Jess is a Wanderer, for some reason, decided that 2017 was the year to quit working and pursue a stint of full-time travel. Officially, there was no reason for this decision to be made as I was in a well-paying teaching job, living in Egypt (where the cost of living is very low), I had amazing holidays – practically half the year off and I had spent the last six years travelling to my heart’s content – during the holidays.
Officially, there was no reason for this decision to be made as I was in a well-paying teaching job, living in Egypt (where the cost of living is very low), I had amazing holidays – practically half the year off and I had spent the last six years travelling to my heart’s content. So why did I leave it all behind? You could say that I was fed up of the holidays coming to an end every time it felt like they’d just started. Or you could say that I’d had enough of telling ten-year-olds to tuck in their shirts and stop talking without raising their hands. Or, you could say that I turned 30 and experienced some sort of early onset midlife crisis.
Whichever way you look at it, after seeing in the New Year in Sydney, Australia, I returned to work, travelled to Athens, climbed Egypt’s tallest mountain – Mount Sinai, broke my collar bone, went skiing (in Cairo, yes that’s a thing!), had a few weekends away on the Red Sea and hosted family and friends in my adopted ‘home’ country. Finally, June rolled around and I did indeed quit my job and headed home to the UK for a couple of months. Mostly spending time in the Cotswolds, I also visited London and Devon.
Finally, on September 1st, I set off on a whirlwind adventure through Eastern Europe, Asia and finally into New Zealand where I shall be seeing out the year and welcoming 2018 with all the excitement that has carried me along through 2017.
So let’s take a look at the year…
January: New Year in Sydney.
February: A long weekend in Athens, Greece.
March: A long weekend in a fancy hotel in Cairo.
April: A week at home in the UK with all the blossom and newborn lambs followed by a week hosting a couple of friends (whom I met in Slovenia) in Cairo.
May: A long weekend of birthday celebrations including climbing Egypt’s tallest mountain: Mount Sinai, hiring a yacht, fracturing my collarbone and plenty of Red Sea beach time. I also had the best 30th birthday party courtesy of the kids I had the pleasure of teaching. The perfect celebration to end my teaching!
June: A long weekend on the Red Sea in Hurghada, Egypt.
July: My family visited me for the first and last time in Egypt. I prepared a grand old tour of Cairo’s greatest delights. It was hot, hot, hot but it’s Cairo, so of course, it was perfect.
On the flip side, July was also when I left Egypt for the last time – a bittersweet decision as I lived most of my adult life there, made some very special friends and pretty much fell in love with the place.
August: A couple of weekends in London, time well-spent on the family farm and a weekend in Devon.
September: The big adventure began. I visited Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania.
October: The adventure continued with Diwali in India and trekking around Mount Everest in Nepal.
November: Wildlife spotting in Malaysian Borneo with orang-utans, standing on the Equator in Indonesia, swimming in waterfalls in Laos, flying in a hot-air balloon in Myanmar and marvelling at the skyscrapers in Singapore .
December: I made it to New Zealand where I have a two year visa to use working and sightseeing.
My 2017 summary: Despite the chronic state of affairs around the globe with certain world leaders; global warming and associated natural disasters; Brexit (dare I mention that) and a seemingly ever-increasing threat of terrorism, I have genuinely had a truly amazing year. I’ve met some incredible people that have shown me there is not enough good news being reported around the globe. This year I have been in more than twenty countries and taken over thirty flights – the kindness of strangers despite differences in cultures, beliefs and backgrounds has shown me that humans aren’t as bad as we’re often portrayed to be in the media. There are a lot of people out there showing, living and breathing kindness. My advice for going into next year is to not be fearful of what you read in the news, 2018 is waiting for you so take the plunge, get out there and live the life you’ve always imagined – conquer your mountains! I did it and I believe that you can too.
Thanks for following Jess is a Wanderer this year, here’s to a Happy New Year and a prosperous, healthy and fulfilling always. J