Why 2013 Has Been So Awesome

The 2013 is nearly over so I want to take this opportunity to summarize the biggest and most important travel and personal moments which happened in my life for the past 12 months.

A girl on the train
Taking a train from Zagan to Wroclaw in Poland

Without a doubt, 2013 has been one of the most inspiring, exciting and wonderful years in my life. I have developed my travel and blogging skills, I became more self-confident and I made some biggest changes in my personal life which I am so proud of. Let’s see why 2013 has been so awesome to me:

1. It was a year of Travel Adventures.

A girl with a backpack
Traveling across Asia and Europe

Right after Christmas I spent at home with my family in Poland, I set off to Thailand, Cambodia and settled down in Dongguan, Dalang in China where I found a teaching job and been having a lot of fun with kindergarten students up to now. During this time, I managed to discover some of the most amazing Chinese spots such as Guilin, Hong Kong or Macau.

A girl is hiking The stunning Longsheng Rice Terraces
Hiking the stunning Longsheng Rice Terraces, Guilin, China

After 6 months spent in China I headed back home to Poland, visited Holland, Brussels and stunning Crete. In September, I came back to China to finish off my teaching contract with Bowen kindergarten and managed to spend an awesome weekend in Tokyo which was my dream come true.

I don’t even remember how many short trips I have been on this year and how many times I packed my backpacked for the new adventures. It’s been a hectic year of travels and I absolutely loved it. I feel blessed for being able to see all of these amazing places and keep inspiring others to do the same!

A girl visiting Amsterdam
Visiting Amsterdam

2. It was a year of Family Reunion.

I bet you still remember one of my reflective posts titled Travellers vs. non-travelers- will we ever understand each other? where I complained about not being understood by members of my family, friends and people who never left their comfort zone to travel the world independently. This has changed a lot in 2013. I flew back home for summer to charge my batteries between the Asia travels and I got really close to my mom, sister, grandma and old friends. I felt so loved than never before! I started to appreciate the value and meaning of the family and friendship once again.

a girl is posing with her friends and family
People who appeared in my life in 2013

3. It was a year of Travel Blogging.

Me and Cez have been working very hard to take eTramping to the next level. Our aim for this year was to focus on budget travel tips on how to travel the world for less than $25, interact with fellow travel bloggers and develop social media channels. Today we are so pleased with the results of our hard job and so proud of our China e-book that has been recently published. I must admit I have worked extremely hard to be where I am right now. We managed to appear on Samuel’s Top 100 Travel Blogs list (place 65) which has been a real honor for us and we are not gonna stop here.

A girl is using laptop
I was always blogging, even 5 minutes before leaving for a family reunion party

4. It was a year of True Friendship.

Unlike me, Cez has been very unlucky this year. He seriously injured his knee and due to this accident he was forced to cancel his cycling trip across Japan (more to read here). This summer has been extremely tough for Cez and me. I was visiting him in the hospital nearly every day, worked overtime in the kindergarten and tried my best to handle our blog. It was not easy and we did stop blogging for two months but we managed to sort everything out and get back on the track. Sometimes I did feel like giving up on blogging and travels, but I didn’t thanks to Cez and my mom. As they say “A friend in need is a friend indeed”! This year has shown me how important the friendship is and I’ve learnt a very important lesson: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

Teachers visiting Cez in his apartment
Teachers visiting Cez in his apartment

5. It was a year of China.

I’ve been in China, on and off, for nearly 2 years and I am currently calling it my home. China holds a special place in my heart. Here it all started – my first solo backpacking trip, my first proper teaching job, my first passport stamp from Asia, my first baozi, my first homesickness and my first blog post on eTramping. This year was a very special time for me as I realized China was my home. I could travel to Japan, Thailand or Poland but I always got back here.

Wearing traditional Chinese clothes in Guilin
Wearing traditional Chinese clothes in Guilin

I have been really enjoying my hectic life in Dongguan. I love when people smile to me in the street, treat me with some local dishes and care about me. They don’t fake anything. Everyone is so true!

See also  Beer Experiences From Around The World , Part 3

I am very grateful for all good things and life lessons I’ve learnt this year. I hope that 2014 is going to be equally adventurous and blessing to me and I can’t wait to share my travel plans for the next year with you.

A girl in guilin
This photo taken in Guilin when riding a bike across Xing Ping expressed how awesome I’ve been feeling in 2013!

How has 2013 treated you guys?

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Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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100 thoughts on “Why 2013 Has Been So Awesome”

  1. Avatar of Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    What an awesome year 2013 has been for the two of you! Reading about all your personal and professional accomplishments is so inspiring… you guys are motivating people to not just take better trips but also to live better lives! Can’t wait to see what you manage to do in 2014!

  2. Avatar of Kellie

    Wow, what an amazing year. I think the difficult times help makes us appreciate the good times all the more. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2014 :-)

  3. Avatar of Constance

    Wow! You have accomplished so much this year!! It is awesome how you managed to keep in touch with family and friends, travel and blog so much, and work as well. PLUS write a book too!! :)
    As for me, I started my blog and I am becoming more confident with writing and blogging. Blogging has been a real learning experience. I have learned a lot but I have a lot more to learn!! But I think my major accomplishment in terms of blogging was being contacted to have my pictures published in a magazine!! It has been a great year and I look forward to the new year and all the adventures it will bring with it!!

  4. Avatar of Samuel Jeffery

    It’s truly been an incredible year for the two of you! We felt really privileged to have an opportunity to meet up with you both in Hong Kong. Wishing you both even bigger and better things for 2014!

  5. Avatar of Aggy

    What a great year you had! I’m always amazed at both of you. I think you are an inspiration to a lot of people.
    I hope you have a great end to 2013 and more travel adventures in 2014! (and hope we can meet too!)

  6. Avatar of Steve

    It has been a awesome year. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures. Also the articles have been informative. I look forward to what 2014 brings. Finally, thank you for your support and encouragement towards my blog.

  7. Avatar of Kasha

    This is an awesome post :) I absolutely love reading your blog, and it’s amazing to hear the backstory of this year. I have no doubt that eTramping will continue to grow from strength to strength – and I can’t wait to keep reading the results.

    Here’s to many more happy travel memories and an incredible 2014 :)

  8. Avatar of Shing

    An unbelievable year you’ve both had and I’ve enjoyed following your adventures and the stories you’ve told. I think your friendship is truly inspiring, and I can imagine Cez’s accident solidified further how special it really is to know how much you can count on each other.

    The photo of you hiking in the Longsheng Rice Terraces of Guilin is my favourite photo of you. I’m so happy you write so much about China on your blog.

  9. Avatar of Sam

    This is so great – congratulations. You should be really proud of yourself for achieving so much in a year! I love the picture of Cez in bed with his students visiting him, it’s so funny! Good luck for 2014!

  10. Avatar of Carl

    Really stoked that you’ve had such a great year Miss! It’s great that you’ve been able to see and do so much, and I’ve loved reading about it all. Here’s hoping that 2014 is a great one for you (and a better one for Cez!) too.

  11. Avatar of Yara

    Agness and Cez, It’s obvious you put a lot of work and love in your blogging. I find you very humble, very open to connect with the travel community and your readers.

    I’m amazed you’ve been handling so much on your own Agness. Life is like this, we have ups and downs and that’s ok. It’s ok to talk about it, share and grow from it.

    You’re definitely on my top 5 travel blogs ) and I’m not even a big blog reader, but yours is so special I admit I always read it with enthusiasm.

    2014 will be a wonderful year and I’m dying to see where in the world you’ll be heading to. In the mean time, we’ll be both having a Polish X-mas, you in Poland and me in Portugal with all my in-laws and making wishes for the next year adventures!

  12. Avatar of Pedro @ Travel with Pedro

    I have to agree, Agness, the same happened to me! It’s been such a great year when it comes to travel that I’m even a bit ashamed, as I think I overdid it… but in the end it was all worth it and to be honest, I’d to it all again, given the chance!

    May 2014 bring you many more amazing adventures, professional and personal growth!

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