Every year I like to take some time towards the end of December to look back over the year and everything that has happened. I also like to make some predictions for the year ahead and see how accurate my predictions from last year were. So here is my review of 2017:
I spent Christmas 2016 in Toronto with my family and returned to Vancouver just in time to ring in the new year. January was spent packing up my place, packing Colin’s house, trips to IKEA and shoveling snow.
In February, we went with Colin’s mom and cousins to an all-inclusive resort in Huatulco, Mexico. It was so nice to leave the grey, cold and snow in Vancouver for a week of sun, beach and drinks. Plus, this was Colin and my first time in Mexico (my 32nd country!). The rest of the month was non-stop packing and moving.
We officially moved into our first apartment together in March – our one bedroom apartment in New West. We actually moved on Feb 28 but let’s just call it March. We also celebrated Colin’s 24th birthday and attended a date night with Young Hip & Married.
April was a really fun month for us! On the 1st, we brought home our Ellie pup! It was earlier than we thought we’d get a dog but looking back, we couldn’t be happier with our choice and the pup in our lives. We also celebrated our anniversary on April 16th and towards the end of the month, my sister Jade came out to visit us.
May was fairly low key for us. We went on our first family camping trip with Ellie when we joined Colin’s friends for a weekend at Weever Lake.
At the end of June, we headed up for our annual weekend in Pender Harbour. It was really fun to have that time away from everything with family and to be able to bring Ellie with us. We also had a really special time spreading Randy’s ashes up in Pender – one of his favourite spots.
After Pender, we had about a week or so at home and then we were back on the road. This time to San Francisco! I love SF and was so excited to explore this city more and share it with Colin. We found lots of cool new gems (like Coit Tower and this delicious Korean restaurant). Plus, we got to see HAMILTON!
In August, we headed up to Kelowna to visit Colin’s brother and his new baby boy. It was awesome to spend a weekend away and to meet the newest member of the Marriott clan. This is also the month when we started getting a bit more serious about our house hunting.
Somehow, by September we had taken our house hunt to the extreme and actually had an accepted offer on a home! But outside of house stuff, we still had more traveling to do. In September, my mom came out from Toronto for a week in Vancouver. And then Colin, his mom, my mom and I all set off on a west coast train trip! The four of us journeyed by train to Portland, Eugene, San Francisco and Napa Valley. It was an amazing trip!
October was all about the house. We closed and got the keys on October 6th and moved in on October 10th. Leading up to that move was so much packing, throwing things away, driving over boxes, sending emails, filling out paperwork and meeting with insurance people, mortgage people and bank people. Who knew it would be so complicated and time consuming to buy a home? But after all of that, we are so happy in our new place and hope to call it home for quite some time.
November was kind of a chill month for us – which was needed after all of the house crazy and a busy December ahead of us. I got a new phone and buckled down to do lots of writing work.
December was a crazy busy month and it was jam packed with family goodness. My dad planned a last minute trip out to Vancouver and it was so nice to host him here. The weather gods must have been smiling down because it was nothing but sunshine the entire time he was here. After he left, we had two days to pack up, finish off work stuff, watch the new Star Wars movie, and then we were off again. Onto our second trip to Mexico – with my family this time. We met the Lees in Toronto and carried on for a fun week in Cozumel. On the way back, we got to see some of my Ang family at the airport and then returned to Vancouver for Christmas with Colin’s side. It was a whirlwind but so nice to see everyone this month.
My 2016 predictions:
So last year on Dec 22, I wrote my 2016 review post and broke down my predictions for 2017 into career, living and travel.
One of my big career goals for 2017 was to end the year being able to say that I am a writer. I was hoping to be full time freelance by the end of the year. I’m really proud to say that not only am I a full time freelancer now but that I have been all year long. I would confidently say I am a writer (and have said so when people ask what I do). But my work also went in cool new directions and I’ve found a lot of interesting projects in social media and editing. So I am a writer – but I’m more than that too. I really love the new areas I’m learning about and the possibilities for growth in these areas in the future.
On Dec 22, 2016, I was putting the call out for an apartment for Colin and I to rent. Little did I know that we would find an apartment a few days later and then move out of that place and buy a condo of our own before the year was up. Becoming homeowners has been the biggest shock and surprise of 2017 by far. Did not see this one coming! If someone had told me I’d own a home in Surrey with my partner and dog at 25 years old, I would have laughed so hard. But here we are. And while it wasn’t something I thought would happen, I’m so glad it did.
Last year I knew about our Mexico trip in February, surprise SF trip in the summer and train trip in September. I thought Europe was a possibility, but that turned into our second Mexico trip with the Lees. So there weren’t really any surprises travel-wise in 2017. We added a couple little trips but nothing major. But no complaints here – we got in lots of “local” (North American) travel and I really loved all the places we visited and people we got to visit with.
2017 in summary:
2017 was a big year for me and for my little family. It was my first year as a full time freelancer who works from home in a field that I am passionate about. It’s probably the first time I’ve been able to say I loved my work all year long and I really enjoy what I do. Travel wise, I think I learned to appreciate trips that aren’t as exotic or unique. Everyone and their dog has done an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean but it was still really fun and a great way to spend time with family. I’m learning to appreciate local travel and smaller trips.
Despite living away from my family in Toronto, I feel like I got to have a lot of family moments this year. And for our little family, we grew by one when we adopted Ellie, our wee pup. And we took another big step by not only moving in together but also buying our first home and returning to Surrey. So it’s been a year of some pretty monumental changes and shifts that will be with us for a long while. Overall, it’s been a really good year. I didn’t think it would be nearly as life changing as it was when this year started but all of the changes have been for the better and I’m excited about how they’ll continue to shake out into 2018.
Looking ahead to 2018:
My favourite part about these posts is predicting what will come in the next year. And maybe it’s because I love surprising myself and seeing how different things actually end up being. 2017 was definitely full of some big surprises that I didn’t think would be happening. But that has sort of been the case every year. So I’m thinking 2018 will also be full of a bunch of stuff I can’t predict. But here’s what I’m planning and hoping for:
Career: I want to continue working as a freelancer and growing in my writing, editing, content managing and social media. I want to strengthen my relationships with current clients, get raises, take on new projects and be even more successful. I want to get better at my craft and be more successful. I love being able to work from home and I want to keep fine tuning my work so that I’m on a schedule, in an office and working on projects that I absolutely love.
Travel: So far we have a trip to Ireland planned for April (which we are SO EXCITED about!). We got an amazing flight deal (about $320 per person, round trip) and can’t wait to get back to Europe. It’ll be a new country for both Colin and I and a new adventure. I’m itching to go out and do a big trip so I’m sure Ireland will satisfy that. We’re also planning to spend next Christmas in Toronto, which will be a first for Colin. I’m really excited to introduce him to all of my family traditions. And then there is talk of a trip to Arizona over Colin’s birthday in March. And I’m also hoping for some smaller trips in between Ireland in April and Toronto in December. Maybe we make it out to Calgary for stampede and to see Colin’s cousins, a weekend in Seattle, a last minute deal to Vegas, a weekend in Kelowna to see Kyle, a mini trip to Victoria to see Emilie – lots of options!
Life: So I feel pretty confident saying that not much is going to change on the home front. We’re so happy in our new home and with our pup. We have no plans to move or add to our family in the next year and I’m really okay with that. We’re not rushing down an aisle or to bring any human kids into our life (a dog kid is just fine, thanks). As I said, it’s been a big year. So 2018 is our time to just sit back and enjoy that. I want to work on the smaller things like getting my office set up just right, keeping plants alive, cooking better meals in our kitchen, using our condo gym, going to Zumba classes, reading more, cleaning more often, going out on more date nights and just being more purposeful with my time and working on things to improve myself and my life. It doesn’t have to be flashy or dramatic but just bettering the little things. That’s the goal for 2018.