Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm already looking back at 2015 as a banner year for us. We've progressed towards our goal of knowing a second language, we've traveled, we've grown closer, and we're happier. Plus, nothing bad happened. Even with Mike working in a difficult, demanding, and frustrating position, we were still able to enjoy a fairly large chunk of our 2015 (though I'm sure I've enjoyed it more as a lady of leisure than poor Mikey has). Thus, a banner year.

Thanks to our efforts this year, when we leave Taiwan next month, we'll be leaving with a (very) basic, yet fundamental, knowledge of the Chinese language. Though immersion doesn't work as I thought it would, it does work and our time here has provided me with a better understanding of the language than 3 years of high school French or 5+ years of college extension courses in Spanish did. Hopefully we continue our language education in DC but, if nothing else, I hope we don't lose what we have. I like knowing a second language. (我們不知道很多中文但是我們在進步。)

Tokyo
Additionally, despite not having anything similar to Europe's cheap airfares, we've still managed to travel this year on pace with our time spent in the UK. For example, our first full year in the UK saw us visit cities in France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, and Italy. Five international trips total. Similarly, our first full year in Taiwan saw us visit cities in Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand, in addition to both Macau and Hong Kong. So, though our expectations for travel weren't as high as they were in the UK, we were still able to match that pace. And, because our trips weren't aligned around weekends and school calendars, we were able to dive deeper in each location than most of our European trips allowed. Thus, we've concluded, we're definitely getting better at this.

Other things that made 2015 enjoyable were the new friends we made, seeing more of Taiwan, and getting healthier. Towards the latter point, both Mike & I are in better shape now than we were a year ago. Hopefully this trend continues in 2016. I'd love to be in better shape in my 40's than I was in my 30's.

Our 2016 will be starting out much like our 2013 but, because we're older and wiser, we're better positioned this time for any challenges. Hopefully DC doesn't test our preparedness too thoroughly though. No one wants a repeat of our NYC experience.

In 2016, we're looking forward to making DC our new home and starting our next adventure. We're also looking forward to living near close friends again as well as making some new ones. In short, we hope our 2016 brings us more of what we experienced in 2015, less the professional dislike poor Mikey had to contend with, and we hope your 2016 is full of happiness, love, and adventure too. Happy new year! 新年快樂!
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