Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Highlights

Highlights 2011

  • Trying new things: Learning Russian in Moscow State University: a semester there and I am pretty much fluent. The grand Bolshoi experience.  Ditching the driver and driving all by myself in the Moscow jungle. Doing some volunteer work, joining baby groups, mommy groups, International women Org, American Women Org, attending various events at the embassies, joining a running group, a book club, playing with photography, getting back into music, dancing, hitting the gym
  • Starting long distance running. I ran along the Moscow River in literally all conditions: -25 C, on ice, in the slush, at +40 C full sun and everything in between. I ran in pretty much any city I visited in the last year. Then running first half a marathon in Moscow, half in Chicago, Moscow 10K run and finally a whole marathon in Berlin. I am in the best sport shape I have ever been considering I am 35 and I have two kids 
  • The girls starting to walk and saying “mama” knowing what it means 
  • Paragliding in Andalusia. It has been so amazing that I know I need to get back and do it more. It’s inspiring, frightening, elevating, humbling, just plain awesome. 
  • Rediscovering good old Europe: Paris, Berlin, Bergen, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul. Crossing Europe by car, top down
  • Traveling in Thailand
  • Sailing around Martinique and St. Lucia and in Nafplio 
  • Trekking in the Caucuses in Georgia 
  • Munich October fest: too much beer and unhealthy food but healthy amount of joy 
  • Chicago girls trip: maximum fun
  • Brother in law getting married to a wonderful girl
  • New years Eve in dream city Buenos Aires 
  • Working again. 
  • Wine and dine. Few amazing restaurants. Especially one in Paris and one in Norway really stand out. 
  • Losing friends due as inevitable downside of expat life
  • Seeing darker side of Russia
  • Worst of all: my dad passing away... Life is so short and even more so now, I want to experience it as if there is no tomorrow. Because there might not be tomorrow. 

Finishing on a high note here. Just back from the Uruguayan beaches and on the way to Patagonia. It’s Friday night in Buenos Aires, and I can hear Palermo is calling my name. It’s a summer night in January. La vita e bella!

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