2013 in 20-20 hindsight and looking ahead


I’ve never really been into making resolutions. Growing up, my Nanna used to tell me that I’d never be the sort to have a white picket fence – and she was right. I’m a restless soul, keen on adventure, new places and faces, curious of the other. I’ve mostly been able to balance this side of myself with stable relationships, including strong, lasting friendships and a beautiful husband, and a home (where ever I was) in which I felt comfortable and nurtured. I was living the life I’d always wanted, what use did I have for resolutions?

At the end of 2012, however, everything went a bit haywire. A badly fractured ankle landed me in hospital for four nights and off my feet for three months. At the time, we had finally, after years of itinerant living, bought our first flat. Boxes were piled to the ceiling and we were anxious to get settled, but my injury scuppered our plans. At first, I hid beneath a cloud of painkillers and plates of comfort food, until I could hobble well enough to accept a press trip to Saint Lucia in March.


And that’s when my Year of Escape truly began. Three trips to Morocco came next, followed by Edinburgh, Iceland, Lebanon, Italy (twice), France (twice), Greece, Norway, Chester, Spain, Germany, Trinidad & Tobago, Florida, South Africa and Australia. It was a phenomenal year, that brought me new friends and cherished experiences, such as walking with giraffes, foraging for ceps in a French pine forest, and spending time with some of the world’s top chefs, including Monica Galetti, Theo Randall and Christine Manfield. I truly sucked the marrow – pun intended – out of every opportunity, but looking back, it came at quite a cost.

I was an absent wife, daughter, sister, friend and blogger. Almost everyone put up with my self-indulgence, including you guys (thank you!) and a very forgiving husband, but I did manage to lose a very close friend who needed me. I’m not proud of this. Not one little bit. I’m hoping it’s not too late to repair the damage. Wish me luck. Goose The Cat also suffered, developing idiopathic cystitis every time I packed a suitcase. Whoever said that cats don’t have feelings can bite me. Poor petal, she’s on the mend now.


And this is not all. Gallivanting is great, but living off meagre commissions does not a nest-egg make. I’d love to pay my mortgage with tales of saving a convicted felon from drowning off the coast of a Caribbean island, but life doesn’t work that way.

All this is not to say that I won’t travel this year. I already have plans to visit New York in the Spring and I need to go back to Sydney soon, but I’m going to be pickier than I was last year and really concentrate on my goals, such as knuckling down and posting more here.


I was also running away from my novel. After finishing my MA and receiving loads of interest from agents, I completely freaked out and let my fear of failure get the better of me. So, yes, in 2014 I’m revisiting the tome that’s been niggling at me from the bottom drawer for nearly two years.

In addition to attempting to become a published author, I’ve a new project on the horizon. I’ve spent the holiday period planning and I hope to share with you soon. I’m so excited by it that I’ve been losing sleep. That should mean something, right?


Oh, and then there’s the 15kg I put on thanks to that pesky ankle and a lot of fine food. Off it comes, nice and healthy like.

So, here’s to 2014! Who’s with me?

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© Kate McAuley 2014



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19 thoughts on “2013 in 20-20 hindsight and looking ahead

  1. the style crusader


    This is such an honest post, I really admire you for writing it. Sounds like you’ve had a roller coaster of a year. Where does all the traveling arise from? Is it the work you do with tourism boards?

    It sounds like you learned some important lessons and I’m so excited to see what the new year will have in store for you. I can’t wait to find out about this project you’ve got on the horizon and am very intrigued by the book!

    Sending all my well wishes that you have a cracking start to the new year.


    1. Kate Post author

      Hi Jen,

      Thank you! I’m finding it easier to write honestly. Not everything is to be rose-tinted all the time.

      The travel is a whole mixed bag. A lot is for the blog, but I also write for magazines and website or work for the tourism boards to produce content. I’ve actually been a travel writer and editor for about 10 years, so it’s actually me going back to my roots.

      Here’s to a fab 2014 for both of us. Looking forward to seeing you the next time you’re over. I’m likely to be here!


  2. Jaclyn Craig

    Lovely post Kate – every year is different. People and experiences come and go for different reasons, all we can really do is what feels right at the time and however difficult try not to have any regrets! Don’t discount all of your achievements last year, you have plenty to be proud of and I’m sure even more proud times to come this year! Here’s to hopefully seeing you a little more in 2014! lol!


  3. lucy

    jeeez Kate, I knew you travelled but seriously? You must really REALLY like airports haha
    aah it was the BEST year so far, a big part in thanks to you. Honestly, thank you so much for the opportunity you gave me. I have such a good friend in Rachel now and I’m so glad I got to hear all your stories too. It shows that amazing years aren’t always amazing in every way, it’s quite refreshing to hear your take but i’m sorry that you lost some things as well as gaining.

    Here’s to the next year – i’m off on my first trip in two weeks time so off to a good start!!

    1. Kate Post author

      I’m so glad about you and Rachel. Would LOVE to hang out with you guys sometime – now that I’m staying still and all.

      Thanks for your comments, sweets.


  4. TheOnlineStylist

    Happy Belated New Year my friend! I loved reading this post – beautifully written as always and very honest. Life is not all rose tinted glasses but it still feels pretty darn great! Hopefully you can come down and see us in the summer if you’re staying put more this year…would be wonderful to see you. Your photos are amazing and reflect a year of magical experiences. Good luck with the novel – if anyone can make that work it’ll be you! xxx

    1. Kate Post author

      I’m not going to lie, your comment made me tear up a little, Amanda.

      I’ll definitely come and visit you in the summer. Not being able to last year was so frustrating!

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Big love. xxxx

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