|What could be simpler than|
an island in the sun (in Tuvalu)?
Most nights, before I close my eyes to sleep, I think of the highlights of the day, to ground myself in my own experience of it and remember all I have to be thankful for.
Now I seem to have got into the habit of doing this at the end of the year too.
2015 was a year of trying to live as simply as possible - without living out of a duffel bag - which is a bit of an ongoing mission for me. Of course life loves to mess with our plans, teaching us lessons along the way, but most days the simple things are my highlights, particularly: spending time in the sea and with people I care about, and doing work I love.
To be more specific, a few of my favourite simple things from this year:
|Colourful street art in Lennox|
2. Hatchlings at Heron Island. I fed my travel bug with a few domestic trips this year including, in late March, a few days on Heron Island, at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. I first went to Heron as an undergraduate Zoology student in about 1985, and I've been there twice since, but this was the first time I saw turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest, en masse, which is a humbling thing to see:
4. Turning Japanese. In the spirit of keeping things simple, and local, I wrote a bit about northern NSW this year - about Byron Bay, about hotels like Rae's at Wategoes, about beekeeping and, most memorably, about Japanese culture in the Northern Rivers, which reconnected me to a headspace I was in when I lived in Japan 20 years ago and had a year and a half of surfing and teaching English.
|Immersed in the Maldives|
|(I helped paint this banner!)|
|Girls outside church, Tuvalu|
Of course every year has troughs and valleys in between its peaks, but that's the way life is, and for all its craziness, to paraphrase Desiderata, it is still a beautiful world. Thanks for following my travels this year and I hope 2016 brings you all peace, love and new adventures of all kinds.