I took that giant leap out of my comfort zone. Since then, things have never been the same again. Living abroad – away from home – opens new experiences and opportunities that help you grow as a better person.
Somehow I’ve anticipated that I’d be in hiatus again. Yet a two-month worth of time (or three, almost) that just guiltlessly went by didn’t seem to be fair. As I’d put it, there’s a blackhole; between the days my husband and I spent our holidays and the time we settled in to our new home.
For weeks we ‘d been living out of our suitcases. I’m considerably an avid traveler, but then I realized that I cannot remain a nomad for a long time. I still felt the need for a home base. What’s even more, we also had to move our stuff over the thick snow at zero temperature.
My husband surprised me with a fancy dinner at Auberge de l’Union in Arzier on my birthday. Well, we had been trying to come up with a surefire excuse to visit this restaurant for a long time, even though in fact, it is not so far from our place. So far for this year, we’ve already celebrated two special occasions somewhere else – his birthday at 2-star Michelin Nuance and our Valentine’s day at the top of Jungfrau. At the same time, whenever we go hiking around and pass by it, we’d sometimes start talking about this restaurant, which would leave me relentlessly curious about. Then come my birthday, and me, the celebrant got lazy to organize. It’s such the best timing for hubby to take me to this quaint, classy resto I had sought out for quite some time.
I have been lucky nonetheless for being able to visit more countries in 2013. To date, I’ve got a total of 19 countries and over a hundred cities and towns. In 2013, I was able to add 9 new countries and over 20 new cities on my list, which is quite a lot by the way, compared to previous years of my traveling spree. Lucky me.
Another too, I just found a new travel buddy – my husband. And lucky boy, he’s been to over 50 countries all throughout his life. So that perhaps explains why I’m more inspired to travel around and discover more new places. It might be also my competitive side that’s secretly wanting to beat his high travel score, too!
Visiting traditional Christmas markets is one of the fascinating things to do in Europe during the Christmas holidays. Compared to the holiday shopping experience back home in the Philippines, here it can be less busy and crazy. Actually expect a bit more of rustic feel, as wooden houses line up beautifully along the streets that are selling unique goodies, which are quite ideal as Christmas gifts. Some even offer fresh and warm, traditional winter delicacies that entice visitors to stay despite the almost freezing temperature outside the streets.
Dheza Aguilar and I first met in Amsterdam, when I was attending a socio-religious event and she, as a journalist for a known local TV program back home, was on an assignment. She came to interview me, asking about my personal stand on the reproductive health bill, which was apparently a hot topic at that time in our home-country. “Oh boy, how strong-willed she was to get a scoop here to create an interesting build on the story,” I told myself. Well, it really should be the case and I liked it.