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2012 – What the #**! happened?!

Every year seems to rush by… faster and faster!

As New Year’s Eve approaches I start to think about where the year went. A little stock take of what I achieved and didn’t achieve and what is in store for next year.

This year was a year of extremes… we changed everything about our lives.


In the beginning we had three months of packing up our lives, selling everything and then the last nine months have been solid travel.

We have had some amazing adventures but not everything went as planned. Here is my wrap up of what worked and what didn’t work in 2012.

What worked


I am really enjoying this new relaxed pace of life. I am far less uptight than I used to be <phew!> and a lot more confident.

Learning Spanish

Every day there is a new win with language – which is awesome because I have said some seriously weird things to people… and those are just the times that I know about.

Each time I have a conversation in Spanish, in a taxi or restaurant I beam as my brain cells do their thing and understand! It is like being 3 years old again (in many ways) but I am starting to feel like a big girl.

Making films

John making films in Mexico

John warms up the crowd

It appears that John is rather talented newbie mini documentary film maker and we launched Five Point Five a few weeks ago.

We have already had 5 people put up their hands to volunteer for different roles which is so cool – everything about this project just seems to fall into place.

After gritting my teeth over so many projects it is so nice to have one that has such a massive heart and momentum from the outset. It is also FUN!

The bonus is that the people we are meeting and experiences we are having are changing the way I see the world.

Travelling as a couple

We discovered what it is like to spend every moment together, to share everything and to make joint decisions all day, every day. Luckily for us, we are making it work and have become an awesome team.

At the top of Volcano Concepcion

At the top of Volcano Concepcion – my biggest physical challenge ever

This really could have gone either way. Travelling and working together long term is pretty intense… you learn everything about a person. But if you can come out the other side, you will have a relationship that is stronger than an Olympic Bulgarian weight lifter. We call ours Boris.


We had a month with no internet in Cuba and I felt compelled to write and write and write! Since my little brother died 2 years ago I lost my writing mojo… I was writing but I couldn’t give you my heart.

Cuba changed all that for me.

I learned to share again and hopefully this means that my blogs from now on are going to be far more interesting/brilliant/mindblowing/[insert superlative]!

I started my second book there and I am working on a very exciting project that will probably be another year for it to come to fruition but I promise you it is going to be huge.

What hasn’t worked

Getting stuff done

We have this awesome new passion project and it is hard to get everything done that needs to be done. We have been moving slowly by travellers standards, but it is still tough to plan anything. Usually we don’t know where we will be staying or whether we will have Internet access the next week.


Everything business wise has slowed as I have been focusing everything on Five Point Five. I knew it was going to happen but it does bug my ego when I see my stats!

I have been working solidly since I was 16 and this project has given me something I was craving for many years – time freedom.

So when I got a taste I threw in many of my commitments and spent time on beaches, climbed volcanoes, got silly in Mayan ruins, read many many books, went snorkeling and diving a lot, hiked to hidden cities, met people from different tribes, volunteered with kids and animals… just to name a few things.

Also the new project is very exciting, so whenever I have a chance – I spend time on that instead of the one day a week I am supposed to spend on my business…

Anyway, not such a big deal but I have some awesome 2013 goals and a whole new level of motivation for growing my little piece of the pie.


I have a few people who work for me, well they did until I left and didn’t create any structure to carry on!

After all the issues with internet in a few countries and timezones etc. things just slid from weeks to months to nothing. I didn’t realise what a difference it makes to be able to have coffee or a phone call once a week. But it is all just a matter of perspective and mine has changed to make it all possible once more!

To prove that I can do it, I have taken on a HUGE challenge to up the anti and produce 4 blogs a week for each blog which means I need to be super organised!

This is something I have always meant to do, but only now after a big break do I feel I have the head space to organise it.

What’s next for 2013?

2013 looks to be another thrilling year, riding this magic wave we seem to be on.

In 2 weeks our year of summer ends (boo!) so that we can spend a couple of months in San Francisco (yay!), then we fly back down to Colombia to travel through South America next year.

All this freedom has opened a giant colourful box of what’s possible. Now we are just going with the flow and appreciating every person we meet, every experience we have and every place we visit.

Of course this blog is not just about me!!

None of this would be possible without you reading my blogs and getting involved! So I have some questions for you and a request!

The questions

I would love to know what you want from me! I have been flitting about with all sorts of random content lately, but now the super new organised me is asking…

  1. What would you really like me to share with you?
  2. What would you like me to create for you?
  3. Who would you like me to interview?

(Either post it here or send me an email – all feedback and suggestions very much appreciated.)

The request

If you think that maybe, just maybe you want to create your own website this year… call me!!

There are only 2 weeks until the Website Launchpad starts so if you are ready to change it up this maybe what you have been looking for!!

If you are looking for a sign, this is it!

If you have a little voice that is begging for something new, email me to set up a time for a Skype chat and we can figure out if it is for you… I promise you won’t regret it!

Well that’s a wrap folks, thanks for being part of my year and my life!

Without you none of this would be possible.

Happy New Year!

Lots of love,
Serena xx

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Speak your lovely mind!

  1. Hey Serena!

    Congrats on the year that’s been … and especially congrats on Boris :) I’m also happy to hear that Cuba helped you reconnect to your writing self.

    I’d love more behind-the-scenes stuff, especially about business: what works, what you struggle with, and an insight into what income streams you’ve created. (You might not feel comfortable as, say, Pay Flynn talking $$ but maybe percentages of your income … like what portion of your income is affiliate commissions, for example).

    Oh, and I’d love to hear some of your Spanish language misadventures :)
    erin recently posted..Announcing the winners of the “Just Say Hello” challengeMy Profile

  2. Hey Serena,
    Really enjoyed following your journey this year and am excited to see what you get up to in 2012.

    What I am most interested in is how you run your business while abroad. How you keep the dollars coming in essentially to be able to travel as you please.

    It would be great to hear from others who have done the same.

    Happy New Year,


    • Thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

      I think I will have to do a post of people who travel and earn – I have come across some great people recently.

      Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Serena,
    Firstly – congratulations on everything you and John have achieved to date. Amazing!

    Secondly – it’s almost a year to the day I read How to Retire in 12 Months and began this fantastic journey.

    What would you really like me to share with you? Similar to Erin – the behind the scenes stuff. Also, what was it like for you in the beginning – the real nuts and bolts stuff.

    Who would you like me to interview? Love to hear from bloggers who have found ‘success’ in the last year; blogger who have monetorized unusual niche sites.

    Hope to sit down with you guys sometime in 2013 for a coffee…..x
    CaAtherine recently posted..BIG Video Welcome to You!My Profile

  4. I would like you to interview Gabriel Garcia Marquez at his documentary school in Cuba. And them get sent to deliver Cuban cigars to Martin Scorcese. I know someone was asked to do for him, and got to meet both great masters. Katherine
    Katherine recently posted..Charities Crumbling. Why changing marketing strategies are demanded.My Profile

  5. Serena thanks for your post. I am soooo absolutely in awe of what you both have done and achieved. I am moving in that direction but only just starting and have a long long way to go, but the changes I have made so far have made an amazing difference to my life already. I know I will get there! What I would love to hear more about is the income side, like the other comments from above, because that income stream is what is needed to make the dream a reality. Look forward to hearing about your next project – I know whatever you do it will be awesome!!

  6. Hi Serena I read your book about a year ago and and then put it on the shelf with a feeling that this is something I had to do but it’s only know that I am ready to get started so how do I contact you abut your course

  7. Happy New Year Serena!

    I’m so glad that things have shifted for you in terms of writing because you have a lot of great stuff to share with the world :) I thank you for your inspiring words.

    I am interested in doing the website launchpad, I’m just experiencing creative block as to what I can offer. I’d be interested in having a chat about how to unlock this if you have time.


  8. Pingback: Location Freedom Guide: How to Earn While You Travel the World How to Retire in 12 Months

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