• Claire

2018 ~ A Year in Review | The Best Year of My Life

For many reasons, 2017 was the worst year of my life... At the beginning of 2018 I made a promise to myself that I would turn things around and make 2018 the exact opposite: the best year of my life. Sitting here 365 days later, I can say that I made that happen. 2018 truly has been a year of adventures and the best year of my life.



My year went a little like this...


January

I began 2018 swimming in the ocean while watching the first sunrise of the year. In that moment, I made a promise to myself about the year to come - I would make it the best year of my life. Then after scuba diving with leopard sharks in Byron Bay, I went straight back to working 50+ hours a week between my 3 jobs to help make the dreams I had in mind for the year, a reality.


First sunrise of 2018 in Mooloolaba


February


In February I continued to work my butt off. A brochure I designed and created for the company I worked for got published and copies were distributed to DecoRug stores throughout the country - I was so excited to go into a store and see my work published!


My brochure in DecoRug stores


March


March was a busy one.. I celebrated my best friend's 21st on a cruise, road-tripped down to Sydney from Brisbane with my sister and celebrated my 21st and my sisters birthday in Melbourne with family. At the end of March I flew from Sydney to the Philippines (with a one way ticket) to begin my big adventure!


Cruise with my sister

Hot air-ballooning in the Hunter Valley with my sister on our roadtrip


April


I spent 3 incredible weeks in the Philippines swimming with whale sharks, island hopping and scuba diving inside ship wrecks! I spent an amazing week in NYC - experiencing a city I've always dreamed of visiting.


Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines

New York City!


May

After arriving in Toronto, Canada I began my job as an Aerial Park guide at Camp Muskoka. I experienced my first snow fall (it was super light but still counts right?), saw a chipmunk for the first time and learnt how to operate a zipline. I watched the seasons change from Winter, to Spring, to Summer.


My first time seeing snow!

Zip-lining!


June


In between guiding school kids through an aerial park course I kayaked on the lake, visited Canada's wonderland and met up with my best friend in Toronto.


Kayaking on the lake

Toronto with Rhi


July


Summer camp started at Camp Muskoka! I enjoyed experiencing Canadian camp culture and learnt that Canada can actually get really hot weather!


Days off on the lake

The Aussies at camp


August


The last few weeks of summer went by super fast. After 4 months, I left a place that felt like home and said goodbye to the life-long friends I'd made at camp. I met up with friends from Aus, visited Niagara Falls and then flew across the country to Vancouver to begin the next adventure!


Camp memories

Niagara Falls


September


Perhaps the absolute highlight of the year for me - I spent 2 weeks road-tripping the Canadian Rockies. I loved exploring Tofino, Whistler, Jasper NP and Banff NP. I then hopped on a ferry to Vancouver Island and began my job as an AuPair in Brentwood Bay.


Tofino

Whistler

Jasper NP


October


I took every opportunity to experience everything life on the Island had to offer. I soaked up the last couple days of warm weather before the weather began to change, took some Spanish classes and began working at a local cafe. I experienced my first real ' fall' and went to a Thanksgiving dinner and took the kids trick-or-treating.


Kayaking in my backyard

Thanksgiving dinner


November

I enjoyed settling into a routine, waking up to chilly mornings and exploring Victoria and Salt Spring Island during my time off.


Island View Beach, Vancouver Island

View over Victoria


December


I experienced scraping ice off my car for the first time, hiked in Goldstream PP and said a sad goodbye to what had become my second family. I hopped on a plane to Cancun, Mexico and had my first taste of Mexican food - it was love at first taste. I then popped over to Cuba for a week and enjoyed experiencing and learning about such a fascinating country. I returned to Mexico and visited my 3rd wonder of the world, scuba dived in a cenote and ate lots of tacos.


Goldstream PP

Trinidad, Cuba

Chichen Iza, Mexico


In spite of all these highs, 2018 hasn't been without its fair share of lows - stress, homesickness, tears etc. Travelling may look glamorous, fun and exciting but at times it can be really hard. I'm so grateful to everyone that has helped made this year so great - strangers that have shown me such kindness during my travels, friends and family who remind me that I'm not being forgotten and new friends that have become like family.


I feel so fortunate to have been able to have had the opportunity to have all these amazing experiences. In many places I travel, I am reminded that few people are afforded the luxury of being able to travel outside of their country, or even their city.


In saying that, I worked my butt off working multiple jobs to save for this trip, sought out opportunities and took chances to make this all happen.


I'm ending the year on beautiful Lake Bacalar, Mexico. I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store!


Lake Bacalar, Mexico


You can follow my 2019 adventures right here on my blog or on either of my Instagrams: claire_brack / chasingafterclaire