New Horizons Through an Opening Door2017 - Our Year Out by Mr C - January 17, 2017 It’s been a funny few months, at the end of which I’m at a loose end.For almost two years now we’ve wanted to do something different, to broaden our horizons, to get out of that office we’ve worked in for the last eleven years. Don’t get me wrong; they’ve been a rewarding 11 years and I’ve learnt so much that I thought I knew – but actually didn’t. They’ve taught me so much about the value of focus, organisation, belief, self-confidence and the importance of a good work-life balance.But now it’s time to tip that balance toward the ‘life’ end and to collect some more ‘experiences’ while I still can. One of the hard parts of change is adjusting to not having to do the same things every day. To be able to NOT have to answer emails on a Monday morning, to be able to go out for lunch on Thursday, knowing it won’t affect any other work tasks or result in a late finish on Friday. But to quote my intro above, it’s time for a new ‘focus’.My new focus is to spend a year seeing new things, visiting new places, exploring new horizons and meeting new people while doing so. I want to expand on the many memories I was able to amass during the first half of my life and to see how these new ones compare. Most of my own memories of travelling date back to the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when I was young, very energetic and full of youthful excitement. Perhaps I’ll see things through different eyes now.It’s a huge step for us. We had a choice of knuckling straight down on a new work project or just to take some time out to relax. Not such a hard one really, when you put it like that!So, armed with a couple of flight tickets, a GoPro and a tablet, we’re off at the end of this month on Phase 1 – Amsterdam for a few days. Yes, we’ve both been there before, but I bet that our old memories will be supplemented by some very different new ones. We’ll wait and see! Then by train to Berlin for a few days, then Prague, then back home for a short while before venturing off to Thailand later in February.I feel a new wave of excitement building about it all for a few reasons:No more being slave to my inbox! It had become a necessary evil. When a couple of motor manufacturers started experimenting with email policies a couple of years ago it really pricked up my ears and made me realise how absolutely ridiculous it is spoiling any good times by having to pause to soak up the very thing I was trying to escape from. Why do I need to do that? Back in the old days there was a doormat, which would pile high while away, but at least there was no constant reminder throughout that time that there was a need to ‘do stuff’ about it.No dependents. We’re ‘empty nesters’ now, so we don’t have to work our plans around kids or bosses or indeed anyone! We’re in charge.Flexibility. We have a pretty much empty diary for the next year and can chop and change as we please. If we find somewhere we like, we can stay a bit longer. If we see a special offer for a place that looks nice we can go ahead, book and try it. In the words of the late,great Arthur Daley, “The World’s Our Lobster!”There’ll be regular updates on our itinerary and we’ll share our thoughts on what we see and do throughout. It’s something I’m really looking forward to and who knows where it’ll lead.