Where did twenty-eighteen go??
Lets begin with the same old, same old
A question that rings in every head as the sun sets on the last day of the year.
“Where did the year go?”
Although I precisely know how my year was sucked into a whirlwind of very rewarding diapers, I will still try my best to put forward my pursuit of happiness in the most un clichéd way and keep you guys entertained as I wrap my head around the year 2018.
JAN 2018- The year began with my very naïve intentions of scratching a few countries off my bucket list and compensate for the previous year(2017) when I was a slightly less adventurous, pregnant version of myself.
FEB 2018- Without further delay I started short listing destinations with moderate temperatures for an infant and enough amenities to facilitate new parents. Europe was under consideration but I still don’t know what happened where and we finally settled for Srilanka and Maldives.
It wasn’t going to be an ordinary vacation and we were prepared for a lot of our “firsts” with our five month old cutlet on this trip.
MAR 2018 – After watching a million tutorials on “how to travel with a kid” days before our actual travel date (and then miserably failing at putting the tutorials to a good use within the first few hours) we finally landed in Colombo on the 23rd of March 2018.
I believe it was either Noorain or we just successfully picked up the famous mantra of living in the moment from the very beginning, but our first day in Colombo went by and Noorain settled in pretty well with the minimum number of tantrums expected.
Our second day was no different and we had a great time exploring Galle
We headed to Kitulgala after Colombo and planned to stay there for 2 days and just when I had started to feel that Noorain’s slightly disturbed sleep cycles were the only thing that could throw us off track, I fractured my ankle ziplining.
APR TO JUNE 2018- For the next 8 weeks I had to use a walker or crutches to help me achieve the simplest of my daily tasks and it was the lowest Ive ever been throughout the year
After an hour long surgery and spending about 2 days in the hospital all I wanted was to get out of the country and never come back, but the day the doctor signed my discharge papers in Colombo, promising me that I will be back on my feet in no time and hopefully coming back to the country soon to complete what was left of our holiday, that had to be the happiest moment I could have lived during the complete mayhem. Maldives was obviously cancelled.
AUG 2018- Almost after five months of taking things slowly and giving myself time to heal physically, I was in dire need of another holiday to put the mental trauma behind. With Maldives and Srilanka still on my bucket list we decided to head west this time and take full advantage of the visa on arrival, the bari eid holidays and the perfect weather in Georgia.
I had mastered the art of hopping around on one leg but I was still lacking the courage to take on another adventure especially with another five months of Noorain’s troublemaking added to our experience.
While my brain took its own sweet time to contemplate if my ankle was ready to set on another journey, my soul wandered off to another Caucasian beauty and my heart decided to throw Azerbaijan into the mix.
We finally took the leap of faith and landed in Tbilisi on the 17th of August 2018. Although we were eligible for their visa on arrival, the country is notorious for denying entry to south Asians.
Hearing the immigration officer’s stamp thud on our passports was the most pleasant thing we had heard all day.
My favourite day in Georgia has to be our third day in the country. We hiked towards the Gveletti falls and although I could not make it to the top of the waterfall because of my recovering ankle, the entire journey I was able to connect with my creator on a spiritual level and thank Him for my speedy recovery and for all His blessings that enabled me to fall in love with my life and this beautiful world all over again. It was truly the assurance and satisfaction I had been looking for ever since I fractured my ankle and it feels like I left a part of my soul in Gveletti falls.
Right after we had booked our tickets for Azerbaijan, a friend managed to convey some really nasty vibes about the country and how the country that I had been looking forward to so much was not worth a visit.
Although Im an advocate of “to each their own” and opinions have never stopped me from exploring , it is however true that our friend’s feedback managed to play with our sub conscious and somewhere deep inside we were not as excited as we were before.
But my friends I was blown away the first night we spent walking around the bustling streets of Baku(22nd Aug 2018). I don’t know if it was the low expectations but the way the country holds onto its history and so many co existing cultures is just simply beautiful and roaming around nizami and its smaller inlets was our favorite thing to do in the city.
If you have been following me for over a year, then you would know that exploring and travelling around my own pyaara Pakistan was included in my 2018s new year resolutions and honestly until November I could see no chance of it happening.
DEC 2018- But then I could see 2018 coming to an end and foresee my regret of not going to a different city in my very own country so I decided to use a cousins wedding as an excuse to overcome the feeling.