Time flies when you’re working as a freelancer.

In one year, you can go from the first, intimidating prospects of remote work with people you’ve never met, to a summer spent indoors sweating to conjure up stacks of copywriting and contracts; celebrate visa renewal with simultaneous work and travel, and then end up in an incredible co-working community.

Next thing you know, you’re BBQing with a Portuguese fire pig and drinking Glühwein, despite Europe’s resurrection of spring making it far too warm for mulled wine.

At least the poor Israeli guys who joined for expat festivities had no preconceptions of what Christmas should be.



Now, with the last of the year’s projects (hopefully) tucked into bed, a little holiday reflection is in order.

I feel that it is so easy to immediately look to the next in a row of impending challenges that you can easily forget how far you’ve come.

Hence, I’m thankful for:

* The work relationships I’ve built that now allow me to work completely location independent.

* All those fantastic people I have in my life — in this hemisphere, or the next — from those supporting to those inspiring, and particularly the ones who do both.

Time in the 12 countries I visited over the last 12 months.

* Having the chance to work more and more around the topics I am passionate about.

The last of these has made the hard work particularly worth it.

For example, my latest feature for Innovation Stories follows the entrepreneurs who have launched a computer coding school for refugees — Refugees on Rails.

They are aiming to help skilled newcomers integrate into Germany, which has 43,000 empty IT positions, and along the way hoping to reframe this migratory influx of humanity from that of a threat, to a win-win situation.

With so much tragedy in the world, I can’t think of much better than sharing the stories of passionate people striving to make it a better place.

Another exciting development was getting involved with Valoriz, a science innovation acceleration project.

Basically, it’s all about jump-starting collaborations between science and society, to fast-track the realisation of high-impact science. Inspiring work with inspiring people.

If all of the above can happen in the space of one year as a freelancer…

I’m curious what is possible if I can build on this.

I want to keep on pushing into the realms of climate change mitigation, responsible travel, and social entrepreneurship, surrounding myself with the right people to travel in this direction.

Thanks for joining the ride. I hope your year has been similarly insane in the best of ways, and even if not, let’s make 2016 an excellent one.

Working on the road to the Netherlands.