Reflections on a quiet year

Something happened the other day. I turned 31. Gulp. Can someone please tell me where the last year went?

I’ve already written a piece about the ups and downs of the year since I’ve been home so I won’t harp on about that again but my birthday really did get me thinking about how my life has changed since returning from my 30b430 trip.

I’d planned the last year of my 20s to be a big adventure and it really was. In the space of nine months I visited nine different countries, met hundreds of new people and had adventures I never dreamed were possible. So how could the first year of my 30s possibly compete?

As I thought back over the last year I realised that yes, it has been quieter and less hectic than my big trip was, but it has also been special in its own way. Most importantly, it has given me the chance to focus on the life I left behind. It’s given me the time to build on the relationship I began just two months before leaving on my 30b430 trip, it’s allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends who I missed so much while I was away and it’s encouraged me to explore the places closer to home that had often gone unnoticed before.

When I first got back from my trip I wrote a post about seeing my home town of Scarborough through a tourist’s eyes. Now, whenever I’m missing life on the road, I try to remember that and get out and see something new. In the last 12 months I’ve visited more new towns, places of historical interest and country parks in the UK than I had in years. Suddenly weekends are no longer filled with shopping trips (I know, what’s happened to me??) but with country walks and visits to museums. I’ve discovered a whole new world right on my doorstep.

So yes, it’s been a quieter, calmer year, which on paper may seem less exciting. But to me it has been just as rewarding, because sometimes you’ve just got to look for the adventure wherever you find yourself.

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9 responses to “Reflections on a quiet year

  1. Thanks for sharing. It’s great that you are exploring places that are closer to home with a different perspective! It’s something we need to do when we can’t eat away to somewhere further afield! You got us thinking 🙂

  2. I can’t imagine the adjustment after such a trip! You are so lucky to be only 31! I’ve got a decade on you! I found my thirties to be really amazing. I grew up and knew more of what I wanted out of my life. 🙂 it is a great decade!

    • I think so too. I feel a lot more settled now and know what I’m aiming for. Don’t forget you’re also starting a new chapter in your life too. We can always have adventures, no matter what our age!

      • So true! I feel now that the kids are almost 7 and 9, my world is opening back up again and it is getting easier for me to travel with and without them. The early days of parenting were brutally hard. No time for myself. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything! 🙂 I’ve got some great goals for the next year which includes climbing Kilimanjaro and hopefully another international volunteer trip. My dad and I had to cancel our hiking trip next month to Bolivia due to his cancer surgery but we are hoping to do it in either January or February. My kili trip will hopefully be next October and I”m thinking of doing a social good/fundraising trip out of it to raise awareness for one of the many causes I advocate for. Anyway….take care!

      • Wow, sounds like you have got loads planned! That’s nice that you and your dad are still going to do the trip. It will give you both something to look forward to. Looking forward to following your adventures!

  3. Sounds like you have a lot of the same feelings that I have after a quiet year (ok maybe getting married, getting two cats and buying a house isn’t that quiet, but there’s not been much on the travel front!). I’m trying to do the same thing with exploring places nearer home for now, and hopefully there’ll be more travels on the horizon for both of us next year!

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