I’ve never done a year review before, however this year so much has happened that I wanted to write it all down so I can look back and smile.
At the beginning of the year Adam and I decided to visit Whistler (BC, Canada) for our winter season. I’d been before for a few days so knew the mountains were super fun to ride, and we had a few friends there too. It was far though, the thought of carrying 4 snowboards and 2 pairs of skis 2600 miles was looong. However, it’s fair to say that it was the best decision as we had so much fun. The mountains in North America (in particular Whistler) are so much more fun than in Europe (for me anyway). One big difference is you can ride between trees, which is not something you can do in Europe. I’d never ridden trees before and it is now my favourite thing to ride. And secondly it has this great mixture of piste and off-piste terrain which is perfect for the level I’m at. Chamonix is of course world known for it’s back country skiing, but that is too advanced for me. I’ve also not completed my AST (avalanche safety training), and don’t own all the back-country gear. Some of the off-piste terrain is in bounds, therefore it’s been checked by patrol that it’s safe to ride on. I’m not saying Chamonix isn’t great because it absolutely is, but the level I’m at right now I just find Whistler mountains more fun. Saying that, Whistler village is terrible and I do miss Chamonix village, particularly Moody Coffees.
We then spent an amazing 3 months in London, hanging out loads with family and friends, hosting BBQs, and my personal highlight, getting absolutely smashed (twice) in a pub watching the World Cup. Also during this stay one Sunday me and my friend cycled from London to Brighton which was super fun.
After London we then spent 2.5 months in 2 countries I have wanted to visit for AGES! Croatia and Italy. Before you say anything yes I know it’s bad that I’ve never been to Italy before when I’m from the UK. We spent 7 weeks in Split, followed by a week in Dubrovnik. Croatia is absolutely beautiful and was exactly the type of trip I wanted after a cold winter in Canada. We then took an overnight ferry to Italy which felt like a proper adventure, where we then spent 3 weeks in Florence. Adam was hesitant to go to Florence as he went when he was younger and said it was hot and crowded. But as we were going mid September it wasn’t peak season and the temperature would be cooler. After 2 days there he completely changed his mind. Florence is absolutely beautiful too. And the food, OMG I’m drooling now just thinking about the pizza and pasta I consumed.
And to finish 2018 off we’re back in Whistler. I feel super relaxed and content visiting this time, coming back to somewhere you know and where you have friends feels good. It also feels like for the first time in a long time we’re kind of settling down. We had to buy bedding, which I’ve not done in a looong time. I got so excited buying my own pillow, you may laugh but for 2.5 years I’ve slept on other people’s pillows. My bed is so comfy and exactly what I want from a bed. I could spend all my time there. We’ve also bought a car, and for this we had to go and hand in our UK driving licenses and get Canadian ones and open a bank account. Technically we have more “stuff” in Canada now than anywhere else. That feels strange!
Work has been super busy this year, even though I travel a lot and people say to me “you’re always on holiday”, I realised that I hadn’t taken a week off since Christmas last year. I have taken a lot of long weekends though which is why I feel ok. For those that don’t know I’m a software engineer (programmer|coder|web developer|whatever people call it ha) and I’ve been contracting at Hive for 2 years. Hive lets you control your heating, hot water, lights, plugs, cameras, sensors through your phone. Towards the end of 2017 we were persuading the company to let our team of 6 developers re-build the native apps. The iOS and Android apps weren’t that great, and we could re-build them by re-using 60% of the code we’d already written for the website. In short, they said yes, we’re now a team of 23 developers and as of last week both iOS and Android apps are live in the app store. It’s been verrrry busy, and I’ve learnt so much along the way. So a big thumbs up for this year in regards to work.
However 2019, will involve some changes to stay tuned.
- I read 10 books last year, I was trying to aim for one a month but that didn’t happen. My favourite was Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. If you’re white and haven’t read this, please do!
- My snowboarding improved a fair amount, I did 2 women’s camps which really helped with my technique and confidence.
- Things with codebar are growing, 5 more chapters around the world have started and we’ve started the process of becoming a charity.
- I also got a new baby nephew (technically he was born at 10:10pm on new years eve but I didn’t see him till new years day so that counts as 2018)
- And I also saw one of my favourite drag queens twice - shout out to any other Bianca del Rio fans 🙌
P.S Make sure to follow along with my travels on Instagram, currently I’m based in Whistler so expect videos of me trying to snowboard 😂 and shots of snowy mountains.