Goodbye 2016!

It is a hard post to write after a hard year. The worst year of my life. I was blissfully happy and in love for many years until the day I was told that this is it. My world crumbled around me when I lost the most important person in my life. I was devastated. For months I  kept drowning in pain and sadness. Heartbreak doesn’t heal easily. I am still lost and I am a mess. I lost a huge part of myself and adjustment to ‘new normal’ is challenging every day. It took months for the shock to worn off and I am still grieving. Seems it will take a long time.

Considering everything I am lucky. I have precious memories and no regrets. I will be forever grateful for blissful, happy years together and for all the love.  Right now I have family and friends. I can take my time to find new life, new place in the world. No rush. I am enjoying small things in life and putting off thinking about past and future. Living in the moment. Am I happy? No, but I will be.

Time to recap 2016 without too much wallowing in self pity:

January

The beginning of the year was happy. I was certain that it would be a good year. Started with a beautiful hike on New Years Day.

Willson Trail - Stage 1I continued hiking my way through January.

Lion RockIlona came for a long weekend to see Hong Kong.

img_0510But instead we spent many hours in shoe shops.

2016-78By the end of the weekend she purchased 18 pairs of shoes. (not all pictured) and didn’t managed to venture out to do any of planned sightseeing. Truly girlie weekend.

Sydney-18We celebrated Husband’s birthday in beautiful Sydney. I fell in love the city, nature surrounding Sydney and Blue Mountains. Came back home full of plans and ideas for future.

Sydney

February

And just days later I saw my world crashing around me.

There is nothing more to say about February 2016.

March

Pretending that all was good in my the world I joined Lukasz and Ania on trip to Bangkok. I saw fantastic Carlos Santana concert.

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Spent hours walking around the city. After five days flew to Palawan.

El Nido

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I came back home to more heartache and went for long planned Easter holiday to Hoi An, where I found out the hard way that Hoi An is a perfect destination only for families and couples.

April

To clear my head and keep busy I spent entire April in Goa at Sampoorna Yoga doing Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training.  Met lots of people from all over the world, a few friends (which I hope will stay in my life for long time) and great teachers. Studied from early morning until late night and did several hours of yoga every single day. I haven’t done anything as strenuous in my life as this training. It was an exhausting but a good month.

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May

May was my last month in Hong Kong. I planned to do a lot but in the end I didn’t. My last trip from Hong Kong was to to Malaysia, to finally climb Mt Kinabalu.

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 June

I packed the last 17 years of my life in boxes.

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Said goodbye to my marriage, my home, my friends, Hong Kong and my life there. My entire world.

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Got on the plane to the last place before Hong Kong I called home: London.

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Feeling restless and not wanting to stay still soon after I got on the flight to Riga.

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And from there to Tallinn

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And Helsinki.

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 July

July was a dreaded month of my big birthday.

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I got to explore England like never before. Hiked Seven Sister Cliffs with Ilona.

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Went strawberry picking.

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Explored area outside of Central London.

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Spent weekends driving around random (but pretty) English villages and towns with Ania and Lukasz.

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Visited Windsor for first time.

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Hung out a lot with Maomao.

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Had a lovely family weekend in Cotswold.

And at the last moment possible I decided to do something different for my birthday:

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I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

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August

Beginning of August saw me in France. I spent a wonderful weekend with my precious friend and her family in Nice. It makes me smile every time I think about it.

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Few days later I was in Poland.

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Where I spent six weeks with this beast:

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We call him Whiskey.

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I was staying in the countryside.

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In Zakopane.

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And in Krakow.

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First time in many years I went hiking in the Gorce Mountains.

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And everyday I overindulged on Polish food.

September

Another weekend, another trip into Gorce Mountains:

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This time with Bartek.

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I started to learn how to drive a BIG motorcycle.

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We had a family reunion. Our yearly tradition.

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Enjoyed bonfire and sausages every evening.

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After everyone went back to their lives I stayed with Whiskey who mastered bossing me around to the perfection.

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October

I had tickets for 3 months before the flight to Kathmandu. I considered (a lot) not going, but in the end I did. I was an emotional wreck, but the truth was: what was the worst that could happen? So, I got on the plane.

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Kathmandu was busy.

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Every morning you could find me around Boudhanath Stupa. My magical place in this chaotic city. Favourite spot.

img_0683Escaped to Nargakot for a few peaceful and quiet days before starting a trek.

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img_1203I trekked all the way from Lukla (2860m) to summit of Kalapathar (5,643 m) and then Mt Everest Base Camp.

img_1214After 10 days I didn’t have enough of cold, dirt, no showers, only carbs diet and high altitude, so instead of relaxing in Kathmandu I went to Annapurna region for more trekking. I rushed in order to trek up to Thorung La pass (5,416m).

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November

Finally after second trek I gave myself a break in beautiful Pokhara.

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I did a great job choosing a spot for my first paragliding flight.

1af4f27a-ba93-4e67-a8ee-6ddad1b59941It was certainly an experience…

After that I went back to Kathmandu.

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I realised that I love being in Nepal. I wanted to go back to the mountains. I missed trekking only after a few days break, but instead I flew back to London as planned.

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Had two full weeks hanging out with Lukasz, Ania and friends. London was very cold which was a perfect excuse to drink lots of hot chocolate, eat plenty of comfort food (crazy amounts of pasta and cheese) and shop for warm sweaters.

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Went on autumn road trip.

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Spent some quality time with Lukasz.

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Found out that everyone in my family has different preferences when it comes to wine.

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Said goodbye to Mum before taking off again.

I unpacked after Nepal and packed for Thailand. And before I blinked it was time to head back to the airport.

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December

And here I am. In Chiang Mai, Thailand. I guess that all the beginnings are tough. Years ago my first few months in Hong Kong weren’t easy, and I wasn’t alone. It is trickier right now. I survived first Christmas alone, I am exploring the city, I am meeting people. I am doing OK. There are better days and harder days. Step by step.

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So, those were the highlights. One look at photos and seems like I had a great year..  I am proud that I made it through it all.

Big surprise of this year: my broken heart didn’t kill me. I thought it would, but it didn’t.

It was a more difficult year that I could ever describe, but still good things happened. Life is funny that way.

2017 is almost here.. I know it won’t be an easy year for me, but I have hopes that it will be easier than 2016. New year will be about finding my place in the world, healing, stopping this overwhelming sadness and start feeling happy again. It will be challenging, but to be honest everyday is..

Happy New Year!

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