Reflections on 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012

merry xmas

Merry Christmas from yours truly (left), Liza, our nephews Gerard (left), Jacob (middle) and our daughter in law Sophie (right)!

Alas, one more year has gone by. 2011 has been a difficult year for many people around the world- I’m sure you’ve had some lows that wouldn’t have happened had it been some other point in time- but by the same token it has been challenging and a time to demonstrate ourselves what we are capable of.

I still remember  (vaguely) the post I wrote last year right before Christmas, a time when I had some exciting goals with my life and the ongoing project that is this travel blog. Fast forward one year and, as expected, some have become a reality, others have not, and others… well, they have simply changed. Perhaps the most evident of them all was the site’s new design, the new logo, and the enhanced functionality.  Our Facebook page has become much more interactive (there’s now over 3,000 of us!), readership has increased to over 35,000 pages per month and because of this I’ve been able to run contests with cool giveaways you have certainly enjoyed. This reminds me by the way that there’s another one happening right now- make sure you check our Facebook page to learn more as the winner will win, again, two day trips anywhere in the world!

But I also failed. I failed  at meeting many of you, as I hoped I would. I failed to make my first travel guide a total hit (this said, I guess not many people want to come to Mexico nowadays). I failed at sending some of you the postcards from Hawaii (I still have them- written, with a stamp, but on my desk). I failed at creating more travel videos. I failed at getting to know you better. The good news is that this motivates me to work more AND better.

So what’s in store for next year? A lot. Way more than what happened this year. Again, we will have a new image that will make navigation easier and more useful. I am currently writing a comprehensive guide on how to travel the world on a budget that I’ll be giving away for free. There will be more videos, more contests and more giveaways with cool prizes. You will have easier access to great photos you’ll be able to download. The site will have a store with recommended reads, travel gear and more. We have partnered with great, well-known businesses that will make your travels easier and cheaper when using their services through us. And last, but not least, you will be getting…wait a sec, this one I won’t say- for now. But it will be big, very big, and an incredible resource for your future trips. This website is all about seeing and experiencing all the world has to offer on a budget, and because of this I am working hard to make all these resources and entertainment available for you at no cost.

I’m excited! And I hope you are too. You’ll be seeing the first results of all this work during the first two weeks of January, so I’m going to ask you to forgive me if you don’t hear from me as often. In any case I’m pretty sure you’ll be enjoying some well deserved time with your family, friends or on your own, at home or in some remote destination. Wherever you are,

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A GREAT 2012!

PS The Aztec calendar dates the end of the world on December 23rd  2012, exactly one year from today. I still hope I’ll be writing a wrap up of the year then !

How did this article make you feel? How was 2011 for you? What made you smile? What made you cry? What is one project you have for 2012 you want to share with us? As usual, thanks for stopping by, and please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply 21 comments

Bohemian Trails - December 29, 2011 Reply

Merry Christmas to you too! I really liked this personal post and think your positive outlook will bring many amazing things to your in the New Year!

    maitravelsite - December 29, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for stopping by, best wishes for you too in this up comming year 🙂

Edward@loan for restraunt - December 29, 2011 Reply

Merry Christmas to you too. Nice to read a heart to heart. 2012 is the year I will try to achieve visiting many places that are on my bucket list. People are going gaga now with the New Years party selling it off as the last year of 2012. Don’t know if it is the last year or not, I know only one way and that is having a blast and making the best of now. Hoping to get great travel opportunities and deals. Happy New Year.

    maitravelsite - December 29, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Edward, all the best for 2012.

Nomadic Samuel - December 29, 2011 Reply

I sometimes think it is better to set goals that are of a very high standard and not quite meet all of them, as opposed to creating ones that are easily achievable. I think you’re certainly moving in the right direction and 2012 is shaping up to be a banner year. Best wishes!

Kezia Gusmawan - December 29, 2011 Reply

Thanks for replying Fede 🙂 Haha, i see! That’s cool! See as many as possible and keep us updated here 🙂 I really hope to get few years to travel as well. But so many considerations, like work, family, church, etc.. Wow Spain, cool! I’ve eaten Valencia orange, very sweet, maybe it’s from your area! My hometown is Jakarta, Indonesia. Have you been there?

    maitravelsite - December 29, 2011 Reply

    I know what you mean Kezia…it is because of this that I have not spent more time on the road this year…but I hope 2012 improves! In Indo I have been in Bali and Lombok, haven’t made it to Jakarta-yet. And by the way, you could say that Valencia, of all places, is my home town. If only I could send you oranges via email! 😉

Abi - December 28, 2011 Reply

This article made me feel as though…perhaps you are being a little too harsh on yourself. It’s always good to look back and to recognise what you didn’t manage to do that you meant to do, but on the other hand…Most of us tend to plan a decade worth of things into each year (or at least, I know I do!) Enjoy 2012 – I look forward to seeing where it takes you!

    maitravelsite - December 29, 2011 Reply

    You are right there…perhaps I was expecting too much? I have recently learned though that sometimes you cannot skip some steps if there is something you want to achieve. May this be a lesson for me in the future 🙂 Thanks, and best wishes for 2012 too 🙂

Kezia Gusmawan - December 28, 2011 Reply

Ah thanks for your reply! Yea I’m sure it would be useful for me 🙂 All the best in the prep. Next March I’ll come back to my hometown. Miss them so much. Where is your hometown? Anyway after 5 times around the world, what do you feel? Enough, or there’s always more to see? I’m just curious..

    maitravelsite - December 28, 2011 Reply

    I do hope it is! My home town …my family is in Valencia, Spain, so I guess that’s my home town? Though I have not lived there for years… I guess I have reached a point where “home” is wherever I am at that moment, unless I don’t really like it in which case it is just even more temporary 🙂 Where is home for you? As for your last question…there is lots more to see! As I see it I just got started… 🙂

Micky - December 28, 2011 Reply

I know all of us has failures, and for some, they using those failures to motivates them to be much better than they have including me. Failures are just a steps to our success. It will motivate and encourage us to do better. We must proud that we did something really amazing that we accomplished this year 2011. More success on 2012! Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

    maitravelsite - December 29, 2011 Reply

    Very true Micky, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Kezia Gusmawan - December 27, 2011 Reply

Hi Fede! Great article 🙂 Such a nice thing gathering with your family in Christmas, I don’t have the privilege yet. I truly like the idea of your plan to make this site easier to use and give downloadable materials to readers; looking forward to your work result in January.. And how the failures motivates you to be better, that is great. Keep up the good work!

    maitravelsite - December 27, 2011 Reply

    Hi Kezia! Thanks for your constructive feedback, I hope you find the new design as useful as I hope, and that you can use all the downloadable stuff I will make available 🙂 When will you be able to get together with your family?

Stephanie - The Travel Chica - December 27, 2011 Reply

Not failure! Just shifting priorities. Although I haven’t accomplished every goal I made for the year, 2011 was great for me because I spent the entire year doing something I love: traveling!

dtravelsround - December 27, 2011 Reply

I agree with Ayngelina … don’t be so hard on yourself! You did a lot of really amazing things!!!

    maitravelsite - December 27, 2011 Reply

    Among them has to be the trip to Hawaii, which would not have been possible without this site 🙂

Ayngelina - December 27, 2011 Reply

Merry Christmas! You know I try not to think of things as failures, just steps into a success. You have a great site and things will come your way.

    maitravelsite - December 27, 2011 Reply

    Ahh yes, not everything has to work but I have to admit to myself that although it is true that some things went quite well others did not… which is only natural. My biggest challenge now is achieving the even higher goals I have for this year!

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