2014 - Living the dream (part one)

I have to admit I like to read all kinds of yearly reviews on other people’s blogs or in newspapers and magazines; I even enjoy the ‘year in review’ tv shows which many people consider very annoying.

I always admired and envied people who tell about life changing events that happened to them or about breathtaking adventures they went on or about brave steps in their career they took. Compared to that my past year usually looked pretty similar to the 5 years before that and it always terrified me that the next year will probably look the same again so I never bothered writing down a review or even thinking about it much.

But not this year! Indeed, some life changing and exciting things also happened in the past 12 months of my life and with this blog I even have a platform to share my 2014 review with you! So here it is:

Living the dream 2014

I started the year in Thailand, on the most exciting trip of my life with no return ticket yet.

Together with my boyfriend, I spent New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, the capital of the North. It was not the first time I spend the change of the years abroad but it was the first time I spend it in summerly temperatures. It was my first time in the North of Thailand, my first time away from home for more than a 3-week holiday since I returned from my year as an AuPair (loooong time ago), and it was the first time I lighted a lantern and made a wish while watching it ascending into the sky. So the past year started pretty promising for me!

Thailand and Laos

The first 5 months of the year continued to be exciting and full of new adventures as we traveled through Thailand and Laos, met new people, tried new things. Some of the highlights definitely were

  • the mountain bike tour around and down of Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai on my birthday
  • the off-road motorbike tour from Vientiane to Vang Vieng in Laos
  • the 3-day Songkran water festival
  • climbing the limestone rocks around Railey beach
  • training Muay Thai, the Thai version of kickboxing
2014 - living the dream (part one)

A selection of some of our activities in Thailand and Laos

In the end of May we returned from Thailand after 6 exciting months and I spend 12 days at home with my friends and family before I left again for Finland. I had applied for a position there and was invited for an interview. Luck was on my side and I got the job which meant we could settle in my boyfriend’s home country for a while.

Finland

During the next months I flew back and forth between Germany and Finland preparing my move to Tampere, a beautiful city 2 hours North of Helsinki (introduction to my new home coming soon) and getting everything organized while I returned to my old job for a while to bridge the gap in between. On these short trips to Finland I experienced the midsummer for the first time as well as the autumn with all the trees turned in a beautiful yellow and the first days of winter in mid-October.

2014 - living the dream (part one)

Some impressions of my short Finland escapes in summer/fall 2014

Tough Viking

One of the highlights for us in 2014 definitely was the Tough Viking race in which we took part in September in Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki. A 12 km run with 15 obstacles in between – one of the most challenging competitions of my life! It was a great experience and so much fun that I decided to register us for the next run coming up in March in Levi, Finnish Lapland. I surprised my boyfriend with the registration for his birthday pushing us into the training for the northern most race of this kind. I’m already very excited to go there!

Living th dream 2014

Tough Viking race in Kaisamieni Park, Helsinki, September 2014

Odysseys of a Nomad

On September 1st, after many lucky coincidences and many frustrating hours in front of the computer this blog went finally online! Since that day I can call myself travel blogger and share my experiences and adventures on the road with you! Although much more work than I thought I’m still very happy that I created this page and jumped into the world of travel bloggers to interact with like-minded people. One of my New Year’s resolutions definitely is to improve this blog trying to provide more interesting stories and information for you.

The new adventure

And last but not least I spend a very nice Christmas with my family. For the last 2 years I was away from home at this time of the year which made it even more special. After many days full of food, presents, alcohol, and joy it was time to say good-bye again. On December 27th we loaded our car full until the top (and above thanks to the ski box) and left towards Travemünde to catch the ferry to Helsinki from there. 2 days later, on an icy cold (-21 degrees!!) but sunny morning we arrived in the harbor of Helsinki, ready to start our new life in Finland!

New Year’s Eve we spend chilling in our new apartment in Tampere which we will call home for the next 12 months. We just left the house before midnight for 1 hour to enjoy the big fireworks in the city center – the starting signal for our new life!

Living the dream 2014

Some snap shots of the New Year’s Eve Party in Tampere 2014/15

2015 – living the dream part II

In 2014, my dream of traveling long-term with no return ticket has become true! It was a year full of adventures and new experiences. 2015 I will be living another dream: half of my life I was carrying around this longing for living in another country, experiencing a new culture, and learning a new language (one of the most difficult in the world as I have been told). This dream will finally come true now! For sure it will not be easy and probably never get boring. I will try to keep you updated on my blog on how I am coping with the new situation – hopefully a bit more regular and a bit more professional.

I wish you all a happy and successful year 2015 with lots of fun and exciting travels. Thank you for following me on my adventure!

Carina

What have been your highlights in 2014 and what are your travel plans for the new year? Tell me in the comments below!

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Of wanderlust and restlessness...
Finnish New Year in a nutshell - champagne, rockets, and a street fight

Carina

Hey, thanks for passing by! Any comments are very welcome. Leave them below or send me a private message and I'll get back to you soon!

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