Borrowing from the immortal words of Dickens, 2013- “it was the best of times and the worst of times” and I think that this sums up my year. –       Good, because I recovered from a year long illness (a peculiar bug I caught while travelling) that nearly got me travelling to a place that I am not ready to go to yet. –


Good, because I had the guts to leave a very well paid job and to try something that pays absolutely nothing and where I work much longer hours. I had worked for 32 years teaching and loved the majority of it. When the Groundhog Day effect started to really get to me and then I got ill, I called it quits.


Good, because we created Contented Traveller in May, from a zero knowledge base. This blog is like the newest most unchartered territory that we have ever entered. We are on the steepest learning curve ever … but I love every second of it. I keep realizing how little I/we actually know. Does it matter? Yes and no; I want to do better and I like a challenge but I get frustrated when I find out something that I never knew existed (like back links which I only found out about a few months ago, like wtf) –


Good, as I like my virtual friends and my virtual life. How many people get to talk to someone in Dubai, Malaysia, England, the US, Netherlands etc all on the one day. And I have met so many kind and generous people and a few …


Bad, breaking my leg skiing when perhaps I thought that I was stronger than what I was, was both bad and good. Bad because we had to leave and Gordon had to drive at dusk, got a flat tyre and nearly hit a roo, with an injured wife in the car and get me to hospital 5 hrs away.


Bad, because when I was in hospital they called Gordon in to work. Not fair on him.


Good, because when I harassed my way out of hospital we went back to the snow so Gordon didn’t have to work, they looked after me and he got to ski (though the snow was crap)


Bad, because I was stuck in a wheelchair for 3 months (well not quite because I got sick of it and we went to Europe instead) and good because it bought a reality check that we ‘might’ be getting older and that maybe, just maybe, our house is not as well equipped for stuff like that; plus it is really very big for 2 of us.


Good, because I know how much Gordon loves me and looks after me, despite that fact that I am short, red headed, sarcastic bitch who, in my defense, is actually kind.


Good, because we ignored the doctors and went to physio within 3 weeks instead of 3 months and it paid big dividends. –       Good, because we went to Europe. Really good because despite being on crutches, we started off staying with friends in Zaandvoort, Netherlands, who we had met skiing in Nozawa Onsen, Japan.


Really good because we then went to Amsterdam, stayed on a houseboat and I fell in love with this liberal town.


Good, because we loved Belgium and all of its quirkiness. I maintain that it is not a country, but a collection of city-states that pretty much hate one another. We loved it.


Good, because we got to see our niece who has been studying neuropysics in Maastricht for a year and we got to explore this lovely little town.


Good and bad, as we found an apartment on the beach to buy. Good because the location is so lovely and it is a much more realistic place for us.


Bad, because I have to leave my beautiful home of 20 years (Gordy’s for 11) and my old wooden floors and carved cornices everywhere not to mention our accumulated crap which we love. And the memories …


Bad, because we did this one week before Christmas and we have to pack up, sell this house, move to the new apartment, (assuming all goes well as our solicitor is still on holidays until next week) and all of that stuff in time to go overseas for 6 weeks in exactly 6 weeks.


Good, because I will see more of you all next year and make more and more friends and get better at writing and get more followers.


Really, really bad. The worst ever, was my beloved father passing away in June this year, and I will leave it at that. No words ….


Good, because my bestie is still Gordon.

Have a great 2014 everyone

Best Regards,

from Paula and Gordon


time to eat