Ah, 2016. You were a real bugger, ya know? If for no other reason than you took away Alan Rickman, and then you left Donald Trump in charge. What the hell is that about?
Personally, though, 2016 was a perfectly fine year for my family and me (aside from the daily sick feeling in my stomach that I get every morning when I remember that Trump thing). Knock wood, we had good health, no big concerns in the family, new and continuing friendships, our girl is growing up lovelier and lovelier, and we managed some nice spots of travel. I truly count my blessings.
And, for the 6th year, I’ve continued to plug away at this site. It got a little quiet around here in August and September, as I launched my new page, Artsplorers (about kids and the arts – please join me!), but I’m getting into the swing of being two places at once.
As I reflect on this year nearly past, I thought I’d see what you guys were into this year, and wrap up with a look back at your most-read posts. I’m concluding with the 2016 Top 5 Greatest Hits of Between Roots and Wings.
I can’t thank you enough for being here and spreading the love. I hope your 2016 hasn’t been too harrowing, and may 2017 grant us our due of bright spots. I’ll see you right here, however things shake out!
Between Roots and Wings Top 5 Posts of 2016
This year’s Federal election was the first one I was able to vote in, since becoming an Australian citizen in late 2014. I do enjoy politics, and have always found the differences between the U.S. and Australian systems interesting. So, I compiled this guide as a bit of a primer for voting in Australia (and, considering how much I had to look up, it turned out to be pretty useful for me, too). I tried to make it funny and informative, and I’m glad that it was also useful to some of my fellow Aussie newbies.
As Hushpuppy and I were preparing to set off together for a flight back to the States, I was remembering the extreme anxiety I experienced the first time I had to fly solo with her, when she was 20 months old. I was so grateful that, this time, I knew we’d survive, that I wanted to share everything I learned about getting through my mental block about flying long haul with a little one. I know I’m not the only parent who has been in this anxious pre-flight state. It can be done!
The 18 part Sydney Expat Interview Series ran for 1-1/2 years, concluding this month. It’s been one of my favorite things ever on this blog. And, the most popular one from the series this year? #10 back in April asked the expats for their advice for someone moving to Sydney. It ranged from “have enough money” to “check out different suburbs,” to the affirming advice of saying yes to new adventures.
Sydney’s Vivid Festival must be its most popular annual event – I’m guessing that by the size of the crowds in the city, which increase every year. That crush makes tackling the festival with small children a challenge, but this year we were lucky that the organizers put together a couple of beautifully family friendly districts on the North Shore with the Gondwana-inspired dinosaur wonderland in Chatswood and the simply stunning animal installations at Taronga Zoo. Thank you, Vivid, for remembering the families. Can’t wait for next year!
*Aaaand, insert fanfare here … the #1 most popular post on the blog this year:*
Making new friends is bloody hard when you’re an expat (heck, I’m learning that it’s actually pretty hard for most adults). It’s extra hard when you’re an introvert, and going to “meet-ups” just isn’t going to cut it for you. Believe me. I know. And, I guess I’m not alone in this dilemma because this post about making friends as an introvert was the most read post this year. As they say – Introverts unite! Separately, in your own homes! Ha!
So, there they are. The winners and grinners on the ol’ blog this year. And, while I’m on the topic of popular posts, I’ll leave you with a few images from over on the blog’s Instagram page. These were the 9 most popular pictures over there. Join me for all the contenders in 2017, over there and here, too. Be well, my friends, and be kind, 2017!