Another year over, a new one just begun.
I’m having a hard time summarising this whirlwind of a year, and that is despite leaving world events out of the equation. There were some fabulous highs and some terrible lows, and a LOT of time away from home. In total, I spent around 200 days on the road either for work or own travel. Too much. I’m making a conscious effort to reduce time away from home this year. Workwise, things went fabulous and then far from fabulous. I got some very good contracts, then lost quite a few. Thankfully not due to poor delivery, but rather a set of unfortunate circumstances that saw several of my clients scaling back. Nevertheless, it made a very big dent in my bank account… But it forced me to regroup and rethink, and I feel that I am going into 2017 with a solid plan and a good vision of where I want to go.
I’ve picked a few photos that I feel summarise the good parts of the year. The bad ones, I’ve already left behind. For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice as T.S Eliot so beautifully put it.
One of my favourite pics from the year: early morning at Walkersons in Dullstroom
We ate a lot of great meals, but this must have been the best of the best: La Colombe. In my opinion the best restaurant in South Africa!
I attempted The Camino, but decided after a week that it wasn’t for me. Blogged about it here
Instead, I spent quite a bit of time in my home town and realised that sometimes what you look for is right there in front of you! No need to travel to faraway places for nature and solitude when you have it right here!
I also hiked quite a bit for work. This particular tour that goes from Maputo via Swaziland and Drakensberg to Lesotho and ends on the Wild Coast is the first one that I produced and managed by myself. More of that to come in this year!
We also squeezed in a few fabulous getaways. This was a Bucket List one for me: the Rovos Rail!
But our two-week trip to La Reunion was without contest the Best Trip of the Year. We hiked, explored volcanoes and lava tunnels, went paragliding, downhill cycling and scuba diving. Oh, and attempted to learn French. That, however, went less well… But, I’m not giving up just yet and have already planned a trip to Mauritius early this year to continue the torture (oh, and spend time with a dear friend).
Time in the bush was rather limited during the year, but I did take one of my best ever wildlife photographs in Manyeleti.
I turned 40! The celebrations stretched over time and continents, but one of the best moments was a long weekend at a Chateaux in St Emilion together with my besties!
I ran a lot. Between January and June, I did countless half marathons, two marathons and two ultras. Then my knee started hurting a bit and I had to cut back. This year, I’m going to do shorter but more technically challenging races, starting with the Two Oceans 24km trail run in April.
Work took me to some serious Bucket List places. I even managed Sossusvlei twice in one year!
And so it stretches out in front of me: a brand new year where everything is still possible! There will no doubt be disappointments and stumbles along the way, but I am hopeful that this will be a great one!