2015 is surreptitiously edging towards its end and whew, what a year it has been. Travelwise, I have been on more than a dozen planes, travelled in 8 countries – including my own – and explored roads, cities and mountains. Emotionally, it has been up and down and flat here and there. School wise, I have driven myself to the brink of burn-out, started learning Spanish again and finished my Bachelor’s paper. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I will actually have a degree in January. Me. A degree. My favourite past-time is decorating my apartment with balloons.
I am not exactly sad to see this year go. It has swooshed past so quickly I’m not sure I even had time to grasp it, and part of me wishes it wasn’t gone so fast. But at the same time I have so, so many plans coming up. I am only a few days now from booking next summer’s big trip – but more about that later. I am expecting changes in my career. This time next year I am most likely getting ready for an exchange adventure if all goes as planned. I have so many exciting courses next spring that will actually start preparing me for proper professionalism. A part of me wants to just rush headfirst into all these wonderful things – I’m like Cartman waiting for the new Wii game.
But as we’re all waiting for the year to change, I thought to look back on the past year for a bit. I guess it’s trendy? Am I trendy now? Am I doing it?
The first day of the year I spent in Versailles, Paris. I hope one day all of you will experience the absurdity of waking up in a different year far away from home because it is a wonderful feeling of being lost and found at the same time. From there I took the Eurostar train over to London and slept the whole way. Way to experience something I’ve wanted to do since I was like 10… But maybe dreams of a ten-year-old are a bit ridiculous anyway. Still, though – an underwater train, how cool is that!
Did I ever mention I’m the chair for the English students’ club at my university? I totally am. Every year the English students compete against the Swedish students in very olympiadic-like sports like throwing snowballs at a picture of the uni’s principal, eating fermented shark and balancing on one foot. This year the English students actually won. Next year the Olympic Games.
I was also in search of my inner romantic as I spent my first-ever Valentine’s in a couple, which was celebrated with Viking-style food. Well, the restaurant was dimly lit at least. Romantic, right? Right?
Oh, and speaking of food. The above picture was taken on a Restaurant Day stroll in a place where I got to try ice-fishing and munch down some freshly smoked fish. Never heard of Restaurant Day? Google it, another fantastic invention. Gooooooo Finland!
Oh, London… On a trip to Southend I swear I was warm for the first time in months, and I had to reluctantly admit that not all parts of the city are so bad. It was a very teenage date-day. Picking up little bits of food as we slowly stroll along the beachside, playing games at the arcade and having fish and chips in a plain little diner… wait, why am I talking about food again?
April was a busy month, and it didn’t help that the pressure from all my courses were getting more intense as the term neared its end. (Kids, never attempt to study 55 credits in one spring when all you’re expected to do is 30.) The month started with a week in Copenhagen, a city I would’ve probably enjoyed more if it hadn’t been that damn cold (and expensive! I’m terrible with crowns) and a night in Malmö. If you were to guess that going over the bridge that connects the two cities was one of my dreams, well, you wouldn’t be wrong. What else can you expect from a girl who dreams about going through the English Channel on a train?
The rest of the month was parties. Oh, man.
May was a strange filler month when nothing barely happened. I wrapped up the school year with the last assignments and one last student party, then went off to work basically full days at the hotel. I did get a chance to spend a hot, sunny day on a Thai festival, watching dance shows and eating the best Thai food from little stalls.
In June I mostly focused on work, work, work. Savage saving is needed before big trips since my search for the money tree has still proved fruitless. I did take a weekend getaway, though, to visit two music festivals: Provinssi Rock in Seinäjoki, Finland (and I can’t recommend it enough even though the weather was freezing. What’s wrong with your summer, Finland?) and British Summer Time in London. Tay Tay was amazing and I love her.
July started with an exhausting ten days at work working overtime every single one of those days (hotels at peak season are fun), then heading home for some family time and a good two-day roadtrip to the north and back with the best person ever. (I’ll hopefully be travelling some more with Katri next year) And then the big, scary, far-flung trip that had been booked and planned and mulled over and struggled for for months…
I spent almost all of August travelling in India. It was the most amazing place I have ever been, and definitely the most overwhelming. If you want to see more what I said about India, check out my posts from last summer or click on the India tag at the bottom of the page.
September is like a second January for a student. With the start of a new school year came Spanish classes and the start of my Bachelor’s seminar, and I was enthusiastic to get started. (Until I realised how much of Spanish I have actually forgotten.) And maybe it was some sort of home sickness for being away for so long but I spent September wandering around my city and marvelling over the fact that I’ve lived here now for two whole years. I finally got around visiting the cat café as well and I wanted to live there forever and ever.
I have a very strong love-hate relationship with October. I love the start of it because then’s my birthday, plus as long as I’ve been a student I’ve always had a week off mid-month. As a kid it was cool – as a grown-ass girl even cooler because usually it means travel your socks off. So was it this October, too. I got a chance to visit Barcelona and it enticed me the same way Berlin did – I didn’t instantly fall in love with it, but it tempted me to travel back. On the same trip I also got to explore Zaragoza and relax in the tiny village of Riba Roja, plus spend a day in magical Andorra. Oh, and I ate out pretty much every night. It was glorious.
Snow came early this year, then went on its way. (And now it’s back again at least for a bit.) Before that, though, I had time for some more adventures on a student booze cruise and its wonderful buffet dinner. I love the cruise buffet dinner probably more than I love freedom. I also had time to reunite with an old best friend in her new city. It’s weird how you can live only two hours apart but never meet simply because you’re working or travelling all weekends.
This year has ended well with the new Star Wars and hot wings, get-togethers and movie marathons… and of course with the ending of exams and wrapping up Christmas presents. Now, this will be my last post for this year, but I’ll be coming back soon with a few small surprises…
What was your 2015 like? Are you making any promises for 2016?