2013 in review

I started off this year making a simple New Year’s resolution – to live freely without any boundaries, and to grow in my career, travel, and life.

And boy did I ever.

I spent some time earlier this year trying to increase the exposure of my photography business. Although it’s not anywhere close to a full-blown business, I’ve been trying to gain more knowledge in client management, and getting more day-of experience through referrals and collaboration with other photography friends. I was also fortunate enough to travel to Washington DC this spring to visit and photograph a good friend’s wedding engagement photos – my first destination shoot! There, I really enjoyed exploring the US capital region.

I was able to continue with my passion for sports this year by joining/captaining 5 individual seasons of beach volleyball, and 2 seasons of dodgeball. It was great to see the teams improve and grow throughout the season – team transformation if you can call it that. That’s what I love about team sports.

Fast-forward to the latter half of the year where I proceeded to break all the traditional rules and boundaries – first, left my first job after graduation of 4 years, then embarking on an epic solo backpacking trip for 2 months, and finally, moving halfway around the globe to a different continent, away from all my family and friends that I have been with practically all my life.

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I arrived in Sydney, Australia. In the first few day after arriving, there has been quite a frenzy of activities, which is why I haven’t blogged much until now. This included setting up a local phone number with data (yay!) and a bank account on the first day, followed by two days of purely searching for housing (I couldn’t stand staying at the hostel after a day), and finally moving in the shared apartment the following day.

I’m writing this from where I now call home, in a suburb about 30 minutes away from the city. Every morning after I wake up, I roll up the blinds to look outside, just to make sure that this is all real.

So far, the city reminds me of an amalgamation between Vancouver (the scenery and cityscape), San Francisco (the weather), and New York (the people and lifestyle). Of course, I’m just fresh off the boat and a tourist for the time being!

What does next year bring? A few things I want to accomplish:

Finding a job Couple of possible streams: in something that allows me to sustain the lifestyle here, or perhaps something I’ve wanted to try before but haven’t. And of course, there’s always doing something I’m good at. At the end of the day it’s about finding out what I want to advance the next stage of my career in.

Meeting new people At some stage in our lives, we get too comfortable with our own group of friends that we stop meeting new ones. Not saying it’s bad, but being around completely new people allows you to grow and mature faster as you share experiences with different perspectives. I must say, meeting new people at this age doesn’t come as easily as when we were forced into the social group environment of school, but I sure hope those connections over the years come in handy :-)

Seeing and experiencing more of this continent It’s a working holiday visa after all, so why get caught up working it away in a 9-5 job for an entire year? Hopefully, after getting some good working experience, I’ll be able to roam freely as a backpacker once again. There are amazingly beautiful landscapes and I would hate to leave without seeing at least most of them. Bucket list, checked!

Today is the last day of 2013, hours ahead the rest of the world. I can’t foresee the future, but I have a feeling it will be yet another year full of career changes and all sorts of adventures as my gap year rolls along.

Happy new years everyone, hope you have a healthy and rewarding 2014! Thanks for being a part of this journey with me.

Looking back, the first step is the largest step you’ve made. So why not give yourself a little push and take a tiny leap forward?


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