2023, The Year of Travel, Camping & Career Change

A review of the best, proudest and most exciting parts of 2023 and looking ahead and setting new goals for 2024.

Jan 15, 2024

2023, The Year of Travel, Camping & Career Change

Last year I wrote multiple drafts of my “year in review” but never published anything. And the year before that, I changed the format a little bit because the whole process just didn’t feel right. Those two years (2021 and 2022) were full of changes and while 2020 will always be remembered as THE year that covid entered our lives, 2021 and 2022 is when I felt it the most and was a bit lost at sea.
2023 was the year when it really felt like a return to normal. No restrictions restricted our movements. I didn’t need to “check-in” or show my vaccination status anywhere.  So we travelled a lot, went camping to many beautiful spots and I decided to change gears work-wise.
As far as the annual review is concern, this "return to normal" means I’m going back to the original format because it feels right once again.
So here’s 2023 in a nutshell…

5 things I’m proud of

Figuring out what I want to work on

I started the year determined to figure out what I really want to do for work. I’ve been focused on UX copywriting for the best part of the last five years, but my heart just hasn’t been into it. After experimenting with workshops, taking on some content writing projects and going down random rabbit holes, I’ve landed on Notion, template creation and hopefully gearing up to become an official Notion consultant in 2024.
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Hosting online workshops

This year was the first time I hosted online workshops about UX writing. And I absolutely loved the format, the connection I made with the people who came along and how the whole process fits well with the crazy schedules of managing short school days along with having my own business. I’m hoping to host even more this year, even if the topics will be different.

Being able to volunteer at my kids school

Most Wednesday mornings you could find me sitting outside the Prep classroom helping my youngest and his schoolmates learn to read. It takes less than an hour a day, I get to see how people learn to read up close and I get to really know each of the kids my son will spend his days with until he graduates from his primary school.

Putting together a cookbook

My kid’s school celebrated their 150th anniversary this year and wanted to do something extra special to commemorate the event. That’s how I ended up involved in the project of putting together a cookbook made up of the kid’s and their families favourite recipes. It was great to volunteer in a capacity that used the professional skills I’ve developed.

My kid’s accomplishments at school

It was a huge school year for most of them and each one of my kids tackled different projects with a willingness to learn and try new things. My daughter started playing the flute and participated in a lot of side projects. My oldest son participated in his first ever chess tournament and won first place multiple times in his school’s ranking (they do this every term). And the youngest had his first ever year of school and learned to read and write in not just one, but two languages!

5 memorable moments

Spending most of January in Canada

There was a lot of snow. We caught up with friends and family we hadn’t seen in almost a decade. The kids learned to ice skate. And we ate our fair share of Tim Hortons donuts. In total we spent 6 weeks hanging out with my parents and showing the kids all the things we love about Canada. And we spent hours playing in the snow too!

Lots of camping

In April, it was our first time taking the trailer on a ferry to spend a week in Stradbroke. More recently, we went to a farm stay and hung out with lots of animals. The boys have used some of this time to learn to ride their bikes. Our whittling knife has made countless spears, bows and arrows. And our camp oven’s gave us yummy stews and damper.
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A week in Fiji with the grandparents

The weather was perfect. We all relaxed by spending a ridiculous amount of time in the pool sipping beautiful cocktails. And we ventured out of the resort a few times to explore the nearby port.

A weekend away with a friend

We ate out (no cooking!), we walked a lot (21 kms in a day!) and had really great chats. It was really nice to have a simple getaway where packing took a fifth of the time it usually takes, there  was minimal cleaning required and we spent most of our time outside, walking, swimming and going to cute cafes. I’m hoping to do another one this year.

Telling my partner I think he should quit his job

Which he now has. This year he’ll figure out what’s next. He’s wanted to do his own thing for a long time, and we will also try to work on collaborative projects too. He’s got the IT and developer skills that I lack, and I’ve got the marketing and writing chops he doesn’t feel as strong in.

5 new goals for the year ahead

My focus will be on creating a business based on Notion

It could be building and managing workspaces for other businesses (in a consultant role), it could be creating and selling templates or it might also be hosting workshops to help people figure out how it all works. I’m still learning a lot about Notion, but I’m getting more comfortable with its many functions and the ways it can be used for almost anything!
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Making enough regular income to cover our daily expenses

We did the maths and it’s a number I feel is very achievable. That’s my first milestone that I want to reach this year. No matter how I get there, I’m hoping to reach that magical number before the Aussie financial year is over.

And then making even more so we can travel

Once I’ve got the daily stuff covered, it’ll be time to crank things up so we can go on even more adventures and travel. I’d love to see my Canadian friends and family more often, and there are also a lot of little adventures I want to take my kids on (like going to their first concert). Again, I’ve got a specific number in mind so that this goal is not just a fuzzy idea but a specific minestrone to reach.

Feeling strong and healthy in my body

This one is a little bit more vague, but as part of the way I’ve set up my Notion space, I do have some specific metrics. Like how many times per week I’ll go to the gym. Specific movements I want to be able to do (a strong strict pull-up is one of them). And practices I’m doing regularly (walking, meditation, having a sauna, stretching)

Going to the StrongFirst Level 1 Certification weekend

Here it’s a mix of the last two goals. To be able to pass the SFG Certification I need to be able to achieve some specific movements with perfect form. More specifically, 100 kettlebell snatches in under 5 minutes. And since this year’s certification is not happening in my home town, I’ll need to have savings to go there. This is a challenging goals that brings it all together.

So this is it for 2023. This coming year will probably see lots of changes and new routines. Let’s see where 2024 takes us!