And with that, the 2023 season comes to an end. This year has flown by and I am truly grateful for a wonderful 2023. This has been a year of achieving milestones, making memories, and making dreams come true, so let's reflect and recap on the past year.
The big travel milestone this year was definitely traveling to Antarctica and finally step foot on my 7th continent. Antarctica had always felt like a unattainable dream, so I am so thankful to make this dream come true this year. We finally made it back to Japan after multiple cancellations over the past 3 years, traveled home to Malaysia twice, visited 4 new countries (Qatar, Bhutan, Argentina, Brazil) and a new continent. I definitely blew our travel budget this year visiting 2 very expensive destinations - Bhutan & Antarctica, but if not now, when? :P
Summary of my travels for 2023 (work+leisure):
Number of hotel/cruise nights - 91 nights (Marriott-68; Hilton-3; IHG-9; Others-14)
Number of hotels - 22 hotels (Marriott-5; Hilton-3; IHG-4; Others-3)
Number of airlines - 11 airlines (United, American Airlines, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, JAL, ThaiSmiles, Bhutan Airlines, Aerolineas Argentina, Latam)
The big work milestone this year was my promotion from Senior Manager to Director. So thankful for everyone who have supported me along the way. I was given the opportunity to return to India again for 6 weeks, and it was great to see all the familiar faces again. I am thankful that work allowed me to take leave of absence to travel home for a month to spend time with family and help out with dad.
Our big family milestone this year was celebrating our 10th anniversary, and we celebrated with an awesome trip to Antarctica! I'm thankful to be able to take leave of absence at work to travel home for 4 weeks to spend time with my family in Malaysia. Besides, I am also glad that mom was able to visit me in India, and explored Bhutan together. Our making memories with moms journey continued this year with an epic trip to Argentina, Antarctica, and Brazil in 2.5 weeks.
Despite all the travels this year, I'm thankful to be able to stay healthy, physically and mentally, throughout the year and especially during our travels. I know I need to do better exercising so that's something to improve in the new year.
As compared to last year, the stock market has been great this year, which made everything looked great as we continue our wealth building journey. Our expenses spiked this year with the Antarctica trip, but fortunately, I received some bonuses from work which certainly helped offset this big blow.
Very thankful for an amazing 2023. I'm glad that work & life have been very well-balanced this year, while accomplishing big milestones in both work & life (travels). Life is good. :) Look forward to exploring more of the world and making more memories in 2024. Happy New Year 2024!