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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.