Failing forward into 2013

2012 is my biggest year of failure to date. There is a long, long list of things I did not do, or started to do and didn’t finish. Last year I had set out to carry out 25 things by the time I turned 25, yet only completed a measly 14 of them. If it were a high school exam I would have received an F. FailI failed 2012. I even failed at writing this post; I started writing it in October last year but could never find the words, or more importantly courage to admit to anyone that I failed (the 25 by 25 officially finished on my birthday, November 23). With just one look at my blog, my failure was obvious; I had crossed things off my list as I did them and there were not many items with a black line through them. I hate failure, probably as much as the next person, and having to admit to my readers that I didn’t follow through on my word feels like diving into an ice-cold swimming pool. Not one single atom in your body wants to do it, but you know that once you dive into the water, it’s the most refreshing feeling; all the synapses in your brain fire more efficiently and negativity dissipates from your body. So here is to me diving in!

Of my 25 things, I completed 14; just over half. When I first wrote the list people told me I was crazy. You will never do them all. In one year, are you mad?! Yes, maybe I am a little nutty – lets be honest who sets out to visit 3 counties, and save $10,000 all in one year. Even I was a little shocked that I completed both those challenging things over some of the other easier tasks, like putting art or photos in the frames on my walls. Striving to complete my list last year created an amazing journey for me and I would like to share with you 14 of my most joyful experiences from my failure year, 2012.

1. Partying like crazy kids with my friends at the Coachella Music Festival

Being a Coachella hippy In 2011 I went to Coachella for the first time then in 2012 I went back with a vengeance and less one broken arm (I learnt the value of wrist guards after snowboarding in 2011). From arts and crafts, to rocking out to Florence and the Machine, there was so much to see and do, my friends and I barely slept a wink.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

2. Hosting a 3 course meal for my closest mates

Boun appetito. My idea of a perfect evening consists of loved ones, laugher, delicious food and drinks; for years I wanted to host a dinner party, but didn’t in fear of poisoning the ones I love. One cooking class and a few practices later and I was ready. Even faced with having to produce vegan options when the main course was veal osso buco, my dinner went off without a hitch. The next day the only calls I received were to thank me for the delicious meal and wonderful evening; no one was sick, superb!

You can read about this adventure here: A tavola non si inveccia or Uno non può pensare bene, amare bene, dormire bene, se non ha mangiato bene

Delicious Dunner

3. Spending quality time with my brother in sunny Fiji

My brother and I tried to kill each other on a regular basis when we were children. Now that we live halfway around the world from each other, we are best friends. After going home to see my family in Australia, my brother and I jumped on a plane together and headed to Fiji for some much-needed down time. We cracked open coconuts with our bare hands, found starfish at the bottom of the ocean, went island hopping and soaked up the sun’s warm rays without a single death threat to each other – Mum would be proud.

You can read about this adventure here: Living life on “Fiji time” or Where the hell is Fiji? Near Florida?

Snorkeling with Squirrel

4. Tried Couch Surfing in Copenhagen

I travelled solo to Copenhagen where two wonderful (now) friends welcomed me into their home, introduced me to their friends, and explored Copenhagen with me. My first Couch Surfing experience could not have been better; they even helped me refine my hammock-lying skills.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

Hammock Surfing

5. Attended Herräng and danced my feet off for a week straight

Herräng Dance Camp is the world largest annual dance camp, it takes place over 5 weeks in a small Swedish town, Herräng. Along with dancers from all over the world, I attended for one of the five weeks during its 30th year anniversary. We danced our feet off until the early hours of the morning, dressed up like pirates, went to secret parties, took lessons from world-class teachers, and made lasting friendships.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

6. I ate Swedish meatballs with a Swede, in Sweden

The title about covers it, but to top it off, that same day I saw a sloth for the first time. I was so excited I had to hold back the tears.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.


7. New British friends and I devoured Oorlong Fries in Amsterdam

After meeting some wonderful new friends in Amsterdam, we explored the town together and shared an epic serving of Oorlong fries. The translation literally mean War Fries; mayonnaise, curry sauce and raw onions smother delicious, crispy fries. A party in your mouth entails upon first bite.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.


8. Went scuba diving for the first time

While travelling around Cuba with my Mum the opportunity came up to go scuba diving. A chance to fulfil my childhood dream of being a mermaid – there was no way I was going to miss out on it. Now I’m hooked and want to get my diving license, lets see what my cardiologist has to say about that.

Read about this adventure here: Dive Deep into Life, and the Caribbean


9. Felt the fear and did it any way

For some crazy reason, I enjoy scaring myself silly; the opportunity to jump off a cliff into a freshwater river makes me shake with fear and excitement all at once. On a hike through the forest in Cuba a perfect cliff face presented itself, and of course I jumped – literally into the water.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

Just Jump!

10. Learnt how to salsa dance while listening to live jazz in Cuba

Hey chica bonita, do you know how to salsa? I’m a dance teacher – let me teach you. It was the same thing every night in Cuba, the Cuban men would approach the tourist women, wanting to teach them how to dance, regardless if they already knew salsa or not. After one Havana Club at the first jazz bar I went to I was roped into learning the dance of love. Every night after that, everyone knew where to find me – by the band on the floor. I loved salsa dancing!

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

First Salsa teacher

10. Moved to New York City

In 2012 the opportunity to move to New York City came up; it was a dream I’d had since I was a teenager. In one week I packed up my huge apartment in Los Angeles, attempting minimalism as I packed, and moved with two flatmates into the tiniest New York City shoe box. I don’t have any space at home, so now more than ever, the world is my playground and travel is the game I play.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.


11. My best friends from Australia came to visit me

After living abroad for many years my two best friends from Australia finally came to visit me. Even though we were constantly talking on iMessage and Skype, nothing compares to hanging out with your best mates in person. I was even able to show them around New York, my new home.

Check back soon for a future post about this adventure.

Madison Square Garden - Knicks!

12. Fell in love ♥


13. Reignited my love for travel

Last year I decided to wholehearted follow my passion for travel. I love to explore, see the world and have impromptu adventures. Dreaming up travel plans is what keeps me awake at night. Travel is what I was born to do.

2012 did not unfold like I imagined it would – it was even better. I had a year rich with experience and crazy adventures, which now that I think about it, was exactly what I set out to do when I wrote the list of 25 things. I’ve already started planning fun adventures for 2013 and am excited to have you come on this journey with me as I blog my way around the world.

Join me on adventures around the world

5 thoughts on “Failing forward into 2013

    • Thanks Ranu! You’re right, it was a pretty lofty goal so I am not totally dissatisfied. In fact, I hope that if/when I fail in 2013 it is just as much fun! Thanks for reading, happy travels!
      Nicollé Joy

    • Miss Pye! There is no need to be jealous, you are on your own magical journey too! I love that our paths crossed and we were able to spend so much quality time together in Seattle. I know there is going to be some amazing adventures for you this year. Keep dancing because you inspire me! Lets skype soon, it will have to do until April, when we will be able to see each other in person! 🙂
      xx Nicollé Joy

  1. Pingback: ILHC or Bust. | The Rantings of a Lindy Hopper

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