I started a small tradition of writing birthday blog posts last year. And thought it could be fun to continue it this year, as well.

I love celebrating my birthdays and getting a chance to reflect on the year that passed by. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. But, also a better idea about what I’d like to do in the next year.

So, what were the highlights of the previous year

The last year’s birthday post was all about how calm the previous year was for me. Well, this one was completely the opposite.

So many things happened. So many plans were made. And so many plans were changed.

I think the main thing I’d love to do in the next year, is to settle down and get back into that used-to-be-called-boring routine again. The last year was just a bit too exciting for me. And I believe I’m not the only one who wants the normal-2019-life back.

I’m spending my time between the Netherlands and Croatia

I started my year by living in the Netherlands. And then, after almost moving to Canada (I already sold my house, had my flight ticket and a work permit sorted), I ended up spending more time between the Netherlands and Croatia. Everything got a bit complicated thanks to Mr Covid, of course.

But, although a change in the plans sometimes seems like the worst thing ever, it could lead to some wonderful new opportunities. And I believe that’s what happened to me.

One of my goals for the previous year was to move to a new country, and although Croatia was a long-term goal for me, I’m happy I’ve got a chance to spend so much time there lately.

I lived in three different houses this year, and it looks like, by the end of this year I’m going to move to the fourth one – my new permanent home. Well, hopefully, I’m going to live in that one for a bit longer.

We started with the construction works there, and I even hired an interior designer to help me decorate it (I’m really excited about that). I hope I’ll move in by October, so fingers crossed.

Some of my favourite trips from the last year

One of my last year’s birthday wishes was to travel more. And although for the well-known reasons that wasn’t possible, I still managed to visit some nice places. These were my favourite:

#1 – Exploring more of Istria

It’s no secret Istria is my favourite region in Croatia. And if I’m talking about my long term plans, I’d definitely like to have the second home there and spend the whole summer each year in Istria. However, it’s definitely going to stay just a dream still for some time (ahem… houses are a bit expensive there).

Although I know the region quite well and am visiting it often, last year I had a chance to experience it in a new way. The first one was Batana boat procession in Rovinj, which is, without a doubt, one of my favourite experiences from the last year. And another one a visit to Brijuni Islands, one of the most beautiful Croatian national parks.

I’m in Istria right now, as well. So, I hope to visit some new places again.

#2 – Lake Como, Italy

In October my family and I spent a few days at Milan and on the Lake Como. We loved exploring beautiful picturesque towns on the lake, eating some fantastic Italian food and debating if there is or not a monster living in a lake.

Read more: Tree Days at Lake Como

#3 – Thailand

My last big trip before everything shut down this year were ten days in Thailand. I’ve spent a few days in Bangkok and went to Phuket then. I was so amazed by its nature, beautiful temples, fantastic people and delicious food, I’m sure I’ll visit it many more times.

Read more: Things to know before visiting Thailand

#4 – Weekend in Rotterdam

Although I visited it many times, this year I went on a weekend trip to Rotterdam with my son. And we had so much fun! We stayed at a historic ship SS Rotterdam, which was such an exciting experience itself. Probably our favourite thing was a visit to the Cube Houses. But, in general, this trip will be remembered as a lovely memory to both of us.

What have I achieved from the last year

In my last year’s birthday post (you can see it here), I wrote twenty things I wanted to achieve in the year. Sadly, I didn’t do much.

The things I did are on no. 3 (Eat more vegan), 4 (Start working on a book idea I have), 6 (Visit a temple in Thailand), 7 (Write a blog post per week), 8 (Go on a mum-son weekend trip with Karlo), 12 (Buy an original art piece), 13 (Work remotely for at least a month) and 20 (Figure out where I would like to be in five years).

I think the reason I haven’t done more of these lays in the fact I haven’t checked this list often enough. Well, I decided to update it for the next year, and then print it out and have it clearly visible next to my desk. So I can remind myself of all those things I’d love to do.

Things I’d like to do in the next year

Because of the current situation, travel and mass-gathering restrictions, I adjusted the list of the things I’d like to do to that.

Here is my new birthday wish list with all the things I’d love to do in the following year:

#1 – Finish construction works on my new house

#2 – Read at least a book per month

#3 – Start swimming regularly (or do some other daily exercise)

#4 – Cook more at home (fewer food deliveries)

#5 – Write a book

#6 – Meditate daily

#7 – Write a blog post per week

#8 – Go on a mum-son weekend trip with Karlo

#9 – Speak at the conference

#10 – Get an office space

#11 – Grow some plants on my terrace that won’t die in a month

#12 – Buy an original art piece

#13 – Improve my photography skills (recommendations for an online course, anyone?)

#14 – Visit at least three castles

#15 – Start volunteering

#16 – Make DIY travel-inspired Christmas decoration

#17 – Visit a new museum each month

#18 – Read a story to Karlo each evening

#19 – Create a photo album from my last seven years in the Netherlands

#20 – Watch more art documentaries

#21 – Visit a new national park in Croatia

#22 – Have at least two articles published in a magazine

#23 – Buy food mostly from local farmers and producers

#24 – Have a picnic at a park

#25 – Take an art class

#26 – Go on a spa weekend

#27 – Stay in a treehouse at Plitvice Lakes

#28 – Go hiking at least twice per month

#29 – Visit some of the Croatian islands I haven’t been at yet

#30 – Go wine tasting or visit a winery

I hope the next year will be calmer, and that we’ll all be healthy and happy. And to achieve more of my goals than I did during the last year.