I made quite a few attempts on this review of 2016, but in the end, I decided that instead of giving you a wrap up of the past 12 months with all their ups and downs, I want to focus on the positive stuff. In the end its those things that keep me going and will give me the strength to face anything coming at me next year. I tried to find one highlight for each month of 2016 that made a lasting impact on me.
January – Hello Fitzgerald
A new member joined our family of two by the end of January. He’s grey, very fluffy and his name is Fitzgerald. He’s a Russian Blue cat that we picked up from a family in Southern Germany. Fitzgerald definitely made 2016 a exciting year full of playtime and cuddles. And, even though he’s just a cat, it was a new experience to learn what it feels like to care for another being … all in all, getting him was the best decision of 2016!
February – “Viel Gut Essen”
February must be my least favourite month of the year, but this year we went to the Schauspielhaus here in Zurich and saw a fantastic performance of Sybille Berg’s play “Viel Gut Essen”. I wrote an article about the play over at Medium (in German). The play really got me thinking about the dynamics behind the fear and hate that would turn out to become so omnipresent in politics, society and in the media throughout the past year. They also were part of a political awakening I had in 2016 – but I will talk more about that sometime in 2017.
March – #gobacktoblogging
In March, I was not very busy at work and I missed a creative outlet and working for something that truly belongs to me. A place where I think and write for myself and where I could share my photographs. In the beginning, I was struggling to integrate a blogging routine into my everyday life and to come up with things to blog about. So, I was experimenting a lot in 2016, but I got more and more convinced that it was a good thing to go back to blogging and I am looking forward to keep on doing it next year.
April – Turning 33 in Milano
For my 33rd birthday we went on a short trip to Milano where we stayed in a beautiful Airbnb and set out to discover the city. We ate great food, hiked on the roof of the Duomo and vowed to go back one day. It’s great to know that such a great city exists only a 4 hour train ride from Zurich.
May – Back in Japan
Shortly after the trip to Milan, we flew to Japan – for the second time within 11 months. It felt a bit crazy to go there so soon after our first trip, but after we had considered many places near and far for our spring vacation, we came across a very cheap flight via Paris, and we just had to go. We did have the best of times. I enjoyed exploring Tokyo so much, the days in Kinosakionsen were just magical and we had the best dinner of the year at Monk in Kyoto.
Oh, writing about it, I could go back immediately. But, for 2017 we vowed to fly less and rather go on some trips here in Europe. As both our Japan trips are still so vivid in my mind, that’s okay. I will keep revisiting Japan from afar, by reading books by Japanese authors – any recommendations? – cooking Japanese food, learning more about Japanese culture and by finally preparing a little Japan guide to share with you.
June – Terrace Life & Gardening
In June, most of our life at home moved from the living room onto our terrace. Not only did we spend many afternoons outdoors, But after coming home from Japan, we planted all kinds of vegetables outside and built a little raised bed from an IKEA bench. By the end of the month, we were already able to harvest some young Swiss Chard and salad greens. I also learned a lot about what kinds of vegetables work well (zucchini) and which don’t (tomatoes). I am already looking forward to next year’s balcony gardening season.
July – Berlin, My Heart
I did not go back to Berlin very frequently since moving to Zurich. And, I guess I needed this as a kind of severance process, so I would not miss the city and its people too much. But after my trip to Berlin back in July, I realised that it’s good to have a place to miss and that Berlin will always be my second home. Mostly due to all the lovely people, who are super welcoming every time I go back. They are one of the things that I am most grateful for. Thanks, guys! See you next year!
July selfie by Lisa
August – Summer in Zurich
In summer, Zurich shows itself from its best side and you just know why it’s often called one of the most liveable cities in the world. I spent many hours at the lake, reading, dreaming and swimming. There were quite a few after work swims, too. And, we go a new barbecue grill, that made us abandon our kitchen and cook many great meals outdoors. Oh, August is definitely the best month in Zurich.
September – Chicago & Wisconsin
In September we were invited to a wedding in Chicago – and we made a journey out of it. Before spending a week in Chicago we took a little road trip through Wisconsin. We stayed in a luxury resort and went on a private captained boat cruise (both given to us as a gift), we visited lots of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and spent a stormy day in a cabin at Lake Michigan. I went to a drive-in theatre for the first time and we saw Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins, as well as Bright Eyes in Milwaukee. We spent some wonderful days discovering Chicago and attended an American dream wedding. The whole trip still feels quite surreal to me.
October – The Kills
In October I did quite a lot, but my highlight was the gig by The Kills here in Zurich. They are one of those bands that I would listen to while cruising around the Bavarian countryside in my Moms car, back when I was still in school. I always wanted to see them live and I was a little bit scared to be disappointed. I was not. There was so much energy up on the stage and in the audience and we did leave the gig tipsy and sweaty. I definitely want more of that for 2017!
November – Autumn Leaves
And suddenly autumn has truly arrived and the trees are bursting with all kinds of colours. I spent a lot of time walking in the woods, alone, with the boyfriend and also with my parents when they came to visit. I found a new appreciation for nature and its wonders during those walks. That definitely added to my consciousness for our environment and my plea to make at least some changes in my own consumer behaviour to help keep this planet alive.
December – Vacation at Home
If I could be bothered to calculate how much time one actually spend at home vs. at the office or on vacation, I guess the result would be quite obvious. So, around Christmas I just love spending time at home. This year, the boyfriend did the same and we enjoyed lots of sleep, good food and time with the cat. This might sound super lame and boring, but isn’t boredom quite a luxury that we don’t appreciate enough? I truly hope 2017 will allow for a little bit of boredom, too.
My final verdict for 2016? It was good one, despite all the stuff that happened. We are healthy, we are alive and that’s already a privilege we shall be grateful for! Now all I have left to say is:
Happy 2017 – make it a better one!