It’s that time of year again and so it is time for my annual summary of the year as 2019 draws in. So how was 2018?
It started with our trip to Karuizawa in February enjoying the snow, star gazing and onsens to get us through the winter months. It felt like luxury and a great way to start the year.
The rest of the spring months were spent planning our great Asian adventure- a huge step out of our comfort zone in the summer. For most of July, we visited Bangkok, Singapore, Siem Reap, finishing in North Vietnam and we loved every minute of it. I faced my travel anxiety head on and we returned to Japan confident and full of amazing memories.
Our Asian adventure allowed us to explore new cultures and experience tropical weather day after day but we missed the beach and so we managed to sneak in a short return to Guam in the October break which was perfect. Taking Mrs F with us, we jetted off for 5 days of relaxing by the beach in the most perfect sunshine. A much needed break.
To finish the year we decided to spend Christmas in Osaka, spending actual Christmas day at Universal Studios Japan. We happened to be in town whilst it was hosting the Marvel exhibition and of course we had to take a peek. It was interesting reading the break downs of each character from the Marvel universe with imagery and costumes to look at. I enjoyed it but came away realising, I am more of a Marvel geek than I realised. I knew way too much of the information covered in the exhibition before and… I have no other words. In the evening we enjoyed the Christmas lights and took a long overdue trip to Dotombori with the famous lights.
USJ on Christmas day was packed as you would imagine but with the help of a good friend we were able to book our tickets and express passes before we travelled. Universal Studios Japan works very differently from all the other Universal parks. There are no unlimited express passes and there is actually no one pass that guarantees a queue skip onto every ride. There are different types of express passes and ours was the Back Drop 7. This allowed us to fast pass onto the Backdrop rollercoaster, The Minions Ride, Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey, and Ride of the Hippogriff. The last three rides you have to choose and we picked the Spiderman ride, Terminator and Backdraft. We managed to get on Jurassic Park without using the pass. It was a great day and we had so much fun capturing memories with my Christmas present, the new GoPro White 7.
It has been a great year for travelling but that’s not all that we will leave behind in 2018. If I could describe this year in a single word, it would be ‘Growth’. Professionally, I have survived two out of three terms in my new leadership post. I feel that this time round, I am better prepared to cope with the pressures and that makes me feel confident and reassured that I was ready for this role when I chose to take it. Booking our Asian adventure allowed us to grow emotionally and overcome some real anxiety issues that had been holding me back in my ultimate dream to travel the world. Now I feel excited about planning some new adventures in 2019, including our trip to New Zealand and Fiji in March.
We’re another year older and this year particularly I feel another year wiser. I feel fortunate, I feel happy and I feel extremely thankful for 2018. I will cross my fingers and hope for the same good health and happiness for 2019 as we head towards another New Years Eve.
Happy New Year Everyone! I will leave you with some of our favourite memories of the year that we have not shared already.