366. The “Mission Acomplished” Post

I wasn’t sure if writing a conclusion-of-the-challenge post was kind-of cheating, but lucky for me 2012 was a leap year, so I guess I get an extra day.

It turned out that the challenge of trying something new every day and writing about it was difficult mostly for reasons I wasn’t expecting. I was thinking the hardest thing would be to get out there and find/do 365 new things, followed by the challenge of actually writing/posting about them every day. Quite the opposite, my biggest problem has been having too many things to write about.

To be fair, it was a slow start in my desk job for the first week or so, and I definitely felt I was clutching at straws for a few posts, but the goal I hoped to get out of this challenge was to ensure I got off my arse and went out and had a whole bunch of new experiences. And that I surely did! Particularly once I stepped off the plane in Denmark. I never imagined just how different the Danish/Scandinavian life and culture would be, let alone all the other places I went, food I tried and experiences I had. In the end the “problem” was that there were just so many new things in a day that I started to get quite the backlog! And so my “rules” adapted, and it became a new thing for every day. Strategies, goals and plans are meant to be flexible, right?

The other challenge, that I absolutely was anticipating, was to physically write a post every day. Most of the time I did OK, but during exams it became quite difficult and I struggled to justify spending lots of time writing posts when I had so much work to do. The spanner in the works was going to a University with some fairly “creative” approaches to administration. For instance, of last semester’s exams, I have completed and received results for three out of four. The fourth I haven’t actually sat yet. So that was way more time spent in exam periods than I anticipated! I managed to catch up eventually, though. Sometimes (generally whilst stressed about exams or really tired) it was really hard to drum up the motivation to log in and spin a yarn. And even worse, sometimes, I really wanted to write the next post but couldn’t get to the internet. I think the thing that made me really stick to it, was just how many people would tell me they enjoyed reading, or thought this post was funny or that photo was great. Without that harrietvstheworld.com would most definitely have died a slow painful death! Instead I was really floored when wordpress.com sent me a 2012 summary email, telling me I’d had over 30,000 views! Crazy! I never imagined my audience would stretch further than Mum, and maybe also Dad.

All in all I think the project has been a fantastic way to really motivate myself to say yes to things I may not have before, to make a constant effort to get out and do new things, to take tonnes more photos than I would have otherwise, to do a lot more research/reading up on places I’ve been too (can’t be printing incorrect facts or anything now, can we) and to provide a wonderful record of my travels so far. It is also going to make Ryan Gosling’s job a whole lot easier if I ever get Alzheimer’s.

However, in my opinion, the biggest impact has been that my perspective on a lot of things that I would have considered mundane or negative has totally shifted. What could have been seen as boring day-to-day chores became “new experiences” to write about. Or stressful experiences like being robbed in France or having transit disasters became a story to tell. It definitely made me appreciate the effect of deliberately having positive outlook and enjoying my surroundings vs seeing something as a drama or a stressful experience and the things around me as mundane.

Some of the highlights definitely were:

  1. 18 new countries
  2. Living with/working for 2 different Danish families
  3. Discovering Sudanese Falafel in Berlin
  4. Learning to surf at a yoga retreat in the Canary Islands
  5. Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  6. Driving on the “right” side of the road
  7. Tito’s hilarious private Island in Pula, Croatia
  8. Seeing the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway
  9. Paddle boating the canals of Amsterdam
  10. Meeting loads of amazing people, especially my fellow exchange students

And of course I’ve eaten a tonne of amazing food and have drunk a tonne of amazing drinks.

As well as focussing on the new and different, there’s a lot to be said for the old and familiar, and I had some exceptional cameo appearances from some wonderful friends, as well as a spectacular few days in Italy with Mum and Dad. Without seeing my friends (plus countless hours of skype, viber, whatsapp, emails and facebook chats), the homesickness definitely would have got the better of me long ago. Being the Chatty Cathy I am, this blog has definitely been a great outlet for me to feel like I’m back home telling stories instead of on the opposite side of the globe. And so instead of finishing up and returning home as planned, one of my favourite achievements of the year has been getting a job in Copenhagen for 2013. Part of my role there is writing the company blog, so that’s definitely been a great outcome of this challenge! I’ve also gotten a lot closer to working out what to do with my studies, and have even become a postgrad student. *Gasp.*

As for the future of the blog, there’s still a tonne of great stories and photos from 2012 (Venice, Croatia, Poland, a white Christmas in Denmark and of course relocating to Copenhagen and working out what Danish workplace culture is all about). I have really enjoyed writing the posts and collecting/uploading all my photos so this definitely isn’t the end of harrietvstheworld.com, but I am rather quite relieved that the daily post challenge is over. Think I’ll try to aim for once or twice a week from now on!

In 2013 I still have plenty of goals and ideas for my “reverse bucket list” (like a normal bucket list, except instead I just make it up as I go along). On the list so far:

  1. Getting a degree. Luckily I’m (hopefully) only one exam away from that
  2. Completing the half marathon I trained for before the blonde took over and I injured myself
  3. Turning my 3 month trial into a permanent contract
  4. The scary task of making new friends in Copenhagen
  5. Seeing more of the UK than Dover and the London Underground
  6. A cycling brewery tour in Belgium and/or the Marathon du Medoc
  7. Seeing more of Croatia/most any Mediterranean Island
  8. Be able to travel around Eastern Europe and not go nuts over how cheap everything is
  9. Less time at the touristy overrated places, more time at the quirky, novel places
  10. Recreating the amazing food I had all over Europe in my own kitchen, most especially the amazing organic/vegetarian/glutenless food I had in the Canary Islands that left me feeling so healthy

So it isn’t over, but thanks to anyone/everyone who read and encouraged and I hope maybe I’ve inspired anyone else that wants to force themselves out of their comfort zone or simply change their perspective on the day-to-day.


6 thoughts on “366. The “Mission Acomplished” Post

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog Harriet! I’m thinking I will be referring back to it when I head to Europe (sadly no time soon). Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures 🙂

    • А това е да се върнат и да обяснят на простия български народ, че като го мамят, Zначи са велики! Haha, nqma smisyl da se onsqbqva na takiva kato vas. Zashtoto ne si struva da se vlagat usiliqta da onsqbqvash na nqkoi, koito ne razbira i ne iska da 4ue. Ili za syjalenie se zablujdavash, 4e sa dostato4no inteligentni da razberat. No, uvi …мдам, явно толкова сте израснали у Вашиот мозък, та дори нема нужда да обяснявате на простаци, като мен!А може би, няма и какво да обясните?освен; ама ти не разбираш ли?други доводи немате нали?Za razlika ot Vas, Bai Ganio e izlqzyl ot Bg i e vidql za kakvo stava vypros, a ne si e stoql v gorata, zablujdavaiki se kolko mu e dobre. Ili kato edin drug vid individi, koito otivat v 4ujbina, zavladqni ot velikiq si Bg mantalitet i psevdo-patriotizym nikoga ne osyznavat, 4e ne sa tam. Vinagi drugite sa prosti, nevyzptani i ne mogat da se obosnovavat.мдааа, аз поне съм си Бай Ганя от България! не съм одил в чужбинско и не съм продавал мускалчета . . . даже мама не ми е пращала компоти!странна обосновка имате Otnosno pola na Bai Ganio, ne znam, zashto reshihte, moje bi zashtoto kato vseki tipi4en bylgarin jenite sa umstveno po-slabiq pol, che sym jena. Kato Vi e tolkova poznata bylgarskata psihika bi trqbvalo mnogo dobre da znaete, kakyv e principa da gledame v 4ujdata 4iniq i da se uspokoqvame, 4e drugite sa po-zle . V tozi slu4ai oba4e, tova e pove4e plasheshto, otkolkoto uspokoqvashto. No ste tolkova intelingenten mlad myj, nai- veroqtno, kym koito trqbva da se obryshtat podobavashto (ne znam v koe lice, moje bi Vie, za syjalenie ste predstavitel na golqma 4ast ot Bg narod kakto sam kazvate Мечо Пухето туй ли Ви притесни?че имате мисленето и реакциите на жена?еми нали, аз бях простака, апа Вие се обидихте!Неразбирам частта за туй дето съм се успокоявал!!!но щом си го мислите, очевидно си го очаквате и другите да са така съжалявам, но ще Ви разочаровам!!!аз съм постигнал достатъчно в живота си! и ако дори, малко се бяхте замислили над моите мнения(ама де туй нящо да стане) едва ли бихте се усъмнили 08/03/2009 • 23:35 мдам, българите сме малък, но изключително прост народ! haha sig izklju4vate sebe si ), 4e nqma smisyl da Vi se kazva zashto. Moje bi ako ste v dylbokata gora Schwarzwald i se zavyrnete ottam moje i o4i v o4i da se diskutira s Vas, toku vij ste razbrali-nadejdata posledna umira. za syjlanie, kakto s pove4eto zavladqni ot sebe si patrioti s vas ne moje da se spori.Ето отново вкарвате Ваши мисли във филма!!!Къде съм направил изключение със себе си от простия български народ?Аз съм си социалистически продукт на всестранно развитата\’ и недоразвита личност!дори съм по прост, от колкото си мислите!!!не ме гледайте, че пиша на български и почти без грешка!просто съм си прост!Туй за Шварцвалд не го разбрах, може би е некой концлагер, дето съм пропуснал No na nikoi ne mu e zabraneno da me4tae i svetyt na prikazkite e prekrasen i kato edna istinska mechka se nadqvam nqkoga da se sybudite ot zimniq si syn. I ako, nadqvam se kato uvajavasht sebe si “profesionalist” za kakyvto sam se smqtate da imate dostyp do bloga na Nouriel Roubini i negoviq 2009 Global economic Outlook i da pro4etete skromnata 4ast otdelena na BG, kakto i da e do koito da e vestnik Wall Street Journal, moje bi zastitavashtite haresvashtite se na bg tezi , no vypreki vsi4ko obektivni FT i The Economist. Estvesteno otgovarqshti na vashiq stil ili pone na tova, za koeto se smqtate, moje da pro4etete analizite predlagani ot vodeshti think thanks, nqma smisyl da 4etete, kakvo Vi pishat nqkakvi glupavi Bai Ganiovci, koito mogat i da sa ot jenski rod. No 4etete, ne ‘filosofstvaite’ samo! Ako nastoqvate da se razsynite napylno, poglednete surovite danni, koito se nadqvam, znaete kyde da namerite. I ako, kakto na masata v BG ne Vi se zanimava i Vi e po-lesno da si namerite izvinenie, si kajete tq e prosta, pyk makar i da sym myj!!!уби ме с тая балдуиница!!!тоз пасаж го четох три пъти и съвсем се обърках!Начи трябва да се събудя от зимен сън, да се уважа(каквото и да значи туй) и да взема да прочета некви шамани, дето ще ми кажат, как аз живея!!!Не разбирам логиката!!!а последното Ви изречение ме събори психически!оказахте се мъж с женски реакции!!!на всичко отгоре се смятате за проста жена :8

    • Hi Antonia! Amazing photos! You look wonfredul as always! Love your makeup and your outfit. I know these were taken in Denmark, but is it cold already in Sweden? It’s been nice all day here in Toronto, but it’s going to become nasty in a couple of days if not tomorrow. Please keep on your inspirational blog and have a nice night!

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