Most people are going to look back on 2016 with harsh eyes. I get it! It did feel like it was the year that didn't really like us very much. Over the course of the centuries it will probably be fairly similar to any other year. But right now it felt like a year where the world changed and we don't know if it was for better or worse.
For me however, 2016 kicked ass. 2014 was painful and 2015 just flat out sucked. 2016 was golden. It was a year of adventure, of new experiences and new people. I was blessed enough to visit 12 countries (14 if you count airports & trains). I got on a plane on average every 9 days. I lived in 3 different countries. I smiled a lot more than 2014 and 2015 & I really hope I was the reason for more smiles as well.
For 6 months I lived in Malaysia and worked with disabled athletes. They were committed, humble and never said "why me". When I got up in the morning I wanted to go and work with them. I met other people in my profession from all over the world; around 10 countries from memory and they are still a big part of my journey. I got to travel to Cambodia and tick off the very top of my bucket list by visiting Angkor Wat. It's not often you ever tick the numero uno. The good thing is when you do, you can replace it and the cycle starts again. It was a highlight in a year of highlights.
Mid year an opportunity too good to pass up presented itself and I was on a plane to Samoa. 5 hours from Australia in the middle of the Pacific, it's a developing country and absolute paradise. It's green hills, clear beaches, rich culture and fantastic people have won me over. If you have to spend 4 years of your life anywhere, make sure it's somewhere that puts a fire under you. Samoa is that and so much more.
So here are my favourite images from my Asian adventure and my tropical home. May 2017 offer you up adventures and your personal paradise. Wherever and whatever they may be.