We just had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and now it’s Chinese New Year! I love celebrations and milestones because they remind me how much I have to be grateful for and to look forward to.

In January, we took my nephew travelling and went to South Australia where we dropped Wayne off at his father’s farm (which the bushfires threatened, but did not damage) and went on to Port Lincoln and Tumby Island. It was an amazing trip and quite an adventure. We drove along Whalers’ Way (like the Great Ocean Rd, but without the traffic and fences) and stopped to have a look at most of the viewing spots to enjoy the sparkling water views and breathe the fresh air. We even noticed a sign that said ‘swimming pool’ so we stopped and looked around. We would never have found it if there hadn’t been people down there talking because you couldn’t see it from above and could only reach it via a pole and a ladder down the cliff-side. It was a scary climb down, but very worthwhile – not only could you swim in the natural pool, but the surrounding rock pools were also home to starfish like the ones I’m holding here.

My nephew enjoyed the challenge and novelty – sightseeing in Australia and China are very different.Another day we walked across to Tumby Island, carefully timing our visit so that we did not get cut off by the incoming tide. At high tide Tumby is completely cut off, so we felt very adventurous as we headed across the sandbar. We didn’t have time to walk all the way around, so we ended up cutting across the middle of the island and even then the tide was coming in as we set out back to the mainland and we had some wading to do. Yinzhe kindly went first through the deeper bits to make sure we weren’t going to have to swim, while my mother (who stayed behind) texted regularly with reports on the incoming tide to keep us moving quickly.

I find that an important aspect of my emotional and physical health is stepping out of my comfort zone, going new places and trying new things. I rather like the way we celebrate New Year in January, then Chinese New Year in February because it gives us yet another reminder that every month (and even every day) is really a fresh start.