Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

There has been many a New Year's Eve when I wondered what we had done the past 365 days. The well meant plans of the year gone by that had come to nothing and the reasons why they had come to nothing. Mind you, we haven't had much to complain about, there are plenty of people who were/are not as fortunate as we have been. But still… there was always this unpleasant feeling that I could have done more of what we wanted, instead of being busy with what had to be done, if you know what I mean. Luckily 2013 has not been one of those years. Far from it. For us it's been the best year ever. Why? Because we simply forgot about the "what if's" and just did it. Nothing complicated.

Could we have done it better? No doubt. That's what we look forward to in 2014! Nonetheless 2013 has without a shadow of a doubt been the best year ever. Yesterday I realised it has taken me almost 50 years to get here, while my son is already here at just 17… He thanked us yesterday for giving him the best year of his life too… an emotional moment, a very emotional but happy moment.
Yet 2013 could have easily been the worst as well. If we had left the plans as scribbled lines, if we hadn't packed up and just did it. Because only because we did, did we have this incredible year, did we meet these incredible people and did we have these incredible moments of unbelievable joy and happiness. Looking at the photos we made this past year, brings back all the memories again. The magical landscapes, the beautiful animals, all the events 'behind' the photos, the moments of feeling extremely lucky. New Zealand, Alaska, the Yukon, now seems an eternity away, but only because so much has happened since then.

The past month we have stayed in Lo de Marcos, a tiny little town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Time to let it all sink in, time to enjoy this strange country that so many people seem afraid of. We updated our blog and sorted through our 20.000 photos(!) too. At the time I had my doubts if I needed to spend that much money on a camera, now I'm just glad I did. Seeing all those beautiful images again made me realise even more how good 2013 had been.
Last night we celebrated the arrival of the New Year in Mexican style, with a couple of Canadian Snowbird traditions thrown in. A Mexican tradition is the release of Sky Lanterns, made from thin translucent paper in bright colours with a candle as a heat source. The heat of the candle lifts the lanterns from the ground, like in a traditional hot air balloon. The light winds we had last night were ideal for the Sky Lanterns, seeing them slowly float away from the beach into the eternal looking ocean, was a special moment. It seemed a fitting farewell to such a beautiful year. Much more special than the fireworks.

To me the lanterns represented being on a journey; life is a journey and this journey is such a beautiful life.