I am under the belief that the new year starts whenever you want it to. For me it is always on October 10th, which just happens to be my birthday (Happy Birthday to all of the October babies!). I do my best to live each year of life better than the last and for me that means I am usually doing what I love most which is traveling to new places.

This year I finally decided to go to The Netherlands. Amsterdam of course. With my love of Europe, and a couple of years since I was in a new country alone, the Low Country seemed like the like the next best place to visit.

The Netherlands is an old country ‘run’ by royalty. Its provinces, North and South Holland are most well known, but Groningen and Utrecht are just as noteworthy. The people are exactly as described in any blog or online video. Nice, straight forward, dynamic, and diverse. The bikes run the streets and the food is also worth a line. The fries are fresh, the pastries tasty, and the herring raw.

My birthday was spent being a true tourist, finding the best pancake place (Mook!), shopping, touring, and museums. It was a wonderful day full of the new and familiar and I was happy to find myself meeting new people, getting free stuff from my new restauranteur friends (Champagne and Tirmasu anyone?) and just taking in the blessing of the opportunity to travel.

Each year I reflect on what I was doing the year before. A time to think about what when well, not so well, and what I want to do in the coming year. I have so much to be thankful for. In the last year I have written my first novel, travelled to St. Croix and Vancouver, started a new job with a great company and moved three times! It has been a busy, and at times very stressful year but it has gone better than expected.

I am still on the quest to become a master at my craft of writing, to turn my passion into provision (writing for a living and traveling as a lifestyle) and of course connecting with as many people in the world as I can. As I finish up my vacation, never ready to head home, I know this next year needs to be full of more personal goals like health and writing my next novel.

Happy New Year to me and to all the other people starting fresh today!

Glasses up! Proost!canal-groningen


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