A Look Back At My 2013 and A Look Forward to 2014

At the risk of being self-indulgent, this post is more for me than readers – a convenient way to see everything I did last year of significance, all in one place.

Walking and Running

I carried on walking with my walking group, although I wasn’t able to make as many hikes as I’d have liked due to them clashing with other events. I also spent a weekend walking in the Brecon Beacons with my brother, including a hike of the Pen-Y-Fan Horseshoe.

View of Pen-Y-Fan

As promised in my New Years resolutions for 2013, I successfully completed a 10km race. I also wanted to run a local, off-road 10km race called the Wolf Run, which has lots of obstacles to overcome. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do this as the date was announced while I was in America and by the time I got back it was sold out! It’s all worked out well though as many of my friends were also interested so we now have a group of 10 or so of us signed up to run it at the end of April.

Travel

It was a good year for travel, beginning in late March when I joined 7 friends for an epic 3 week roadtrip holiday, travelling to San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, down the central California coast to Los Angeles and then across to Las Vegas, from where we took a trip to the Grand Canyon. It was my favourite holiday I’ve ever had – it really was a trip of a lifetime! During the 3 weeks, I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, rode a San Francisco cable car, explored Alcatraz, saw Giant Redwoods, gazed in awe at the sheer magnificence of Yosemite, surfed badly in the Pacific alongside some dolphins, saw sea lions and a hummingbird, posed with the Friends sofa on the Central Perk set, gambled in Las Vegas (I lost, obviously), fired a shotgun and marvelled at the Grand Canyon.

Viva Las Vegas – it’s a crazy place

In August my family and I went to the Lake District for a discounted week in a caravan. We were on Ullswater, which is a stunning lake. It was a great week, especially as the four of us haven’t holidayed together in several years. My brother and I enjoyed some outdoor activities – climbing Blencathra, Helvellyn and Skiddaw, wild swimming in Ullswater (utterly fantastic, albeit a tad chilly) and canoeing to an island on the lake.

Looking down Hall’s Fell Ridge, Blencathra

In December I went to Rome. I was proud of myself for taking the big step (to me) of going it alone and though I would have enjoyed my visit more if I’d had a companion, it was great to see the sites. It also added an extra country to my talley – Vatican City!

The Colloseum, Rome

I added another new country 3 short weeks later when I saw in the New Year with friends in Dublin, though my favourite part of the trip was a visit to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

New Year’s message projected onto Trinity College, Dublin

I took a couple of daytrips to parts of my own country I hadn’t seen before. My Mom and I visited Stonehenge and Salisbury for the day, which was really nice. I also visited Bath with friends, which was fun.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Royal Crescent, Bath

Other

My Dad and I competed in a charity sailing race, helping to crew a 72ft yacht in a circumnavigation race around the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately the wind didn’t really want to co-operate but it was a great experience.

Sailing round the Isle of Wight

With my friend Zoe, I went to watch a disabled athletics event. It was fantastic to see so many Team GB paralympians competing! We saw Hannah Cockcroft and David Weir, among others.

Hannah Cockcroft wins by a mile!

I finished my photography course and a number of us saw it out in style by arranging an exhibition of our work, which was thrilling!

My photographs in an exhibition!

The final big event of 2013 for me was starting a new job. I had the interview back in September but all the pre-employment checks took so long I didn’t actually start until a week before Christmas. I was sad to leave my old job, which I found interesting and enjoyed most of the time (I worked with some great people too) but the new job is in my chosen field and is a promotion so it was a no-brainer, as they say! It’s been less than two weeks but I’m enjoying myself there.

All in all it’s been a pretty good year!

What 2014 Has In Store

I doubt I’ll be able to travel much, if at all, this year. That’s because my primary goal for 2014 is to buy a house. I’ll be booking an appointment with a mortgage advisor shortly to get things moving. If things go smoothly I hope to have bought somewhere and moved in by the halfway point of the year. This will no doubt suck up all my money for some time! If I can afford it, I might do the Caledonian Canal canoe crossing this year.

Other than that, I’m in training for the Wolf Run at the end of April. My new workplace has a very cheap gym on site so next week when everybody’s back in work I’m going to see if I can have a look at it. Assuming it’s ok, I can quit my existing gym membership (saving myself more than £200 per year in the process) and work out before or after work instead, hopefully several times a week. With luck and motivation I’ll be fitter than I’ve ever been – although that won’t be difficult!

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About elentari86

Apparently blogs need to cover a certain niche in order to attract readers. My aim is not to attract readers. I don't deny it would be nice not to just be spouting to myself, but the reason I set this blog up was to give myself somewhere to write down my thoughts. If anyone reads them, that's a bonus. This blog will cover a mix of things - anything that comes to mind that I want to write about. I make no promises about how often I will publish new content.
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