New Year’s Eve sneaks up on me. I’ve barely digested the Christmas pav when New Years comes along. This NYE is no exception. Instead it finds me wondering whether I can be bothered to drive into town to see the fireworks, or whether it could be just as nice to have ‘a quiet one’.
I am feeling a bit knackered I have to admit, and my Englishman is snoring beside me at 6pm. We don’t look like party people this evening. It’s not surprising we’re knackered though, it’s been a big year. Full of excitements and a fair few disappointments. But amongst the highlights are the beautiful places I’ve travelled to in 2012.
The first trip of the year was a solo trip to sublime relaxation and pampering at the five star Anassa Spa and hotel in Polis Bay, Cyprus. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
Next up was a naughty little weekend away at Farnham where we attended our friends’ wedding. We had a brilliant time at the old castle dancing the night away.
July brought an unexpected but delightful sojourn in Italy. First up was Venice, a place I’ve always wanted to travel to since I was a young girl.
And after a nightmare trip on the Night Train from Mestre to Rome, we enjoyed a busy but great time in the ancient city.
In September it was time to jet off to Portugal, first to Porto to the TBU Bloggers’ Conference. What a great city Porto is, I was thoroughly charmed by its sophistication and its laid-back atmosphere. How a place can achieve both, I honestly know not, but Porto does it!
And the following trip to the Douro Valley, home of Porto’s namesake – Port – was delish! Great food, fantastic scenery and the port..? Mmmmmm! Did I mention how moreish the white port with tonic is?
The cooler weather saw us heading north to sample coffee at Taylors of Harrogate and of course whilst there we popped in to try a cake or two at Betty’s. It would be rude not to! Afterwards we Heathcliffed-it through Brimham Rocks.
We didn’t do much out of town gallivanting around during the rest of October and November, but for good reason.
December saw us jumping back on the big bird and heading home to New Zealand.
All of these places have been wonderful but coming home must be my highlight. However you define home, whatever it means to you. ..Whether it is a place itself or a smell that reminds you of a place, or the way the light falls in the afternoon…there really is nowhere in the world like home.
And sometimes – yes even for expats – home is where you need to be.
As much as I love travelling I’m reminded of these wise words from German philosopher Hermann Hesse
“When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.”
Thank you for reading VegemiteVix this year and for all your wonderful comments on the Facebook page, on Twitter, and here on the blog itself. I’m so grateful for your support. In fact so grateful, I run the risk of sounding like an Emmy Awards winner – ‘I love you all..and I want to thank my…..’
But seriously, thank you!
Happy New Year! Time to break out the tune – ‘Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end’. Here’s to 2013 it’s going to be a cracker!