As we approach the end of 2012 and look forward to the New Year, our thoughts turn to what next year will bring. This is our 3rd turn of the year since we left the south coast and moved (on a whim!) to the Cheshire countryside - no regrets but there are some things that Paul, in particular misses:
- Living within walking distance of the beach
- Weekly bike rides with Ray
- The Bluebird Cafe (after the weekly bike rides with Ray!)
- Curry Nights with "the boys"
- Walks on the Isle of Wight
- Whizzing around the Solent in Mr J-P's Rib
- Fishing in the Solent with Mr J-P (in between the whizzing around!)
- Day walks in the Peaks, Lakes, North Wales, Cheshire & Lancashire
- The delights of the Isle of Anglesey (our replacement for the Isle of Wight)
- Some great local produce
- Never having to water the garden - it falls naturally from the sky…..constantly!
We've enjoyed some great trips away this year. Our favourite was our week touring Northumberland in a motorhome in May. This was our first ever motorhome trip and very much a 'try before we buy' to see if it's for us……and we're totally hooked. It helped that the weather was unusually hot and sunny but we now know that this type of life is for us in the future. Thanks to Stephanie and Ian at Live the Dream Motorhome Hire - we look forward to our next trip. In July we headed off to Dubrovnik - a great city and we loved Croatia, certainly we'll be back to visit other parts in the future. And in September we spent a week beach-bumming in Portugal, another relaxing week.
So our thoughts are now turning to 2013. This is a bit of a landmark year; Paul will hit the big "50" in July and we'll also celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary in November, so we're planning a bit of a holiday splurge. In about 5 weeks we're off to Lanzarote to grab a week's winter sunshine to recharge our batteries - hopefully the Vitamin D supplements won't be needed that week. June will see us heading off to France for 2 weeks in Stephanie & Ian's new 2-berth CI motorhome. Whilst this needs some advance planning (booking channel crossings mainly), the idea of this trip is to see if we can get used to not having a fixed itinerary or booking stops in advance; this might be challenging for Paul who's still in the habit of 'military-style' logistical planning, but he's trying hard not to panic! We're hoping for some wild swimming in the lakes and rivers further South but apart from that we'll just follow our noses and use the many Aires. Finally, to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, we'll be spending a week in Marrakech. This will no doubt be another foodie trip, with some time relaxing in the courtyard garden of whichever Riad we stay in.
2013 should be an exciting travel year and we look forward to new experiences; January will see us cram some Spanish into our old brains ready for Lanzarote, then back to a few months brushing up our French language skills - who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks! But after this the holidays will take a back seat as we start to save hard to realise the ultimate dream of buying our own motorhome in a few years and starting the next phase of our travels with regular (and hopefully longer) trips to explore mainland Europe. It really is important to us to achieve our dreams now and not wait until retirement age - that may never come…….
With our planning well in place for what we want to achieve and enjoy next year, we're really excited about the time ahead. New Year's Eve will be the usual quiet affair for us - in bed early as we prefer to wake up on the first day of the New Year, clear-headed and ready to move forward. Whatever you have planned, we wish you a peaceful and healthy 2013 and beyond. So, if you've managed to get to the end of this blog without falling asleep, the one message to take away is to "Live your Dreams"…..some final inspirational thoughts:
"Hold fast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." (James Langston Hughes)
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." (Henry David Thoreau)
"Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful." (Mark Victor Hansen)
"Security is not the meaning of life. Great opportunities are worth the risk." (Shirley Hufstedler)
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." (Helen Keller)
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." (Christopher Reeve)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed about the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know that you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." (Steve Jobs)