Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018
“Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow” – Albert Einstein
Every year on the 31st of December, billions of people celebrate New Year’s Eve at different places, watching fireworks, they even go for an overseas trip and it’s almost the town or place that you celebrate New Years it gets a new life or a new beginning. Sometimes I wonder why people make new years resolutions and do they even follow these new years resolutions?
If I think of New Years I think of fireworks in different shapes and colors, I think of fairy lights, I think of a new wish for the following year and I get excited or this is how I felt on 31st December 2017. Sometimes you need to stop for a few minutes and think of this past year, the lessons you have learned, the amazing people you have met, the places you went to visit and maybe there were some challenges and difficult times too but today is a new start of a new year, so forgive who you need to forgive even if its yourself, write down new goals, do the things that you always wanted to and just be yourself. Be the best version that you can be and make it happen. You don’t need a new year to start over, every day is a new beginning.
I’ve never been into big new years parties but I do like new beginnings and you should create celebrations, after all life should be celebrated. But I remember when we were little we had this tradition of lighting a tea candle and make a wish and then put the tea candle in the lagoon in Wilderness, South-Africa where my grandparents lived and I think that was a very special memory that I will never forget.
I have ended 2017 and went into 2018 on the popular beach called Patong in Phuket, Thailand. Patong is not for everyone as it can get very crowded especially in high season. We had an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant and had tacos while looking out on the beautiful beach , then later we went to the beach to celebrate the last few hours of 2017. It was a little bit crowded so don’t go if you don’t like a lot of people around, but I had such a fun evening with great people. It was a good experience and who knows where I will celebrate it next year ? – Life is full of surprises 🙂 We walked down the street and all the trees along the street were covered in fairy lights, there were fireworks in all shapes and colors and there was this beautiful lanterns went up into the sky, I just stood there in the crowd and watched, maybe that is why I didn’t take photos of the lanterns but I can assure you that the memory is worth thousands of years, I will never forget that.
The new year has begun, its in your hands, what you do with it, is totally up to you and in your hands. Make it count.
If I can describe 2017 in three words it would be challenging, adventurous and rewarding. If you can describe your 2017 in three words, what would it be?
If I look back on 2017 I had a pretty amazing year, through all the challenges and difficult times, I have made it and also its not what happens to you, it is how you handle it.
Here are some of my highlights from 2017
- I went on a Sani Pass tour, Lesotho, Africa
- I went on a hot air balloon ride over Midlands, KZN, South-Africa
- I went to visit the Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KZN, South-AfricaI have changed jobs in April from being an operations manager at a 4 star hotel in South-Africa to become a teacher in Thailand (big change I know but sometimes you just got to take that risk)
- I have made new friendships in Thailand with foreigners and some locals too and also have really incredible people along the way.
- I have learned a little bit of Thai and I have learned a lot about their culture.
- My first week in Thailand we had an orientation week and I have enjoyed my first Thai cooking class, my first muay thai class, we went to visit Rescue Paws which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of stray animals in Thailand.
- I’ve experienced something amazing, my last night of the orientation we all got a small wooden piece and you had to write something on it that you want to get rid of then you had to throw this wooden piece in the fire.
- I have celebrated my 32nd birthday in Thailand, breakfast at Meringue and me and then was treated with a pedicure. It was a very relaxing day.
- I have explored some waterfalls.
- I’ve learned to ride a motorcycle, if you’re used to driving a car it was pretty nerve-wracking at first but now I am glad I have mastered this skill (thank you Sai, Mariam, Autumn, and McKenzie). Sometimes I think Thai people are born with motorcycles, it all comes so naturally to them 🙂
- I’ve been tutoring Eiffel, she is only 3 years old but her English is really great. She is Thai, she was named after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, her mom found out that she was pregnant with Eiffel and that is the reason why her name is Eiffel. She has a very special place in my heart.
- I went to run my first mini-marathon in Phuket, Thailand in August.
- I saw the most amazing sunrise in Koh Kradan
- A very good friend of mine, Samantha from South-Africa came to visit me and we have explored beautiful parts of Thailand. Explored the street art and interesting architecture of Old Phuket Town and listening to street music while tasting amazing food in the local market.
- I went to the Chak Pra festival in Surathani
- I went on a full-day tour in Khao Sok National Park, what an amazing experience. Khao Sok is one of my favorite places in Thailand.
- Cycled through the town of Khao Sok
- I saw fire shows at Phi Phi island
- I went to a unicorn-themed café in Bangkok with Mariam, that is a day that I will never forget.
- Had coffee and cake at a cafe called ‘the love station’ in Kantang with Mariam, it is a unique place.
- Had the best day on a rainy day on batman mobile with Mariam in Koh Lanta
- I have played soccer with my students.
- I have experienced teachers appreciation day in Thailand.
- Experienced New Years in Phuket, Thailand.
I am so grateful for all the things that happened in 2017, the good times, the challenging times, the difficult times and the sad times. I have learned a lot but the one thing that stood out for me is you got to embrace every moment and to be able to live in Asia you have to be adaptable and I think the Western culture can learn so much from the people and culture from Asia. I simply love Thailand. Everything happens for a reason and if you pay attention you can learn something new every day.
Please feel free to share your highlights of 2017.
Happy new year to you all, I trust that 2018 will be an amazing year.
Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!