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Into 2023

This year has already been quite eventful, we’ve travelled 9 countries and had some ‘interesting’ experiences to say the least: some being totally bizarre. I’m not ready to post about them yet but hope to later in the year.

Flock and Sheepdog
Jane ready for action, lambing, Germany

Social media seems to flood with ‘recaps of my year’ etc. and it becomes quite the contest, hence I was reluctant to write about a reflection of general 2022. I will write about certain experiences and adventures from 2022 throughout this year. Within this blog post, I hope to keep my summary brief and focus on my aspirations for 2023.

2022 was another year, another 12 months and another 365 days. I now realise and accept that I’m no longer classed as ‘just out of school’ and most of my school year is qualified from university. In the last few years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed travelling and thinking of my contemporaries concerned about their next exam whilst I was thinking of which country I’d like to go to next. I often compare my life as if I had gone down the medical route (my original plan), I wanted to an intercalation year so I would have finished university in 2022, if all had gone to plan I’d have qualified as a doctor and heading into my F1 year for 2023. However, (alternatively), in the last 6 years I’ve travelled to over 20 countries, worked alongside people from all forms and walks of life, witnessed and learnt from perspectives I never even knew existed and experienced all the trials and tribulations that travelling and working brings. To quote Jimmy Carr: “Comparison is the thief of joy” – however, comparing a non-existent alternate life to my reality reminds me of my focus, goals, the direction that I’m heading and reassures any potential anxiety that I am doing the right thing.

In medical scrubs & X-ray vest after Shoulder Replacement Surgery

2023 started with a fantastic New Year’s Eve party with my boyfriend and his family in Norway. Family occasions are huge, with most of the family living in one valley there has to be multiple ‘family parties’ as there isn’t a space big enough for everyone. We gathered with about 20-30 people in a traditional Norwegian building, full of great food, aquavit and laughter. Just before midnight, we assembled on the snowy hillside. At 12, our fireworks went up right in front of us, so close that you felt the power from the explosion just before the sound. From where we were standing, the whole valley is visible, the valley is a cacophony of displays, from all directions and areas, the range of distances making each firework unique. In the UK we used to pay to watch the fireworks at the local racecourse, I much prefer the community firework display in this Norwegian valley. Community is at the heart of Norwegian culture and even in the dark, the family are guessing from which farm each firework is from; Like many farming areas, everyone knows everyone and it’s a very closely connected community.

Personally, I love to say “everything is in pencil until it’s in pen” meaning that I love to experience new things but only commit when I’ve put some real thought into it (theoretically written a permanent pen contract in my mind). This mindset has led me to some totally bizarre places yet also truly wonderful ones too. There are a few plans ‘in-pen’ for 2023 and those who follow this blog will no doubt find more about those soon. Meanwhile, I’m considering my attitude and evaluation of my approach into the year. I can only hope that the world maintains in its current state, corona meant rules and laws which none could have predicted. Most countries have lifted these restrictions which means that the ‘Plan A’ set in 2020 can come to fruition. Meeting new people, new communities in new places has become a ‘normal’ for me, I’d like to remind myself never to take that privilege for granted. I have a new focus being this blog and a new discipline to write (or post a saved one) a minimum of each week. Mindfulness is a term thrown around a lot at the moment. I hope that writing my blog gives me a new perspective on my experiences and those around me. Simply ‘trying to do the right thing’ is something I’m always conscious of in every decision, down to the simple things, sometimes I may need reminding of this.

There is a list of stories I tell at pubs, parties, events etc. Which other people have seemed to enjoy. The list is blog posts I need to write and I hope that you’ll continue to read and enjoy hearing about my adventures with Jane. A number of friends who are farmers will also feature on the blog, around the world people farm in a variety of ways, techniques, attitudes and cultures. I feel so fortunate to be in the position to have a heap of opportunities in front of me and would like to share the experience, teachings and advice along the way.

German Beer
Celebrating Willy's Birthday 7th January

For the remainder of this year, I wish all my readers the very best. Thank you for visiting my website and following my journey as I navigate countries, farming, experiences, cultures and life. Whether I know you personally or not, I’m grateful for your support.


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