Yesterday I had dinner with a good friend of mine at one of my Cape Town favorites. I was excited to see her but also a bit apprehensive as she is one of my few friends I hadn’t spoken to in detail about my breakup and the hardships of the past few months. I wasn’t looking forward to it because as I have now mentioned a few times – I am so over this shit.
But here we were, chatting away and to my utter surprise, she said some things that nobody else had said before and they really resonated with me. One of them was her reminder to practice gratitude.
This is actually not new to me, in fact, I started a couple of months ago to write things I was grateful for down in the evening. I even put a few on Instagram stories. Alas, then life happened and I got so caught up in my own wailing that I forgot all about it. Rookie error because I truly believe that being grateful and expressing gratitude for what I have is a big one in living a better and happier life.
My friend’s reminder hit home and I realized that I need to work on my attitude when it comes to gratitude (and how grateful am I for this beautiful rhyme?!).
I have mentioned in my last post that a lot of things just really left me cold over the last year. Things that, on paper, were actually amazing. Bucket list items that for some reason I didn’t enjoy or appreciate. Not only did I not appreciate them when they happened but I moped and complained about this year endlessly. And while, yes, some crap stuff happened in my life and the world in general, I think it is high time to play ‘a cup half full kinda girl’ (hello, Amelia!!) and be grateful for the good things that happened. Keen to take a trip down memory lane with me?
I will gladly admit that I am hopelessly spoiled when it comes to staying at nice hotels. That has occasionally left me a little bit… err… unimpressed when I get to stay somewhere amazing. However, the one place that I always appreciate is the La Mamounia. While actually not so much my style (I prefer a bit less ornate and sleeker) I really love this hotel.
At the beginning of the year, I was fortunate enough to return with my dad for a night. If possible he was even more excited than me as he was keen to step into Churchill’s footsteps. It was nice not only to stay there but also have a possibility to spoil him for a change.
This pool is so Instagram famous and I love that I got to share it with my dad!
I still have mixed feeling about my divemaster training and time in Koh Tao in early summer. However, on May 19th my book, Solo-Trip, was published. Only now and only slowly does it hit me what an amazing achievement this is. In case you are still looking for a last minute Christmas gift, you can buy it here. And for all the English speakers out there – I have finally started to work on the translation and hope to publish it in spring!
Honestly, the Maldives were my favorite country this year. I just loved it. The color of the ocean, the barefoot luxury, the excitement of flying in a seaplane, and most of all the diving.
I like to complain that I haven’t had a holiday in ages and my two weeks in the Maldives were finally just that. I tanned, I did naked handstands in the rain (don’t even ask!) and I dived – every single day and it was the best thing ever. It reminded me why I first fell in love with diving, all the things I still want to learn and see, and just how much I feel at home when I am underwater. My week on the Scubaspa Yang was probably the best week of my year, one that I will never forget and hopefully get to experience again.
Oh, how I had dreamed about Raja Ampat, how I had longed to go there. And in August it was finally the right time – I got invited to Kri Eco Resort and booked a flight to Sorong. While it was absolutely amazing, I was sick for quite a big part of the week and couldn’t dive.
When I did dive it was quite intense. It showed me that there is still much to learn and practice. It also showed me that sometimes even I, the non-romantic, want someone to enjoy a sunset with. So I guess with this trip my gratitude lies with the lessons I learned from it.
I also learned that climbing palm trees is not as easy as Instagram would like us to believe.
Home away from Home, Colombo
I won’t lie, Sri Lanka was tough this time around. However, I will forever love, cherish and be grateful for this little cottage in Colombo. Sometimes all you need is a pizza delivery and voila – home away from home!
On the note of pizza – call me pathic but one of my true highlights of the year was the Kukolo pizza (seafood, chili, garlic on black sepia – just in case you wonder) at La Vela Khao Lak. Thank you so much, Petty, for feeding me a pizza I still dream of!
I will admit that I sometimes like to complain and I am not afraid to use social media to voice such complaints. But this year, I need to give a big shout out to Air Asia and say thank you! I had bought a cotton blanket for my friend who is expecting a baby. It was one of those presents that I knew was simply perfect and I was ecstatic to have found it. As I was flying from Jaipur to Bangkok on a weird three hour overnight flight, I thought it perfect to use the blanket to wrap myself up and avoid excess luggage fees. When I arrived in Bangkok at 4 am I sleepily made my way to a taxi. It was freezing in the taxi and I wanted to grab my blanket only to realize that I had left it on the plane. I was honestly a bit devastated – you know the feeling when you find the perfect gift, right? So I did what any somewhat social media savvy person would do and tweeted Air Asia. I even send them a picture of the blanket because of course, I had taken a picture of the perfect gift. A couple of days later I got a call – the blanket had been found and was waiting for me at the airport where I picked it up a week later. Now that’s what I call great customer service! Incidentally, the blanket is now with my friend and is awaiting the arrival of her baby boy, another good thing to be grateful for.
Return to Bangkok
I realized in Jaipur that I needed my version of a safety blanket and decided on a whim to book a flight to Bangkok. After a long conversation with my mother who offered to fly her heartbroken daughter home should I need a hug, I decided that a city that I love and know well was exactly the place where I needed to be.
While Bangkok wasn’t the solution to all my problems, I really appreciated the option to follow my heart and leave India when I needed to. It wasn’t so much the fact to be in an exotic location (or as a reader declared – it is easier to be heartbroken and depressed in paradise than at home) but rather to have options and means to make a decision that was best for me at the time. And of course, a motherly shoulder to cry on!
Cheese Fondue for Breakfast
I never thought I liked cheese fondue but apparently, that was just a one time fluke. After all, it is melted cheese and really, what kind of person are you if you don’t like melted cheese?! This time around in Zermatt, I decided that cheese fondue was an acceptable breakfast food (because Germans like bread and cheese in the morning and fondue is just that!) and it was delicious. Also really good with a glass of white wine to fight a hangover. So all in all, definitely something to be very grateful for.
Cape Town – Home for Christmas
I am home in Cape Town. Thank you, Condor! I am housesitting my aunt’s place for a month and this place is everything. It is the place where I first fell in love with Cape Town, my safe haven, and pizza making factory. Life is not perfect (yet) but staying here I dare say I am on my way. And for that, I am truly grateful.
What are you grateful for looking back on 2017?