Steadying my Resolve
Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
170Trip End Ongoing
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I am not really a person that makes New Years Resolutions. Having said that it is always handy to look back at the achievements you made in the past year and contemplate what you could do a little bit better. My moto is little changes that have big results.
As with most responsible adults, the usual resolutions are along the lines of less sugar and salt, less alcohol and junk food. To that effect, January is for me a sober month and I've reduced my chip consumption to two packets a week! On the exercise front, I started doing some steps with Steffie to keep fit and we bought a swim pass for the local indoor pool. I am also up to 9 chin ups on the bar outside, which isn't bad considering I started off with 5! Watch out Jimbo..
2013 was a pretty hard year for us in Germany because it involved a lot of questions and not too many answers. Nobody ever teaches you how to adjust to living in a foreign language country, you just have to figure that out for yourself. We managed to still get around and do quite a few little trips, although no big trips just yet.
So here are my top 5.
Simon's visit. It had been a long time since I'd seen anyone from Adelaide, so Simon's visit really meant a lot. He came over for 6 weeks and during that time we went a little crazy with the sightseeing. We visited every castle in the region, plus a few museums in Mannheim and Stuttgart. Along with Steffie, he made my 30th birthday pretty memorable with a bit of step sweeping!
Switzerland. During Simon's stay, we drove down to Lake Constance and through Switzerland to Sion to visit Dave and Louiselle. We spent a magical week exploring the area including Mont Blanc which was amazing. Louiselle was very accommodating and eating an authentic Raclette in a Swiss chalet overlooking the valley is something I won"t forget.
Belgium. Steffie and I took the train for a long weekend in Belgium and got around to seeing Brussels, Bruges and Ghent. Having known very little about the country, it was cool to check out the Atomium, Mini Europe and drinking a beer while sitting in the Grand Place.
German. My German has come along in leaps and bounds this year. At the start of the year, I knew the basics, but I couldn't follow a conversation and know I can get out what I want to say and understand most things. Like everything, it isn't perfect and it still takes me 3 times to read a text and understand it, but a huge improvement overall. I did put in a lot of effort to get so far, so I hope the receding hairline was worth it!
Of course, there were plenty of other memorable events from 2013 plus plenty of challenges to bootl It wasn't the easiest year because I had a lot of limitations from the language, to money and more. It was definitely one of those character building years and Steffie was a great help through all of it! I couldn't have done half of the things without her.
On the weekend we went to a travel expo in Mannheim. It was at the Mannheimer Maimarkt and there were plenty of retired people there because it was senior discount day! It is hard to say where the big tourist destinations for Germans are because they had stalls for every possible country. Bike touring in Germany is certainly on the rise as well as hiking holidays. There were a few Australian stalls, but the tours they offer certainly aren't cheap!