Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 in review

Last year will always be remembered as one of the most eventful of my life: getting married, relocating, starting a new job, and going on holidays were just some of the highlights. 

Here's a month by month recap:

January was consumed with final wedding preparations, I say final but we had only started planning in November. Hair and makeup trials, dress fittings, and ordering favours were just part of the things to do. I also finally booked my flights to Muscat, I had been delaying doing this as that was the point when moving seemed very real. 
In February and across Valentine's weekend we got married, we had two events, the civil ceremony followed by a party with close family and friends, and a religious services followed by a much bigger party! The week following the wedding was spent seeing family and friends and saying goodbye before flying to Muscat.
March was very much about settling into life here. My husband had already bought a lot of the basic furniture but we made another trip to Dubai and Ikea to pick up extra things. We also went on a diving/snorkeling trip with friends and I learnt just how damaging the sun can be when I came away with a burnt nose. 
In April my mum and sister visited. I wasn't working at the time so we spent the days at home enjoying time together and by the pool and I showed them as much as I knew of Muscat. We also went to Dubai for a few days (at this stage my spouse visa still wasn't ready so I was having to come in and out of the country to get an updated visa). 
In May, we took a short break to Turkey to see my parents who stopping there for a few days before heading on to Cyprus. We went a few days ahead of them and visited Cappadocia, which was fantastic. We explored the valleys, went on a balloon ride over the chimneys, and an organised tour, including an underground city. It was a very packed two days. We then spent some more relaxed time in Istanbul with my parents, enjoying walking around the city and eating good food. 

In June, I had the interview and offer for my current job and having just got my spouse visa began getting the paperwork together for my work visa. 
Ramadan started at the end of June and carried on for most of July. By this time the weather was ridiculously hot so I spent much of the time with the air conditioning cranked up, waiting for sunset and time to break the fast. We spent every evening with my inlaws, eating, and watching the World Cup. 
In August we went on honeymoon to Thailand, spending 4 days in Bangkok exploring the temples, and shopping, and then 7 days in Koh Samui, a beautiful island on the east coast of Thailand. We had a great honeymoon, considering how stressful settling had been for me the break was very much needed. Thailand had great weather, and food, and because the place is so tourist friendly we took advantage and did lots of activities. We also had the most fantastic spa experience on the last day, four hours of pampering to relax us before the flight home. You can read my review on Trip Advisor if you want to know more. 

September was spent waiting to hear when I would be able to start my job, I finally heard that my visa was ready at the end of the month and confirmed my start date in October.
The first two weeks of October I spent in London catching up with friends and family. I had brought my flight forward a week so I was able to surprise my parents. I made sure to eat all the food I was missing, do some shopping and enjoy the weather, wearing shoes and boots for the first time in 8 months. I started work the day after I arrived back in Muscat, which was a good thing it was a great distraction from home sickness. 
A few weeks later, in November, my parents came to visit for three weeks. We packed the time with activities, going out locally most evenings and further afield at the weekends, I have already shared some of our adventures here, and here
After what was a very packed year December was a very mellow month, we bought ourselves a BBQ and had a test run at beach, and enjoyed a night at the Royal Opera House

Next year, I'm looking forward to more BBQs, road trips, Opera House visits, and holidays, and I will of course share them with you all here.