The Year That Was 2016 – TravelBooksFood

As a year, 2016 was a year of lots of change for me and my blog. In this post, I provide a recap of 2016 from Travelbooksfood

Written by: Soumya Nambiar

Last Updated on:

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I know what you are thinking. Not another end of the year roundup by a travel blogger. Can we not have something original for a change? In my case, I love reading such posts and I am hoping that you as my reader, would love to read a recap of 2016 from Travelbooksfood. Also, I feel everyone needs to do an introspection at least once in a year.

I did write a similar post around the same time last year. But life a year back was something totally different. Who would have thought that life would be so different right now?

I made some promises to myself last year around this time. I am glad that I was able to fulfil most of them. The biggest takeaway this year is that I have to listen to my heart more often. It knows me better than anyone else.

So how has life changed over the past year? It has been an exciting and emotionally satisfying year and I am thankful for getting so many opportunities to live my life to the fullest.

Recommended Read – 2015: Year in Review

Work Life:

The toughest thing I did this year was finally letting go. Letting go of a job that I was married to for the past 9.5 years. There was a time when I was in love with the job but it had slowly started becoming monotonous. I still loved the workplace and my teammates but I finally realized that was not enough to continue doing the job. One fine day in February, I spoke to my dad about quitting and he encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Eventually, I joined my family’s entrepreneurship. Yes, you got that right. I am a struggling entrepreneur these days trying to figure out the tricks of the trade. So, what does that feel like? For someone who was used to playing only a professional role throughout her career, it has been an exciting learning curve. Some days I am my dad’s PA, some days a banker, some days the general manager, some days the website developer, some days the person in charge of technology (This is supposedly my designation), some days the counsellor.

You got the gist right. You cannot say no to any job when you are working in your own venture. But of all the things that perplexes me, nothing stuns me more than this one. How did I, an engineer, end up being the banker in a family that has too many accountants?

It has definitely been a fun learning experience. The best thing about my work life is that I have finally got the flexibility. Even though there are days when dad wants a report at midnight, it still gives me the flexibility to work from anywhere I want. For a person who had to travel more than 50kms on a daily basis, this was a much-needed respite. I hate driving for more than 30 minutes these days.

A view of the many estate houses atop a hill in the town of Sintra in Portugal
Sintra, Portugal

Travel recap of 2016 from Travelbooksfood:

I am thankful to the year 2016 for the number of travel opportunities it has given me and I can safely say this now that 2016 is coming to an end. I made sure that I was on a plane to somewhere exotic or on a road trip around India at least once a month, sometimes even more. All this while holding down a full-time job. I even took a 5-6-week solo adventure across Europe between my two jobs.

I have already written about how I managed to travel solo this year. All I can say about solo travel is that I am finally discovering a side of me that I did not know I have. All through my life, I was the one who always put up a brave face, in spite of the circumstances. But after crying in too many countries this year, I have finally realized that it is perfectly okay to be vulnerable. In my experience, most people helped me through this phase and not a single person took advantage of my vulnerability. And that is why, in spite of what is happening around the world, I know for a fact that the number of good people outweigh the number of bad people by at least 10 times.

In a year that was marked by one global crisis after another, I am surprised that I made it to 11 countries, i.e. if you include my country, India. After all, why wouldn’t I include India when I have taken innumerable trips around India this year. If you thought that I am interested in only adding countries to my list, let me just say that 6 out of those 11 were repeat visits.

2016, thank you for so many memories. After all, which year till date had the pleasure of extracting so many emotions out of me.

From falling in Lisbon to crying in Prague, from dancing in Madrid to going cave hopping in Algarve, from walking in the rain in Paris to falling in love with Colmar, from going on a nostalgic trip with besties in Cochin to a bachelor party in Goa, from watching operas in Vienna to the Moulin rouge in Paris, from walking the red light district in Amsterdam to walking on the cobbled paths in Bruges, from almost attending a Coldplay concert in Barcelona to getting lost in Strasbourg, from meeting so many inspirational bloggers in Hyderabad to coming in terms with the serenity of Pondicherry, from road tripping around South India with friends to visiting family in Trivandrum, from doing nothing in Frankfurt to leading an idyllic life in Mallorca, from showing the little devil/nephew around Dubai to showing him around the home city, Bangalore (This is the reason I have not written anything for the past 3 weeks).

Whew, that is a huge list and I have done all of them this year. I am yet to write about so many of these experiences and hopefully I will get to write about them soon.

So many people asked me what are my travel plans for 2017? No concrete plans have been made yet but I am hoping I can start this year’s travel plans with a bang in Andaman or Sri Lanka. Friends of mine, when will we start planning this trip?
However, I am hoping that 2017 will be a better year than 2016 when it comes to traveling. Cheers to that.

View of the city of Prague from the Prague Castle

Travel Blogging recap of 2016 from Travelbooksfood:

What can I write about blogging? It has been such a rewarding experience that I have no words to describe it. This year, I have collaborated with so many brands, both big and small, so many hotels, so many tourism boards that I am overwhelmed with the success of my small blog. Every week, I turn down offers due to lack of time and recently I had to turn down a FAM trip from a prestigious tourism board. My blog has finally started making some revenue and it helped me to fund at least 25% – 30% of my travel to Europe.

Don’t get me wrong. It is still a lot of hard work and I reiterate once again that it takes a long time to see the fruits of your labour. But if you are passionate about it, don’t give up like so many others after only a few months.

Also, the number of pending articles I have in my drafts is ridiculous. Hopefully, I will get to finish writing all of them soon.

Back to University:

It has been a long pending wish of mine, to go back to University. I did try a few years ago but I did not have the motivation to follow through. So, this year, when I got selected for a part-time weekend course in one of the prestigious top business schools in India, I did not think twice. I also can’t believe that my one year in Uni is almost up and I would no longer be a student after February 2017.

Transitioning back to being a student was the toughest challenge I have done this year. I have learnt a lot this year from my faculty and fellow classmates at IIMB. Being a full-time employee and a part-time student does mean that you will be up some nights till 4 AM trying to finish all those never-ending assignments. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else and I am thankful to all those who made this possible.

A golden cliff surrounded by turquoise waters in Algarve, Portugal
Algarve, Portugal

My crazy inspirational family:

I don’t think any other family would have agreed to all my antics this year. After all, which other family would have allowed you to quit your job, go back to studies, join an entrepreneurship and allow you to travel solo around Europe? So, thank you for being there and not saying anything against all my decisions this year, including the ones that I didn’t write about.

Among all of us, I think we have been to at least 30 countries this year. We are grooming the 2-year-old nephew to be exactly like his globe-trotting family. He went to Jordan this year, his 3rd country and he fell in love with the horses and camels in Petra and cried his eyes out when he went to take a dip in the Dead Sea. For the past 3 weeks, he has not allowed any of us to sit at home even for a single day and I am pretty sure that I have seen more of Bangalore in these few weeks.

Any Regrets about 2016:

Only one. I read only 10 books this year. For a person who used to read at least 4-5 books per month, that is a huge deal. But the only books I could concentrate on this year were my accounting, marketing, strategy textbooks etc.

The Year That Was 2016 - TravelBooksFood

Parting thoughts:

Many people ask me why I don’t write about the current political scenario in my country and the world. But I feel that there is already so much negativity in this world. In spite of someone calling me a pessimist this year, I am still very much an optimist at heart and that is why I prefer not to write about it.

Thank you, everyone, for being part of such an amazing year for TravelBooksFood and myself. So, the last words of this year on this blog would be
“Wish You and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year. See you on the other side of 2017”

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The Year That Was 2016 - TravelBooksFood | recap of 2016 from Travelbooksfood
The Year That Was 2016 – TravelBooksFood
The Year That Was 2016 - TravelBooksFood
The Year That Was 2016 – TravelBooksFood

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Recommended: 2019 in Review

About Soumya Nambiar

Soumya Nambiar here. I am an avid traveler, travel blogger, vegetarian foodie and entrepreneur from Bangalore, India who grew up in Tanzania, Africa. I have been to more than 60 countries and in this blog, I write about my personal experiences as an Indian traveller around the world as well as my struggles as a vegetarian. I can be reached at [email protected].

62 thoughts on “The Year That Was 2016 – TravelBooksFood”

  1. Have a good luck for the year 2017 regarding traveling as well as many wishes for your whole life. A great life you are enjoying as India is a beautiful place where lots of traveling places.

  2. That sounds like an exciting year! I am happy for you that you happy with your choice about job. Your past trips sounds great, I wish you many many more in 2017 !

  3. What a wonderful 2016 you had! I personally love reading these wrap-ups from other travel bloggers. Everyone is so inspiring! It sounds like you had a lot of growth last year, and I wish you all the best for your 2017! Keep travelling, and I look forward to reading more!

  4. Nice to see that you have tried Solo traveling. I am new to this blogging world. I was preparing myself in 2016 testing the waters with a Solo trip to Goa. Now I am leaving for Thailand for another solo trip and planning to follow it up with Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives. I hope 2017 does not mess it up for me.

    • I initially tested a bit of solo traveling in 2015 when I went to USA. It was good practice but I was truly never alone. Someone was always just a phone call away. But in 2016, going around Europe solo was a great learning experience and I fell in love with it. Hopefully 2017 will turn out great for you too.

  5. Hey Soumaya! Sounds like you had a productive year. I visited your home country two years ago and when I visited Bangalore, I took a side-trip to Mysore. What a lovely little city! Now I understand what inspired Narayan’s Malgudi stories!

  6. Wow! You seem to have had globe trotted in 2016. Definitely everyone must do a solo travel in their life atleast once. Just as you said, it brings out a whole different side of us. Wishing you a travel filled 2017!!!

  7. Thank you for sharing with us you most intimate thoughts on vulnerability. Thank you for sharing openly with us your experiences of crying, laughing, dancing… and for most, thank you for believing in good people and the Goodness. I wish you many happy travels in 2017!

  8. It really sounds like you have had an eventful year. Nice to see that you also made it to Europe. Maybe it is time to include Northern Europe during the coming year? Have a great 2017 and happy travels. 🙂

  9. It’s good to see that you enjoyed such a great 2016. I very much would like to visit India eventually. We had a trip booked in July to Kashmir but had to cancel because of the situation. Like you exploring the country where you live, we too are visiting as much of Germany as we can while we live here. Happy 2017!

  10. What a year Soumya! I guess letting go of your job must have been quite pivotal to many other decisions…but then you did so many other things as well. How do you even get the time!! 🙂

    All the best for the year ahead!

    • Thank You Siddartha. I had a lot of support to make last year so eventful. When you are working with your family, you have flexible work timings. It can be a bad thing too. I sometimes work on weekends too. But if you spend too much time on assignments the previous night, you have an option to work from home too.
      I was working in a job that was giving me no time for anything else. Hence letting go of that one enabled me to make it so eventful. Sometimes you have to take some hard decisions.

  11. Sounds like you’ve done some pretty brave things this year! Congrats on travelling solo for the first time! I would love to do it one day but for now i travel with my boyfriend! Im sure you will pick up reading loads again this year! Thanks for sharing

  12. Sounds like you had a great year in 2016. Did you take your work with you as you traveled or did you do most of your blogging from home? Which place in Europe would you recommend for working online?

    • I tried to blog when I was traveling in Europe. But it did not work out and I decided that I had to give more importance to traveling. I would recommend most places since public wifi is available almost everywhere.

  13. You made it to 11 countries!! Wow. Quiet an year of travel. I loved reading your post. It’s always nice to take a moment and reflect on the happy memories and achievements of the year that just went by. Gives us lots of positive energy for future

  14. Seems you had an interesting year. 🙂 🙂 Love the fact that you were able to take the bold step of quitting your regular job and be an entrepreneur. When you are so busy, your reading habit does take a hit. Hope 2017 is even better than 2016 for you. Cheers.

  15. Wow sounds like you’ve had a fantastic 2016! Also I’m a bit jealous I didn’t think to do a blog post wrapping up 2016 like you did! what a great Idea I’ll have to keep this in mind for the end of 2017! Anyway it seems like you are having an amazing time in India.

  16. Sounds like you had quite a year. 2016 was a great one on my end. Travelled SE Asia extensively and finished my year in China. Hope 2017 is even better for you.

  17. Loved reading your post! 2016 was a great year for you. Glad to see that you are so passionate about your dreams. May you travel more in 2017 and read much more books. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Sounds like you had a great year travelling to so many great places. I’m glad to hear travel blogging is working out so well for you. I know how difficult it is to quit a job you’ve had for many years.

  19. Hi, great post about your life and traveling in 2016 – I really enjoyed it and found it inspirational. As a new travel blogger could we talk more about your success? It sounds like you can give us some great tips!

  20. Leaving job is definitely tough and you are brave to do it. It definitely helped you soak in more of the world than your job would have. Wish you a eventful safe new year.

  21. Wow ..sounds like a fun year. 11 countries in one year is superb . Leaving job and following your passion is a tough choice. I wish you all the luck for next year.

  22. Actually you found a lot of time to travel within all the other changes in your own life in 2016!!! I need to go to Algarve and Portugal, actually Lisbon is on my 2017 destinations hehe Have a nice travel and marketing 2017! E

  23. Seems like an eventful year and I wish you that 2017 will bring even more adventures and memories. It is never too late to learn something and get back to school though I can imagine when you are not used to it anymore it is probably not that easy to follow the routine. I don’t know how long have you been blogging, but these are some impressive achievements!

  24. Meant to do one of these myself, but ran out of time, haha. I’ll jsut enjoy yours instead! Sounds like a wonderful and adventurous year! Eventful to say the least Best for 2017!


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