Reflecting on the year past, my heart feels heavy because I feel overwhelmed with more negative feelings than positive feelings. Whether it is in the domain of health, wealth, career or family, I felt that it was in the ratio of 2 bad things for every 1 good thing that happened in 2022. Therefore, this annual year-end article has been extra challenging to write but nonetheless let’s get going.
1) Removed My Tonsilitis
Removing my tonsilitis is a decision that I have been grappling with my entire adult life. Sore throat episodes used to occur 4-5 times annually and usually require a dosage of antibiotics to recover. At the start of 2022, I finally bit the bullet and removed them. It turned out to be a magnificent decision as sore throat incidence fell to once per year post surgery. Admittedly, the recovery process was quite long at close to 2 weeks but it was a one-off pain for a lifetime benefit. I would rank the cost-benefit analysis as similar to doing lasik surgery which was an even better decision that I made many years ago.
For those who are curious, I blogged about my experience performing this surgery in a government restructured hospital. Wait time and the cost details can all be found in this article.
2) Parents Obtained Singapore Citizenship
Another wonderful piece of news that came in early 2022 was the granting of Singapore citizenship for my parents. They have been Singapore Permanent Residents for almost 4 decades so to say that this has been a very long wait is an understatement. Although the application process was very tedious, it was worth every effort.
Thereafter, I wasted no time in taking advantage of their new-found SC privileges by helping them to apply for sale of balance flats. Unfortunately, there was no fairy-tale ending but it still feels fantastic for them to enjoy lower transport, medical fees and the periodic government payouts.
3) First cruise trips for the family
When travel restrictions were not completely lifted at the earlier part of the year, my extended family embarked on a cruise trip on board Spectrum of the Seas. My parents-in-law had a really great time as they really enjoyed the activities and food. My take is that it was Olympia’s presence that was the true difference-maker.
We then took advantage of an amazing promotion with Klook to sail with Genting Dream. This time round, we brought our domestic helper along and we all had an amazing time island hopping at the different ports of call.
4) Olympia’s first external birthday celebration with her friends
Olympia spent a large part of her toddler years encumbered by the social restrictions of the ongoing pandemic. With the lifting of all restrictions, we relished at the opportunity to hold a birthday party for her which her friends could all come. She drew up the guest list herself and we even proceeded to our estate’s Halloween party thereafter.
5) Revenge Travel in Full Swing
Besides the gradual lifting of social restrictions, cross-borders restrictions were also increasingly eased. This allowed me to bring my family to Australia and Malaysia. For Australia, this was Olympia’s first international exposure and she gained so much unique experiences from the trip. I documented our holiday down in this blog post which is very well-received by travel-deprived Singaporeans!
A bout of illness meant that Olympia had to miss our short trip to Desaru. She really missed out on this one as I enjoyed the amazing hospitality at Anantara Desaru. I loved everything about my experience there that I already booked a return trip there for my birthday in 2023! I guess that must be the biggest endorsement/affirmation that I can give!
6) A golf trip – one for the ages
Just as I thought I was done with travelling for 2022, I managed to go on one last trip to Danang, Vietnam. This trip was different in all aspects as it was a trip with the boys, sans kids but with (helicopter) spouses and golf bags in tow. We played golf in the wee hours of the morning before adjourning to meet the wives thereafter to continue with the typical tourist activities.
The golf courses in Danang and Hoi An were breathtaking in every aspect. Most importantly, at this time and age, I know that such trips will be increasingly rare and I really cherish the companionship of my friends.
7) Building up my corporate network
With back to office increasingly the norm, it was time to build up my corporate network again. Meeting people over zoom can never replace physical interaction over food and drinks. Whenever possible, I availed myself to attend events and seminars as I consider this as making up for “lost time”. This will be even more critical going forward as I embark on a new role with the organization.
8) Heartland Boy blog and the 7-year itch
I don’t give myself enough credit for this but I am amazed that Heartlandboy blog is still alive after 7 years. If u have asked me in 2016, I would have never imagined that Heartland Boy would survive past the 7-year itch. The truth is that this has turned out to be a valuable side hustle but at the end of the day, passion for writing and the topic of personal finance must still burn bright for this to work.
9) Attended Maroon 5 Concert
I bought a pair of Maroon 5 tickets to commemorate our 7th wedding anniversary as the wife is a fan of Adam Levine. (Ha, 7th again!) Let me state upfront that this was before his sexting scandal broke out. At the concert, I overheard that some fans CANCELLED him because of this. Well, the fact that we were there meant that I couldn’t bring myself to go against my hard-earned money.
This was only my 2nd concert experience which could not re-create the magical feeling I experienced at my first concert (it was with Coldplay).
10) Potential new addition to the family
Saving the best for the last, I am pleased to say that my wife is having a bun in the oven. This explains why we are glad to have intensified the travelling in 2022 as we might not be able to go for one next year. Oops, but then I recall that we need to burn over 30K miles which are expiring in 2023. We look forward to welcoming a baby daughter to our family in May!
Here’s wishing Heartland Boy’s readers a better 2023 ahead!
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