I tried to summarize this year in 14 pictures, but I could not select so few of them. For as much as I watched and re-watched them, I ended up with 68 pictures and taking any of them away would have left me with a bad feeling.
So I decided to summarize the 2014 with 14 numbers, but unlike 2013 report the numbers won’t be sequentially from 1 to 14 because that gave me too much headache.
I stopped at 11, surely not because the year wasn’t intense (there were many good and few very bad happenings) but rather because the headache came back. 🙂
Let’s start with the most shameful one: after more than 7 years in Netherlands I had my first boat party, cruising around the canals on a typical sloep boat while drinking beer on a sunny day. It’s like rediscovering the city from a different perspective.
Well, there’s always a first time!
Good things should be celebrated, right? I participated to two weddings last year: my friend AC got married against Marta with a beautiful Italian wedding, while Nemanja got married against Violeta in a crazy Macedonian party.
I expanded my little online empire with four new websites during 2014.
In February I bought a Spanish marketplace with a partner.
In June I acquired a website selling a WordPress theme.
In December I bought a blog specialized in drones, my biggest investment so far, and I soft-launched a new Italian website about manual works and DIY.
Summing up the time I spent traveling, for good of bad reasons, I was outside the Netherlands for six months:
- Feb-Mar: Thailand and Laos (8 weeks)
- Jun-Jul: Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy (7 weeks)
- Aug: Italy (1 week)
- Sep: Macedonia, Kosovo (1 week)
- Nov: Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand (6 weeks)
- Dec: Italy (1 week)
This total 6 months out of the country, vs 4 months in 2013.
I feel like I’m fading away from Amsterdam, but traveling is still so rewarding and enriching!
Of course being away so much means not spending time with friends, missing birthdays and other life happenings, not building relationships etc. but I have to say a big thank you to my friends that have always been here for me.
This is how long I’ve been living in Amsterdam! Crazy. Without even learning Dutch! Fun. I relocated here to have an experience abroad and it’s turning into a life abroad.
I still like this city and I still think is one of the best places to be in Europe, but maybe the karmic cycle is exhausted as I’m not so excited to be here anymore.
Once upon a time, I was always happy to come back to my “home”, but now it feels different.
I feel like coming back to a place where I never wanted to integrate. Where I lived the last two years avoiding to tie any string of attachment to it. I understood Amsterdam and I know how it works, and this make it less interesting.
I need to try something new, and this is the big idea for 2015… but hey, this post is about 2014 🙂
The new countries visited last year.
For the ones that like to count the countries visited, during 2014 I added 11 new flags to the list, reaching almost 50.
2014 for me was the year of South East Asia: I went there for the first time ever and I spent quite some time, falling in love with it, especially Thailand and Saigon.
16 email addresses
Having multiple websites means having to deal with multiple email addresses.
I total 16 different ones and to avoid insanity I just forward all of them to my Gmail account.
I can compose emails choosing the sender address – that automatically set the right signature – and reply emails using the address that received it.
This is the simplest and most efficient setup that I know of 🙂
This year I got a better return of investment from my accountant, as I gave him twice the work of 2013.
I generated 38 invoices from customers located in different parts of the World. The closest one was just few hundreds meters away from my house, the farthest one was from the Philippines.
While we all know that the number of invoices is far less important than the total amounts written on them, I’m proud to see my little biz growing!
That’s 5 days and 6 hours, the amount of time I fasted during a detox in Pai, Thailand. This has been one of the most interesting experiences I had last year.
The KMs I run this year, according to my Garmin GPS watch.
Running confirms to be my favorite sport and when in Amsterdam, I join the Dam Runners Meetup group for the Saturday morning runs.
During fall I participated to few nice run events: the Dam tot Damloop went pretty well, the Amsterdam Half Marathon was bad for me, plus a few 10K races where I improved my humble personal best.
In my 2013 post I was excited about my bootcamp trainings, but in January I had to stop because my legs were acting incredibly weird, like muscles giving out during a sprint or knees being stiff in the mornings. It all went away traveling to Thailand!
The people that visited this very blog! That’s 79% more than 2013.
This blog nowadays is receiving lots of unknown visitors from Google, plus some loyal readers like you 🙂
I published 48 new posts, that’s almost one post a week, and got 127 comments.
I’m becoming more and more fond of my blog, as it keeps evolving with me.
It started in 2006 when I moved to Netherlands as a way to keep informed family and friends back to Italy, then turned into a digital diary and now is a way to reach out and connect with like minded people.
It still amazes me that I even got some business out of this blog.
It’s really nice to go back and read very old posts, see what I was thinking and remembering the moments, but I think the main motivation lately is that I can express myself much more writing than talking.
Below are the top five most read posts among the ones published in 2014:
- My Detox Retreat at Shangrila in Pai, Thailand (846 views): the king of the year, this funny report got ranked quite well on Google, beside making me look weird with my friends.
- Cómo comprar casa en Holanda (483 views): Spanish translation of my post about how to buy an house in The Netherlands.
- In scooter from Chiang Mai to Pai, the hospital of Thailand (391 views): This post now ranks well
- Come sono tassati gli affitti in Olanda? (320 views): Italian post about how the income from rented properties are taxed in Netherlands.
- My 2013 in 13 numbers (272 views): report from 2013, got plenty of clicks from my Facebook friends.
I conclude quoting Forrest Gump: “that’s all i have to say about that”.