Best memories of 2018

Dec 30, 2018 | Personal

Defending my thesis

I was forced to graduate in January 2018 due to my own choices, not in June the year before as I expected, so it was a wonderful feeling to finally get it done. For me, in fact, it didn’t change much as I wasn’t going to continue in Masters programme. Successful defence was important only to be able to fly to Spain for my internship a few days later, and my peace of mind.

Moving to Alicante

I had lived with my parents for several months and missed having my own space and social internaction. For several months, my life was only about writing the thesis and the social aspect was rather secondary. Likewise, it was quite difficult to be social in Võru, as I had no friends living there anymore, and even with the best intentions I couldn’t have known where to start this socialising. I also missed the sun and discovering someplace new that Alicante definitely offered me.

I love these first weeks in a new place, when you just start to discover the place, and these associations are created like ‘my home shop’ or ‘my part of town’. Also, A. came to visit me very soon after, so I got to discover Alicante and its surroundings with him.

Climbing Puig Campana

A mountain at 1400 m above sea level, climbing should take 3-4 hours, because basically there is a circle around the mountain and from one path up you go to the peak. But we took the long side of this circle without knowing it, so we made the whole cirle + up + down in about 9 hours? Certainly excelled myself and especially as end of the road was pretty rocky and bumpy. We came back only after sunset, so the last stretch to the car was in a fast pace.

Salsa ja bachata classes in Spain

Twice a week there were dance lessons that enabled me to meet new people to meet and/or spend time with my friends. First, I discovered that I really liked to dance and, secondly, it was always a good opportunity to do something within a week without planning too much. When learning the steps was at slow pace at first, then in the end, when missing some classes, I just looked around with a silly face of what was going on.

Milan with my best friend

Since my best friend Maire is also living away from Estonia, we often only see once a year – usually at Christmas. At best, twice in the summer and winter, but because you are always in a hurry at home, in reality, these meetings have been short and after them you think about everything you forgot to ask. Or, these hours are more about filling gaps and less about discussing.

For my 25th birthday, Maire gave me a trip to Milan, which was the perfect opportunity to fill all these ‘gaps’ in a few days together. We took it quite freely and looked around, ate pizza, did pictures and simply talked about all the five years we’ve lived in different countries.

Amusement park in Belgium

In May, A. took me Walibi amusement park in Belgium. It was something I have always wanted to do, but never did as in Estonia we don’t really have amusement parks. I don’t understand a person who says they doesn’t like to ride on different attractions. In case you’re going, be sure to buy a priority pass and you will get on the rides so much faster. Otherwise, you sit and wait in the line of 10-45min for a single trip, as with a priority pass we waited 1-3 minutes. And I was even so fun that I don’t have any pictures to show you.

Family dinners and beach days

Towards the end of my Erasmus, we started to make lunches with the code ‘family dinner’ – we had the same people more or less who came together and everyone cooked something. It was somehow so pleasant and effortless. We agreed on a specific time, but most of the time we started cooking with a glass of wine hours earlier. Especially awesome day was when we had so many different nationalities, and everyone did their own national dishes.

As we lived by the sea, we often spent hours at the beach after work/school, and whoever went, told others and so the people gathered. Although there is a beach in the centre of Alicante, the closer to the summer months, the more crowded it got. So, sometimes we took a tram ride to San Juan to enjoy a longer sand strip to play with a ball and bigger waves to play in.

Hogueras

The festival week in the end of June, for which the whole year city will prepare with the creation of various massive figures. Each city district has its own contest to choose a winner that will be built and painted in half a year, and in June they will all be put up for display, evaluation and ultimately burning. For me it is incredible that so much work and effort is burning in as little as twenty minutes. There are firefighters all around who, with varying degrees of success, ensure the safety of the fires of the figures and the other half of the time spray the spectators.

On one of the other nights they have a night of campfires at the beach, where everyone can come and put their campfire on. It seems a little strange and a very big fire hazard, if you ask me. That night, it’s hard to find a place on the beach in Alicante to put down your towel. But just like Estonians in Midsummer’s day, at the end of the evening, you have to jump over the campfire. In the early morning, the beach looks like a garbage dump with all the flaming bonfires, rubbish and empty bottles, but cleaners come before the sunrise, followed by machines that turn around the sand so that the charcoal does not disturb the sunbathers. On the next day it was be hard to imagine that over one hundred campfires were on the beach the previous night.

Andalusia roadtrip

At the end of June, we rented a car for a few days with A. to find places in Andalusia that would be difficult to visit by public transport. During these days, we saw some friends from the Erasmus in Cyprus, which meant a pleasant evenings with wine and reminiscing.

One of the best experiences was definitely floating in the salt lake, comparable to the salinity of the dead sea. It is not possible to sink, and reading a newspaper in the water is not a problem. In addition, the lake was completely pink!

And this year’s biggest fail was also on this trip. Since my wallet was stolen and my ID card was stolen with it, I was very paranoid where to take my passport and where not. Since there is no question about showing a document in Spain in general, I did not take it, which is why we did not go to Gibraltar. When I packed it, I just didn’t think it was part of the UK and it was a huge mistake. Until next time!

Tabarca island

One of the last memorable moments in Spain was definitely Tabarca Island. Although we were there for only a few hours because of the ferry timetable, the experience was somehow so cool and memorable. I tried snorkelling for the first time and oh if it was awesome.

As the island is overcrowded with tourists during the day, I imagine that it might be nice and calm in the evening. If you are travelling to the Alicante region, I recommend spending one day there.

Mushroom picking and home

I love late summer and early autumn in Estonia just because you can walk around the forest and pick mushrooms. I myself do not eat mushrooms, nor do my family are any special mushroom lovers, so my whole harvest goes to my grandmother. This year, for the first time, I tried to marinate them myself, so we’ll see if they were a success. For me, it’s soothing when you take your dog and walk in your forest and your only goal is to get the basket full.

In fact, it is always good to come home and recharge the batteries. My parents’ house is always home to me, wherever my suitcase is otherwise. When I get there, I will have a peace of mind and a warm welcome is always guaranteed.

Morocco

Morocco has been my dream destination for the last three years. I so wanted to go there during the internship, but I didn’t. I came to Belgium at the end of September and when A. picked me up at the airport he gave me an envelope. Said that although my birthday is 3 weeks, I have to open it now. We left a few days after for my birthday trip to Morocco. The only concern about this was that I had no summer clothes – I was ready for autumn in Belgium.

The journey itself was so in every way spectacular and everything I hoped for. We ate so much couscous, stayed a night in the desert, shopped in the souks, saw the famous Ouarzazate ancient city, cooked traditional meals with locals, made henna tattoo and much more.

Starting the blog

Since the end of July, I’ve changed my style on Instagram and shared more than just selfies and gatherings. I decided that every time I go somewhere, I want to take my followers with me and provide them with information or emotions when they read my posts. I felt that at the same time I would have more to say and give than short titles of Instagram posts. For a long time, I played with the idea of a blog and I still decided I didn’t have anything to give what couldn’t be found already on the Internet.

On the way to Morocco, I thought about it and the moment I stepped off the plane I told A ‘when we get back to Belgium, I’ll start my blog’. A week later, on my birthday, I posted the first post. As in my case, something clicks in my head and just have to do it right away and put all my energy in there.

I hope that it was covering a bit about what I had done in the past year when I didn’t have a blog yet. Certainly, it has been a year of great emotions and a lot of different activities, but next year I look forward to more committed and elaborate, because there are plans and ideas that I can’t wait to fulfil.

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