With the end of 2011 quickly approaching, it has officially hit me that this year I will be ringing in the New Year…at home. And, although, I’m at peace with my choice to stay local, I will miss being abroad for a holiday that is honestly more fun when spent far away from home.
Believe me, I’ve had my fill of adventures to welcome in a new year, starting two years ago. That year, I spent the last days of 2009, a rough year for me, frolicking around Dublin, eating and drinking my way through Brussels, and finally, wandering around the streets and causing trouble in Amsterdam. It was there where I rang in 2010, and kicked out 2009 in the middle of a square with a bottle of champagne and a few friends. There, we shivered in the cold and watched fireworks being shot off by whoever bought them earlier that evening. It was wonderful, except for the several times we found ourselves running from the “explosions.” But, after a late night and some coffee, we spent the first day of the year on a canal tour then ended the day with dim sum in China Town. Even with the worst hangover of my life, it was a memorable day and the beginning to a pretty incredible year.
2010 was a year of renewable and rebirth; I rediscovered myself and my love of life. For a long time, I attributed this happiness to my trip to Europe, which is why it was only fair to give 2010 an equally magical good-bye in Europe once again, this time in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here I met up with my Irish cousins, made a ton of new friends, and managed to somehow ring in the New Year the way it was meant…with a kiss. The next few hours were spent in bars dancing with friends old and new, then grabbing my bags and heading straight to the airport to London for a 22 hour layover. From the airport, we headed straight to the city, stumbling around sight-seeing, eating, and almost getting hit by a double-decker bus. But, we made it out alive and got some rest in the airport hotel before heading back to the States. Another magical end to a year and a fresh start to a new one.
These past New Years were so memorable and special, which is why it’s hard to remember why I wanted to stay home this year. But, I have to remind myself that by staying home, and saving money, I can reach my travel goals for 2012. The goal that I am most focused on is reaching another continent, and the plan is to head to Africa this summer. Africa is a place that I’ve dreamt of visiting for as long as I can remember, and I feel that it is finally time to make that dream a reality. Knowing that I’ll soon be planning this adventure, makes it easier to sacrifice a short trip over the holidays.
So, while my last few days of 2011 aren’t filled with the excitement of a new country to venture through, they are indeed filled with excitement for the year that lies ahead. For the journeys to come, people to meet, and world to explore once again.