Here’s to a year of sitting still. My new year’s resolution is to plagiarise every disgraced politician and washed-up sports star by vowing to “spend more time with my family.” They’ve been warned.

2016 was my year of departure lounges. I don’t even think they call them departure lounges anymore. The phrase comes from a time when departing by air was a thrill, a rare privilege. But them glory days have gone the way of complimentary moist towels. I can only assume the towels got the boot around the time the word “moist” was no longer considered acceptable in boring society. Another sad loss.

And so all year I departed. I lounged. I got the hell out of town. I was on a mission of sorts. Over the last decade I’ve hardly left home, except for regular trips home to New Zealand to check that petrol was still $8:76 a litre. I’d stuck to my little corner of the world. Head down, bottom-dwelling. Yes, you could say I got into journalism. But it meant it was also time to get out. My conditions were simple. I would go to places that no one else would. Whether there was a piece of Australia no one else could be bothered going to, I’d be there.

So it was I crawled up unknown mountains in north-western Tasmania, lugging both a heavy tent and a light-headed feeling of foolishness as my water ran out. I lived long enough to report with much excitement to Big Issue readers the continued existence of Bernie’s Menai Hotel. A stately edifice on a hill, timeless, vaguely creepy, not threatened at all by the ghastly prospect of progress, the Menai was the kind of place big cities had bulldozed years ago. Like many hotels, the Menai had been the site of conception, and this particular one was quite immaculate. A haunting song, Bernie, penned by Midnight Oil as they sat up in the early 1980s in the closest thing Bernie had to a penthouse suite. It was the very song I played in the car as I drove into town, not knowing I would end up sleeping under the same grand roof, and looking over the same heap of woodchips on the docks.

In Spring I checked in to Kangaroo Island, shunning all offers of luxury to walk the walk; in this case a 61 kilometre coastal trail, with Antarctica the nearest landmass over your right shoulder. A pair of scarlet robins accompanied me most of the way, and monstrous waves puffed themselves up and exploded on black rocks.

Things got desperate in November. I went to Canberra. I interviewed a property developer for two hours, but things improved by afternoon. I penned a column about a walk through the history of the world, led by head curator of the National Museum of Australia, Michael Pickering. 100 objects told the story of time and place, but Pickering also told the story of how he likes to dress up in medieval clothes and re-enact battle scenes down the park on the weekend. I liked the guy. I even liked Canberra.

As well as going to places no one else wanted to go, I sometimes went to places I didn’t want to go to. Like Cairns. But it was a great chance to spend time with a genuine Queensland publican, who genuinely didn’t like me very much. Not to worry, someone else paid for my barramundi, and again I got the hell out alive. So long and thanks for all the fish etc…

Last year seems as far away as those strange, far-flung places. I think I’ll sit awhile and nest, at least for the rest of Summer. Or until the next chance comes up to visit some new, ignored corner of the country. I’ve long suspected the travel bug may be incurable. And new year’s resolutions were meant to be broken, weren’t they?