2016, despite all odds, seems to have been an almost ideal year, which clearly marks the beginning of my new life (so thanks, cancer).
It started with the New Year’s Day in Nice and was full of traveling thereafter: Italy, Spain, France, India, Turkey.
All these travels facilitated my return to regular reading. I am yet to read as much as I used to when at school and university, however, I am pleased with my acquaintance with writings by Eugene Vodolazkin, Sidney Sheldon, Aravind Adiga et al.
I got back to public speaking and talked at the Book Show in April and Language Show Live in October in Kensington Olympia in London, at King’s College London, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
Talking about Delhi – I sold the license for my books to a large Indian publisher; the work of redesigning books takes much longer than expected but all three textbooks should be ready soon.
And since I’ve mentioned my books, the sales in 2016 were extremely motivating and inspiring; financially they allowed me to travel for 4.5 months (no luxury at all, yet plenty of joy and experience). So my warmest thanks to my colleagues, students and readers!
Travelling also got me into meditation, which in turn brought me to the idea of trying the Buddhist retreats, so I attended two of those this year. Though I am not convinced that Buddhism as a religion is for me, I am curiously researching more about what Buddha-dharma says as a philosophy and way of life. Not least that learning about Buddhism introduced me to a number of wonderful people!
As mental and emotional health are strongly connected to physical health I’d better mention that 2016 got me into cycling, so I now regularly commute on my beautifully white folding Tern (bye-bye, overpriced TfL). I also started doing Aikido, that I find difficult but immensely enjoyable! A 100km walking marathon in support of Dimbleby Cancer Care in September was a wonderful ‘cherry on top of the cake’.
I haven’t talked much about it but in summer in the Himalayas I trained with two masters and got attuned into Reiki, which I have been successfully practicing for myself and friends (and friends of friends) since then.
The third major consequence of traveling was enrolment onto the Teaching English as a Foreign Language course (CELTA), which I successfully completed (‘Pass B’, I hope, is not too bad for a non-native speaker) – this will hopefully facilitate my future traveling. I also sped up the work on my English language textbook (in co-authorship).
And just before Christmas I was awarded the Chartered Linguist status (as a full member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists).
Finishing on a culinary note I have been transitioning into veganism since October which I find challenging but very motivating and educational.
Having started in Nice my year ended in Bristol.