Friday, December 28, 2012

My 2012 Highlights

2012 has been a very blessed and busy year for us. It seems like every year is just getting better and better. I'm excited for what 2013 has in store for us. I'm very thankful for the amazing experiences we were able to have this past year. Here is a list of some of the highlights of 2012 for me:

1. Attending three Taiwanese weddings

Me and The Boyfriend at a co-worker's wedding
I know, I've reached that age where there's a wedding, an engagement, or a birth happening every other week. I absolutely love weddings, and although traditional weddings in Taiwan are much different than Western ones, I always have a great time. This year, I attended two of my co-workers' weddings, and also a friend's. Lots of food and lots of laughs were had.

2. Being asked to be a friend's maid of honor at her wedding

I'm so honored that one of my friends here in Taiwan asked me to be her maid of honor at her wedding next year. The Boyfriend will be her fiance's best man. This means so much to us. I can't wait for the wedding... and the bachelorette party.

3. Traveling to Japan

Our much used Lonely Planet for TOKYO
In April we had a long weekend, and it happened to be our 3-year anniversary, so The Boyfriend and I decided to go to Japan for 3 days. We had a great time in Tokyo, sightseeing, shopping and taking hundreds of photos, and we also went to see Mount Fuji, which was absolutely spectacular.

4. Going on a 2-week cruise in the Mediterranean and visiting Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Monaco and France

The Boyfriend and I on the Ruby Princess sailing out of Monte Carlo, Monaco
Words can not describe how ridiculously incredible this vacation was. The Boyfriend and I got to see so many incredible places like Venice, Athens, Mykonos, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Nice, Rome, Naples... and the list goes on..

5. Spending 2 weeks with my brother and his fiance on the Ruby Princess

My brother and I during formal night on the Ruby Princess
Living in Taiwan, and having all my siblings work and live abroad as well, I don't get to see them that often. But, this past summer I got to spend 2 weeks with my oldest brother and his fiance aboard the Ruby Princess while on our Mediterranean cruise. It was such a fun experience.

6. Visiting my sister in Dubai

My mom, me and my sister in Dubai, UAE
After our 2-week cruise and spending 3 days in Barcelona, we went to Dubai to visit my sister for a week and a half. It was awesome spending time with her and her boyfriend, going shopping, lying by the pool and just being able to catch up.

7. The best surprise ever!

When we arrived at the airport in Dubai after our time in Barcelona, my sister and her boyfriend met us there. AND... my mom surprised us by being there,too! She flew from South Africa and spent the week and a half with us in Dubai. At that time, I haven't seen her for a year and a half, and this surprise just added to an already wonderful summer vacation. Also, it was nice to spend my birthday with them; the first time in three years.

8. Spending time with my brother and his fiance in Dubai

The Boyfriend and I in Dubai, UAE
My other brother and his fiance were in Ukraine when we were in Dubai, but I got to spend a couple of days with them before I returned to Taiwan. I also haven't seen them in a very long time, and it was great catching up and hearing about their wedding plans.

9. Reaching 500 followers on my blog

Screenshot of the day I reached 500 followers
I started blogging back in June 2011. In November this year, I reached 500 followers on my blog, which is absolutely crazy. I truly appreciate every nice comment and that you take the time out of your day to read my random ramblings.

10. My braces coming off

My first non-braces photo
Oh, what a wonderful day November 19th was. My braces were finally taken off after 14 months of not being able to eat properly, and just being very uncomfortable in general. I'm so happy with the results, and still can't stop smiling.

11. Having my best friends from South Africa visit me in Taiwan

Me and my friends from South Africa on Halloween
Just having that little bit of home with me here in Taiwan was amazing. My friends were in Hong Kong for business and decided to come and visit me in Taiwan for a little less than a week. We had a great time catching up, going shopping, eating and being able to go out partying together on Halloween.

12. Good friends finding out they're pregnant, having babies and getting engaged 

So many of my friends in South Africa got married this past year, and it breaks my heart that I couldn't attend it and share in their joy. Although I couldn't be there, I'm still so happy for each of them and wish them all the best. Also, 2012 was the year of the baby, it seems. Many friends gave birth to healthy, happy babies, which makes me feel very happy as well.

13. Celebrating our 3-year anniversary in Japan

The Boyfriend and I in Tokyo, Japan
Like I said, The Boyfriend and I went to Japan for our 3-year anniversary. I can't believe it's already been three years since I've met him, but then again, I think of all the amazing adventures we've shared together already, and somehow it seems longer. If it's even possible, I feel that I love him even more each day.

14. Going to the Lady Gaga concert

Our tickets to see Lady Gaga in Taipei
I couldn't pass up the chance to see the Lady herself in concert here in Taipei. It was a fantastic show, as you can imagine, as she knows how to entertain the crowd and keep your eyes peeled on the stage.

15. Going to see Roxette in concert

Seeing Roxette live in Taipei
When I think about Roxette, I think about the cassette I used to listen to over and over as a little girl. I almost couldn't believe that they'd come to Taiwan, and had a great time at their concert belting out all the songs with them and basically reliving my childhood.

I'm so thankful for all these memories and blessings that absolutely made 2012 the best year ever... so far... May everyone have a spectacular 2013!

What are your highlights from 2012?


  1. You've had such an exciting year...I feel like I get to travel through your pictures. :) Sorry if that sounds dorky.

    1. That's not dorky at all! My siblings travel a lot more than I do, so I know what you mean. I'm always drooling over their pictures of places I'd love to go to.

      I hope you're having a great weekend! :-)

  2. Dit was omtrent n bedrywige en geseende jaar vir julle. Al die eer en dank aan julle Hemelse Vader vir die voorreg om so voorspoedig te wees. Sien uit na 2013, weet dit sal baie verassings inhou, en natuurlik nog net 35 slapies!!!! Baie lief vir jou xxx

    1. Ons is regtig baie geseend en is baie dankbaar vir alles. Ek kan nie wag vir 2013 nie! Baie dinge wat voorle vir ons ;-) Sien julle amper, Mamma! <3 you!

  3. Congratulations on a great year, Liesl. It looks like 2012 was truly a fantastic year for you. Raising a virtual martini to you for an even better 2013!

    1. I downed my virtual martini and now I'm virtual drunk... :-D Thanks for your nice comment, Carrie! 2012 was absolutely awesome, and I'm super excited to see what 2013 has in store for us.

      I hope you're enjoying the long weekend! xxx

  4. Must say I am super jealous of all your travels! My year feels boring. Feel free to link-up to my year in review party!

    xo Shane

    1. Believe me, things that you think are boring are usually things that I wish for. Being away from my best friends and family, I envy the people that are close to theirs.

      I'll check out your Year in Review Party! :-) Happy Weekend!

  5. Hello, im going on a ruby princess cruise this year of the greek isles visiting basically the same places you did except more greece and no spain/monaco.

    what do u recommend wearing. also im going with my parents Im 23 was it mostly couples and older people or did u see a lot of young group travelers?

    any advice

    1. Good for you! Ugh, packing was so hard for that cruise. Because it was my first one, I wanted to be prepared for any possible situation and packed way too many things.

      Take two cocktail dresses for formal nights, one pair of heels, one pair of flats and comfortable shoes for excursions. Then, of course, some sandals or flip flips for on the boat and sea days.

      Don't take a million pairs of shorts like I did. You really only need two or three, one summer dress and some tank tops. You can also pack one smart-casual outfit for nice dinners or when going to see the shows. The rest would be underwear and bikinis.

      I would say most of the cruisers were over 40 and lots of tweens, obviously traveling with their parents. But there were more young people than I expected.

      If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me. Oh, I'm so jealous of you right now! :-P That cruise was one of the best trips I've ever done. You're gonna have a great time!


    2. thankyou very much all noted down :)

      i forgot to mention i am also going to egypt on this trip. do u know any information about dressing there as a female and at least looking slightly fahsionable?


    3. I'm not sure about Egypt's customs, but I'm guessing you will always need to have your legs and shoulders covered. And because it will be hot, try to find some loose fitting, light pants and shirts made of thin materials. Make sure about their customs before you go, I think you can find lots of info on that online.

      Good luck! :-)



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