Here we are, I can’t quite believe it but I’m only a few days away from finishing the emotional rollercoaster and incredible once in a lifetime experience of a Year Abroad. Today I wanted to do a quick little post with my top 10 moments of the whole year, it was so tough to get it down to just 10 but in the end I did so here goes. -In no particular order!-
- Meeting the most incredible people.
Meg, Laura, Jonas, Suzanne, to name just a few, I will hold you all dear to me forever. You’ve all celebrated every tiny win and bought me ice-cream -or alcohol- and taken me for walks nurturing me through every little difficulty. I’m so overwhelmed I’ve met friends for life and people who I very rarely get sick of 😛 I feel so blessed to have met you all. I love you all so much words fail me.
2. Having my family to stay
Having my mum, dad and sister to stay in Berlin, my grandparents also coming out to visit me in Berlin and my close family coming out again to the Netherlands, was absolutely one of my hi-lights this year. I’ve loved having the opportunity to show my family my new mini-temporary-homes and we’ve made family memories to keep close forever.
3. Reinventing hobbies
I’ve started things I never thought I would. I blame one old colleague in Berlin making me go to a Midnight Runners event for the fact that I’ve got my first race finishers medal in front of me and have 2 half marathons coming up. You’ve started something I can’t stop Gabe! I’m not a runner, I’m not a boulder-er? (If that’s a thing?!) But sometimes peer-pressure is a wonderful thing and I’ve given it a good go to just get on board, survive and either keep up with the pace or not fall off the climbing wall.
4. Work experience
SPRT, you’ve been a family, taught me so much and have given me a good laugh along the way. I will be eternally grateful to these guys who mentored me, joked with me, and have been there for me. I got given so much creative freedom with this gang and I couldn’t have landed myself in a better job. (Go download the App now!😉)
So it’s not always turned out perfectly. If you’re reading this Meg, you’ll remember the moment we were sat in a minibus in Düsseldorf thinking that we wouldn’t make it to Poland and then also thinking we wouldn’t make it back a few days later… 😂Paris, Warsaw, Brussels, Krakow, Auschwitz, nearly every city in the Netherlands, Bonn, Münster and lots of other places I’ve probably forgotten; it’s been wonderful.
6. Friendships from home being stronger than ever.
Claudia, Ellie, Hannah, Brit and many, many more I’m so lucky you’ve all been incredibly patient with me not always being there for Facetime calls, taking an age to text back and ranting to you about every tiny little thing. You’ve all been stars and you’ve all also accomplished such amazing things this year. It’s been a pleasure to see you all blossom, I can’t wait to be reunited with you all properly!
7. Surprising my family
Surprising my family in Austria was worth the crazy-long Flixbus journey. I’d do it 1000x over and I’ll never forget the look on my sister’s face. This had to be on the list.
8. Being pushed out of my comfort zone
…And that’s putting it mildly. At times, this year has felt utterly impossible but I survived! With just 3 days to go and my suitcases half packed in the corner of my room, I’m not ready to say ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘it was all worth it’ but I will say I never knew how resilient I was until this year and I’ve given every hurdle the biggest jump I could have.
9. The classic YA cliché.
If there was 1 thing I said I didn’t want to do before I left for my Year Abroad it was to be that person that goes abroad and gets into a relationship. Well that, like many other things, didn’t go to plan and I couldn’t be more glad. I like to keep all this separate to the blog, so all I’ll say is this: that I’m so grateful to you, your patience, honesty and support.
I can’t quite put it into words yet how I feel having finished my Year Abroad yet, I feel like I’ve just got to the top of a mountain and am kinda ready to collapse back at home for a few days (3 to be exact) before flying off again for a whole Summer. I’ve changed and grown so much this year and that can only be a result of all of the amazing and challenging things that have come my way. I’ve got a long way to go still in many aspects but I think I’m on the right path to get there.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported me for the past 51 weeks, it’s been insane. x