As a photographer, I both love and hate looking back over my photographs at the end of the year. It’s amazing to see personal progress, but sad to see all those memories now relegated to the darkness of last year. Time seems to move so fast when we look back, but day-to-day (particularly on hard days) it’s like the day never wants to end. This year, 2017, has been a massive year for us. There’s been a lot of change and a lot of challenge, difficult days and amazing adventures. I figured, with the New Year on the horizon, is there ever a better time to reflect on all we’ve accomplished this year? Probably not, so here’s my 2017 in photographs.
We welcomed in the New Year in England, shivering through a British winter while attempting to see as much of the country as we could. This ended up being a few fun trip out to see castles, and lots of hanging out with the coolest dog ever: Hecter Wilson. Sadly this would be the last time we would see him (although we didn’t know that then). He passed away in October from complications due to mast cell tumours ☹️.
Arriving back in Darwin, Dean surprised me on the 10th of February, just a few days after our four-year anniversary, with a beautiful ring, we were engaged!
Of course, there was hardly a moment to waste before we were off to Sydney for a family wedding. We spent a few glorious days soaking up the remains of the summer sunshine at Gerroa Beach, and enjoying the company of family and friends.
The tropics of Darwin called to us again, but those stunning sunsets were not going to be our outlook for long.
Soon we were moving again (our 7th move in five years) down to Melbourne for a new life, new work opportunities, and lots of beautiful autumn outlooks. We had arrived just in time to see the fall foliage, and we dived straight into the sights, sounds and tastes of our new home.
This included taking an impromptu trip to the Grampians where I nearly froze to death in a tent (who said camping in winter is fun?), and we climbed both Chatauqua Peak as well as the Pinnacle, and walked down the Australian ‘grand canyon’ (which, for future reference, is not half as grand as I imagine it’s American counterpart is).
Then in July I left Dean to his own devices for a few days so I could go back to New South Wales and visit two of the strongest, most inspiring, and most highly-caffeinated women I know: my Mum and Oma!
It seemed I had barely arrived back in Melbourne when the dreaded delight of my birthday was upon us. Dean and I decided to welcome in 26 with a trip we’d been waiting to do: A Great Ocean Road Trip. Heading down along the coast on the edge of winter ended up being a super smart decision. We hiked some incredible locations, saw some beautiful trees, caught a stunning sunrise, and more-or-less had the place to ourselves!
Life in Melbourne was pretty good thus far. We got to rug up for the cooler weather, I’d forgotten what it was like to feel the hot, moist grasp of humidity, and I even had a little garden of succulents slowly thriving on our balcony!
Still, life moves fast remember? That’s why in the middle of September I headed back up north to Darwin. I had a teaching practical to undertake for my degree, five weeks in a primary school in Darwin with no Dean to keep me company! It was a hard time (even harder because we lost Hecter right in the middle) but we got through it. I went on lots of walks with my Mum, caught up with friends, unwound at my Dad’s bush retreat, visited my favourite natural places, ate a fairly large amount of market food, and spent lots of time reflecting in my Mum’s beautiful garden.
I missed Dean so much when I was away, that I was absolutely overjoyed (that’s not a joke, there was barely contained screaming, public crying, and limpet-strength hugging) when I got back to Melbourne after more than a month away. My joy was further compounded by getting published in my university magazine!
During November I challenged myself to write a 50,000 word novel, and I succeeded! It was an amazing way to finish out my creative projects for the year, and I felt fantastic that I did it!
The year was drawing to a close. We finished up with a few more hikes exploring the Melbourne city area, and then embraced the magic of the Christmas season. Just like that, 2017 was almost over, and 2018 was over the horizon.
Bring it on.