Friday, December 28: Inspired by Robin at Life in the Bogs: Time in a bottle, and by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, I put together a collage of my life during 2012.  All in all, it was an amazing year.  It started with getting a new flat in Nizwa, at the Abu Nooh Building, in January.  Soon after, my sons came to visit me in Oman for nearly a month.  We explored from Muscat to Nizwa, and even to far-flung Salalah.  It was a great experience for them and helped us establish a special bond of shared experience.

Developing a close friendship with Mario was one of the highlights of my year.  We both love photography and exploring Oman, so we have spent countless weekend days gallivanting around the country.  We have driven through flooded wadis to Wadi Dam, through Wadi Mistal to Wekan, across the Hajar Mountains through Balad Sayt, to Muscat and other places along the coast.  We went on a botched trip to Masirah Island, and ended up in Sur instead.  And we’ve taken too many walks to count on our favorite Jebel Akhdar, ending with a shared bottle of wine at the Sahab.

In August, I went back to the USA for a month, and had a fabulous time reconnecting with my family and home in Virginia.  I spent precious time in Richmond with my daughter Sarah, and our family spent a week at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. I loved this time together and resolved that I need to be back home with my family.

I returned home to Oman for one day, repacked, and then spent two amazing weeks in Greece, exploring Athens, Crete, Santorini, Meteora, Delphi and Epidaurus (greek wanderings).  On my birthday, October 25, I flew for the Eid holiday to Ethiopia, where I spent a week visiting my friend Ed.  We explored Addis Ababa, Lalibela and Lake Langano (african meanderings {and musings}).  For the Islamic holiday weekend, I took a short trip to Abu Dhabi, about a 5 1/2 hour drive from Nizwa.

Click on any image below for a full-sized slide show.

Time in a Bottle ~ Jim Croce

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

Though I have no “you” that I can “go through time with,” no romance and no prospects of romance, there is still never enough time to do the things I want to do, once I find them.  I still like to save every day like a treasure, in my memory.  Though it’s been a solitary year, it hasn’t often been a lonely one.

I’ve learned to be content by myself, and though I want to reconcile with my husband, I don’t know if that will happen.  If not, I will keep my heart open for whatever the universe flings in my direction.  I know I will be returning home to Virginia in mid-summer of 2013.  So after this year, my living abroad days will be on hiatus, at least for some time.  What comes next in my life, I don’t know, but I’m ready for a new adventure.