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2017: What a Year!

  • December 21, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 27 Comments
2017: What a Year!

2017: what a year! When I look back on the past 12 months I can’t believe that it’s gone, it’s in the past and I won’t have this time over again. I can reflect on the year that was, plan for a new year ahead and look forward to creating more amazing memories.

Here’s a summary of my highlights of the year that was – 2017.

January

2017 started with a run of long, hot and sticky summer days where the only way to keep cool was to escape to the beach. On the Australia Day long weekend we took our caravan down to Pottsville on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales for a few days. We spent most of the weekend cooling off in the crystal clear water of Mooball Creek.

2018, What a Year!

Camping right on Mooball Creek in Pottsville

February

A special month and a milestone birthday for me, as I turned sixty. Celebrations included a lunch out with the girls at Rick Shores Restaurant on Burleigh Beach and a dinner out with family and close friends. A few days afterwards my daughter treated me to dinner and the show “Matilda” at QPAC in Brisbane. I felt extremely spoilt and loved!

2017, What a Year

Lunch at Rick Shores

March

During the initial months of 2017 I was working with Discover Ipswich, writing some articles for their website and made many trips out to Ipswich, west of Brisbane, taking photos and attending a few events. Later on in the month I was fortunate to be invited on a media trip to Crows Nest, north of Toowoomba in the high country, to experience a farm stay at Tweeters Country Getaway. It was an amazing few days that included petting cute farm animals, devouring delicious home-cooked food and bushwalking.

2017, What a Year

The farmhouse at Tweeters Country Getaway

April

The time was fast approaching for us to embark on our trip to Italy and Mediterranean Cruise departing at the end of April. So April was full of a lot of preparation and making final travel plans before heading off for five weeks. I was invited on another media trip to Ipswich that included a night’s accommodation, dinner and an early morning hot air balloon flight with Floating Images. As it turned out we were filmed as part of an episode for The Great Day Out, a South East Queensland travel and lifestyle TV program. It was an incredible experience.

Up Up and Away Over Ipswich

Floating somewhere over the landscape north of Ipswich

May

After arriving in Rome in late April and spending a few days sightseeing this fascinating city we departed on our cruise and spend 12 days cruising the Mediterranean. Our ports of call included Sicily, Malta, Corfu, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Venice. After a couple of nights in Venice we took off in a hire car touring around Italy for three incredible weeks. It was a memorable trip and one that most definitely marked my sixtieth year.

2017, What a Year

Our cruise ship in port at Kotor, Montenegro

June

It took us a while to recover after our five week trip overseas and find our feet again. We returned to our home and enjoyed mild and sunny winter days on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It was wonderful to be home and see our kids and puppy again. During June we caught up with our cruise companions from Sydney with a lunch out at the iconic Brunswick Heads Pub in Northern New South Wales.

2017, What a Year

Brunswick Heads Hotel Beer Garden Area

July

Trip to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in our caravan visiting our daughter that lives here. We enjoyed long walks along the beach, a dinner out with our daughter and a BBQ lunch with our Coolum family and friends.

I was absolutely over the moon to learn that my son was getting engaged. He proposed to his beautiful girlfriend in a very romantic fashion and they’re getting married in September 2018.

2017, what a year

The dog friendly beach at Coolum

August

Something that I have wanted to do for many years, is the challenging climb of Mount Warning in Northern New South Wales. At the end of August I finally scaled this beast of a mountain, scrambling up a vertical rockface to reach the summit and take in the magical views from the top.

2017, what a year

Mt Warning summit views

September

We set off on a two and a half week holiday to Vietnam and Laos, taking in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi, Sapa and then Luang Prabang in Laos.

2017, what a year

Hoi An Old Town Streets

October

We spent a lovely long weekend at Wooli and Minnie Water in Northern New South Wales, west of Grafton.

2017, what a year

The beautiful stretch of coastline at Minnie Water

November

My annual work retreat was spent in a luxurious holiday home perched on a hill overlooking Clarke’s Beach in Byron Bay. Although we did have a couple of meetings we still had plenty of free time to enjoy this Northern New South Wales chilled out town.

2017: What a Year

Byron Bay Beach

December

There has been heaps of highlights during December with the onslaught of the festive season and many Christmas functions and get togethers. But the highlight was a lunch in Brisbane at South Bank with some of my mature-aged blogging friends and to actually meet some of them in person for the first time. Let me introduce from left to right: Lyndall Guinery-Smith (Seize The Day), Sue Loncaric (Sizzling Towards Sixty), Jo Tracey (Jo Tracey), Me (50 Shades of Age) and Jan Robinson (Budget Travel Talk).

2017: What a Year

Lunch out with blogging friends

Here’s cheers to all of my readers and blogging friends out there in the blogosphere. I wish you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas and a New Year full of prosperity, happiness and lot’s of travel!

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Lyndall from Seize the Day Project
Deb from DebbishDotCom
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
Jo from And Anyways
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


By 50 Shades, December 21, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 27

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

27 Comments
  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    December 21, 2017

    Oh my goodness! So much travel envy right now. What a great year for adventure xoxoxo
    Love the bloggy catch up photo too.
    #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Thanks Leanne. I did have a big year, but you only turn sixty once and I believe I deserved to celebrate in style! #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo Tracey
    December 21, 2017

    What a year indeed! So fabulous to have connected with you this year. Here’s to more of the same in 2018.

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      You and me both had a huge year. I enjoyed meeting you in person too Jo. I hope we all get to catchup again in 2018! #TeamLovinLife

  • Jan Wild
    December 21, 2017

    You have worked hard for what reads like endless pleasure. I look forward to following your adventures in 2018 and seeing more of you IRL.

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Endless pleasure! I love that. I suppose I do take my life for granted. 2018 will be a more sedate year as we’re building a house and having a wedding for our son. Merry Christmas to you and Rowan. #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    December 21, 2017

    You’ve had a wonderful year Kathy – lots of lovely travel and amazing experiences and of course turning 60! I can’t believe that was way back in February – seems like just the other day. I wish I had been able to be at the bloggy lunch. I will be at the next one! Have a fabulous Christmas and best wishes for a super fab 2018! xo #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Thanks Min. I did have a fabulous year and I’ll look back on my 60th year and think what a blast I had! So sorry that your year ended on a very sad note. I look forward to meeting at our next bloggy catchup. Merry Christmas #TeamLovinLife

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    December 21, 2017

    What a wonderful year you have had Kathy and isn’t photography the perfect way to hold our memories. I just loved your highlights from each month and hey the Blogging ladies even made the list! It was a great year linking up and connecting with you and I look forward to more in the New Year. Best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and a Sizzling New Year!

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Thank you Sue, I’m so fortunate to have celebrated my 60th year with so many wonderful holidays and memories. The blogger’s lunch was a definite highlight and I look forward to more in 2018. All the best to you too for Christmas and the New Year. #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    December 21, 2017

    So many beautiful photos Kathy and lovely memories. It must have been hard to decide which pic to use for each month with so much happening. And what a great balance you are achieving – between routine and travel. I hope to make the ‘meet-up’ next time!

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Thanks Deb. It was a tough choice with the photos as I had a big year of travel and celebrations. You will be doing likewise in 2018 when you reach your milestone! It would be lovely to meet you if you can make the next meetup. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    December 21, 2017

    What a wonderful year, Kathy! They are absolutely stunning photos to remember this year by. It’s been wonderful getting to know you through Lovin’ LIfe this year.

    Merry Christmas!

    SSG xx

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      Thank you and likewise. My year was epic and I doubt whether I’ll be able to emulate it again! Merry Christmas to you as well. #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    December 21, 2017

    I did a look back at 2017 as well – yours is a much more full-on one than mine! So glad you had a fabulous year – including your daughter’s wedding and that meet-up with the other Qld bloggers – I was sad to be on the other side of the country and missing out! Happy Christmas and looking forward to 2018 and all the blogging that will happen :)

    • Kathy
      December 21, 2017

      I did have a big year, but it’s not every year that you turn sixty! I wanted to mark the milestone with a wonderful holiday and getting myself back into shape. Both of which I’ve achieved. Happy Christmas to you too. #TeamLovinLife

  • Denyse
    December 21, 2017

    What a wonderful year you have had and to celebrate 60 in there as well makes it even more awesome. Congrats to you, Mother of The Groom coming up. It is quite a different role I found anyway to Mother of the Bride. The travelling you are doing and have done is admirable but none moreso than the tackling of “that” Mountain in Northern NSW…you must feel proud of such a worthy physical achievement. I look forward to seeing more of your exciting life ahead in 2018. Have a wonderful festive season. Denyse x

    • Kathy
      December 22, 2017

      2017 was a huge year for me. When I reflect I did achieve a lot! Next year will be a little quieter with a few personal committments that will take precedence over travel. Wishing you a Happy Christmas and New Year #TeamLovinLife

  • Cristina Stoica
    December 21, 2017

    You put your experience here. Nice Post and Amazing Pictures. I got New Things to your blog. Such an Awesome website for travel.

  • Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies
    December 21, 2017

    What an incredible year you have had! Thank you for hosting this wonderful linky. Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! xx

    • Kathy
      December 22, 2017

      Yes it’s been an epic year for me but 2018 will be a little less hectic. Merry Christmas to you and yours too. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie filogomo
    December 22, 2017

    You have the most amazing travels, Kathy!!
    And how fun to meet up with the other women bloggers!! To me, that’s the best part of this blogging!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      December 22, 2017

      I do lead a charmed life Jodie, but I think I deserve the fruits of my hard work. Likewise – It has been wonderful to meet this lovely bunch of bloggers. #TeamLovinLife

  • afisindhu
    December 26, 2017

    Oh my Goodness! What a wonderful year you have had and to celebrate 60 in there as well makes it even more awesome. Congrats to you. Thanks for sharing us. Keep writing and stay blessed.

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