It is almost 2017. Just a couple of days from now (literally) and we will soon welcome another year. 2016 has been mostly good to me and my family but now that I am aware it will soon come to a close, it is hard for me not to think of the areas I wish I could’ve done better.

Resolutions for the new year

I can’t remember the last time I made a personal New Year’s resolution – I hardly keep it anyway. But since the resolution is about my life as an Expat, I might do a better job keeping it!

So before the year ends, I wish to share my personal Expat-related New Year’s resolution. Unlike the other personal resolutions that I’ve forgotten already, this post will serve as my constant reminder. And hopefully, allow me to take these by heart. And eventually, take it into action!

Be (a lot more) thankful for the blessings from my new “home” country

Thank you, Ireland! Photo via Flickr.

Since I arrived in Dublin in 2012, I rarely speak about it on a positive note. I can go on and rant about the things I don’t like (coughs, weather. coughs) but very rarely speak about the things it has been such a blessing to me and my family.

In the coming year, I want to be a lot more positive – including my feelings toward my not-so-new home country. I aim to be more expressive on the good things living in Ireland brought into my life instead of dealing with the things I don’t. I want to start the year with a positive energy to hopefully, flow through the rest of the year!

Each travel opportunity counts – even the local trips

Colorful houses lining up the Longwalk. Photo via Grab a Ticket Buy a Bite

After I had my son, our traveling decreased. And the reasons were never the same – from finance-related concerns to simple logistics like convenience of traveling with a baby. And now that my son is a lot more “manageable” when outdoors, I feel like 2017 is the year that we can travel more as a family.

I know that even if I want to travel internationally more often, it is not realistic in some instances. In fact, 2016 blessed us with a number of local trips on nearby counties in Ireland. But as we travel, the feeling of excitement or appreciation for the trip itself is not the same if it was an international trip.

For the New Year, my goal is to be thankful for every travel opportunity we get – even the short local trips around Ireland on a bank holiday. Especially since having my personal travel blog up and running, it gives me a purpose to go out, experience the interesting places to go around Ireland, and share with future travelers here or Expats like me!

Be a better Expat!

I have a confession to make: I hardly ever been interested in politics. I can’t recall the first time I developed this seemingly indifferent approach to anything government-related, though. But for the longest time, I always shrug off any opportunity to make my voice “heard” – and that includes practicing my right to vote.

In Ireland, even non-citizens are encouraged their right to vote on (some) referendums and electing their local government officials. But despite receiving pamphlets serving as a reminder to encourage me to practice my right of suffrage – I simply tossed the pamphlet in the bin.

I am not sure whether I will get any opportunities to vote in 2017. But if I do, I want to contribute by casting my vote. Ireland is now my new home; and any change in terms of policies or government officials will affect my family, too.