Every year for the past 12 or so years I have made an end of year post of sorts. Usually in these posts I talk about my plans for the year to come and other objectives I want to work on. More than anything though, my posts are about how I haven’t posted enough.
This year I would like to do things a little bit differently. I don’t see this as a year where I didn’t post much because there was not much to say, but rather a year where too much happened and I did not have as much time to write about. Maybe we can change that next year? Maybe not.
I will always remember the 2016-2017 winter as the mildest I have experienced since I first moved to Canada. My partner and I knew something was up when there was no snow in the streets we cycled through for a solid two weeks. By the end of the month, we had gone snowboarding/skiing once, which was not exactly our idea of how a winter should be. We did, however, receive a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that would forever change our lives.
February 2017 was the month when my partner became a permanent resident of Canada. After two years and a multitude of stressful moments, it was finally over. We went through some hardships both from an economical and mental point of view, but after a solid 5 minutes of an interview, we were past that and well on the way to see what the rest of our life was going to be. Also, it was still not snowing at this point in winter.
Without many activities to do that were strictly winter related, we turned our sight into everything the city had to offer. We went to a shibari exhibition/showcase and were amazed at what we saw. Not only are these people pushing their bodies to new limits and feelings, they are creating art in the meantime. Outside of our pursuit for art and entertainment, we managed to squeeze a second and last snowboarding trip. There was no snowfall to witness this winter.
It was in April that we decided to invest a little bit more into our setups for bikepacking this year. We ordered a bit of gear from a store in Alberta, which was the only place where we could find the gear we wanted back then (now any bike store in Montreal carries it). A testament to how mild this winter was, all roads were clean and ride-able the first week of April. The very first time since I moved here that I have seen this. It was still too cold to be constantly outside, but not cold enough to prevent us from moving around town in our bicycles.
In May someone turned the heat on, and we started cycling to the farthest places around town that we knew, except this time we started doing it in our mountain bikes instead of our gravel bikes. As someone who got into cycling with MTBs, this was fairly common to me. My partner on the other hand had a more difficult time accepting how slow ground was covered with mountain bikes. This was also the time when we both started doing more activities: Climbing on her side, and much more cycling on mine.
June was unusual in that the city changed colors completely a month in advance, and this summer was not unlike summers in other years when the temperature reaches 40 metric degrees or above. Since there was little snow or cold this year, a lot of plants took advantage and grew or flourished an extra bit this summer. We also went on our first bikepacking trip of the season, which ended in a rather somber note after one of us went OTB right at the middle.
If there was a month where I rode my bicycle both out of need and for pure fun, it was July. My friend Michi decided he wanted to try bicycle touring at one point in 2018, and we went on a couple of bikerides to get ourselves in that mindset, albeit with our fixed gear bicycles. This month marked my 13th month as a Project Manager, which was special because it was also around this time that all the fruits of my labour started to come through. I have never worked as much as I did this summer.
Maybe it was because we were working so much, or perhaps just because we had been deprived of much going out in the past couple of years, but we went out a lot during August. From parades to parties to even a hiking trip out of nowhere. This summer was great to do outside activities since it was much longer than it had been compared to other years at this point.
To take advantage of the fact that my partner could leave the country as she wished, we went on a short trip to Maine, which was both beautifully astounding and absolutely scary (2 Mexicans and a Finn walk into a bar…). After our weekend to the States we decided to spend as little money as possible in the weeks to come, as we prepared for our big trip of the year.
Between October and November we spent 2 weeks in Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto, and its surrounding areas. This was not only a trip we had been planning for well over a year, it was a trip that we had been individually planning for a very long time. Although I have not as of yet written a post about it, there was far too much to say about this trip to be able to narrow it down to a short paragraph. Needless to say, I will always recommend Japan as a destination for travel.
The end of November and December were interesting in that time went by really fast: We came back from Japan to find out that work had nothing short of exploded while we were out. I spent a good three weeks catching up, and by the time I was back on track I had to prepare for the end of the year. There was also much of the usual end of year preparations before the holidays, and in the blink of an eye the last 5 weeks of the year went by.
This was a year of many adventures. Some of them failed and other very successful. It was also a year of discovery and of trying a lot of activities that were new in my and in our lives. Professionally, this was also a great year for growth and to discover what I am capable of, as well as where my limits are.
My only hope for next year is for it to be much more intense, entertaining, and fulfilling than this year. Considering how great this year was compared to previous years, I would not be surprised if I end up writing a post three or four times longer to this one by this time in 2018.
Happy new year to everyone. Looking forward to what next year has to offer.