Friday, January 3, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New

Well the headline might be somewhat misleading, because the point of this post is mainly about reminiscing the past year and taking a look at what is to come. My past year has been completely amazing. I haven't had the chance to travel as much as I wanted, but instead I had the chance to make one of my big dreams come true. I went to Australia. But that's not the only great thing about last year. It was a big year in terms of meeting new people. Australia had a huge effect on that, not only while being in that beautiful country down under, but also because of what happened as a result of being there. I started a new hobby. I found the love of my life: west coast swing. For those of you who don't know what it is, I'll tell you. It's a swing dance style that originates from the United States of America. Logically from the west coast. If you are interested, there are loads of videos on YouTube.
In Australia I was lucky enough to take two classes a week with the absolutely fabulous Raw Connection in Brisbane, and coming back to Finland I was a bit worried about what the WCS scene here would look like. I was happy to realize that my city has the largest and most active scene in Finland, although much smaller and less advanced than in Brisbane. The people are amazing though and the teachers fantastic and inspiring! Thanks to WCS this fall has been full of dancing and new, amazing people. I have attended three workshops and a WCS cruise, and it's safe to say that it has been the best autumn of my life!

Australia was however about much more than just WCS. The greatest thing about that trip, as well as any other trip, were all the people I met. I think I've made some friends for life and I don't think I've ever felt that welcome anywhere. I miss you guys! The atmosphere was great and since I mostly hung out with dancers, I got to try out a lot of other dancing styles as well: bachata, salsa, zouk and kizomba. Needless to say that WCS was the one that stole my heart.

Going back to last spring, my biggest dilemma was saving up some money for Australia, which obviously meant that I couldn't travel that much. Instead I spent most of my time enjoying dinner parties with friends, but I did do a few weekend trips within Finland as well. What else did I do last year? I recorded a Christmas cd with my choir, Tampereen yliopiston laulajat, and finished my fourth and last year in the choir board. I developed my own company to a level I never would have imagined, and I arranged a lot of fun parties. I baked a lot of cakes, cooked a lot of food, smoked more shisha than ever and hosted loads of couchsurfers from all over the world. I managed to learn a lot of difficult songs and performed them at two different concerts with my beloved choir. With that same choir I attended the Tampere Vocal Music Festival and recieved a silver stamp. During the festival I also hosted the slovakian choir, Collegium Technicum, and arranged a lot of program for them. I surfed for the first time of my life (hopefully not the last time). I checked out the amazing city of Singapore and showed a fantastic Australian girl a good time in Helsinki. I enjoyed the most beautiful autumn since moving to Tampere and got sad because the winter never came. I spent more time than ever with my dearest friend, including my time in Australia, as well as Christmas and an epic New Years celebration. Well that's not all, but I suppose those are the highlights.

One of many cakes.

TYL on stage performing at Tampere Vocal Music Festival.

Picnic in the park with Collegium Technicum from Slovakia.

Little buddy at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane.
Visiting the best friend in the world in Australia.
A visitor from down under.
Mind-blowing autum foliage.

So is it possible to top such an amazing year? Well, it'll be hard, but I can sure try. I have so much planned already, so it is looking good. Travel-wise there will be a wedding in Spain, a birthday party in Amsterdam, possibly another wedding celebration in Slovakia, maybe a WCS event in the south of France and a choir trip to Slovakia. Not bad plans, considering it's only the 3rd of January today... There will definitely be more dancing and lots of great dinner parties. Maybe I'll finally even graduate. Here's hoping...

Well anyways, a huge thanks to all the amazing people in my life for making the past year so unforgettable! Let's make this one even better!

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