As another new year starts and we look back on 2016, there is a lot for us to consider and to reflect upon. To say that it was a tumultuous year would be an extreme understatement, but at the same time, it was a year of tremendous opportunities. We have travelled more in a single year than any other time in the past, but we have sacrificed much in order to see the places that we have seen. As we think about the previous year, here are a few measurements points that have stood out for us as we look forward to an exciting 2017:
- Countries that we have visited – We visited eight different countries this year and all but one of them were countries that we had never visited before. Iceland, Peru, Bolivia, Germany, Austria, France, Czech Republic, and Greece were all wonderful experiences for different reasons.
- It was our first trip to South America together and now we each have visited five different continents. We hope to make it to all seven continents at some point, but it has been an eye-opening experience to see the various cultures across so many different lands.
- We travelled on five airlines last year that we had never travelled on previously, Iceland Air, Bolivian Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines, and Aegean Airlines. We didn’t always have the best of experiences, but there were surprises as well. Of all of those airlines, Bolivian Airlines was probably the greatest surprise for efficiency and ease to use. There were also the typical suspects for travel such as United Airlines and Lufthansa, which provide reliable service, but do not make it easy to gain loyalty points.
- We have learned to say phrases in several new languages, including German, Czech, Greek, and Icelandic. We cannot say that we can speak conversational German, but we can definitely communicate enough, even when talking to someone who speaks no English, to express ourselves satisfactorily.
- Within the countries that we have visited, we have been to fifteen different cities, including a couple within the United States. We met so many amazing people in each of the places that we have visited and we enjoy continuing to hear about the adventures in their lives as well as sharing our own with them.
All in all, 2016 was an incredible year. We sold our home, quit one of our jobs, temporarily moved out of the country to Germany, and travelled extensively. One would think that we would spend 2017 sleeping so as to get some much needed rest, but we expect the next few months to be as busy as the previous twelve months. We are definitely counting our blessings and wishing our best thoughts to everyone in this new year that has just now dawned. Perhaps a little belated, but Happy New Year to everyone! We truly wish you all of the best in the year ahead.