Cycling South America dream is on hold, but now that I'm no longer scraping by on the minimum wage I'll be able to raise funds for projects and expeditions in the future that bit more easily.
Unfortunately (for me at least!) the nature of the job means that I can no longer muse and pontificate on all matters political. The nature of society in Northern Ireland means that many positions call for absolute neutrality, and whilst it might be fine to express these views in private publishing them online puts them in the public domain and thus could impact on professional relationships. Ah well, it was fun whilst it lasted.
Adjusting to life in North Belfast has also been interesting; whilst I'm still ostensibly living in the same country as before the cultural and political context is in many ways very different. And what a few months it's been; there was trouble outside a Catholic church on the edge of the city centre, riots just down the road in Carlisle Circus, and the ongoing flag protests that followed a vote by Belfast Council to remove the Union flag from the City Hall for all but a few days a year. Perhaps the hardest part for me in all of it is that I've not been able to voice an opinion on any of it.
On the plus side it now means I can concentrate my efforts on travel writing, and I've already got a few interesting trips lined up for 2013. No doubt you'll read all about it on here in due course..!
Other than that, let me wish you a very happy and productive new year.