Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I got the idea to do the first list from the 69th issue of Australian magazine Frankie, in which they asked five artists and writers to share 20 things they did the previous year. I think it’s such a wonderfully simple way to record your year. It also gives you a chance to look back and reflect on what was significant, which goals you accomplished, and how you surprised yourself.

But I think it’s only half productive to look back. It’s equally important to look forward. I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions (for no particular reasons), but I’ve never been short on plans. And sitting down to do the second list helped make my plans for the coming year feel more concrete. I don’t yet know how realistic it is, but I can’t wait to find out.

And I’d love it if you share with me what you did last year and what you have planned for 2017. Happy New Year, everyone! Hope it’ll be a joyous and memorable one!

In 2016, I…

1. Saw Madonna live in Bangkok 2. Saw Bon Iver live in Singapore 3. Finally quit lifestyle journalism and publishing (the soul-sucking kind that often involves “creating content” for clients) 4. Started yet another overly ambitious list of books to read within a year 5. Spent a weekend on a secluded beach in Phuket with a group of friends 6. Spent more than a month in Germany with Sascha and visited Weimar and the towns around Lake Constance (Bodensee) for the first time 7. Celebrated Sascha’s birthday together with him for the first time since we started dating four years ago 8. Celebrated my birthday with Sascha for the first time 9. Cut my hair pixie-bob short (It hasn’t been this short since high school) 10. Traveled to Belgrade for the first time 11. Finished reading a novella in French (Anna Gavalda’s L’échappée belle) 12. Won a catwalk competition I did not volunteer to join at a gay bar in Singapore 13. Meditated daily for 48 days in a row (and still counting!) 14. Had raclette for the first time in my life (at Swiss restaurant Chesa in Bangkok) 15. Started this blog.

In 2017, I plan to…

1. Read at least three books in French 2. Travel to Myanmar (Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), Laos (Vientiane), and India (Shillong) 3. See more of Bangkok 4. Start cooking from David Thompson’s Thai Food 5. Find a way to cure my YouTube addiction 6. Spend less time on the Internet in general 7. Take a trip to Chiang Mai with my oldest friend in the world 8. Visit a dear friend in Phuket 9. Plan my meals better 10. Start learning German again 11. Explore a new beat in journalism 12. Start an herb garden again on my balcony 13. Do more journaling and visual journaling 14. Start an annual holiday-card-sending tradition to friends near and far 15. Spend more time in gardens and parks.


Featured image by Matt Montgomery from Unsplash