.
-Went to see my brother last March
-Met my best friend Sheryl in Australia
-Eula came to visit over Ramadan
-Went to see my family in Holland last autumn
-Went to Philippines and visit Atche Yhobba and Mama Cora last summer
-And last but not the least, re-uniting with my long lost friend with our long lost youth. Jem!
3. Managed to see my brother twice this year :) This is the best trip I've had this year and I am so proud of my brother for making this work. We had our pre-christmas holiday in Bali, first time for the boys to see him after so many years.
4. I've had the best ever birthday celebration in my entire life!!! 2 years back when I hit 30, I was hoping to have a huge party but that didn't really work out. This year I've hosted a reunion with my teenage friends whom I've not seen for atleast 10 years and went clubbing. It was so good to see everyone and catch up.
5. Managed to squeeze in 5 holidays this year :)
-March, New Zealand & Australia
-May, Tokyo Japan
-August, Taiwan & Philippines
-October, Spain & Netherlands
-December, Bali Indonesia
6. Alex and I had the best time of our life in Japan. We always try and go on holiday together once a year without kids just to relax and unwind. Because between chaotic workload and demanding kids are two parents trying to hold it together or sometimes one(Respect for single parents out there, I don't know how you can possibly do it!). And for that, we do need our time off! It was such a relaxing time, we both love eating and that's all we did. Ice cream before bedtime, gyoza for breakfast, sushi/sashimi for lunch and ramen for dinner. And everything with matcha!
7. Alex turned 30 this year, YAY! I know a lot of people don't like aging. But we do :) My husband always looked young and so aging is a little exciting for us. Half the time, people won't take us seriously because we look quite young. But really, 30's is just such fun stage and we're really enjoying it. Going to bars and not being asked for ID's is such an achievement.
8. Tyler just moved to Karsten's school which is really nice, because they now take the school bus together :)
9. Travel. I love traveling. As you can see, most of my previous highlights are about or related to travel. This is something I fell in love with in my twenties and made it my goal to see the world and wrap myself with the unfamiliar. I've only been to 4 countries, from when I was a child until such time I've discovered the pleasure of traveling as an adult. And I can't believe how much I've achieved over the last couple of years. This year is a huge achievement for me. I have officially traveled to my 40th country :) I know, it's nothing in comparison to other nomads. But I'm not a full time traveler so cut me some slack. I somehow need a job to sustain this lifestyle and I take every opportunity I get to see the world. I know some people don't count and is somewhat frowned upon. But I do count, because that's how I monitor my trips and each rise is an accomplishment. And I do track for the rest of the family too and this is where we are now :)
Majeigh - 40
Alex - 39
Karsten - 23
Tyler - 19
10. And speaking of jobs, last and finally. My company has gone through a massive restructure. Just like most of the companies in Dubai last year. This time, it was really tough. Restructure is something I never bothered with. I've seen it happen in my company over and over again for the last 8 years I've been with them and things just bounced back. This time, it's different. This time, it's a massive count. And this time, I was affected. I feel so grateful that I've managed to stay somehow. Stability is something I've learned to value as I get older. So, yeah! Life continues at work and I've never been so happy. I've got the perfect home/life balance going on :)
It has been such an amazing 2016 and 2017 can only get better! Cheers to everyone and I wish you all a fantastic 2017!