Expat Life in Qatar

Highlights of 2015 | My Year-End Review

December 31, 2015
Pinay Flying High

The year of 2015 brought a whirlwind of ups and downs in my life – it was the year when I took on a different role, being a housewife. It was The Greek Mister’s idea that we try this kind of set-up which I was on board with so I can finally focus on this blog. However the transition wasn’t very easy, there were days when I loved the fact that I am the boss of myself and work according to my own schedule but there were some days when I felt so useless, like I’m wasting so much time in my life. I have been taking on a lot of freelance writing jobs and although it gave me a sense of responsibility (and a little bit of money), it still wasn’t for me. I missed the chaos of a corporate office, I can’t believe I just said that because all those times that I was in one – I thought I hated it.

So this year, I was basically doing everything I can to see if being a housewife is something that I’d embrace in the future. I also wanted to see if I can actually make a living from this blog which so many people are doing nowadays. I realized, as I write this entry, that this whole housewife thing isn’t really for me and no matter how much money I make through this blog – I would still miss working in an office.

Sounds like 2015 is a failure for me? Not really, in fact, not at all as it has brought so many good things in my life too – specifically travel-wise and on this blog. I may have failed in the role of being a housewife but I sure did make up for it through this blog as this year has been the best yet, so far for me as a blogger.

Here’s my 2015 year-end review in numbers:

Countries Visited:

Amorita Resort

Bohol, Philippines

I think I traveled the most this year than any other year in the past while working as a travel agent which if you ask me is very ironic. However, being the boss of myself and not being tied down in a corporate office made this possible. I went to the Philippines for a short holiday then to USA back to my Mom’s place shortly afterwards. Greece was our next destination then a blogging assignment brought us to Oman. Last travel for the year was back to Greece to attend 2 weddings and cover 2 more blogging assignments. That’s a lot of miles covered in a span of one year.

Islands Visited and the Best for 2015:

Skopelos Old Town, Greece

I am no city girl, I’m an island girl (literally and figuratively) and the good thing is, The Greek Mister is just the same. We are drawn more to visit islands rather than big cities and this year brought us to 4 islands – Bohol in the Philippines then Alonissos, Skopelos and Skiathos in Greece. I’m absolutely torn choosing which is the best island but since I have to, I think I’d say the best would be Skopelos. The white and blue houses which Greece has been famous for is quite hard to resist.

Beaches Visited and the Best for 2015:

Agios Ioannis Beach, Skopelos, Greece

Agios Ioannis Beach

Took me awhile to count all the beaches we’ve visited this year as it was just way too many but roughly speaking, I’d say it’s about 20. With Philippines and Greece in our countries visited this year, it’s not so hard to imagine that it could be more than 20 beaches that we’ve been. The best beach is definitely Agios Ioannis beach in Skopelos, Greece. The small bay, the calm waters and the fantastic scenery is quite hard to beat.

Old Towns Visited and the Best for 2015:

Old Chora of Alonissos, Greece

Old Chora

We’ve visited 8 old towns this year – all in Greece. There’s nothing like walking along the cobbled stones path winding around the old buildings of an old town and the best I’ve seen for this year was the Old Chora in Alonissos,Greece.

Cities Visited and the Best for 2015:

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

I’ve visited 5 cities for the year of 2015 : Tagaytay in the Philippines, Philadelphia in the USA, Muscat in Oman, Thessaloniki and Nafplio in Greece.  The best city I’ve visited this year is Philadelphia. It’s definitely one of my favorite big cities in the world, I wouldn’t really mind going back there over and over again. I’ve been there twice now and I plan on seeing more of it in the years to come.

Best Food Eaten:

Molyvos Restaurant, Thessaloniki, Greece

Tigania Monemvasias

It didn’t even take me a minute to decide what my answer would be to this, it’s definitely the Greek dish called tigania which I had a first taste of in Molyvos restaurant in Thessaloniki. It’s now my favorite Greek dish.

The Most Luxurious Hotel Stay:

Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

Definitely Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Muscat, I can’t even begin to describe its grandiosity and opulence. It’s one of those hotels that you just have to see for yourself to really appreciate its beauty.

The Best Hotel Stay:

Kinsterna Hotel

Kinsterna Hotel

Kinsterna Hotel in Greece gave us a feeling of living in centuries-old mansion partly because, it’s true. The property used to be a mansion which is probably the unique selling point of this hotel. Surrounded by olive groves and gardens, guests can access an array of activities in Kinsterna Hotel which no other hotels in the world can offer. It’s definitely the best hotel stay for me this year.

Top Instagram Photo of 2015:

My top instagram post which got 475 likes was a throwback from the time I visited Nice in France several years ago. I have to admit that I had little to do with it as the photo doesn’t even give justice to the true beauty of the French Riviera.

Top Blog Post of 2015:

Iftar at The St Regis Doha

Up until now, the post I did about Dubai last year is the top blog post with over 100k views for 2015 alone. It’s followed closely by my posts about visa applications which I have done in the previous years too. The first post that I’ve done for this year which holds the 6th position of the most viewed is my compilation of all the Ramadan Iftar and Suhour listing in Doha. I’m definitely going to do a better round-up for the next year.

Most Viewed You Tube Video of 2015:

I’m not much of a youtube user as I’m very new to this very complicated video editing field but this video I made about The Color Run Qatar experience is the most viewed this year.

Social Media in Numbers

My Facebook page now has 3741 fans while my Instagram account has a 4368 following. I am still learning how to use Twitter but so far, I have about 1373 followers. Hopefully, I’d be able to increase them more in the coming year.

Highlight of 2015 – Being the first Brand Ambassador Blogger of The Entertainer Qatar

The highlight of course of my 2015 blogging year is being the first brand ambassador in Qatar of my favorite 2 for 1 app, The Entertainer. I have only lived in Doha for 6 months when I was approached by the company to be their brand ambassador blogger which is an opportunity I am never going to let go. It’s definitely THE BEST thing which has ever happened to me (blogging-wise) for this year. And that’s saying a lot because this year as well is the year when I got a lot of travel blogging assignments to try out luxury hotel properties. :p

Yep, 2015 has been a good for me and I do hope you all had a good one too. Here’s to hoping for better days ahead for all of us. Cheers!

Happy New Year!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Nada January 2, 2016 at 09:50

    Happy New Year! I wish you all the best for 2016. I hope that the year will bring you more travel opportunities, great memories and blog success stories.
    I can strongly relate to how you feel about being unemployed. It’s not always an easy ride. The days are constantly filled with ups and downs. Wishing you inspirational and peaceful days in 2016.

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