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Day 200: After 200 Days of 2011, My Thoughts on Life, Work, Travel

Day 200:  French Bistro dessert

Day 200: French Bistro dessert

As part of a birthday celebration, I was invited to a French bistro up in our current neck of the woods in Sydney. It was a lovely dinner, and the first time I tried braised beef cheek (wow, slow-cooked goodness there). We made sure to wash it down with Champagne and wine, and of course, a nice dessert. It was yet another abnormally luxurious occasion for a budget-for-life type of person, but sometimes it just feels right.

How perfect was it that this also fell on day 200 of the year? Such a large number, don’t you think?! I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the year so far and my thoughts on life in general. Am I where I think I should be? Let’s see…


At the end of 2010, I made a bold statement that 2011 would be MY year, and even with some setbacks and frustrations, it has been. For the most part, I have been able to see a growth in all spheres of my life, which is awesome! The day-to-day struggles sometimes get in the way of me seeing all that is good, which is why I like to do posts like this that recap and review.

For one, Pat and I are homeless… well, not really, but we are without our own private home and living with his parents. This obviously leads us to the ability of paying off certain things and hopefully saving money, but it is definitely hard to handle after having lived on our own for so long. Some days, it almost feels as though we really are homeless, and the future of this situation is still unknown (where do we see ourselves in a few months? not sure).

Still, on the positive side, this “freedom” of sorts opens up the possibility for so many other things — possibly more of a travel future for both Pat and I together. It also helps me have the chance to focus on other projects that I’ve been meaning to get off the ground for a while now.

fancy pants dessert

The Fancy Pants Dessert Up Close - YUM


And that brings us to work. My income each month is reaching into a more acceptable range (for life in Sydney), and with that I’ve been able to pay off my credit card and toss in more travel plans and health related expenses into the mix. Because of that, I feel as though I’m still scraping by, but I have faith that my payout is really yet to come.

That said, right now I probably work an average of 12 hours a day. I’ve become a crazy woman undertaking several projects at one time (ah!), but it is all working towards a bigger goal. We’ll get there… we’ll get there… I just have to keep reminding myself.


Now for the fun bits: travel. This year has been a whirlwind of travel! In March, I crossed Australia by train, resulting in 3 days of relaxing and enjoying the views. After that, I spent a few days in Perth drinking beer and sleeping in the lap of luxury.

In early May, I was invited on a trip to Malaysia with my boyfriend’s family which was both eye-opening and challenging for me in many ways. We met up with our good pal, Anna, for a few fun-filled days in Penang, and we also ate our way through Malacca.

On May 28th, Pat and I visited America, a trip that has been 3 years in the making for me — and one long overdue for the likes of Pat. We ate so much food, hung out with people in LA and Chicago, met with every person in my family in Peoria and ended it right with a jaunt to Vegas.

Next month, I’ll be heading on a media trip to Queensland, and at the end of October I’m heading to my dream-like Central Asia for a month.


So, after 200 days, where does that leave us? In a fairly good position, I’d say. There are areas of my life and work that I’d like to improve on still; I’m hoping the momentum of the first 200 days will blow the rest of the year out of the water!

How has your 2011 been? Are you where you want to be?

Also, anything in particular you’d like to read about on Brooke vs. the World? Do share in the comments!


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12 Responses to Day 200: After 200 Days of 2011, My Thoughts on Life, Work, Travel

  1. Melissa July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    When in October are you planning on leaving? I plan on arriving to Sydney early October — hopefully we’ll be able to meet up before you go.

    • Brooke July 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      The 25th, so should be all good if you arrive before that 🙂

  2. Adam @ SitDownDisco July 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    My 2011 has so far been incredible. It’s been really good throughout and I’m thankful for the people I’ve enjoyed it with and the new experiences I’ve had…

    I’m a fan of beef cheeks too,… and creme brulee… And lots of french stuff.

    • Brooke July 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      Can you get French stuff over in Indo? Congrats on the travel year, Adam!

      • Adam @ SitDownDisco July 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

        I reckon you could get French stuff in Jakarta if you tried hard and you can get some French stuff in Bali… like basic pastries which of a good quality. French wines too, but they are incredible expensive.

  3. Shereen July 21, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    Your 2011 sounds pretty fantastic. Mine has been less travel eventful and more eventful at home and has been pretty good. I plan to finish my travel book and have it available for purchase in 2011. It’s a big goal, but one I’ve been working on for quite a while.

    • Brooke July 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      Hey Shereen, Well finishing a book sounds pretty darn fantastic! I hope it works out, and I’d love to learn more about it when you do !

      • Shereen July 26, 2011 at 7:27 am #

        Thanks, Brooke! I’ll send you an email when it’s officially out! 🙂

  4. Fred July 21, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Re: work. I’m in a very similar situation. Just keep working hard and putting out great content. The rest will take care of itself.

    Here’s to a great 2nd half of 2011!

    • Brooke July 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks Fred! Thanks for stopping by and reading, and congrats again on getting the bag out!

  5. William July 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    First, just found you blog but look forward to reading it.
    Second, my 2011 has been very intersting so far. I’ve traveled fro mSeattle to Chicago, just to see aquariums and the band The Black Keys, as well and roaming aimlessly through Boston, and finally just concluded mt third stint in Kenya with a humantarian group building schools in the slums of Nairobi.


    • Brooke July 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Wow, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 That’s awesome that you’re living a life of travel. You must have some great stories to share from your adventures 🙂

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