The past year has been a very big one for me personally – I have had a high workload in my job, which combined with being in my third and final year of part time study to complete my Masters of Business. As a result I have not had a lot of time available to focus on further development of my Pretraveller travel blog. I have kept things ticking along at a low level with an aim for my blog to be ready for me to refocus on it in 2017, and have succeeded at that goal.
You may be surprised to realise that I actually have managed to do some travel during 2016, I have just not had much time to write about it…
North America Trip
The highlight was the overseas study tour in May for my Masters of Business – we travelled to North America for two weeks to visit four companies, and in between those visits I was able to actually do some sightseeing!
We visited Fort Worth in Texas, Ottawa in Canada, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma and Los Angeles. In each of these cities I was able to see and do a diverse range of new experiences, and we had a great run of good weather. I particularly loved Ottawa and would definitely plan to go back again (maybe not during winter!). While we were in Ottawa I went on a private tour to explore the local wilderness area of Gatineau Park and surrounding towns (in the rain as you can see below!).
Visiting Oklahoma City during tornado season was interesting – as an Australian I have no prior experience with tornados and when we had a violent storm one night (noting that lightening and thunder in Oklahoma City is VERY different to Australian storm behaviour) I was concerned about whether there was any risk of a tornado occurring. The next day I asked and was informed by a native Okie that they are only concerned about tornados occurring if the weather is very hot – and that night it was not hot enough…
Local Australian Trips
Again for work I did the most number of trips to Canberra ever – in total I think I went to Canberra 12 times during 2016 – and no sightseeing was involved. It has been interesting to watch how Lake George on the north side of Canberra has progressively filled with water during the year from being a totally dry lake!
I also visited Brisbane three times for my university residentials and graduation ceremony.
We are currently visiting the Brisbane / Gold Coast / Sunshine area to see family, and will then take a more scenic route home to Sydney via the Lions Road and Mt Barney National Park which should be a great new area to explore!
Looking Ahead at 2017
I am expecting 2017 to be another busy year – I am shifting into a new demanding position at work, my daughter is starting high school (which will require a whole new round of learning), and my sons are continuing their primary school education.
We are making good progress to saving money for our upcoming big family USA trip in 2019 – I know it sounds a few years away but my husband is unable to take leave in the right time of year until then. We are planning to mainly explore the west coast of the USA over a 6-8 week period, with a short sojourn to Huntsville, Alabama for our kids to attend Space Camp.
I may also do some more international travel for work – there is a good chance that I may be able to visit Italy during 2017 – which will be nice – it is one of my favourite countries. The only hassle will be having to do a trip from Australia over a one week period – bring on the fatigue and jet lag…
I am really looking forward to further developing my online business during 2017, and am relieved that I will not have the continual overlay of needing to study.
I wanted to say thank you for your support over the past year and wish you all the best for you and your families in 2017.