Happy New Year!

For me New Years Eve isn’t about making resolutions. If I want to make a change in my life I’ll do it there and then. Instead NYE is about gratitude. It’s about reflecting on the past 365 days and giving thanks for all the incredible opportunities and adventures I’ve experienced. But most of all it’s about spending the evening with my friends.

After what I can simply describe as the best year of my life, I couldn’t bring myself to imagine a NYE without my closest friends; the ones that made it so incredible. But there was one problem: they were in Prague and I was in Manchester working. There needed to be a solution.

SOLUTION: Arrange an extra day off work – tick! Forget about the cost of flights and just book them – memories always outweigh the cost. Liaise with an insider from the group who you can trust to keep a secret – Helen was the ideal candidate! And now for the hardest part – keep the secret safe for a whole week and lie to your friends about how upset you are to be missing NYE with them – Achieved!

There was just one part left in the perfect plan. Arrive on the evening of the 30th and meet my friends at the bar by 9:30pm to give them the surprise I had been planning for all week – FAIL!! Thanks to a series of unfortunate events (including diverting to Germany for over an hour) I managed to arrive in my hostel after midnight, where I discovered that half the crew had gone to bed, while the other half were out at a mysterious club. I couldn’t believe it. I had counted down the hours all week only to find out that I would need to wait even longer! AHH! So I laid in bed. Alone. Until finally it was morning…

Walking to their hostel at 8:30 in the morning I couldn’t help but still feel devastated at how the surprise was turning out. Knowing my friends aren’t as chirpy as myself in the mornings I knew they weren’t going to be too please about the wake up call…especially after a big night out! Lucky for me my best friend Fiona is exactly like me!

I knocked on their hostel door and waited nervously. Thankfully it was Fiona to answer the door. The look on her face was priceless. A look of a thousand thought processes as she tried to decipher how? when? why?

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There was plenty of cuddles and excitement from Fi as she shouted, “Is this a dream? Am I dreaming?” The others in the room mainly responded with groans and bleary eyes as the lights were abruptly flicked on. Whoopsies – sorry (not sorry) for the wake up call everyone!

The last day of the year was spent wandering around the beautiful city of Prague (with Fiona repeatedly reminding everyone that I was actually there). We ate the all famous chimney cakes, wandered the Christmas markets and got taken on the World’s longest tour around the Castle (thanks Woody).

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We spent the evening sharing drinks and pizzas (and being told to be quiet by Grandpa Basil), while we played “Peaks and Troughs of 2016.” I honestly could not pick one peak. What a year it’s been! Between my brother getting married, jumping out of an airplane and landing my dream job I didn’t know where to begin. Looking back on the year all I can see is happiness, adventure and growth. If each year in life continues to get better I can only imagine how incredible 2017 will be…

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Bring it on!

Lisa Jane. 


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