Looking Back on 2015 and News on 2016 My Year of Awesome

My 2015 Travels

In March a friend and I took a winter road trip to Saskatoon where we went to a local museum, froze our butts off, saw a hockey game and I got to have dinner with some of my family. In July I spent my birthday weekend in Drumheller and The Canadian Badlands where I saw two astounding theatre performances. In August I drove out to Vancouver with a friend who lives there and had a nice visit. Sometimes a small change of scenery is a nice. We even managed to get to Washington State (for 15 minutes). For my big trip this fall I spent a week in Madrid, Spain. Then I spent a couple of days in Helsinki, Finland (and a brief 17 hours in Frankfurt, Germany) before heading home. The last few months I’ve been at home, working, dog sitting, and getting ready for my next adventures.

Helsinki, Finland.

A Bird’s Eye View of Helsinki, Finland.

Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta.

Some hoodoos I saw outside of Drumheller, Alberta.

2016 The Year of Awesome

I made a photo calendar for 2016 last month, and I named it 2016 – The Year of Awesome. Since then I’ve declared that 2016 will be a year of awesome for me. See there have been some tremendous plans in the works, but I haven’t announced all until now.

First up is the trip I’ve talked about before. In March I’ll be heading to Hong Kong and Japan for two weeks, which will be my first visit to Asia. I have six days in Hong Kong, and seven days in Japan (I arrive and depart from Tokyo, and I’m debating whether I should go to Kyoto or save that for another trip). I can hardly believe this trip will be happening in less than two months. I’m nervous, but excited, which is how I am before every journey I take.

The big news though is that I bought a one-way ticket to London, England in August. How? Why? What? Well, a while back I was invited to a Westjet media launch where the airline announced a new flight route from Canada to Dublin, Ireland. As a thank you everyone attending got a 50% off a Westjet flight coupon. A few lucky people even won a free flight like Melissa from Suitcase and Heels.

I did some searching and found a one-way ticket to London for $200. I tried searching for a round trip deal, but the return price got expensive (went up to about $900), but then I thought what if I don’t buy a return ticket?

This idea might seem crazy at first, but I’ve always wanted to live abroad. There are a lot of ways to do this (I’ve read a lot of blogs), but the idea of a working holiday visa sounded like a good solution. The problem is that most countries will only let you do a working holiday visa until you’re 30. There are some exceptions like Ireland where Canadians can do a working holiday visa until 35.

In July I turn 32. Getting a working holiday visa is one of those opportunities that I either have to take now or not take and regret forever. Since London is relatively close to Ireland, my plan is fly into London, spend a few days there and then fly to Ireland, where I can spend up to two years on a working holiday visa.

Will I stay in Ireland there for two years? It’s hard to say, but I hope to be there for at least a year. Currently, I’m crunching numbers and figuring out how much to save (I’ve got a good start), where to go, and what to do. Planning to live abroad is all very new to me, and there are still a lot of things to do before I get there (like actually getting the working holiday visa…fingers crossed).

Once I’m in Ireland, I’ll need to find a place to live and get a job. I’d like a steady stream of writing and freelancing income while I’m there, but likely I’ll also be looking for a local job, maybe in the hospitality or food services industry (where I have some experience). Hopefully, I’ll be able to explore more of Ireland and some of the UK this year. If I can find some cheap flights, maybe I’ll be able to see some more of Europe.

A lot is in the air. While I don’t have everything mapped out for 2016, I have some big plans, and I’m looking forward to a year of awesome.

Where are you travelling to in this year?

4 comments on “Looking Back on 2015 and News on 2016 My Year of Awesome

    • Thanks for the comment Samantha. It’s too bad working holiday visas don’t go past 35, but then I guess everyone would wanna be out traveling. Good luck with your travels.

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