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  • Walter Ponce

Annual review 2022

Updated: Jan 23

It's time to look back and share some thoughts and experiences from 2022. I will try my best to remember all that happened during the year and summarize it in this post, as I did with my 2021.


Obviously, one of the biggest highlights of the year was moving again. My time in Switzerland came to an end, and after accepting a great job opportunity, I moved to my hometown, Barcelona.

In terms of travel, I would say it has been a damn good year! Visiting many places, meeting new people, and eating amazing food. During 2022, I managed to visit:

In terms of love & relationships, I would say it has been another intense year! In that sense, describing the year as a roller coaster would be quite accurate.

Let's go in detail, what happened where, when and what!


Switzerland

The first two months of the year were basically about selling furniture and meeting friends all over the country. Funny enough, I discovered that I was not as alone as I thought. Many friends were sad of my departure and asked me to meet for one last time.

I had the chance to revisit some of my favorite spots around the country with my friends and even alone. Some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen are in Switzerland, so I could not leave without one last visit.

Mount Pilatus, Luzern, Zurich, or Thun were some of the magic spots where I used to go while living there. Without a doubt, Mount Pilatus is one of my favorites, along with Thun. I have not seen the whole world, but I would say that Switzerland has the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world.

Leaving a place you lived in and saying goodbye to close friends is never easy. Lucky enough, I visited Switzerland throughout the year, and I will continue doing so during 2023.

Barcelona

Around March, my move to my hometown became a reality. A mix of feelings went through my head those days, and I really wondered if that was the right move.

There is no way to know if it was the right move or not, but what's true is that I had the privilege to be able to move to the USA, Spain, or remain in Switzerland... I feel lucky that in my live I have the chance to change my life and decide by myself.

During the first months in Barcelona, I had the chance to revisit some of my favorite spots in town, like the bunkers del Carmel, La Sagrada Familia, and Gaudi Park. Also, eat at fantastic restaurants like L'Olive, Paco Meralgo, or Feroz.

After being away for approximately 4 years, I realized that the foodie scene in Barcelona has changed; many new restaurants and bars have popped up, and I had the urge to discover them. Of course, being next to my family and friends has been great!

During this year, I had the chance to meet a some people along the way. Some of them are still part of my life, and some of them are no longer part of it. I believe it is part of life, and sometimes you create deeper bonds and sometimes not.

By the end of the year, I had the chance to fulfill one of my dreams: buy an apartment! I was really excited to finally buy my own house. Currently (writing this article on 20th of Jan 2023) I don't live in my apartment... I am waiting to renovate it, and I will be delighted to write some lines in my blog in the near future.

New York

Around April, I had the brilliant idea to visit New York (it's always a great idea to visit NYC, don't get me wrong). During my short but intense stay in THE CITY, I had the chance to visit / party with my beloved friends who live there.

I believe my stay there was around 3/4 days, and I would say that during the day I was like a zombie visiting the MOMA museum, Central Park, the MET museum, and walking around 5th Avenue. And during the night I was basically partying like there was nooooo tomorrow!

Lisbon

Thanks to my current job, I had to visit Lisbon for approximately one week. I would say without any doubt that that week was quite intense! I met really nice people during that trip and had the chance to meet someone quite special.

Again, during this trip, I had to work during the day but also enjoy the night. Not sure how I managed to survive the long meetings + Jägermeister shots... but here I am!

Visiting the city once the workshops were done was very refreshing and beautiful. I had the opportunity to visit the city in good company, which made the experience unforgettable.

Ibiza

Ibiza is one of the places I have visited most in my life. When I was younger, I used to go quite often. Have in consideration that Barcelona - Ibiza is around 30min trip... and around 40/70€ for a round trip.

I believe my last visit to the magic island was around 2015–2016, so it was quite nice to visit the island again.


Spending around 7 days in Ibiza was great; visiting the best beaches, eating at restaurants, enjoying romantic sunsets, and exploring small towns were lovely.

I had the chance to meet one of my best friends in Singapore there, and we could not miss the occasion to party hard at Ushuaia!

Chicago

My stay in the "windy city" was short and dynamic. Also thanks to work, I had the opportunity to visit some clients during the month of June in Chicago. One of the highlights was landing and having to deal with a hurricane; at the end, it was just heavy rain, which was honestly not a nice thing to experience.

Chicago has lots of things to offer and I felt great walking on my spare time and visiting some touristic places. Of course, I had to try the famous Chicago pizza... some will say that it cannot be called "pizza".... but hey, I like it!

48h in Chicago are enough to visit the hot spots in town and eat delicious food!

Munich & Salzburg

My trip to Munich was quite unique. Decided to visit the city with a very special friend on a spontaneous trip. Remember having an early flight but delighted to stay in a very sweet little apartment out of the city center. We really liked having long walks around the river and afternoons in a cool outdoor bar/party. During one of my walks, I had the chance to see the sunset from the Bayerischer Landtag.

The food was very good, and we managed to find a very cute and sweet garden café around the center.

After spending some days in Munich, we decided to move to Salzburg by train. One of the major reasons to visit the city was to explore, work a bit remotely, enjoy some special time and meet an old friend who lives there.


During the stay, we visited some popular hot spots and ate great Austrian food. I clearly remember having long walks around the castle and having deep conversations with my friend. Also, at the end of the walk, we had a glass of white wine by a small cute place where felt like the time stopped.

Madrid

I visited Madrid with some colleagues for a work trip, starting with approximately three bottles of wine on the first evening. The next day I had a great sandwich made by a good friend and continued with workshops.

We did not have much time to visit the city, but honestly, I have a much better view of Madrid since that trip. I really liked the cleanliness of the city and how cosmopolitan and vibrant Madrid is. One of the nicest dinners was at Raymundo, where I had a great evening with my friend.

Ho Chi Minh

The Vietnamese city was the initial point of my holiday trip in South East Asia, back in December. Honestly, not my favourite city in the region but still a quite interesting place to visit. During my stay, I had the chance to visit some of the cultural spots like the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace. There are quite impactful and interesting places to visit if you want to learn more about the war.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was having a long walk through the non-touristy neighborhoods of the city. That day it was raining a lot, but still everything was very vibrant... street food on each corner, students going out from school, couples having coffee under the roofs—quite a great memory.

Also, it was great meeting old and new friends in town and going to nice restaurants (like Bún Riêu Nhà Restaurant) and cool rooftops, which made the stay even nicer.

Siem Reap

One of the biggest surprises of 2022 was Cambodia. Without a doubt, in Cambodia I had the chance to visit one of the most impressive archeological and historical temples I have ever seen. I am talking about Wat Angkor and the temples surrounding the city of Siem Reap.

Some of those temples are just gorgeous! Some are lost in the middle of the jungle and feel like time has stopped, and the runes are still like the ones they left them.

The city of Siem Reap is not very impressive; as happened with Chiang Mai, the city became a very touristic and commercial place. You cannot feel that you are in Cambodia at all; instead, you feel like you are in a place prepared for tourists and their money.

Bangkok

2 years in a row visiting Bangkok... there must be a reason. I don't know why... but this chaotic, dirty, noisy, and charismatic city is one of my favorite places on earth.

I feel great being there for a reason that I don't know. I love being in a big city and having the chance to do whatever and whenever I want. Having the opportunity to go to the golf driving range at 22:00 or eat any kind of food at any time just gives me the freedom I like.

The architecture (mixing old buildings with modern or futuristic constructions) is another of my favorites, and honestly, it fascinates me. There is a big contrast in the city and gives an unique style to Bangkok. The infinite options for accommodations, restaurants, and bars are outstanding. You can have one of the cheapest (but really good) meals on a small street food stand, or you can have a Michelin-starred meal in a beautiful setting.

This was my 5/6 time in BKK and honestly... I never get tired of it. I love the people, their culture, and the dynamism of the metropolis. (Can't wait to visit the Thai capital soon again!)

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was the disappointment of the year. Inspired but many and named as the mecca for yogis and spirituality... I found a very touristy and commercial town. The city is based on ancient constructions but the massive affluence of tourist made the city change to very westernised place.

The city of Chiang Mai is full of western coffee shops, weed stores, massage parlors, and bars for cheap drinkers. The temples around the city are very nice, but unfortunately, staying longer than 2 days is not worth it.

Singapore

My last country visited in 2022 and where I stared my 2023. My stay in Singapore was too short... I could not enjoy myself and meet as many friends as I wanted. I would say I really enjoyed it, but I could have been there for longer.

Who will not forget this trip neither was my liver... what a 4/5 days trip! eating, drinking, and really having a wonderful time with my best friends. The Lion City is and will be forever in my heart. It was my home once, and I have lots of memories of my stay there. One of my favorite parts or highlights of the trip was, without a doubt, having the chance to meet many new friends. My best friends (as I like to call them, my brothers from another mother) have a big network in Singapore, and they are very well connected, so it was easy to step on someone they knew and meet them.

I have to spotlight the new year eve... it was wild! So much fun and an absolute rollercoaster! So much fun and a night to remember!

Recap 2022

If you have finished reading my end-of-year novel, I'd like to congratulate you before I wrap up this 2022 recap. It's crucial for me to share with you all that has been on my mind regarding 2022, even if it takes longer to read than five minutes (by the way, please feel free to give me a brief comment).


The year 2022 will be remembered as being exceptional—a year you don't anticipate seeing anytime soon! Nevertheless, I anticipate that the upcoming year will be even better! And I hope to see you around!

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