Well...2017 did not turn out the way I thought it would! It was an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. I won't go into the bad stuff because that's what angsty diary entries are for, but when 2017 was good, it was really really good! Here are some of my highlights from 2017:
5. Mini roadtrips with great friends
One thing I've really come to appreciate over the last few years is how good friends make all the difference. As well as the overseas trips I took, I was also really lucky that my friends have been keen to come on mini road trips out of Auckland! I wrote this post on some of them - the 10 best day trips from Auckland. Even before summer arrived I was hitting the road with friends and going away for bush walks, exploring new beaches and getting cool drone shots of amazing places.
I have been surfing a couple of times each summer for the last few years, but only in 2017 have I actually put in the effort to get better. I also bought myself a board which has helped my skills dramatically. Although I'm still splashing around in the whitewash, I'm much more confident and able to catch heaps of waves. My biggest resolution for 2018 is to get over my fear of unbroken waves and start making my way out the back.
One of my favourite surf trips this year was when I and my friend Lois went to Ohakune for a weekend of snowboarding but couldn't get up at all due to bad weather. There's not a lot to do in Ohakune when the weather is bad, so we cut our losses and drove home via Raglan and had a quick evening surf. The boards we hired weren't right for our skill levels, being October it was very cold and the waves were quite dumpy, but when I'm surfing those kinds of things don't matter. It felt so surreal being out there on a grey day, being pelted by heavy raindrops, and I was content to just be there.
3. My first trip to Queenstown
I had never been to Queenstown until 2017, and although it was a trip that had a lot of emotional collateral, I still had a wonderful time. I enjoyed being out in nature, with the Southern Alps as a backdrop. A highlight was Glenorchy where I went horseriding along the river bed, with the best view of the Alps. Also, Fergburger for brekkie! You can check out my Queenstown highlights video here.
2. Girls weekend in the Gold Coast
After going to the GC twice in the past, I never thought I'd go back there without kids of my own, but I signed up for a girls' weekend away in 2017 and had the best time. I particularly enjoyed Byron Bay, which isn't even in the GC, but it was so fun to go away with a couple of girlfriends and just do girly stuff.
You might remember that for one of my "Travel to ...." posts I featured the Philippines? Well, I went in 2017! It was so amazing! There was a really decent sale through work that I took advantage of and headed to the Philippines for 9 days, which wasn't nearly enough. I went with my friend Nat to Cebu and Coron, which were both incredible places. We went snorkelling with turtles, canyoneering where we did 45ft jumps into an electric blue river, had a waterfall "massage", discovered a mysterious island with black caves and slept in a tree house.
So far I have a blog post and video on what to do in Coron, but another of my goals for 2018 will be to finish all my content around the Philippines, I have so much I want to share from that trip!