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Farewell 2022, Be nice 2023!

My my, another year has gone by. Again. It’s crazy to think about how fast life is passing by! Ive just turned thirty last month but I feel like I’ve only just started my twenties and have so much young life again of me!

2022 has been a hell of a year, and no, not only because I’ve turned thirty. I’ve had to say goodbye to my mother-in-law, who after a long, courageous fight with cancer is now hopefully at peace. My grandfather had some major heart problems, which are now under control but are leaving him stuck in a home he doesn’t want to be in. And a few weeks ago we unexpectedly also found ourselves at the funeral of one of my boyfriend’s closest friends. Nothing much to be happy about.

All of these events also of course impacted my travel schedule the past year. Travel is my therapy, so just dropping everything would probably not end well for me, as selfish as that may sound. Fortunately, with the necessary adaptations and precautions, I still managed to feed my soul with travel experiences the past twelve months.

For the seventh year (damn!) in a row, it’s time to look back on the past year and long for what the coming will bring. It was once again a year where I didn’t seem to have a lot of plans at the start, but ended up getting out a lot more than expected.

The first trip of the year was my very first winter holiday to the snow. Something I had wanted to do for a long time, but had never gotten around to. Together with my dad and boyfriend, I went to the French Alps to get a first taste of what a winter holiday was like. Skiing or snowboarding was a bit too much to ask of my uncoordinated ass, but we did have a blast hiking, Nordic Skiing, sledding and just being surrounded by these stunning snowy landscapes. Snow or not, it was once again confirmed that I’m a mountain girl, through and through. Sadly this trip was cut short due to the swiftly deteriorating health of both my mother-in-law and grandfather. While I was sad to leave the mountains behind, the only right choice was to head home. But with a ton of amazing memories nonetheless.

In May I was then boarding a plane again. One that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to board until the day before departure. The time for my Olympic Triathlon in Lisbon had finally come, but while my grandfather was stable again, my mother-in-law was within her last weeks. For days, even weeks, I was in doubt about this whole trip. I wanted to be home, both for her but of course mostly for my guy. But there wasn’t much we could do at that time and she herself got angry that I would have to miss out of something I’d been working for for three years. So instead of a ten day trip through Portugal with my family, it changed to a five day citytrip to Lisbon with my sister, who took the heavy role of supporter upon her.

It was with mixed feelings I was abroad, always anxious for that one phone call, but at the same time happy to be there and have some distraction of the sad home situation. Lisbon is one of my favorite cities and I’m so, so, so grateful I was able to go back and wrap up my triathlon experience.

After what felt like the longest and at the same time shortest three months of my life, my boyfriend and I booked a trip to Rome. Four days away from home, with much to see and do so we had something else to focus on. It was almost exactly ten years ago that I was in Italy’s capital with my parents so it was a mix of new memories combined with some flashbacks from years ago. A great, short trip abroad.

And then came the first big trip of the year. Once again sport related. I was going to climb to the top of the Mont Ventoux by bike and added a long trip through the Provence to it all. A lovely summer holiday beginning of September with my work colleagues and my family. I still have some stuff I want to write about this one, but I haven’t gotten around to it. So stay tuned once more!

And then last but definitely not least; our amazing trip through Montenegro last October! What a trip that was! One of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. The stunning coastline, the gorgeous mountains, the beautiful lakes. It had everything I could have hoped for and more.

At the start of the year, our plan was to travel internationally that time of the year, but because of the health situation at home, we didn’t dare to make big plans. So instead, after the summer had passed, we used our last days of work to head to the Balkans. A bit closer to home so it required a bit less planning ahead. But while it started as a back-up destination, it sure doesn’t feel like we compromised on an experience in the end. I still have loads of stories from this trip I need to share with you!

So that was it for 2022. Privately a heavy year, but when I look back on it, I’ve been to so many amazing places, so successful therapy for sure! So that brings us to the prospects of 2023.

For once I have big plans. We’re heading to Peru in May! Finally another international trip! Although it is with some fear that I’ve booked this. My grandparents still aren’t all super well, but of course nothing life-threatening as of now, except their old age, so I’ll probably never be completely at ease. But that can’t mean that I have to stop living my life, as they like to emphasize each and every time.

We plan to travel through Peru for about three weeks, exploring the Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu (of course!) and Huaraz. Hopefully by then the political situation in the country will have stabilized a bit, as it is quite tumultuous over there right now. So fingers crossed please!

This trip is all I have planned for now. I can’t promise that that will be the only trip, but I do plan to slow down a bit in the future. But trying to tame a wanderer’s heart isn’t that easy, it seems.

But for now, let’s just celebrate the new year! I hope you all had a lovely transition from old to new!

♡ Ellen

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