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!