It’s time for us to say goodbye 2016 and welcome 2017. The smell of newly brewed coffee fills the kitchen and my Facebook wall is filled with friends’ recaps and summaries of the year that was. All in all it looks like many people think it’s about time for the new year to come, to welcome 2017! I’m also looking forward to it, even though my 2016 has not been as bad. Here’s my summary of all the things I will remember from 2016 and all the things I expect from 2017.

5 Things That Will Remind Me of 2016

1. We got married

This was perhaps the most fantastic singular event of 2016. In a style so true to us, we were quite modest about the whole thing. Also very typically us, we were probably more excited about the honeymoons than the ceremony itself. Why settle with one, if you can have two? Italy left a very strong impact on me in July and our trip to Namibia and South Africa in October was absolutely amazing. And yes, the party was great too!

Jesper and Susann, Wedding Party, Åland 2016 Jesper and Susann, Wedding Party, Åland 2016

2. All the trips

What kind of travel blog would this be if I didn’t mention all the trips? 15 countries in one year is definitely acceptable in our book. Of course, at the end of the day it is not the amount of trips that counts, but the experiences they bring. I remember basking in the sun during the boat ride on Lake Como and  enjoying the gelato in Verona. In Georgia we witnessed such landscapes that I had previously thought only belonged in fairy tales. Africa – the Gambia, Namibia, and South Africa – impressed us both with its beauty and diversity. Especially Jesper had talked a lot about visiting Africa and in 2016 we went there even twice. Something tells me that we will return there someday quite soon!

Plains zebra, Etosha National Park, Namibia

3. Family and friends

What would we have done without all our friends and family? They have helped us a lot and they have always been there for us. So thank you for all the good moments and all the laughter that we have shared! We especially enjoyed meeting old friends in the different corners of Europe. During the year we have also met a lot of nice and helpful people around the world. Even though the world seems crazy at times, good people give hope.

Wedding Cake, Heart, Macaroons, Åland 2016

Wedding cake made by our friend Kicki

Trixie, dog with hat, Golden Retriever, Åland 2016

Let’s put the party hat on!

4. Personal development

At times I have felt that there has been so much going on that I haven’t had time to think about myself and my personal development. So, in 2016 there was not much development in this area. There have been times of frustration over everything I would have liked to do, but didn’t find the time for.

Susann under cover

5. The current situation in the world

It is not without fear that I look back at the world in 2016. There has been so much horror both domestically (in Finland and Sweden) and internationally. Terror attacks, migration crisis, conflicts, language issues, Donald Trump, natural disasters, false news taking over social media… The list goes on. I don’t know if there are actually more bad things happening than usual or if we are more aware of what’s going on around us. In any case, the world was not a very pretty place in 2016.

I wish for more compassion and less greediness in 2017. And for us travelers, let’s hope the borders stay open and that entry restrictions won’t be put into place. All this talking about borders in Europe reminds us of the old times when people did not have the chance to move freely across countries. This is something we talked about a lot when visiting Devín in November. This is a place where many people were shot when they tried cross the Iron Curtain from Slovakia to Austria.

Rajka, Hungary, 2013. Slovakia, Austria

Welcome 2017: My Expectations

On the last day of the old year it is a good time to look forward. I know that 2017 will bring a lot of changes, I hope that most of them will be positive ones. In my mind I see sunshine, warm days and a lot of holidays. More time with family and friends. Good and healthy food. However, I also want to find the time for myself and doing something concrete for my self development. There was a time in my life that I was very focused on psychology and wellness, maybe I should explore these fields a little further in 2017. And wear lipstick more often.

Ramsholmen Åland

Welcome 2017! What are your wishes and hopes for the new year?

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