Running though the woods is a gentle reminder of how fast time flies by.
My wife and I have a favorite activity whenever in Germany: running in the forest. There are beautiful trails near her parent’s house and the four seasons are beautifully magnified on our favorite trail.
Last time we were in Germany, we enjoyed the beauty of summer shade during our run:
On this trip, we have enjoyed the beautiful winter snow:
I’ve been relaxing in Germany the last couple of weeks and with each passing day seem to revert back to my former life here. Life is great in Germany. If not for Spartans Trading, I’d seriously consider moving back here. It makes blogging so much easier not to have to get up before sunrise to catch the East Coast morning, as I do in LA.
But beyond that, the last couple weeks have made me appreciate time with family and taking life a little slower. I don’t just mean that every store was closed December 24-26 and we could not even buy a cup of coffee. Instead, I mean eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a family each day, taking long walks together, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life like lingering over afternoon coffee for over an hour.
As we prepare to return to fast-paced Los Angeles, I am particularly thankful for this time in Germany and that I was truly able to rest and recharge as I prepare to go charging into the new year. Time quickly flies by and walking though the forest with the sound of freshly fallen snowing crunching under my feet reminded me to take things a little slower.
Happy New Year! On this day of calendar reset we traditionally pause to reflect upon the past year and make resolutions for the new year.
Last year my New Year’s resolution was—
So my resolution is simple this year and I intend to keep it: fall asleep with my wife each night I am home.
There have been nights that I have sat in my study or in the kitchen working late, but for the most part I have kept the resolution. I’m renewing that resolution this year.
For the past few years, my resolutions have also revolved around traveling less and returning to the peak physical shape of mid-20s. I’m not even going to try that this year on the traveling front. I’m sure I’ll be traveling just as much as before. More exercise will always remain a goal.
But I have one additional goal I am working toward. It’s a resolution I hope to achieve by year’s end, for I am not in a position now in which I can achieve it:
Not open the computer or phone from sunset on Saturday till sunset on Sunday.
I have many wonderful Jewish clients who observe Shabbat from Friday evening till Saturday evening. It is a practice I deeply respect. I would not be doing it out of religious obligation, but for the same reasons all stores are closed in Germany every Sunday. Because we all need a day off to recharge. Sunday is the best day of the week for me to do it.
It would never be a hard-and-fast rule. If breaking news occurred or I was in the middle of a trip, I would certainly use my phone or computer. But I certainly think I would benefit from a day off from social media and NPR.
2017 Travel Goals Revisited
I’ll follow-up with a post on my 2018 travel goals later today, but let’s review my 10 travel goals from 2017:
- Sample my last three A380s in first class — Air France, China Southern, and Korean
- Visit the remaining -stans
FAILED (I visited Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but still have Turkmenistan)
- Visit Damascus and Pyongyang
- Take my wife to the new Park Hyatt in St. Kitts
- Stay in the handful of other Park Hyatt properties I have not yet stayed in
FAILED (tough I stayed in several new ones)
- Have at least one “trip report” post per day
FAILED (though I came close)
- Relax on the Greek Isles
- Fly Alitalia, Air Serbia, Aerolineas Argentinas and Iberia
- Spend a week in an Italian village
- Check out Tunisia, Algeria and Libya
3/10 is not a great score, but I look back at all I actually did accomplish personally, professionally, and in terms of travel…I am not disappointed at all. I did not meet most of these goals, but I did many other things…some quite unexpected.
And now we start again, noting that every day is actually a new start.
I wish for each of you a healthy, prosperous, and fulfilling 2018.