You can always learn from your mistakes – New Year or not.

As crazy as it is, 2018 is over. And I’ve had a year full of ups and downs. And still, I would say it was one of the best ones so far. Why? Because I learned to learn from my downs. To use them for my advantage.

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There weren’t many years in my life so far that I’ve met so many new and wonderful people like this year. And on the other hand, some friendships started fading a little. But that’s how life goes – you lose things and you gain others. And the losing part does hurt but I know if it’s meant to be a forever friendship, we’ll find our ways back to each other. And otherwise I know how those people influenced my life and my way of living. And I am thankful for that.

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When it comes to love (the romantic one this is) I wasn’t lucky. I met men I liked and lost them again. And I suffered from it, that’s for sure. But I also learned so much from it. I now know even more, what I am looking for. That I have to put myself first. That I have to listen to my inner alarm clocks, because no matter how great someone looks on paper or how much you want to find the right person, when you don’t feel it 100%, chances are that your feelings are right. And I am proud of myself in a way. Because I have friends who struggle with being alone because they never had to be. And here I am, rocking the single life and being (mainly) happy with it.

I also learned how important me time actually is. I have to schedule more of it in the future. Just a night during the week, where I can work out, take a bath, put a mask on or just watch x episodes of my favourite TV show. It’s the best medicine for your mental health. And your body tells you, whenever it needs it.

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But the main thing I learned throughout this year – resolutions don’t have to be made on January 1st but should be a list you add new things to throughout the whole year. Because let’s face it, January 1st is just another day on the calendar but you and your life changes on 365 days a year, not only 1. So make sure to not procrastinate on your resolutions (even if it’s simple things like quit smoking or losing weight) until the New Year starts but turn your life around whenever the opportunity presents itself – that way you learn and grow day by day and not year by year.

P.S.: I still made some resolutions for 2018 (you can read about them here) and I will continue to follow them throughout 2019. Because all they do is making my life more fulfilled and happy. And who doesn’t love to plan more trips all together?

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The struggle with New Year’s Eve plans – 8 insider ideas on what to do.

New Year’s Eve… It’s a night just like any other except for people making the biggest fuss around it and planning 5 months in advance. This year, for example, I still have no idea what I’m gonna do but I know it’ll be a fun night regardless. And if not, I still have around 364 nights left in 2018 to make up for it.

I’ve asked a few fellow travel bloggers about the coolest – or worst – NYEs they’ve had and put together a list for you. Maybe it’s an inspiration? I guess most of them are not feasible just a month in advance but you might put them on your bucket list for one of the coming NYEs. So let’s go.


#1 New York City, USA

New York City, where the ball drops at exactly 12am on January 1st – sounds like a dream right? It seems like a place where a lot of people spent NYE: Read about a few bloggers’ best nights.

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Photo by Kiyoko from Footsteps of a Dreamer

“My best New Year’s experience was being in Times Square, New York City to watch the ball drop. I’d probably do it again (although probably not for a few years). It’s not for the faint of heart, but I feel like it’s something everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime!” – Kiyoko, Footsteps of a Dreamer.
Read more about her experience at Times Square, NYC here.

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NYC Skyline, Photo by Daniela from The Thought Card

“New York City is one of my favorite cities to celebrate New Year’s. Watch the ball drop at Times Square, head to a rooftop lounge like Lovage Rooftop or have dinner at a cozy restaurant. Nevertheless, a few years ago, I decided to do something a little different. I spent New Year’s at Madison Square Garden (MSG) where I jammed out to my favorite DJ, Skrillex. A ton of surprise guests graced the stage and over 18,000 people were in attendance that night.
I’m still trying to top that epic
night!” – Danielle, The Thought Card


#2 Moscow, Russia

Moscow.. I’ve never been but I always wanted to go. In the winter time though? Maybe not.. But Katie from What’s Katie Doing? did and she had a blast!

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Did definitely look like they had fun, right? Photo by Katie from What’s Katie Doing?

“You might think that choosing a place known for its extreme Winter cold is not the best way to spend NYE, but it’s amazing to be in a crowd of locals and tourists watching the fireworks over the Kremlin! Don’t expect to be able to do this in the Red Sqaure – they close it due to security concerns. But you can easily find a spot by the river to watch the fireworks over the beautiful iconic St Basil’s cathedral and celebrate with some vodka* shared around the crowd!
*Appropriate clothing is required on top of the vodka coat! However we were lucky and it was just above freezing – positively hot for Russia at that time of year.”
– Katie, What’s Katie doing?
Read Katie’s reasons on why visiting Moscow in the winter time isn’t a bad idea at all here.


#3 Sri Lanka

New Year’s at the beach? Definitely always a good idea!

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Sri Lankan Beach. Not too bad for a NYE.

“Last year, my husband and I spent the New Year’s Eve in Sri Lanka. In Dodanduwa, to be more precise, a village close to Hikkaduwa. I was way too excited about it, imagining partying on the beach, having fun with cool people. But although Dodanduwa has a wonderful beach, it is also a quiet one. So no bars or restaurants. We decided to check Hikkaduwa and see if we can arrange something. But all the places were asking for ridiculous amounts of money! And when you are on a one year travelling adventure, you kinda think twice before throwing money on parties.
So we decided to give up and just go with the flow. Before midnight we hopped in our tuk-tukand headed to the beach at Hikkaduwa. We simply wanted to enjoy the beach and the fireworks. We weren’t expecting anything much but it turned out to be one sweet New Year’s Eve. We relaxed on the beach, laughed with the locals who were dancing around, and enjoyed the fireworks. And we didn’t regret not going to any party at all. Because from a distance they sure didn’t look that fun. So maybe sometimes it’s better to let go of your high expectations and enjoy the moment. And make sure to make a good wish on your next New Year’s Eve!” – Andra, Our World to Wander

#4 Istanbul, Turkey

I guess after what happened in Istanbul last year on NYE (and all the shit that happens in the world at the moment), people might think twice about going there. So maybe this will make you consider in case you are hesistant!

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“Istanbul is a great city to spend New Year’s Eve, as the Turkish people really know about good hospitality. Most people stay around the popular Taksim Square and Istiklal Street to celebrate. But the more intimate experience happens in small side streets of Kadıköy or Nişantaşı where people hang out in bars and pubs and just celebrate the moment. Not to forget that Istanbul also offers some great fireworks that are launched from various areas around the city and enlighten the sky over the silhouettes of the big mosques.” – Clemens, Travellers Archive
Read more about Istanbul in Clemens’ Turkey Travel Guide


#5 Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a crazy city either way. I can only imagine how wonderful it is on NYE! Dawn from Grey Traveller had the pleasure of experiencing it – without even having to be pushed around by the hundreds of people on the street.

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Photo by Dawn from Grey Traveller

“My first visit to Asia was to Bangkok and my they know how to put on a great firework spread! We were lucky enough to be staying at The Shangri La Hotel with a balcony overlooking the river, best view in the city without the crowds!” – Dawn from Grey Traveller


#6 Nagoya, Japan

Japan. Also very high on my bucket list. Dinh-Long decided to not stay in Tokyo for NYE but try another city: Nagoys. And he had a very surprisingly good night!

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Nagoy, Photo by Dinh-Long

“December 30th, I decided, on a whim, to take a night bus to Nagoya from Tokyo. Nagoya is mostly known not to be a crazy NYE city: as a matter of fact, it was a bit of a ghost city as most shops closed for the occasion. But I had one of the best NYE of my life! Strolling all day at Osu Shopping District buying random Japanese things and watching street artists, coming back to the Hostel’s New Year’s traditional Soba Soup & Sake party, before following the flow to a J-Pop concert in Nagoya Castle!” – Dinh-Long from DLPlayground


#7 Reykjavik, Iceland

Another cold destination I would love to go to. Maybe I should consider it for New Year’s one day?

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“Icelanders celebrate New Years with community bonfires and a firework display that spreads far and wide across the city. It’s the most incredible experience, so head up somewhere high and take it all in. Every direction you look you will see fireworks and they’re not just let off in the countdown to midnight, it’s a 6 hour affair!” – Verity, Veritru


#8 Sydney, Australia

I love Sydney. It’s definitely one of my favourite cities around and I’m already excited to be back there one day. Maybe gor another NYE, who knows.

Fireworks over the Harbour Bridge, Sydney

“And now it’s my turn. In 2013 I spent NYE in Sydney. And it was definitely worth the experience! Because it was our first (and probably only NYE) we decided to do it the touristy way and watch the fireworks over the Harbour Bridge. We stood in line for a while to get into the Botanical Gardens, where we had to wait in the heat until the first Fireworks went off (there are three, at 10pm, 11pm and midnight). It was a great spectacle but not being able to bring any alcohol in and not really having any shade to sit in made the waiting a lot harder. So maybe I wouldn’t do it anymore. But in real life what I used to watch on TV multiple times was pretty cool after all.” – myself, Anywhere’s Perfect

The picture was taken by my Mum, who celebrated NYE in Sydney the same year I did but a bit more fancy: on a boat overlooking the harbour bridge and the opera house.

2015 Highlights

When I started my blog this was one of the things I was looking forward to the most – looking back on the year 2015 and actually sharing my highlights with people. So if you are reading this: Thanks for being interested in it!

2015 was a crazy year. I said goodbye to old memories, unsuitable jobs and some attitudes and made room for new people, new opportunities and a newer me. This might sound cheesy, but this is really what 2015 was for me.


February: Amsterdam

This trip actually started under a bad light. I wanted to visit a friend in Amsterdam – turned out she never started her year abroad there but only told me two weeks before. And because I believe in the saying Great things never came from comfort zones (and because I’ve already booked the flights and everything) I decided to just go on my own. And to be honest, I really did enjoy it. I was able to plan my whole day the way I wanted it to be and I just did all the things I wanted to. And I met up with an old friend I haven’t seen in a very long time. So it turns out the saying is actually true!


March: Stockholm

This was my birthday present for a friend of mine. I think we were talking about going to Stockholm for at least 3 years and it never seemed to work but we finally found a weekend this March to see this beautiful city. When we arrived it was actually snowing and I was freezing like crazy (of course I didn’t believe the weather forecast) but the beauty of the city made it worth it.

We were also super lucky that I knew some people over there, so they took us to their favorite places and we could see the city through their eyes. So if you ever get the chance to go: Do it! Even if the weather forecast says it’s going to snow.


May: Morocco

Well, I’ve already given you a little guide to my favorite spots in Morocco a month ago or so. I think this shows very well why Morocco was one of my highlights in 2015. The country has so much to offer and especially in times like these, where Muslims are widely seen as evil and “all the same” I am happy I was able to meet so many beautiful Muslim souls, so I will never be tempted to judge them all equally.


May (again): My sister’s wedding

I think if I was too pick ONE of my highlights, this would be it. As much as I love seeing different countries and cultures and meeting new people, seeing two people who obviously love each other getting married beats all of that. The wedding was held at Spreewald, which is in Brandenburg, in a Wellness Hotel (I will give you a detailed post about that after I’ve been there again in April) and it was just breathtaking. I haven’t been to many weddings yet, but I already know that not a lot can be better than this was. Everything was perfect, from the decoration on the tables, to the wedding dress, to my sister’s friends and everything they did for her (they actually presented a musical on how my sister and her husband met!) to all the tears shed.


June: Southside Festival

This festival is one of my highlights every year for five years now. As much as I like trying out different festivals every once in a while, this festival is just like coming home. The same people, the same food stalls and the same stages. I couldn’t get lost even if I wanted to. And this just makes me feel safe and happy. And then the live music – divine!

My personal highlights: First Aid Kid, Marteria and Florence+the Machine!


July: Amalfi Coast

When I was 16, I spent five months in Nanaimo, Canada to go to high school there. During this time I met a girl and even though it’s been 9 years and we lived on opposite sides of the world all those years, we manage to meet every once in a while in a beautiful place around the world. And this year, this place was the Amalfi Coast, in Italy. You can read all about how it was, and what I loved most about it in my blogpost.


August: Rock en Seine

I’m a huge fan of the John Butler Trio. And when I saw that they are playing a festival in Paris, Rock en Seine, along with Alt-J, Tame Impala and The Libertines, it was a safe deal for me – I wanted to go! Fortunately, I found some friends who joined me and we had an amazing weekend there. I gotta say, the french were a bit quiet and not as crazy as I am used to but I still loved the festival. And not only because it had over 30 degrees every day.


September: Dublin

This was the biggest change this year – my move to Dublin. I feel like I did all of this in trance and I never ever questioned myself beforehand. When I first got there and had over a week without really knowing anyone, the doubts started. But in the end, now, after my first semester, I can say that I am truly happy about this decision and I wouldn’t do it any other way.


November: Belfast

You can read all about my experiences and thought about that trip in my blogpost from November. It was definitely worth a trip and I can’t wait to explore some more around (Northern) Ireland!


Dezember: Home

Like you can read in my latest blogpost, there’s nothing like coming home. And even though this year, my time at home so far is very quiet and I spend an awful lot of time at home with my family, I still love every second of it. I know I could go out the whole day to meet people for a coffee or anything, but I’d rather stick to a few closest friends and spend some quality time with them – and my family of course.


 

Even though not everything in 2015 went as I planned it, it was a very good year that made me learn more about myself and pushed me to my limits sometimes. Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store and I will give you some ideas on what is already planned for next year in my next blogpost!

Happy new year everyone!!!

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