I wasn’t going to write a yearly wrap up post, but I’ve enjoyed reading everyone elses, so here I go!
BTW, can you believe it has been 6 years since I started this blog? It was New year’s Eve and I was so desperately needing a push to get out and explore instead of sitting and whining about not being able to jump on a plane and fly across the world.
I still whine, but I also have done a lot of local exploring!
My January 2019 even started out with my sister and I jumping on a plane to China! This was right at the time of the Huawei lady being contained in Canada and tensions were rising. My mom tried to pay us to stay home and Global interviewed us at the airport about why were were going. It was a great trip and once again proved that the world isn’t as scary as people make it out to be.
Even though that trip was very cheap, I was in need of money, fast! February and March were mostly spent subbing. If you know me, the fact that I taught Home Ec for a few weeks is quite hilarious. I actually really enjoyed it, and we didn’t burn the school down. Thankfully, I left before the sewing unit started.
April brings Swift Current’s annual 49 x 110 Conference. I have attended every April for the last 5 years or so and even presented a video one year. This year stands out because I met photographer, Chris Attrell. He mentoned that we should do a photo shoot sometime, and fast forward to September and I was gifted his new book Forgotten Saskatchewan, and in October, I was freezing down by the river getting my pictures taken.
In April I was also lucky enough to be given another book by the talented travel writer Jenn Smith Nelson. Her book, 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is the perfect guide for finding beautiful spots in these two provinces. One of my favorite parts of blogging is the connections I have made and the inspiring people I have met.
May has become one of my favorite months. I think the Medicine Hat Massacre has officially been added as an annual event that I can’t . We are usually in our kayaks by 4 am, but this year we got to wait until daylight. May means that summer is close, and by this May, I had already confirmed that my summer would be full of adventures. And, I was actually going to be paid to cover them!! Real money!!
It was also May that I bought Frankie Rose, my 1982 Dodge Camper van. I took her to the Medicine Hat Massacre the first week she came home, and was immediatley in love. ha.
In July, I was thrilled to work with Medicine Hat Tourism for the first time. As I spent 3 days hiking and covering the coffee shops, I kept having to pinch myself. Was I actually getting paid to enjoy nature trails and eat and drink?? I also took Guesthouse 71 up on an invite and I got to feel like I was in a magazine for 2 nights.
Another one of my contracts with Cypress Hills Destination Area was to cover the Maple Creek Heritage Festival. I love small towns and seeing what they come up with during these community events.
Now, the other yealy round ups that I have been reading have let readers into the hardships that they have gone through, and I have no shortage of those. A big one being that we never get to see my stepkids, even though we have court orders. For years, I had not scheduled anything on the times we are supposed to have them, but this year, I made the decision to book what came available, and not miss out on the off chance we would get to see the kids. Cue the start of August.
Thankfully, we were able to pick up the kids, but I had jobs and adventures planned. I was torn between needing to follow through with these commitments and not wanting to leave the kids we fight so hard to see. It turned out even better, as I got to take Grace on 2 exciting weekend trips. We went to the East Block of Grasslands National Park for the first time. It was unbelievably beautiful and the two of us enjoyed Fossil Fever, hiking, and camping. ( Grace loves Frankie, too)
The next weekend, I finally got to take Grace to West Block of Grasslands National Park. She loved the prairie dogs as much as I knew she would and we had a great time kayaking and hiking. She was a fantastic side kick and even took over filming during our yoga portion of the trip.
Oh, I also spent much of the summer months doing shifts in Leader’s Tourism Caboose.
The Summer Star Party in Cypress Hills was an event I had been looking forward to all summer. It took place the end of August/ start of September. For the rest of September, I ended up taking a job at the highway visitor center in Maple Creek. Talking to travelers all day was perfect!
In October, I took my parents to the Haunted house at Grotto Gardens where we giggled in fright. My parents had been in the process of retiring to Sceptre, and had officially moved in by then. It’s nice to have them so close, now. They are always up for joining me on my adventures.
I was asked to fill in for another member of CHDA as a host for the Elkwater Wine Festival in the Hills and I think this event should be added into my annual DO NOT Miss list.
Throughout these months, I continued substitute teaching, worked the elections, kept selling Senegence, and joined Beachbody again. Somewhere in there I made a really fun video for Grotto Gardens. It might have been June?
In December, I pulled off a huge event for our Chamber. I may have volunteered for too much, and the entertainment cancelled a week in advance, but it turned out perfectly and I was quite proud of the role I played. I also took Santa pictures, and I’m telling you, if you need a feel good activity to volunteer for, do that!
People still don’t all understand why I quit a full time teaching job, but looking back at my year confirms that I made the best choice for me. It’s not easy to go against the grain, but to me this is with the grain. I have so many people who inspire me to keep going and who are paving the way.
My 2020 is a blank slate. As always, I have some big ideas in my head. I will work on fighting against the voices telling me it can’t be done.
I love inspiring others and when people reach out and send me private messages about new things they are doing because of something I have done or written about, it makes it even more worth while.
Stay tuned for some January and February “Winter Wellness” adventures.
Happy New Year!