Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere. With less than eight hours of daylight, today was the shortest day of the year and the start of the astronomical winter. I thought this would be the perfect moment to reflect on the past year. At the same time, as the days will once again start to lengthen, the time has come to look forward to what 2017 will bring.
Looking back on a great year
I didn’t blog much, but life has been good this year. April was particularly crazy as I went on two trips to two completely different, but equally amazing cities in the same month. I attended seven concerts. I read more than thirty books (more on that soon). I spent most of my free time on preparations to move into the flat I’ve bought. I did an awful lot of walking. I went on several spontaneous day trips to the beach with my parents and with a friend. I visited London for two weeks and realised I could have easily stayed there for another month and it would still be too short. I spent a full day queueing for the best concert I’ve ever been to and made some new friendships along the way. I went on a European city break to the sunny and colourful city of Porto and discovered that I would very much love to see more of this country in the future. After enjoying sunny 20°C temperatures in Portugal, I was greeted with late spring snowfall when I returned to Holland. In exchange for a review, I got to make an incredible photo book to look back on the trip to Porto. In short, 2016 has been great. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner and I’m glad to be spending the last week of the year in Holland with the people I care about.
Plans for next year
My love for travelling can be a bit of a curse sometimes. When I come back from a trip, it never takes long before my “empty” calendar starts to get to me. I grow restless when I don’t have an upcoming trip to do planning and research for. Thankfully that problem was quickly tackled when my friend suggested to join me on a European road trip. It’s about time I went on a proper road trip again. It was not hard to choose our destination, as we both love Italy, and would love to see more of it. We’ve already spent some time planning our itinerary and figuring out what the budget will be. I look forward to this trip very much, and hope to post more about my plans in the new year.
As much as I keep telling myself to blog more, I don’t think the start of the new year will bring much change in that department. As I mentioned earlier, I have bought a flat. When I finally get the key, I’ll be spending a lot of time painting walls and moving my things, so I guess it’s a good thing I’ve got my plans ready for summer.
Of all the different landscapes I have seen on my travels, mountains have always remained my favourite. Ever since I went there as a kid, Switzerland has been one of my favourite countries, because I loved the mountains so much. This is hardly surprising, because the part of Holland I am from is about as flat as it could possibly be. Yet, as much as I love mountains, I have never seen them when they’re said to be at their most beautiful: in winter! Needless to say, the announcement of a teambuilding trip to Austria in January came as a welcome surprise. What better way to wrap up the year than having a trip to look forward to? I have never tried skiing before – and I don’t plan on changing that now – but I cannot wait to see if winter in the Alps is really as gorgeous as the plethora of images on Christmas cards and pinterest would have me believe.