For weeks before my annual pilgrimage home to Melbourne for Christmas and summer holidays, I always put this post on numerous to-do lists. As though it’s a burden; another thing to do before I fly out. How will I find the time to write it and select photos? What if I run out of time?
And then somehow, it just comes together.
Because just naturally, a couple of weeks before it’s time to leave, I start reflecting. And thinking. And smiling and crying. I’m one of those people. Those suckers who cry watching the news, at strangers weddings, during powerful election campaign speeches and watching romantic comedies. I’m a goner for nostalgia.
And so here I am, in the dead of the night typing away on the notes in my iPhone. Pulling together fragments, memories and emotions of another year gone too fast, but extremely well lived. Well-lived for me, means good and bad. For nothing really is heartwarmingly good if you don’t have the not-so-good to compare it with.
On the work front, 2016 has been a tumultuous year – full of ups and downs but I’ve come out stronger and happier than ever about the experiences I’ve sought and received and the decisions I’ve made. My blog is stronger than ever and I keep working hard to create freelance writing opportunities because they enable me to share my passions with you. In 2016, these opportunities included writing my first articles for CNN Travel, more work for USA Today and Fodor’s and an exciting collaboration coming up this week as I take over the Condé Nast Traveler Instagram account for the day in Dubai (be sure to watch @cntraveler on 15 December). I participated in press trips and blog trips, day spa viewings, restaurant openings and even a social media management job that had me work with one of the most talented and creative film crew ever across Rome and Berlin (watch videos here). I was also selected as one of Italy’s top instagrammers for a special behind-the-scenes look at Italy’s Presidential Palace! Not to mention interviewing Massimo Bottura – the chef and owner of world’s number 1 restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena.
On the travel front – work and pleasure – I’ve visited, explored and dined in more cities this year than in any other year of my life.
And I got to do it all with my sister. She took a year off from job and life to travel and spend the year in Rome https://buyingdiazepam10mg.com with me. And it’s meant more to me than anyone will ever know.
Because as much as you try to share and explain to family and friends back home what life is like in Rome, it’s hard really capture the the essence of it. They don’t see what your daily life is like. The good times, hard times, the rewarding moments, the challenges, the fun. But this year, my sister did! She saw it all!
We shared just about everything this year. Travel, a house, friends, a life lived to the fullest in a city and country we both love. If my heart is bursting at the seams each year when I leave Italy, like with everything else this year – it’s as though it’s times two this time around.
Rome won’t be the same. She won’t be the same. I won’t be the same. But that’s life. It’s how you change, how you grow and evolve.
I look back on this year as a true blessing. One day we will both reminisce fondly and laugh, smile and even cry as we talk about that year we lived together in Rome.
The memories we have created together will remain emblazoned in my mind and heart forever.
We also had my mum come and stay, which was also special so close to Christmas!
Finally, as always, thank you. No really, thank you from the very bottom of my humble heart for reading, sharing and commenting on my blog and across social media. If you’re reading this now, you are one of my readers that come from over 100 different countries. On social media you guys now top 25,000.
Because you enjoy and believe in what I do, I’m encouraged always to do more.
I wish you and your loved ones the happiest of holiday seasons. Eat lots and above all, hug your family and friends and stay safe.
Without further ado, as I have every year – in no particular order – here is my 2016 in pictures. Catch you from Melbourne for a little while my friends!
Signing off from Trastevere (for the last time in 2016),
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