2016 in Review

At about this time last year, I wrote a blog post about 2015 and made a 2016 wish list:

  1. Learn to drive stick (this will be the year…)
    I haven’t driven a car since December 2014, so I’m not sure when learning to drive stick will happen.
  2. Professional Development: Orff Level 2 course (CHECK)
    In addition to taking Orff Level 2, I was also able to attend my first IB course in Dubai, World Music Drumming Level 1 in Boston, and the AMIS conference in Warsaw,  Poland. 
  3. Travel to five new places: India, Australia, and the Balkans. (CHECK)
    While Australia and the Balkans remain on my list, I was able to visit 7 new countries this year. See below.
  4. Visit Cappaddocia, Van, Konya, and Gaziantep in Turkey
    I’m disappointed to not make it to more beautiful places in Turkey this year, but at least I saw a lot of the country during 2015.
  5. Go on another Blue Cruise at the end of the school year
    I sincerely missed being on the boat. I won’t skip it again. 
  6. Take one Turkish course (CHECK x2)
    I retook A2 and continued onto B1. 
  7. Crochet a lap blanket (CHECK)
    It took me all year, but I DID finish it and gave it to a friend.
  8. Take a Turkish cooking or art class
    I haven’t taken a formal cooking class in Turkey, I have learned a few tasty dishes from my Turkish friends.
  9. Take Turkish Clarinet Lessons (this has been a struggle)
    I finally got a contact for a Turkish clarinet teacher when I was in Galata recently. I have every intention of contacting him upon my return. I just wanted to wait until my Turkish course was over.
  10. Return to the weight I was before returning to America over the summer
    Not only did I not return to my June 2015 weight, I gained more when I was in America this summer. If I want to lose my American pounds, I need a trainer again…

New Countries/Territories in 2016: India, Seychelles, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland
Countries Revisited in 2016: UAE, Greece, Austria, Germany, England, Scotland
Running Tally: United States, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, England, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Monaco, Malta, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Canada, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Hong Kong, Ukraine, India, Seychelles, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland

I had declared 2016 the year of the beaches. It started with Seychelles in April, then continued with Bodrum, Santorini, and a puddle hop over to Hawaii in June. While my travels did not include beaches the second half of the year, I did dip my toe in the nippy Baltic Sea in October.

Santorini and Hawaii didn’t add a new country to my tally, but they had been on my list for a long time, so I’m glad I was able to have those adventures this year. Likewise, it was nice to revisit New York City this year. I hadn’t been since I was 15. I hope I’ll revisit Hawaii sooner than it took me to get back to NYC.

I know 2016 was a challenging year for the world. For me personally, it wasn’t bad at all. That said, I don’t feel like I accomplished anything significant, and I don’t foresee leaping over any milestones in 2017… The biggest things to happen in my life were to help my parents move out of my childhood home and deciding whether or not to extend my contract in Istanbul.

Maybe I need to think harder about long term goals? My goals tend to be more like travel plans…

So what’s in store for 2017?

So far, my list looks relatively the same as last year.

The usual:
Learn to drive stick (#everyyear)
Professional Development: Orff Level 3 course
Travel to five new countries: Croatia, Slovenia…
Take Turkish Clarinet Lessons
Lose 30 pounds by summer – I’ve done it before. I can do it again.

The new:
Level Up: Crochet a granny square blanket
Transfer memories from travel journals to my blog
When in Istanbul for the weekend, spend at least an hour at a cafe reading
Likewise, spend more time exploring other neighborhoods

What’s in store for YOU?

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