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  • Writer's pictureWalter Ponce

Annual review 2023

Hey there, friends! Let's take a stroll down memory lane and chat about the 2023. I'm putting on my storytelling hat to give you a glimpse of the adventures and musings that made this year special, just like I did for the last 2 years.


First things first – can we talk about the sheer joy of putting the finishing touches on my apartment's renovation? It's been a journey, and now I'm officially living in the cozy, revamped space. Life is good. Oh, and remember how I thought my time in Switzerland was done? Well, fate had other plans, and I found myself soaking up the Zurich vibes for a good 4 to 5 months. Life's funny that way, huh?


Now, let's talk about the real icing on the cake – travel. 2023 has been a treasure trove of adventures, from meeting incredible people to devouring the most delectable dishes. Buckle up as I take you through the highlights of my journeys this year:


When it comes to relationships, I've got to say, this year has been a whole lot more steady and comforting. The joy of sharing new experiences and embarking on travel adventures with my partner has truly made it a standout year in the love department.


Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty details – where, when and all the beautiful 'what' that made this journey extra special!


Apartment

I don't even know where to begin! I'm absolutely thrilled to have completed 50% of my apartment renovation! (Yes, only half, as I still have the kitchen and bathrooms to finish – fingers crossed for 2024.) The renovation kicked off around February and stretched through May, with lots of back-and-forth with the construction company, but overall, I'm extremely satisfied with the outcome. By May or June, I finally got to move in and start living. Of course, the furniture trickled in bit by bit, and even now, as I'm writing this, I'm pondering what else to add to fill the space.


As a side note, most of the furniture I've purchased is from Westwing – a fantastic brand known for its design and customer service. It's a tad pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for in terms of quality and design.


Zurich

What an unexpected turn of events fate had in store for me! After leaving Switzerland in 2022, I never imagined I'd be returning so soon. Sure, I always knew I'd come back eventually, but I never expected it to happen this quickly.


Interestingly, I had always envisioned my return to Switzerland centered around the city of Zurich. It's undoubtedly the best city in Switzerland when it comes to internationality, English-speaking environment, a plethora of restaurants, and a vibrant atmosphere. Having spent nearly half of my year in Zurich now, I can confidently say I'm fond of it. It offers the tranquility of a Swiss city, especially if you reside outside the city center, coupled with the vibrancy of a prosperous and cosmopolitan hub. It's the perfect blend, and I'm enjoying every bit of it.


During this time, I've had the opportunity to further explore the city and occasionally visit the Merkle office, where I'm employed. It's delightful to reconnect with colleagues and experience once again the warmth of being surrounded by kind and friendly people.


Here you will find some highlights:



Stockholm

Embarking on a quick but enchanting escape to Stockholm in March was nothing short of a delightful adventure. Over the course of 5 days, I immersed myself in the vibrant spirit of the city, weaving through cobblestone streets adorned with a subtle touch of winter's magic. The highlight of my trip undoubtedly revolved around the iconic ABBA Museum, where I danced through the musical legacy of the legendary Swedish pop sensation. In between museum visits, Stockholm treated my taste buds to a culinary journey, sampling delectable local dishes in charming eateries and savoring a fika or two in cozy cafes.


The warmth of the city's hospitality was matched only by the rich history housed within the Vasa Museum, where I marveled at the perfectly preserved 17th-century warship. Stockholm, even in the briskness of March, revealed itself as a treasure trove of cultural wonders and culinary delights, leaving me with lasting memories of a short but sweet Scandinavian escapade.


Here you will find some highlights about the trip:



Cologne

In the heart of February, I found myself swept away by the vibrant energy and contagious enthusiasm of Cologne's Carnival. The city, adorned in a riot of colors and adorned with lively decorations, embraced revelers from all corners. The streets echoed with laughter, music, and the distinctive sounds of the Carnival parade. As I joined the festivities, donning a whimsical costume, I was immersed in a sea of joyful chaos.


Here you will find some highlights about the trip:



Athens

In the scorching heat of July, I embarked on a journey to Athens, a city that stands as a living testament to its rich history and vibrant culture. As I meandered through the cobblestone streets, I found myself captivated by the juxtaposition of ancient ruins against a backdrop of modern life. The Acropolis, an iconic symbol of classical Greece, greeted me with its majestic presence, and exploring the Parthenon was a surreal experience that transported me back in time. Despite the high temperatures, the city exuded a lively energy, and each corner seemed to whisper tales of its storied past.


Here you will find some highlights about the trip:



Egypt

September brought the opportunity to explore the wonders of Egypt. From the iconic pyramids to the fascinating Sakara tombs, every step was a journey through ancient history. The highlight was a 10-day sailing tour along the Nile, immersing myself in the breathtaking landscapes and the timeless allure of this incredible country.

Here you will find some highlights about the trip:



Recap 2023

Overall have been. a good year, way more estable and kalm than previous ones. I would say that the principle focus was the apartment and the big investment I had to do in terms of money and time with the renovation and the new furniture. This didn't allow me to travel as much as I wanted but still it was nice to spend time in Zurich and Barcelona. Lets see what the new year will bring and hopefully will be filled with laugh, love and adventures!

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