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-travellers- 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!

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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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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Such a fabulous year!
    Wishing you a more amazing adventures in 2014.
    I hope you will visit Indonesia or we’ll meet anywhere else in the world :)

  9. Sounds like an overall fabulous year! Besides the unfortunate events Cez has gone through of course!

    Even though it´ll be hard to beat, I hope 2014 is even better! ;)

  10. Bridget @ A Traveling B

    Congratulations on such a fantastic year! It seems even more inspiring considering you overcame significant hurdles. I loved reading about your adventures in 2013 and cannot to see where 2014 takes you!

  11. 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.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Shing, thanks! Xie xie ni!!! I’m so happy to keep in touch and follow your adventures. Have an awesome 2014.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. what great pictures! i love a good travel year recap..so fun to see!
    here’s to an even more adventurous 2014! XO


  16. 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!

  17. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    Glad that you’ve had such an amazing year and thanks for sharing such a reflective post that reminds us all to think back on how blessed we’ve all been in 2013. Wishing you a happy holiday season!

  18. As always, your post absolutely lit me up inside with smiles and warmth and made my day, Agness! Little did I know when I started following your blog that a lifelong friendship would ensue as the most deepest blessing Phoenix and I could have ever hoped for. We thank you for that always. Your smile is contagious and your eyes always sparkle with the most positive life energy. I have and will continue to recommend your blog to anyone who ever needs a smile to brighten their day. And the added benefit of some of the most fantastic travel advice there is on the Internet. The world is your oyster right now and the best is still yet to come for you and Cez. Our warmest thoughts and prayers to you always! Btw…you are totally rocking those heart sunglasses, our friend!:)

  19. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown

    Great roundup Agness!! I loved following along this year and look forward to seeing what adventures 2014 bring to you :)

  20. Many congratulations on such an amazing and successful year. I really missed your articles when you were away from blogging for 2 months – please don’t ever think of stopping blogging.

    Also many congratulations on your blog making the top 100, I noticed that too. This is a reflection of your overriding hard work and dedication. You are a great friend to all of us in the travel blogging community and an inspiration. You work so hard that you deserve every success.

    It has been a tough year for Cez yet he seems to keep himself in perspective and from my interactions remains positive. I look forward to him being able to travel freely again and provide his wonderful insight on things.

    I really enjoy your work and wish you every success for 2014. (And hope to meet you soon! :-) )

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you so much the Guy! We really appreciate your support and help! We also wish you every success for 2014 and keep being as amazing as you are now!

  21. Sounds like you’ve had enough adventures in one year to fill an entire lifetime :) Best of luck for next year Agness, especially if you’re joining me here in Holland!

  22. Sounds like you had an eventful year. It is great to have summaries every once in a while for readers to catch up. I hope you have great holidays! Cheers!

  23. Good for you! you’ve had such an eventful year (i’m so jealous :)).
    Looking forward to reading your experiences in 2014.

  24. Super cool! It has been an awesome year for you! Congrats. For us it was great as well. 13 is my favorite number now :) Happy 2014 guys! We wish you a trip to Australia!!! ;)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you so much guys! Happy 2014 and I can just imagine how great this year has been to you both! I hope to make it to Australia soon!

  25. What a year Agness! I had a pretty awesome one too (apart from some sad moments) but as you said I’m so grateful that I’m able to travel, explore the world and hopefully inspire others. Keep going Agness :)

  26. Deia @ Nomad Wallet

    Wow, sounds like you really did accomplish some awesome things this year! I’ve been loving your travel under $25 series, by the way, and I look forward to reading more. :)

  27. Aww this is so lovely. Your photos look amazing. Have you only be doing this for a year? From your blogging and social media skills it seems like you’ve been doing this for a lot longer!! All the best for 2014!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hey Jules. I started working on social media channels exactly 10 months ago. Before I was just writing a blog for myself :).

  28. Stefania - the Italian Backpacker

    Impressive accomplishments. In all the pictures you look really happy, so travelling must be good for you. I wish you many other years of happy travels!!!

  29. Congratulations on all your successes this year! I’m bummed we didn’t get to meet up in China but hopefully that will change next year in Europe :-)

    All the best to Cez, I’m sure plenty of good things are coming his way!!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you so much Heather! I also wish you more travel adventures and hope to meet up in Europe next year!

  30. Congrats on all your wonderful experiences and the progress you made on the blog. You do have a knack for being everywhere all the time.

    I have had the most interesting travel year of my life but as I sit here in an airport on Christmas Eve, I have a very sour taste in my mouth. On the personal level things have taken a nosedive in the past week and life is out of my control – not a pleasant feeling so really don’t know what 2014 will bring. I am trying to be optimistic.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you so much Leigh. It’s been an incredible year, indeed. STAY POSITIVE and everything will be fine. I hope 2014 will bring you a lot of happiness and more travel adventures! CHIN UP and Merry Christmas to you sweetheart!

  31. Zara @ Backpack ME

    AMAZING year you guys!
    I am happy to see that, despite all the travels and moving around, you have so many friends all over the place and are in contact with family – that is so very important!
    Cheers to another year as good or even better than this one! :)

  32. What a year of ups and downs for you both. You have both been through so much, but you have been so dedicated to your work (and, it has to be said, to relationships- both business and friendship). Congratulations on your amazing year of achievement – here’s to an even greater (and hopefully less painful) 2014!! :D

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you Tim. You were a part of this year as well! We have developed a great friendship this year, huh :)? All the best!

  33. Jess @UsedYorkCity

    What a fabulous year you’ve had! I’m certainly glad I found your blog in 2013, and look forward to reading all the great adventures you have in the coming year! Cheers!:-)

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