Reminisce: What distant memory/time did you find yourself longing for in 2012?
I thought about this prompt for a very long time, but I couldn’t think of much I reminisced about this past year. I sometimes longed for home or sometimes longed for Spain once I got back, but for the most part, I really focused on living in the moment this year.
Read: Did you read a book this year that left you craving more when it was over?
The types of books that I am prone to read are apocalyptic novels or YA fiction. Not exactly the most intellectual material, but it’s entertainment for me and an escape that I always enjoy. This year, I read The Passage by Justin Cronin, the first in a series of three novels about a virus engineered by the government that turns humans into terrifying killing machines/zombies/vampires. It’s definitely darker and more epic than the YA fiction that I normally read (the first book is 858 pages) but Cronin weaves characters and stories together so well that I breezed through the first book.
I am currently reading the second book, The Twelve. I’m hoping in 2013 I can branch out in my reading material a little more, but I do read for enjoyment so I don’t want to give up the books that I enjoy most.
Recharge: What did you do to recharge your batteries in 2012?
I didn’t need a lot of recharging this year since I was on a very very long vacation. I think anytime I feel the need to escape and recharge, I’ll either read or go someplace that I love, like to my favorite wine bar (Tria).
Communicate: Describe a conversation that you had this year. Why was it memorable?
When Mike and I were in San Sebastian, we met a Danish (or maybe Belgian?) doctor and his wife who were also on holiday. We started chatting at the bar and were surprised at this doctor’s opinions on the world. While he had traveled often, and even to the United States, he was racist and afraid of cultures who were different from his own. He talked about how he didn’t understand how Americans could consider all sorts of different races as “American” where he saw outsiders in his country as a threat to his culture and traditions.
Mike and I were struck by the conversation because we immediately felt that an immersion in other cultures was essential to tolerance. That to be exposed to people who are different from ourselves makes us better people and that we would never want to make such sweeping statements as the man we were speaking with. We would never want to be so close-minded to new people and cultures that we wouldn’t want to learn from them and gain what we could from the new experiences.
From our travels, we’ve noticed that cultures are enhanced by outside influences. I will maintain that cultures will grow more quickly if they are exposed to different people and traditions, just as we as individual human beings will.
Delight: How can you bring more joy into your life in 2013?
In 2013, I hope to bring more joy to my life by growing more in the professional realm. I am hoping that my accomplishments in the next year at work will help define what I’d like to do with my life, as my “5 year plan” isn’t very clear to me at this moment. I suppose my professional goals are still developing and it would bring me more joy to have more concrete goals in mind.
I also hope to be more adventurous in my travels, which is why we are planning a trip to Turkey. I want to be changed by a culture that is very different from my own, and I think Turkey is a great place to start. European travel is fantastic but I hope to visit more places that are a little different and perhaps more exotic.