01 January 2019

Looking Back: Year 2018

Happy New Year everyone! The Year 2018 just ended, and yes I am still here! This blog is still going strong, so let me review what has happened during the past year by giving this overview post. This is the ninth time I am doing this: I have been doing this since 2010, and I think it's a good way to wrap up the year.

2018 was overall a good year: I had a job, which was becoming more and more exciting now that I think about it. Looking back at where I came from, sometimes I cannot imagine the leap and the extent of the change that has happened. I mean, going back from the times when I was an undergrad college student about to graduate, thinking of becoming an anthropological linguist (during an interview with an officer of an Honour Society when she was about to confer me membership, I told her that I wanted to go to graduate school and conduct linguistic fieldwork in Africa, which obviously didn't happen in the end), to now, when I am working with data privacy and data protection laws in a fashion company, that is quite a metamorphosis. And I must say that this ride has been fun.

So what else happened in 2018, at least according to this blog?

In January, I started the year by writing about being technologically connected but socially isolated. I still believe this is the case, with people not knowing how to proceed with their lives without being glued to their devices. Then there's also the leak about Jehovah's Witnesses activities. I also remarked about strange habits people do in an airport's duty-free section. Finally, I wrote about my observations about corporate conferences and how different they are from academic conferences, as well as the fact that I was missing snow. When it comes to travel, I escaped the winter for two weeks, flying to Mexico around the end of this month.

In February, I wrote about how Berlin is a magnet for budget travellers, as evidenced by airline strategy. I also complained about misrepresented photographs in Reddit, as well as about Americans forgetting the fact that there's more to the world than the USA. I also talked about experiencing a side of Germany that I don't know, and about customer retention, inspired by a personal experience with a delayed flight.

In March, I wrote about extreme cold, as well as about how my wardrobe has been evolving. I also attended a couple of theatre performances and contemporary classical music concerts. And finally, I wrote about throwing toilet paper in the bowl. This month also saw me in Paris, where I spent Easter weekend.

In April, I decided to check out a trade fair, the ITB Berlin. I also attended a classical music concert, but it wasn't to my taste. I ranted about hidden gems, and I checked out the Boros Collection for a third time. This month was travel-heavy: I headed to Budapest for a work-related event, and the day after I returned I had a flight to New York City to attend my sister's post-wedding party.

In May, I appreciated how large my bathroom at home was. The weather also got crazy a little bit. Oh, I also got headhunted, and cherry blossoms finally appeared. I also wrote about Hungarians looking depressed, and another classical music concert I saw while in New York City. This was also the month when I did a long weekend in the Netherlands.

In June, I wrote about my experiences in New York City, such as watching theatre and getting a sore throat due to elevated interior noise levels.

In July, as usual I celebrated my blog anniversary. I also went to the opera, and wondered whether I would want a Kindle. And then I attended another contemporary classical music concert. I also did a long weekend in Dresden, which is the first of several weekends within German domestic locations.

In August, I tried sailing, realising it isn't my thing. And something I haven't done in a long time, I went back to the cinema. I also spent two weekends in other parts of Germany: one to Frankfurt and another to Leipzig.

In September, there was a heatwave, and I spent some time with academics. Given that these people are from a world I used to inhabit, it was an interesting experience. I also noticed that my fashion sense has been evolving. Finally, I spent a week in Denmark during the end of this month.

In October, the leaves started to turn orange, and I wrote about having a giddy feeling when you know there's something big to look forward to. And yes, I attended another concert, this time a piano recital featuring Claude Debussy's music.

In November, I went to see a play, this time in a venue that I haven't been to before. Modern music is big in Berlin, so I attended two concerts: one with music by Arnold Schonberg and George Benjamin, and another with Karlheinz Stockhausen. I also complained about strange and weird people that I see during my daily commute. I was in Frankfurt again briefly this month, this time for work-related purposes.

In December, I watched edgy German theatre yet again. I also wrote about the radio being so repetitive. And finally, I took a three-week vacation to Vietnam (I'm still there now, by the way), stopping by in Qatar.

What else? I also started a long-distance hiking project in 2018. I want to complete the 416-kilometre long 66 Lakes Trail at some point. I started in Potsdam, going to Marquardt, then to Brieselang, then to Hennigsdorf, then to Wensickendorf, then to Melchow, then to Leuenberg, then to Strausberg, then to Rüdersdorf. I will continue this trail this year, of course, when the weather is cooperative.

This year, I wrote about 37 books, 4 plays or theatre performances, and 8 concerts and other musical events.

Summarising my travel, this year was interesting. I added Vietnam to my country count, increasing it to 49. That said, I still went on trips where I revisited countries I have been to before, discovering new places within them. So I went to Mexico, France, Hungary, the USA, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Qatar again this year. In addition to that, I explored a large part of Germany this year. No big changes are anticipated for 2019 (though who knows, it's just January), so we'll still be here.

Happy 2019 everyone, and hopefully I still see you here this incoming year!

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