2012: The Year I Made it Happen

This morning I walked along Varkala Beach‘s north cliff, spent the first few hours of my day in a yoga class and then tucked into brunch with an open view of the Arabian Sea ahead of me. This is how I’ll be spending the last days of 2012, a year of incredible change and one I am likely to mumble incoherently about if I ever reach my 90s.

Last year I hoped 2012 would be full of adventure, challenge and mischief – I certainly got my wish! After over a year and a half of saving and planning, I finally set out on the journey of a lifetime (although that’s not to say this is the only time in my life it will happen!), working my way from Kenya down to South Africa, then moving on to South India. I have been travelling for four months now and have a few more months ahead of me. There have been ups and downs but, all in all, it has been one hell of an experience.

Without further ado, here are the highlights of my year:

lurcher puppies

Fostering two little puppies, Freddie and Ollie, who now have forever homes in Czech Republic πŸ™‚


Discovering more of Ireland

lotus tattoo

New ink!


A great year for music – Florence and the Machine, Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Edward Sharpe… Mud included πŸ˜‰

belly dance ireland

Sharing my love of dance with some amazingly beautiful and talented women


Kenya – home to my very first safari and the start of my Africa trip


Uganda – My favourite country so far


Rwanda – Trekking in Virunga National Park to come face to face with a family of mountain gorillas. Still can’t quite believe this actually happened.


Tanzania – Home to the Serengeti and beautiful Zanzibar. One of the highlights of my year was witnessing both a cheetah and a pride of lions hunt in one day!

witch doctor chitimba

Malawi – Where I found out I will get married and have three children. Thanks, Mr. Witch Doctor.


Zimbabwe – Vic Falls, Devil’s Pool, walking with lions and, of course, hugging an elephant πŸ™‚


Botswana – Drifting along on the waters of the Okavango Delta


Namibia – Stunning scenery, quad biking on the dunes and possibly one of the craziest things I’ve done: sky diving πŸ™‚

South Africa

South Africa – Robben Island, Table Mountain, Stellenbosch, diving with sharks. Also the end to my overland adventure in Africa πŸ™


India so far – Mumbai, Goa, Hampi and Kerala.

What a year! It will be a long time before I am able to travel so much in one year again and so I have certainly done my best to make it count. Next year is going to be harder, I imagine. Facing real life again is undoubtedly going to come as a bit of a shock but here’s hoping I have learnt to live with myself well enough to be able to handle anything that comes my way. Bring it on, 2013! I’m excited to see where I will be this time next year πŸ™‚

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3 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    A brilliant post Han. Can’t wait to see what the new year will bring for you! Happy New Year!!!

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