Year in Review
My Life in 2017
I’m writing this from Kyiv, Ukraine where I came this new year to experience a magical white Christmas with natural snowfall and a nice Christmas mood, but alas the weather has failed me and I arrived only to rain. We’re due to fly to Bukovel on Monday for my second time skiing, so I’m hopeful there’ll be a good chance of snow there, else I’ll have to spend my stay in the spa and bar relaxing!
This year I’ve only travelled to 2 countries; the Netherlands and Ukraine. In February, I took Yuliya to Amsterdam for my birthday for her first time and did the usual touristy things such as a canal tour, the Heineken experience and the red light district (strictly looking only!). We were also invited to an exclusive pre-party coinciding with my birthday at the private club in the Armada music offices in Amsterdam before visiting the actual festival the following evening in Utrecht.
We also decided to spend 3 days exploring Utrecht meeting Miffy (can you spot her in the traffic light in the header?), visiting the railway museum and also climbed the Dom Tower which is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands.
The main reason not for travelling more is that we are now renting an apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine and I’ve spent roughly 6 months of last year in the country. It’s difficult as I’m only allowed to spend 90 days in the country every 180 days, so we’ll need to look into ways to overcome this in 2018 or just travel more!
In Summer, we took an extended road trip throughout Central and Eastern Ukraine visiting Kropyvnytskyi, Dnipro, Poltava & Myrhorod. Highlights included the Bartolomeo beach resort in Dnipro which made a nice alternative to the packed beaches of Odessa and also ticking new places off my Ukrainian bucket list. I’ve now almost visited every major city in Ukraine, just a few left to go…
My parents also visited in Summer for a week and thoroughly enjoyed their experience especially in the coffee mine in Lviv (see video below) and going up the mountain in Slavske.
Don’t forget Eurovison that was in Kyiv too which was quite a fun experience!
I’ve been learning Ukrainian on and off for around 6 years now. Last November I decided to take a year-long challenge of completing the Ukrainian course on Duolingo and practising with 2 lessons every day for at least a year. I quickly completed the course and continued with my 2 daily practice lessons.
On Day 358, I woke up to see Duolingo had lost my streak and reset my continuous days learned to zero! I did my 2 lessons as usual the previous day so was very annoyed when they hadn’t counted them. Perhaps it was an internet issue causing them not to be recorded, but Duolingo customer service didn’t even care to reply to my complaint, instead wanting me to pay £11.99 in the app to restore my streak.
Anyway, I’m now on day 45 again, so well past the year mark. Even if Duolingo doesn’t consider it a year long streak, I know I’ve done it!
After several years as a sole trader I took the important step of forming an official limited company. This will allow me to expand my business and continue it’s growth throughout 2018.
I also partnered with an advertising management company for my popular site convertcase.net and successfully increased revenue by 50%. With over half a million monthly visitors, this has become my most successful project.
Throughout 2018, I hope to visit more places with at least one being outside Europe. Now Ukraine has visa-free access to most of the European Union (except UK unfortunately), my girlfriend can now travel with me more freely. I’d like to visit some theme parks on the continent or perhaps even travel as far away as Hong Kong or Shanghai.
What’s the one thing you most want to do or achieve in 2018? Answers on a postcard below 🙂