I should start by wishing you a Happy New Year, a year to bring you exactly what you are wishing for! I hope you have celebrated well the passing from 2013 to 2014 and that you are now ready for new adventures.
If I were to summarise 2013 in just one word, I would call it the fastest year ever. It simply kept me “running” all throughout it, always busy with something, never having enough time or enough sleep.
This is not because I did more things than ever (which I didn`t), but because I have never felt more inspired than I felt during this year. I should therefore also call it the most inspiring year ever. My head, my laptop, my phone, my agenda – they have been all filing up with new ideas/projects, which sometimes would simply not let me sleep or think elsewhere. You know that wonderful moment when you have an idea and you have to rush to note it down, on a piece of paper, in the phone, anywhere? This is how 2013 has been for me.
This flow of inspiration was a consequence of me turning more and more towards myself and towards the things I value and admire in the world around me. It became possible the moment I realised I was simply wasting a great deal of my energy and my time with people I did not actually wanted to be around for the simple reason that their values were so different from mine. When I stopped investing in this, my perspective changed completely and re-directed itself towards those things and those people that actually mattered. I could also call 2013 a kick-off year, meaning I used the kicks I got to step off the wrong place and to put myself back into the right one, the one I belonged to.
Let`s take a look at what Amsterdam looked like in 2013 and, if interested, you may also read about the highlights of my year in this city and elsewhere!
Highlights for January: The short trip to Berlin, staying in what was to become my favourite neighbourhood in the entire city – Prenzlauer Berg:
Highlights for February: Becoming interested in illustrations and starting making some of my own, which translated not only in me staying at the table for hours trying out special inks and colours, but also in several trips to what was to become my favourite shop in Amsterdam: Van der Linde, the art supply shop near Westerkerk.
Highlights for March: Reading an inspiring and touching book about Vincent van Gogh`s life, which would lead me on his footsteps in the following month:
Highlights for April:
1. The trip to Nuenen, a small village in the South of Netherlands where Vincent van Gogh lived and created for a part of his life:
2. The Flower Parade in Haarlem:
Highlights for May:
1. Spending the Dutch public holidays in Romania and having a wonderful time in Vama Veche and Gura Portitei in the company of great friends, but also in Bucharest with my family (the city was abundantly green, Parisian-like and beautiful!) and a bit in the countryside to see my grandmothers and celebrate Easter:
Highlights for June:
1. Starting the tour through Amsterdam`s neighbourhoods and interesting buildings (such as Het Scheepvaarthuis, Het Schip, the NIOD building and, my favourite, the Calendar Buildings) and posting about this on the blog throughout the entire Summer season:
2. Visiting South of France – Lyon and the countryside area – for the first time and loving it:
Highlights for August:
1. Spending a memorable Summer holiday in Italy – Rome, Umbria, Toscana (including Florence) – living in an old Italian farm house made of stone, getting to know our wonderful hosts, driving in an idyllic landscape, discovering amazing people, traditions and eating delicious food:
2. Discovering what I still consider to be the best restaurant in Amsterdam – Mamouche, in De Pijp neighbourhood:
Highlights for November: Starting the Here & There series on this blog and having a good time doing this.
Highlights for December:
1. Seeing, falling for and wishing I did this art installation at the RijksakademieOPEN 2013:
2. After having some of my photos exhibited at work on the previous month, I discovered I wanted to have more of this, which led to my participation in the Christmas Pop-up Shopping Experience in Haarlem:
3. Going to three concerts in one week – Savages, Depeche Mode and Placebo and surviving the experience 🙂
4. Visiting Birmingham and the surrounding areas and spending a nice and cosy Christmas in England:
This was, briefly, the year 2013 for Amsterdamming! It was very hard to make one post about the experience of an entire year (I had to let out a lot of other things & photos), but I thought to give it a try.
If I were to conclude, I would say that the only thing I really missed in 2013 more than ever before was my family (I wish I could have seen them more often, not only during visits) and that my wishes for 2014 are to be healthy, to take things more easily (sleep more, relax more), to make more time for friends and family and to remain focused, productive and inspired in whatever it is that I want to do.
Let`s make 2014 a wonderful year!