Saturday, December 31, 2022

Thankful for 2022, Looking Forward to 2023

It's hard to believe that 2022 is almost over already, this year has certainly flown by. It has been a busy but fulfilling year, for both work and life. I'm starting to lose track of some of the things I've done and places I've traveled to this year, so it's time to reflect and recap on this past year before I begin my 40-hours journey from 2022 to 2023.

This year had been a pretty good year for travel as a lot of countries removed their travel restrictions (apart from that one big country which I'm thankful of). =P Revenge travel was real and we managed to check off a few bucket list destinations this year. I visited 10 countries (Denmark, Finland, Maldives, Malaysia, Switzerland, Greece, UK, French Polynesia, India, and Nepal), which included 4 new countries this year. Yes, this list sounds expensive, but thankfully, I was able to keep our travel costs fairly reasonable by using points and miles that we've been stockpiling over the past 2 years. Downside of these back-to-back travels, I have so many trip backlogs that are waiting to be updated.

Summary of my travels for 2022 (work+leisure):
Number of hotel nights - 91 nights (Marriott-72; Hilton-4; IHG-9; Others-6)
Number of hotels - 22 hotels (Marriott-10; Hilton-2; IHG-6; Others-4) 
Number of airlines - 19 airlines (United, Cityjet, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Finnair, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Swiss Air, Delta, KLM, Aegean, British Airways, American Airlines, Air India, Airasia India, Malindo, ANA)

Busy season earlier this year was hectic. My good senior was swapped out to another team so that was a bummer but oh well, that's how things go. =.= On a separate note, I am thankful that work allowed me to take a leave of absence to travel home for 6 weeks earlier this year to spend time with my family and help mom out with dad. 

The work highlight this year was definitely my 2-month short-term assignment in India to train and upskill our team members in Kolkata. It was my first time being back in the office after 2.5 years and it was great to finally meet the people whom I've worked with for the past 2 years. Very thankful for the warm hospitality I received during my stay in Kolkata.

As mentioned above, I'm thankful to be able to take leave of absence at work to travel home for 6 weeks to spend time with my family in Malaysia. Besides, we were also able to invite our moms to join us on 2 of our trips this year, and made memories together. As for the US side of the family, we also took a family trip to the Gulf Shores in September.

I'm thankful to be able to stay healthy, physically and mentally, and dodged 3 Covid outbreaks in the family this year *touching wood floor*. I am also thankful to stay healthy throughout my stay in India, especially since almost every other secondees got sick at some point during their stay. Hubby had a few procedures done this year, but fortunately, nothing serious. 

The stock market was ugly this year so obviously our numbers didn't look good. Nevertheless, we continue to save and invest as much as we could. We did however go a lil' overboard with revenge travel this year. The total out-of-pocket 'damages' for these trips: Finland ($1,055/pax); Maldives ($875/pax); Bora-Bora ($210/pax); Greece ($265/pax); Nepal ($950/pax). But memories are priceless. =)

Very thankful for a smooth 2022. Thank you 2022 for allowing us to travel and see the world again, and we certainly do not take for granted the opportunity and ability to travel freely. Look forward to exploring more of the world and making more memories in 2023. Happy New Year 2023!