With every year that goes by, inevitably people take a moment to review what the previous year brought and work on the resolutions for the year that just began. We are not the exception and every December, we sit down together and discuss all the great (and not so great) things that happened to us and to make sure we are on the same page for the new year. We set personal goals and also joint ones and we try to review them quarterly to ensure we are on the right track, instead of reaching the end of the year and realizing we where off from our plans.
2014 was a great year in many ways. We celebrated our wedding anniversary #8 and that means that for 8 years we’ve been setting goals for a new year together. One of the “resolutions” we put year after year was to “some day” live in Europe. Each year we said we will be open to new opportunities and we’ll keep our eyes open in case we saw a window of opportunity. That opportunity presented to ourselves in 2014 and we embraced it. It was the opportunity we were waiting for and we knew if we didn’t accept, it may never show up again. And we are so glad we did.
Here’s a summary of 2014:
- 2014 took us to 9 countries. That’s right, we visited Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Vatican City, Greece, Portugal, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
- Learned a new language. Still a work in progress, but we feel we’ve come a long way since we first moved 8 months ago.
- Settling down in a new city and a new job. Alexis loves his new job and what he does. This is very important, because otherwise we won’t be able to really enjoy our time here if he’s not happy with work.
- Making new friends. The older we get, the harder it is to make friends. We have a very close and solid group of friends, most of them in Seattle and California. Moving to a country without knowing anyone was scary for a while. However, after 8 months of living here I can say that we’ve met wonderful people and built friendships that will last forever. At the same time, the relationship with our friends back home is stronger than ever. We talk everyday thanks to WhatsApp, Facebook, and Facetime. We saw some of them in 2014 and are hoping we can meet again in 2015.
- We tried to keep a healthy lifestyle, despite all the sweet temptations we find in Europe. We maintained our weight and feel we have been more active than ever. Since we don’t own a car, we walk everywhere. Alexis bikes to work every day and plays soccer regularly with his co-workers during lunch break. I too bike to school or to go grocery shopping and try to exercise regularly. We need to stay healthy to continue enjoying life.
- Family back home is doing good. We are happy our parents are active and for the most part, healthy. We welcomed our pretty new niece Alejandra in May. Also, we are the proud godparents of a wonderful and healthy baby boy named Nathaniel who’s parents are my best friend Idaliz and her husband Steven. We haven’t met them in person yet, but we hope we can meet them in 2015.
- I left my job back in March in order to move to Zürich, leaving great friends and co-workers behind. Still, I’m happy I’ve been able to stay in touch with them and I’m sure we’ll reconnect in the future. Because I’m job-less, I have more time in my hands to do other things, like learning German and blogging more. We created TainoTrails in 2014 in order to stay connected with family and friends, but also to share our story with anyone who is thinking about doing the same thing. I enjoy writing about our travels and sharing tips about living in Switzerland. We also created a Facebook page, where we share more pictures and information (please check it out and like it).
Some of the great moments of 2014:
Spending New Years in Lake Tahoe
When we met Rick Steves in person!
When we went to the Swiss embassy in San Francisco to pick up our visas
When we moved out from from our apartment in San Jose, California
Saying goodbye to friends back home (a sad moment) but knowing we can count on them no matter the distance.
When I traveled to Texas and spent some time with my BFF and got to see her belly!
And on the same trip to Texas I got to spend time with my nephews Gabriel and Alejandro (also our godson)
Doing indoor skydiving with our niece Yelena
Traveling to Puerto Rico to say “see you soon” to family before heading to our new home in Zürich
When we traveled for the first time by train in Switzerland (we went to Luzern)
That time we intended to go to Liechtenstein but got in the wrong train and ended up in Basel instead
When we went to Greece with our dearest friends Jose and Noelia
When Ricardo and Erica came to visit us in Zürich
When we met my cousin and her family in Paris
When our friends Carlos and Matt came to visit from California
When Carlos Arguelles and Erin visited from Seattle
When we went to Oktoberfest with Marina and Nick
For 2015 we have so many plans and expectations. Of course one of those goals include traveling more and visit places we haven’t been yet. So far we have Barcelona and Romania already on the calendar and are really excited about other potential destinations.
We also want to continue to grow professionally. For me that means that after I finish with German level B2, I will look for a job, or may start a master degree. I also need to continue to earn credits to re-certify as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).
We are looking forward to welcoming friends and family in Zürich. My 18-year old niece is coming to visit in May. This is her first trip to Europe so I know she has high expectations (I can feel the pressure). Then my favorite aunt is coming to visit in June and I’m excited about spending time with her in Europe. In addition to that, we received some requests from other friends and family who are looking into possibly coming in June and September, so we have already a busy calendar for 2015. I guess we can name our house “TainoTrails B&B”, but we love entertaining and having a full house so this is all really exciting to us.
Happy New Year and cheers to a wonderful 2015!