The image above was delivered to me as a wedding present this year, epitomizing my marriage relationship. It reminds me to take hold of every opportunity and turn it into an adventure, to seize life with both hands. It also reminds me that adventures should not be undertaken alone, but shared.
I battled a deep, dark winter at the beginning of the year, experiencing for the first time what it meant to go out for an afternoon walk and return with frozen eyelashes. The snow never ceased to fascinate me, even on a long slow drive through a blizzard which took fourteen hours to reach our destination. I made new friends and huddled close to loved ones as temperatures plummeted. I loved this new winter wonderland.
Suddenly from banks of snow I found myself propelled into the desert, travelling through dusty refugee camps near the Darfur border. Sandstorms flung dust into my eyes and blurred the horizon, and most journeys took longer than fourteen hours. Here again I made great friends, sharing the hardships and the challenges of working in such a desolate environment.
It was back to reality then all of a sudden, as surrounded by family members and dear friends, I planned my own wedding. Separated by a continent from my fiance, decisions were made long distance, until, at last we were re-united. A spectacular celebration ensued and we will forever treasure those memories of that wonderful day and the start of our new adventure together.
Adventures followed, around Europe, and then back in Canada as we visited friends and family, enjoying the freedom to be spontaneous and follow our hearts desire. Those first few months were full of excitement and wonder as we explored different opportunities with work, home, and where to build our future together.
This year has also been tinged with sadness, as we have lost great men who had a profound influence on our lives. For me the pain of the loss of a dearly loved family member was lightened by the fascinating, inspiring and loving tributes shared at the funeral. My grandfather was not only considered great in my eyes, but to many others too.
The end of the year has heralded many more changes. A new job coincided with a major natural disaster that led to my husband and I spending Christmas in different hemispheres. At the end of the year we find ourselves reunited again, much to my surprise and delight as he arrived back unexpectedly early!
And so, this year has been full of adventures, shared with loved ones. I hope that you will also be sharing this New Year with those you love, and I wish you all a very Happy New Year, may 2014 bring you wonderful adventures too!