Why I’m not recapping 2017 & plans for 2018

I found my 2016 recap the other day and I don’t mean this to sound totally narcissistic, but I really enjoyed reading it back. A lot of stuff happened that year and I can’t even remember what I had for lunch yesterday, so having it all in a blog post was most helpful. With that in mind, I sat down on at least three seperate occasions to try and write a 2017 recap… but it just. wasn’t. happening. Then I got that thing where there’s one post that’s bugging you and you can’t really think about writing anything else until you’ve done that one post, and then I got a serious case of the blahs and peaced out of here for a week or two.

So then I asked my ever-wise husband what to do and he said you know, you really shouldn’t bother recapping 2017 because it’s already in your expat update posts (here, in case you missed them). What else could you possibly write about that would be of interest? Ok, he may have phrased it a little more kindly than that, but he was absolutely right.

So there will be no recap of 2017.

Instead I shall be looking forwards, because despite it happening very predictably, the same every year in fact, I am utterly not ready for the new year. I’m not sure how or why, but I’m hoping this post will help me straighten myself out a little and face up to the reality that yes, it’s 2018.

Big plans

Surprise surprise, our big plans this year are all to do with visa stuff. When we went to Queenstown last October we sat down and properly hashed out some 5 year plans. I say some, because there are a number of scenarios all based around whether we get our permanent residency visa granted or not. This could happen anytime between August 2018 and February 2019 so as you can probably tell these are very high-level 5 year plans.

Making plans whilst gazing at views like this is really no bad way to do it

I don’t want to go into huge amounts of detail because I doubt anyone cares that much, but suffice to say if we are granted the visa, Plan A kicks in. If we don’t, Plan B kicks in. There’s also a Plan C but nobody likes Plan C.

Crucially, both Plan A and Plan B involve purchasing a house as soon as we can (side note: Sydney residents please contain your mirth) whereas Plan B involves seeing as much of the country as we can before we’re sent home. As you can tell there’s a little financial tension between balancing the saving for a house of Plan A and the travel as much as you can of Plan B before we know which plan we’ll actually be going with. Which leads us to…

Smaller plans

S and I have devised a new formula that will hopefully help us get to know our country of temporary residence a little better without spending all of our money. Enter, The Weekend Plan. Every month we will spend…

One weekend with no plans ¦¦ A few years ago I decided that I would bookmark one weekend every month that was to be kept free no matter what. This would be left for spontaneous plans, local events, or recovering from the other three weekends. Now bear in mind this is back when we lived in the U.K. and were actually invited to things on a regular basis. Here… not so much. However, that idea really worked for me back in 2014, so I’m bringing it back and just hoping the friends will follow.

(NB I just found the post where I talk about these resolutions, and it’s quite hilarious to read them back now. I basically ended up doing none of them apart from the weekend one. Some I managed in 2015, a few more in 2016, but the takeaway message here is I am USELESS at following through. Truly, terrible)

One weekend visiting a new suburb of Sydney ¦¦ This should be a fun way to get out and see our city, and get to know it a little better. This gives us the added benefit of finding places we could potentially move to should we be granted our visa.

We really do live in a beautiful city

One weekend travelling ¦¦ This might be a long weekend, depending on where we’re going. But we will have one weekend per month set aside for some exciting travels. The not-so-shortlist include Caloundra (half booked), Byron Bay, Jervis Bay, Hervey Bay, basically any kind of bay. And Darwin.

Family plans

No, not those kind (I am feeling a bit sensitive about this having been mistaken for a pregnant person over Christmas. Er, no). We have some family visits scheduled for 2018 that I’m very happy about. S’s parents will be coming to stay over Easter, then my sister in law and her husband are making plans to head out towards the end of May. My big sister is also hoping to visit mid May. So it’s going to be a jam packed autumn for us but seriously, no plans are better than visitor plans and it gives us the excuse to do more travelling around this beautiful island. We’re just showing them around!

Cancelled plans

We were going to take a trip to Newcastle in January, but I’d booked it late at night in a fit of optimism then realised that it was a stupid idea because not only the hotel I booked but all alternative accommodation was ridiculously expensive as it’s still school holidays. I do want to go there at some point, but maybe when it’s a bit cheaper.

We also had fairly firm plans to go to Vanuatu – mostly due to a Holiday Inn resort I found that you can book for an unreasonably low number of points. We could have covered the airfare with my Qantas points. However, S made me realise that we’re not really resorty people*, and it was silly to go somewhere just because of a cheap hotel. Which was probably cheap for a reason.

And then I went and spent all my Qantas points on flights to Tasmania so that was that. More on that next week.

Have you made any plans for this year? Has it taken you by surprise or am I alone in my unpreparedness??

-Rachel

*That’s not quite true, but it’s a strange and long thing to explain so maybe I’ll post about it all by itself one day. Maybe that’s boring. I don’t know. I don’t even know what year it is right now.

Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You, and with Erin, Clare and Katy for Faraway Files. Happy New Year, ladies!

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30 Comments

  1. 4th January 2018 / 22:03

    I agree, recapping is sometimes overrated and redundant.

    I’m making some plans for travel, some plans for things to accomplish around the house, some plans that involve stepping out of my comfort zone… We shall see.

    Best wishes and may the new year bring you much happiness, property, good health, and peace.

  2. 4th January 2018 / 22:58

    I love looking forward and the weekend with no plans sounds like a fabulous idea. Hope it works out as great as it did in 2014!!

  3. 4th January 2018 / 23:04

    I got asked SO many times over the holidays when I’m having kids. One of the most annoying questions to be asked! I hope that plan A works out for you (whatever that might be), but plan B also sounds fun! Just hoping it’s not C 😉

    Thanks for linking up and happy 2018!!

  4. 4th January 2018 / 23:10

    Happy new year! Hope that 2018 goes well for you and you get some clear indications early as to plan A or plan B! I know saving for a house in Sydney is hard, so travelling locally around Sydney to see more of it is a more cost-effective way to do it!

    It’s wonderful you have some family coming to stay too so you can do a little more travel then. Good luck with the saving! I know it’s hard but they do keep telling us the bubble has to burst at some point so who knows, maybe the prices will come down and this will be the year of the house for us both! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. 4th January 2018 / 23:21

    I love the idea of planning a weekend with no plans! It’s so easy to get so booked up that you go back to work every Monday feeling exhausted! That definitely happened to me at the end of the year what with it being summer and Chilean wedding season.
    Happy 2018! 😀

  6. 4th January 2018 / 23:36

    My recaps are a little different every year because every year is a little different and shouldn’t be treated the same, no?

    I love no plan weekends!

  7. 5th January 2018 / 00:17

    I hope you get your visa and that Plan A can commence! I like how you are breaking down the weekends in your month though; hopefully you’ll be able to get a lot of travel/sight-seeing in. I don’t have any traveling plans this year (so far) but I am hoping to go SOMEWHERE. And yeah, the new year is always surprising me. LOL

    -Lauren

  8. 5th January 2018 / 02:25

    I hope your Plan A works out – I rarely make a Plan B, never a Plan C … so I’m left in the lurch if the A doesn’t work out. I liked how your Weekend Plan starts with one weekend with no plans. 🙂 I do that too – it’s fun to be busy but a time to recharge is so necessary that I take it for granted.

  9. 5th January 2018 / 04:09

    Happy New Year! Sounds like it’s going to be an exciting one for you whichever plan it ends up being.

    I have zero plans for this year. Literally none. I haven’t even thought about whether to go on holiday since my boyfriend is going away with his choir over Easter on top of the regular time he takes off for choir weekends, etc. so I don’t know whether he will even have any time off left over to go somewhere with me!

  10. 5th January 2018 / 04:32

    that’s one of the main reasons i’m not doing a recap as well. i mean, other reasons, sure, but really, anything big in my life, i already talked about. and it’s not narcissistic at all, one of my favourite things about my blog is going back and reading old posts. so i dig it. oh gosh, the leading up to the decision and saving/doing both plan A and B sounds SO stressful. i’m sure that doesn’t help but still. stress. i love your smaller plans though – that is awesome. and yay family plans! boo to being mistaken for a pregnant person though, rude.
    i am not really prepared for 2018 for a few reasons, the biggest being that i thought i would be in a particular situation by now and i am not, and if i get in that situation soon, it will change a lot of things about 2018. right now we are paying off a couple of things and saving up all the money and have house plans and zero travel plans (because of the situation i thought i’d be in), but if i get in that situation, it will change when and how we can pay certain things off and we won’t be able to do the house things and we’ll have to use the money for other stuff. so yeah, i’m a big ball of ‘can’t plan anything right now until the thing happens, if it happens’. if it doesn’t happen in …. 3-4 months, 2018 is safe and 2019 will be when shit gets cray.
    i’m not trying to be vague lol. we can talk about it in emails if you want, though i’m sure you get where i’m going with it all. just didn’t want to shout it out in the comment section.
    but cheers to 2018…? hope it’s a good one for both of us.

  11. Jen
    5th January 2018 / 04:34

    Yay for family visits! It’s really fun being able to plan that stuff out. 🙂

  12. 5th January 2018 / 09:08

    I would lose my mind having such big things about my life in limbo! My husband is in a life limbo kind of situation like that and I don’t know how he manages. I have so many free weekends a per month it’s not even funny! LOL.

  13. 5th January 2018 / 13:27

    Oh I completely understand the limbo land, we live there too! The only plans we have for 2018 are having a baby. Which is obviously very exciting, but I hope we make some little trips beforehand. Byron is on the list for a weekend away in Feb.

  14. 5th January 2018 / 15:00

    Happy new year! It seems like you have a few exciting things happening – big or small! I love your idea of having one weekend free a month for any spontaneous trips or to take in any events happening nearby – it’s a really great idea! I always wish there was more going on in my city, but maybe I just need to make more of an effort to discover things. I chuckled at your comment about being bad at following through. I’ve long given up on the idea of making resolutions, because by the end of the year when people ask about resolutions, I can’t even remember what they were in the first place!

  15. 5th January 2018 / 17:54

    Happy New Year Rachel! Sounds like you have some exciting plans ahead. Tassie is the best and so many people I know are there at the moment enjoying that arty, naturey, foodie vibe. Let me know if you swing by Melbourne – I’d love to catch up. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  16. 5th January 2018 / 18:43

    I actually love reading back on my old posts! I think I blog for myself as much as I blog for readers. But wow -buying a house! That’s huge! I’m so looking forward to see what happens on your Australian journey. I wish you the best of luck on your visa stuff this year! And how exciting that so much family will be visiting. 🙂

  17. 5th January 2018 / 20:14

    I really enjoy reading old blog posts from years back, and they remind me of so many things that I’ve completely forgotten about–one of the things that makes blogging such a worthwhile hobby! When dealing with visas and living overseas, I think long-term planning becomes a lot harder because there’s so much that you can’t control and so much that you just have to wait for. Nice to hear of all of the family visits planned! I have at least one sister coming to visit this summer–hopefully all three but that may be asking a bit too much of budgets and schedules for the college students–you might be able to imagine why they particularly want to come visit this summer given that their first nephew will be the featured attraction.

  18. 6th January 2018 / 01:32

    I think your blog does a nice job of compiling your year for you. I don’t recap years most of the time because I feel like I’ve already done it through writing the posts?
    Looking forward to what 2018 holds for you! I think the whole process of visas and ex-patting is fascinating. In a perfect world, how long would you stay in Australia?

  19. 6th January 2018 / 02:14

    Good luck with your exciting year ahead, Rachel. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for your Plan A or Plan B and looking forward to reading about your Australian adventures. #FarawayFiles

  20. 6th January 2018 / 04:47

    Hey, you do you. If you aren’t feeling the vibe, you shouldn’t force the post. (Basically how I opt out of blogging every day, lol.) That being said, it will be interesting to see what 2018 holds! We’re not sure if we’re resort-y people either, so I’d love to read that post. It does seem like a lovely place to visit though. Waiting for school holidays to subside seems like a really good idea, and I love the idea to keep a weekend free for impulse weekending… that’s the best kind of weekend in my book!

  21. 6th January 2018 / 08:48

    I feel like I missed the memo on 2017 recapping but I agree with your husband – that’s one of the great things about having a blog! It’s so fun to look back on things and remember details you might have forgotten, not to mention having everything in one place.

    I lived in Sydney for a few months while doing a Work and Holiday Visa and LOVED it. Such a beautiful place to be. Glad you are enjoying it! Happy New Year!

  22. 6th January 2018 / 08:51

    I love that you have one weekend a month that you designate as doing nothing. It’s so easy to get burned out if you don’t schedule in downtime. And the not knowing what the future holds would drive me crazy and I can’t imagine trying to balance saving and traveling!

  23. 7th January 2018 / 02:18

    Tasmania – exciting! I like the balance of a weekend of no plans, a weekend of exploring Sydney and a weekend of travel – such a good mix! Ha I’m also a little bit confuzzled by the new year – I don’t even have any travel booked yet!

  24. 7th January 2018 / 21:39

    Oh I love the idea to have a weekend for different things! That’s awesome! I feel that’s a good way to balance things out too 😀 Best of luck of 2018 and wishing you everything for plan A! 🙂

  25. 8th January 2018 / 11:36

    I think it’s a great idea to set aside some time to get to know where you live better. And also a wonderful idea to make a point to have one quiet weekend a month. I’m not quite sure how you balance that though? Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and new years. Can’t wait to read about your 2018 travels!

  26. 10th January 2018 / 02:39

    I love this! I can totally relate to the planning vs. unknowing thing, and feel your anxiety. I hope Plan A or B goes through! Sounds like you’ve figured out an intermin solution, and, like you I like to leave a weekend every month with no plans. Tasmania sounds amazing! #farawayfiles

  27. 15th January 2018 / 00:57

    Ohhh that visa “up in the air” feeling. I know it well. Wishing you the best of luck and hoping your Plan A comes through!
    I just had one of those weekends with no plans and OH MAN, it was glorious! Nice to have them especially this time of year.

  28. 17th January 2018 / 10:06

    I was the same with the 2017 recap! I love looking back at them but for some reason I just wasnt feeling it this year!
    Oh I hope you hear early on for your visa, but if not it does sound like you’ve got your bases covered! I love your “Weekend Plan” – I definitely need to try and implement the no plan weekend this year!

    Lauren xx

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