It’s well into February 2020, and as usual, I’m late with the recap of the previous year. The past month has been incredibly busy, and as I was in Indonesia, I prioritized my time for friends and family that I don’t see very often. Naturally, this blog had taken a backseat.
I struggled with the language and felt frustrated that I couldn’t improve faster enough. I worked a lot on that during the first quarter of this year.
Nothing much happened. I just remember snow, a business trip to Stockholm, and being cold almost the entire time. Life was dark in February.
March was when everything seemed to finally fall into place. I got my residence card, and it lifted such a huge burden. And for the first time since I moved here, I felt at home.
This month marked our first year in Sweden, and I was just grateful that things were a lot better than when we started the previous year.
We went to Österlen for Easter, and it was amazing and relaxing. H said it was his favorite holiday so far.
At the end of the month, I flew alone to Naples, Italy. This was the first time in years I traveled solo again (well, at least for a few days). It shocked me, but Naples was the perfect choice to train me to be comfortable traveling alone again.
After a few days alone, H joined me for the vacation and we explored the Amalfi Coast together. It was crowded and chaotic, but I fell hard for this place. My favorite bits were hiking the Path of the Gods, spending quiet time in Praiano, and of course, the food.
We went to the UK for the first time since we left it for Sweden, and I made sure I got everything on my list checked.
We visited H’s parents in Wales, and H arranged hiking trips for us. The biggest ones were Snowdon in Snowdonia and Pen y Fan in Brecon Beacons, and these trips might have made me fall in love with hiking.
In London, we went to see The Book of Mormon, Matilda the Musical, and Jesus Christ Superstar, and I missed being close enough to West End that I could see a show whenever I wanted.
This trip was gratifying. My longing was satiated, but if anything, it made me miss the UK more.
At the end of the month, my old friend Timothy came to visit, and I took him around Gothenburg. To the archipelago, the lake, and downtown. As always, seeing an old friend was great. It felt like the old days, and I’m grateful our friendship sustained the test of time and distance.
Back from the UK, my motivation to learn Swedish depleted, and I felt even more restless at work. I started to look for a new job more seriously.
Another visit from an old friend, but this time Gothenburg decided to show its true colors by being extremely windy and cold for the entire time.
I went to Copenhagen with work for a conference, and it turned out to be a fun weekend.
This month also saw me juggling work, Swedish class, and job applications.
October was a great month, as it has always been. We went to see John Mayer in Stockholm, and we celebrated our birthdays (yes, we’re both October babies).
I got a job offer from one of the companies that I interviewed with. I gave my notice to my then-current employer. Things got challenging at work, but I’m pretty happy with how I handled it.
After a few months, I finally got fed up with all the pressure to master Swedish faster than what was possible, despite my best effort. In an act of defiance, I dropped out of the Swedish class. I needed a break, and I wanted to learn Swedish at my own pace. It was relieving.
This was another busy month as I worked on the handover. As it is with changing jobs, it was stressful, but exciting at the same time.
I started a new job, and it was amazing. It was everything I wanted in a job, something I couldn’t get in the previous one.
Two days before Christmas, I went to Indonesia, the first time since I left it in 2017. My feelings about Jakarta hasn’t changed, but meeting family and old friends made this trip worth it.
The start of 2020 already felt so much better than 2019, so I’m hopeful this year would be good. I’m looking forward to what 2020 has in store.