At the beginning of every year, I seem to find myself in a spot where I reflect on the year that has gone by and on what’s lying ahead for the year to come. I guess everyone does that in some ways… This year will be the fourth year that we’ve been up on the Sunshine Coast, and I honestly thought that we would be back in Melbourne by now. But we’re not, and whilst I still shake my head at times on how things are done in Queensland, I finally feel like I’m settling in. It’s taken some time.
I still miss Melbourne (much more than the born and bred Melburnian husband) but I’ve also found a whole lot of happiness in Queensland, including my commute to work (five minutes by bike through a park – what could possibly beat that?!), the best gluten-free jam donuts, and holiday feelings year round. Well… sort of. Work and study can get in the way of that. 🙂
So whilst we haven’t explored Queensland to our hearts’ content yet, we have managed to see some beautiful spots in the last three years, such as Carnarvon Gorge and Mount Moffat in the almost Outback, Rainbow Beach, Byfield National Park, and recently over Christmas, Fraser Island. If we hadn’t squeezed in an incredible six-weeks road trip through Western Canada last year, we probably would have actually made it into the real Outback!
2017 is already shaping up to be a jam-packed year with me finishing a couple of courses by mid-year and family coming over for a visit later in the year. Unlike the husband, I love making plans, setting goals or just having dreams because I find that things (often) just don’t happen if you don’t. So here’s what I’m thinking about for 2017 in terms of adventuring:
1. Explore at least one other island close to the Sunshine Coast
We finally ticked off Bribie and Fraser Islands late last year but we’ve still got Moreton Island and North & South Stradbroke Islands to roam around. They’re all close to Brisbane so there’s really no excuse not to go. Moreton is some 40 km offshore and though I’m somewhat apprehensive about the ferry trip through open waters, I’m determined to not let my anxiety and seasickness get in the way of another 4WD adventure!
April or May might be a good time to go, with hopefully less voracious sandflies and mozzies around…
2. Return to the Gold Coast Hinterland for some hiking
Unlike the Sunshine Coast hinterland, which I’m not wild about, the hinterland on the Gold Coast is beautiful. Waterfalls, rainforests, cliffs and gorges abound, and as it’s been a while since we’ve been there, it’s time to go back for a good dose of hiking. It’s also relatively quiet since most people visiting the Gold Coast stick to the beach, Surfers Paradise or theme parks.
3. Go somewhere far (= 2000+ km) in Queensland, either the Tropical North or into the Outback
Whilst the husband has been all the way up to Cairns in tropical Queensland, and gone sailing and diving in the Whitsunday Islands and off the Great Barrier Reef, I haven’t been further north than Rockhampton and Byfield National Park. On a map, it might look like it’s close to the Sunshine Coast but Rockhampton is easily a 10-12 hour drive. So venturing further afield, whether going north or west, will need some planning and a bit of time off.
With family coming and the dry season still in full swing, August or September might work for a “quick” road trip.
At this stage, these are just thoughts and ideas, and who knows what we end up doing. I am determined though to see more of Queensland this year so let’s make it happen!
I’ve also got a few personal goals for 2017, which include things like having quiet time in the morning and actually doing my neck and shoulder exercises regularly. But my overriding theme really is to care (even) less about stuff and live more so specifically I want to…
1. Simplify life by seriously cleaning out
I’m by no means a hoarder but I do have a tendency to buy way too much food (you should see my pantry… if there’s a war, I’m prepared!), hang onto things that have outlived their usefulness or purpose, and am perpetually in love with stationary and paper. My wardrobe could use a good clean-up, as could my overflowing bookshelves and our study / spare bedroom where I keep an assortment of paper, empty boxes (I might need to send a parcel… or even twenty?!?), old letters, even older photos, a heap of random stuff, and little room for actual people who might want to come for a visit…
I’m considering doing things the KonMari way but I’m a little bit afraid. I’m going to read her book first and then… well, I might just dive in the deep end and start throwing stuff out… I already know though that I fold most of my clothes the way she does… Doesn’t everybody?!?
2. Go unplugged more often
Going unplugged is one of my favourite ways of dealing with the stress of life but I don’t do it very often, which begs the question whether it’s really one of my favourite ways?! I don’t watch a lot of TV and I’m not a social media butterfly (despite my love for Instagram), but not being able to look things up on the Internet and find out what’s going on in this world?! Urgh, that’s hard. Except when we’re away camping because I usually have zero reception and I’m too busy exploring or reading one of my many unread books. 🙂
So in 2017, I want to create more space for being without my laptop, without the Internet, without social media, without my phone. This ties in with my other journey about living more in the moment (hello mindfulness!) and filling life with more faith and joy. Welcome 2017!
What about you – do you set goals or have hopes and dreams for 2017? Have you ever tried using the KonMari method? Do you remember the times before social media and being constantly connected? 🙂