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Twenty Seventeen

January 7, 2018

As we welcome 2018, I am reflecting back on the past year and once again, I am filled with nothing but gratitude. There were many personal challenges but there was also abundant growth. Here’s a look back over the past year.

In 2017…

I barely blogged. 

Sharing things on this space has taken the back seat this year mainly because I wasn’t motivated and inspired to share any of my travels. I hinted a little bit to the one of the whys on this post. Other than that, it was just life getting in the way and that is a good problem to have. That said, reading back on all my travels and seeing all the photos on the blog brings me so much joy and reminds me of so many beautiful memories that I want to continue with it.

Here’s to blogging more in 2018!

I went on multiple mini trips. 

To compensate for the lack of travels in the first 6 months of the year, I planned multiple mini trips: cross-country skiing in Barrie, (tried & failed at) skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa in February (it was too warm and the canal wasn’t frozen enough), and explored Quebec City in May (ALL the pastries and coffee – O.M.G!)

Beautiful cup of coffee in Gatineau.

I would go back to Quebec City for that lemon lavender beignet.

We explored Ile d’Orleans and stopped at all the cute little shops.

Once I came back from Indonesia I went to Pittsburgh for a girls’ trip in August, went CAMPING (!!!) the weekend after that, and ended the summer with fishing trips to Stratford and Hamilton (I don’t fish but I hang out with people who fish). I organized a quick trip to Muskoka and Grey County over Thanksgiving weekend and went to a winter cottage with a group of 12 to end the year. Sooo… yea… I moved quite a bit this year.

Pittsburgh skyline.

One of the many mansions we passed by on our walk in the city.

Afternoon break.

Much love to these ladies.

Beautiful summer sunset.

Tacos courtesy of the cute taco bus near our campground.

Pink sky – A fitting way to end a beautiful weekend.

Random waterfall we stopped at.

Thornbury cider tasting during Thanksgiving long weekend.

Last getaway of the year – Muskoka cottage country.

All the coziness.

I went on 2 big trips! 

One was to Indonesia for Ella’s wedding in the summer. This was also the trip where I had the pleasure of showing off life as I knew it to 2 of my dear friends, Lisa and Alex. You can read all about that here.

Typical street scene.

Pempek Palembang – I would like this to be my last meal.

Singapore’s Cloud Forest

Then in October, I went on a mini pilgrimage to Central Europe, starting with Prague then Krakow and surrounding areas, Budapest, and ending in Vienna (with a day-trip to Bratislava). It was filled with God, beers, and meat – what more could you ask for?

Charles Bridge in Prague.

Much love, Krakow!

Vienna, you’re so beautiful.

I haven’t done one of those “Trip in review” post for this one, so I should probably get on that.

I got a new job! 

Yayayayaya!! I got the offer as soon as I came back from my pilgrimage and handed in my resignation letter a week later. It was an exciting and surprising birthday gift. I have been on the new position for close to 2 months now and I am loving it. I am thankful I get to work with an amazing team and even more thankful because I love what I do.

I turned 30. 

How did that happen?! Sometime after my birthday, I was asked to give a presentation and I was starting to worry about how I was going to do it, if I was doing things correctly, and what people would think. Then a little voice in my head said “You are 30 now. You got this! Just do it!” Yes, my mind sometimes sounds like a motivational speaker.

I didn’t plan anything but there were multiple (unexpected) celebrations with different groups of people. You’re off to a great start, 30!

Celebration #1: Chinese Hakka dinner at home with my nearest and dearest.

Celebration #2: Fika with work buddies

Celebration #3: Birthday treats!

Also, can I just brag a little? When 2017 started, I promised myself that I would hit 30 countries before I turned 30. And guess what? I SURPASSED IT! I hit THIRTY-ONE countries by Oct. 31, 2017 (the last one being Slovakia)! HURRAY!

Wishing you a beautiful 2018 ahead, dear friends! Thanks for sharing this journey of life with me #blessed.

Until next time,

Pauline

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