2016: Our Year in Review

Collage 2016

Although these stories are not necessarily funny, they are reminders of all the times we shared in 2016: the good, bad, stressful, fun and funny. We are overjoyed to have been able to share this year with all of you, our readers, and hope you have enjoyed the stories we told. No matter how bad things can sometimes be, a positive attitude is the key to moving forward in the right direction. As we review our year, we would like to wish you all a fantastic 2017 and hope you remain healthy and keep on track with your goals, whatever they may be.

He Said:

2016 was one heck of a year from my perspective. Between stress regarding visas, familial concerns, fantastic adventures, finally starting this website and planning for the future, there was certainly a lot going on and even more going through my head. In the end, the stresses worked themselves out (most of them) and the adventures were quite memorable. The future planning is being carried with us into 2017, but I don’t expect that to end anytime soon. Aside from not having as much time with family as I would have preferred, I reflect on the year and consider it positive. Although it often felt like time was dragging on when some problems just seemed they would never be resolved, the year as a whole sped by, rapidly. In fact, it’s still hard to believe that it has already been over a year since we were in Münster. It’s also strange to think that our Easter trip to Mittenwald was so long ago—although the longing I have to go back makes it feel as if it’s been ten years. This longing sensation and the memories from one of my all-time favorite trips is often what reminds me to keep striving toward our goals.

Although 2016 was not the beginning of our time together, it was the first full calendar year that we have spent together. Having her by my side through the good and the bad times, working through them as a team and building an invaluable trust between us is absolutely one of the highlights of my year. Our sense of team is really the core of what has gotten us this far. We know our goals and we’re still figuring out the path to reaching them, but we are doing it together. There have been times where we were forced to remind ourselves that we are not each other’s enemy, but rather our partnership and ability to set our sights on what is really important are the things that will get us where we want to be. I do not say it enough, but I would like to tell her, “thank you”. I know I have not always been and am not always the easiest person to live with (although I know it must be an honor for her), but she has stuck by me through it all and I am looking forward to continuing to grow with her.

Back to the topic of our travels, I can safely say that I enjoyed all of our trips taken in 2016. They were always too short, but the experiences and time spent with loved ones will not be soon forgotten. From Trier to Las Vegas, back again and capping the year off with the northern lights in Lapland, the He Said – She Said team has covered a lot of ground and this traveler is excited to cover even more in 2017.

She Said:

2016 has been a year full of changes, travels and planning. In the beginning of the year I had to change universities since he finally found a job that let him stay in Germany. Apart from my resulting happiness, this required the above mentioned change and a stressful move from one city to another. After months of stress and uncertainty concerning his residence permit, my fear of having to let him go and my credit transfer, we unexpectedly got very lucky and managed to meet our goals. At this point, I’d like to thank my family, his family and my friends who helped and stayed by our side to make this outcome possible. This first part of the year was very difficult for us and while I had to understand that some people couldn’t empathize with our situation, I am now even more grateful for the help that was offered from those who understood. No matter how stressful this time might have been, we still succeeded in taking some smaller but very nice trips to Marburg, Mittenwald, Venlo and Heidelberg. These trips gave us strength to put ourselves together and work even closer together as a team. I think this is one of the main outcomes of 2016; the fact that we have become a team that actually works together on their dreams, without major arguments (I’m not saying that there haven’t been any) and open clear eyes to see what is actually important in our relationship and our lives.

The second part of 2016 was more exciting than the first part since we got to do some real travels. We went back to Kansas and visited Las Vegas, as well as its unexpected beautiful surroundings. This was the favorite part of my year, two and a half weeks full of happiness and travels with both of our families. I really needed this vacation since I was feeling more than stressed, which hasn’t fully gone away yet. I recommend yoga, meditation and breathing techniques at this point since they helped me to calm down. However, our vacation to Sweden was another highlight of 2016 because it truly is the best place to relax and not think about anything.

To sum up, in 2016 we have decided what we want in our lives and what is most important. Together, we came to the conclusion that the most important things aren’t work, money or success but family, travels and our planet. And these are the things we will work for in 2017. We have definitely grown together by making our plans for the future and will keep on doing so. I’m looking forward to a year that will finally give me my master’s degree, more quality time with him, family and friends, as well as the beginning of a hopefully longer travel period.

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He Said or She Said