A year in review: All the GOOD THINGS about 2016

I wanted to post about a 2016 year-end review but got stuck for weeks. It’s not that I didn’t have any ideas, it’s just that I wanted it to be positive and at the same reflective of my personal journey this year.

I think everybody is aware that 2016 has been challenging. Or crazy, whatever you want to label it. Because of my background, I see it differently. In numerology, 2016 is the end of a 9-year cycle, which means cleansing in various aspects of life. In the esoteric field, 2016 is marked by energy shifts and changes from old systems to new ones.

In short: everything that happened this year is necessary for the benefit of humanity and ourselves.

So instead of focusing on the downsides, I want to list down all the good things that happened to me in this 2016 year-end review.

#1 – Knowing one of my life’s purposes

Basically, I’ve come to terms that one of my life’s purposes is to write.

I had an off-again on-again affair with writing, starting from my elementary days when I was a feature writer for a nonexistent school paper to my last stint as a corporate/marketing writer. I thought the fact that I had shifted to computer programming meant goodbye to my love of words, but 2 years later, and here we are.

Me with this blog.

This year there’d been months of self-reflection. In a way, the universe has also responded with my questions because answers seem to come even when I wasn’t saying them out loud — in a book I’ve stumbled across while mindlessly surfing the Internet, in meeting people who’ve given me insight and recently in a random tarot reading when I was asked — out of the blue — if I write.

I felt my heart say yes. For someone who has always felt lost, finding what you want within is a BIG relief.

P.S. Finding your calling, passion or soul purpose is a long discussion. Note that I used “one of my life’s purposes” instead of a more definitive term like “soul purpose,” since I also feel that I’m meant to do bigger things in the future. If you’re also interested in doing self-reflection, I recommend starting with meditation or reading about Zohar Love’s books (Seven Stages to co-Creating Prosperity from Your Soul and others).

#2 Checking off items from our local travel checklist

We were able to push through most of our plans for this year, except for Batanes. Thinking back, that was a fortunate incident. We were supposed to go last September on the exact week that Batanes got struck heavily with a typhoon.

As I’ve said previously, my favorite trip for this year was Coron, Palawan. It was simply breathtaking. It was also my first time to travel solo; I felt light and carefree.

Candaraman Island, Balabac. (Photo by Hali)

I also checked off some off-beat places in the Philippines — Balabac islands in Palawan and Calayan Island in Cagayan.

I’d been to an almost-week long road trip from Manila to Kalanggaman Island in Leyte, and that’s a first (and possibly last). I’d finally visited El Nido of all places, and even though it didn’t live up to expectations, it was still a memorable trip since it was my birthday week and I celebrated it with Hali.

I also discovered Airbnb and rented an island in Laguna with friends.

On our later trips to Panay Island and Catanduanes, I’d discovered I’m through with haggard backpacking and prefer a more laid-back approach to travel.

I do not plan to see all the 81 provinces in the Philippines for bragging rights; there’s only a few left I want to visit, and I might do all that next year before moving on to bigger things.

#3 Career and projects

I finally got transferred to a development project at work and got offers for side projects. I didn’t take up all the offers obviously due to time constraints, but it was still morale boosting.

I feel excited for next year and optimistic, over all.

I’m keeping this one short because I have big plans I don’t want to spoil yet. 🙂

#4 Happy one year, Tara Lets Anywhere

We published this blog about a year ago. Happy one year!

It took me quite a while to be more open. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a private person and feel deeply conscious whenever I give out details about myself. My friend Andrew says I no longer write as stiffly. (Hello Andrew, yes this is the 7th time I’ve mentioned you in this blog. When are you going to start yours?)

This month I’ve caught up on essential SEO work needed for this website, and it’s a lot of work. I’m pleased, especially seeing how far we’ve come. We’re getting good page ranks in Google and also sponsorship offers.

I found helpful communities of international travelers and bloggers online. There are veteran bloggers who’re willing to help with building website authorities, and I’ve joined in a few collaboration posts. The link juice is nice, the relationship building is better. Oh, and we got nominated for a Liebster Award! I’m excited to pass it on to other bloggers in January.

 

So here are some of the things I’m grateful for this 2016. I’m truly excited about 2017. We have big plans in the making. How about you? What would you include in your 2016 year-end review?

Note: This is my official entry to Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival 2016 (link available on the first week of January 2017).

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