Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Look Back

First of all I want to say Happy New Years to all of you.
Thank you for following my blog. I'm glad to have you and feel humbled by the viewership that's interested in my life and what I have to share.

This year can easily be called the Year of Change.

I started the year out finishing my chapter of life in Korea.
I was able to go back to the Philippines one more time before leaving the eastern hemisphere and enjoyed an amazing time in Palawan with Jinky. We've known each other since 2009 when I first visited the Philippines and have had a strong bond ever since.

Then a large part of the year was spent traveling by foot around the Black Sea. I was searching for myself on this trip. Trying to get over my Zahir. If you don't know what that is then read Paulo Coehlo's book Zahir.

I was finally able to find some peace and after 7 months of traveling through Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, and Bulgaria I finally found myself back in Istanbul and working as a teacher.

I had a bit of culture shock at this current job. It's a very conservative atmosphere here compared to the rest of Istanbul but I've managed and after a few bumps things are really looking up.

Now in the last few months my life has been increasingly better. Things are just falling into place for me.
I entered a few photography contests and had a photo selected to be exhibited at Taksim Metro for the start of 2012! On top of that, I decided to submit a story for a book that was looking for 111 meaningful travel stories and mine was selected to be published along with some photos to accompany the story.

Finally, I moved to the European side of Istanbul and my life attitude and life have seemingly took a 180. I was living on the Asian side and I was really just closing in on myself and not feeling the greatest. But in this new place here in Besiktas I feel so much more alive. I'm meeting people every day. I can see the city from a boat every morning as I sail across the Bosphorus to go to my job. Water.  It really does sustain life..and mentality :)

So this year I've had writing published, photos exhibited, a new job, a new look on life, and above all I'm feeling more free than ever.  I'm not longer allowing my student loans or many of life's pressures to pull me down. Of course sometimes I'm not always thankful and can be pessimistic but I'm glad I've got friends to help steer me towards the light and remind me of all that's great in this world and my life. Show me that I CAN make a difference and I AM making a difference.

I wonder what 2012 will bring?

Some things I have planned already are:

Publish a photography book
Make a DIY photo studio in my room.
Develop my photography to a higher quality through Joshua Sterrett Photography
Develop and start my own photography page.
Work on writing a book about my travels
See Spain
Enjoy life, all of it, even the little moments.
Make new friendships and relationships that last a lifetime.
Continue learning more about myself and further develop my inner self.

How about you? Do you have any goals or wishes for 2012?  How was your past year!  A year of change or a year of the same?

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