Last year I wrote about what I wanted to achieve in 2013. I was fairly modest in my goals, I wanted to make them attainable. Last year I was in the middle of applying for an Australian spouse visa. While that visa is being processed you actually are not allowed to leave the country – so there was that. Also, when I wrote up my 2013 goals I was pregnant at the time…. so there was that too.
So I did expect that perhaps there wouldn’t be much travel for me in 2013. But we were planning one thing. A 3 month trip to Canada. I was pretty certain *that* at least was going to happen for sure. I mean, I had already bought our plane tickets and I even had tickets to TBEX Toronto. I had contacted all the relevant tourism boards, must of whom were super excited to work with us. It was going to be awesome.
But then life came along.
A month before we were meant to leave for our trip we finally got a diagnosis for the neck pain that had been giving Dan trouble for the past year. He had a tumor on his spine and needed an immediate – and very extensive – operation.
So just like that all our plans went out the window.
I had to find a temporary job since Dan could no longer work, and our tickets to Canada were cancelled. We didn’t know if we would ever be able to travel the same again. The doctors certainly were remaining silent on what he could or couldn’t do post op.
And then an even more unexpected thing happened.
In a twist that surprised even the doctors, part of the surgery on Dan’s neck caused such extensive nerve damage that he could no longer swallow. He was being fed through a tube going directly into his stomach and was fed three 500 ml bags of liquid food a day. Imagine trying to pack that in your carry on luggage!! The doctors were not even sure if he would ever be able to even swallow his own saliva again… let alone eat.
But I guess fate decided to throw us some good luck after all. Six months after the operation Dan slowly began able to eat solid food again. By this point we had gone on short trips to Northern Queensland and New Caledonia, but could only go for a week or two at a time as most of our luggage was taken up by his food requirements. And then on October 3rd he had the stomach tube removed once and for all!
That night we booked flights. We were off again!
So what were our goals for 2013?
Well our main goal was to go to Canada. We did have to cancel our first trip, but we managed to get there on our second try. We spent one week in Vancouver and three weeks in Winnipeg (where I am from), before heading to Toronto and Niagara Falls. We didn’t get to do the amazing road trip we had planned, but we still managed to work with two of the original tourism boards : Destination British Columbia and Niagara Parks PR.
Our second goal was to visit a Pacific Island. Since I was still on a bridging visa and not allowed to leave the country when I wrote the goals, I assumed that we might go to one of the Pacific Islands considered as Australian territory, although our main goal was New Caledonia. Well…. we actually did make it to New Caledonia! (When I had to go back to work when Dan had his surgery, instead of going through the lengthy process of changing up my work restrictions, Australian Immigration just decided to grant my spouse visa epically fast.)
Our third and final goal for 2013 was to go to Indonesia. When I wrote the goals I was expecting to spend three months in Canada and then be dead broke. So a trip to Indonesia would have been a good fit. It’s close to Australia, there are always budget flights, and everything is cheap over there. Now…. we didn’t achieve *that* goal…. but instead of going to Indonesia we went to:
- United Kingdom
- and Greece.
- And before 2013 is over we should *fingers crossed* be in Albania
I guess that is a good deal hey?
Did you achieve your 2013 goals? Let us know in the comments!
and of course stay tuned to find out our goals for 2014!