It is still early December as I start to write what may well be my last blog of 2013. I started the year by saying an aim was to get my blog off the ground; well at least I have achieved one thing that I set out to do.
Many things have happened this year; some good, some bad. Some that I will detail here and a number that I won’t. Has it been a good year? I’m not sure, perhaps not; certainly not the best, but also not the worst.
Morocco was a highlight. Three weeks driving through the mountains and deserts as well as the long and tiring journey there and back. There were many sights, sounds, smells and experiences which I will not forget from that trip, much of which I wrote about at the time. It also marked the completion of the third of my “overland” journeys that I had in my sights when I purchased my current Land Rover a couple of years back; Nordkapp, the Scottish Highlands & Islands and finally Morocco.
As always work has played a major part in my life. Probably too much as it has left its mark in a number of ways. The first half of the year, 10 to 12 hour days, six days a week, thankfully based in the office so there wasn’t the addition of travel, but even so…. The last six months have generally only been normal weeks but a lot of trips to the Middle East for projects there. In fact I am writing this very passage while sitting on a plane in Dubai heading for Qatar and then home. This year also saw Lauren pass her A Levels and head off to university. A very strange feeling leaving your only child at her new home while you drive away. I see her as much as possible and Skype when not in the same place. She seems to be getting on well, and is happy which, of course, is all I can hope for.
So as 2013 comes to a close what will the next 12 months have to throw at us?
It is of course impossible to know what lies in wait. There are many things which we cannot control or avoid and so simply have to make the most of. However, it is possible to plan; to list what you want to achieve and set out on a path which will, if all things are equal, ensure that you archive those goals ……..
Christmas is now behind me and so it is less than a week to the start of the New Year. 2014 is a year in which I intend to travel more. There is a possibility of a trip to Australia, which if it comes off will simply postpone one of the other destinations I have listed, but as it is completely out of my control I don’t intend including it in my plans. If it happens great, otherwise I will simply make the following destinations in stead:
I have been to Norway before but this time I have a different location in mind. I am hoping to see more of the country as my previous trip was all about the journey and the single destination. This time my plan is to get a ferry directly into Oslo, finding time to explore the city properly either on the way in or the way out, and then travel up the East coast. This will allow me to see the fjords and the mountains.
In addition to Oslo there are two particular sights I want to see, the Atlantic Road, which has been described as the best road trip in the world, as well as the Sognefjellet National Tourist Route which is the highest mountain pass in northern Europe.
It looks like 2014 may be the year of mountains and high passes, although I am not yet sure which of the following options I will choose, I guess it will depend on the time available and the final route I map out, but here are a few which are included in a list of the 10 best drives in Europe:
Of course it is just possible that I will do all six!
It is my intention to set myself a few more walking challenges next year to help improve by general fitness and well-being. As you can see elsewhere in my blog, I did two 20+ mile walks in 2013, both along relatively flat waterways. Therefore my next locations may not be quite so far, but they will involve more slopes. Locations have yet to be chosen but living here in the Chilterns hills are not too difficult to find. I would also hope to include another sponsored event which will need to be both further and more physically demanding than the last if I am to better my previous amount raised.
With those thoughts and plans set out for all to read I hope this will give me the motivation to achieve them, only time will tell, but for now all that is left is to wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.