My 2013 in review

Yet again, we all got to say our farewells to another year and welcome a new one. It’s that time when some of us take some time to reflect on what the past year has been like, the things we’ve done or wish we didn’t do. We think about all the new people that may have entered our lives but sadly also those we had to say goodbye. We’ve had our ups and downs from which some we’ve grown a little or have learned a thing or two. I most definitely find myself to be one of those people.

So what my 2013 has been all about? Looking through my pictures on on Flickr and Instagram, I was able to go back and relive most of those memories. Well, here it goes in a nutshell.

January

Wollaton Hall

January marked my last month of 3-month long stay in Europe. One of the reason why I was able to be home for as long as I did, was New Adventures and Build Conference, which I was able attend earlier in November of 2012. Considering that both of them were in Europe, it just made more sense to me to stay and tie it all together with vacation as well.

I was excited to be finally able to attend New Adventures, especially knowing that it will most likely be the last one of its trilogy. Simon Collison with his crew did truly an amazing job. Not only the lineup was great but besides getting reunited with many friends, I got to visit the great city of Nottingham and explore it’s charm and beauty through little venturing on my own or with friends during a photo walk, led by the amazing Naomi Atkinson and Dan Rubin.

The trip itself ended for me on more of a sad note, as I learned the news that my belated brother’s grandma has passed away. So, besides spending my last few days saying goodbyes to my family and friends, the day before flying back to US, I attended my first funeral ever. It was truly an emotional day, especially as it took place at the same place where my brother’s was 12 years earlier but was never able to attend.

February & March

Coming back to US after being away for so long, I sure liked being able to unpack my bags and put in my roots without having to go anywhere for some time. Besides few winter storms that New England got hit during those two months, those were pretty low key months for me.

April

Boston Strong

With spring in its full swing, I was ready to go out and fully starting to embrace being a Massachusetts resident by exploring my new home’s surroundings. I took advantage of nicer weather to venture around Boston, as well as going on few road trips on weekends to explore New England’s coast.

This month was also quite a significant one for people of Boston on the day of Boston’s Marathon, when there were two bombs that went off near the finish line. Thankfully, I was nowhere near it that day but so many were. It was a scary and a traumatic day for so many, and few days that followed weren’t any easier, until the remaining suspects got captured.

May

My granma, Magda Gregorova

In May, I dusted off my suitcase, as I had few trips lined up for this month. The first one was to attend Rustbelt Refresh Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only I was thrilled to visit a new place yet again but also to get reunited with Bridget and The Brads (Brad Colbow and Brad Dielman) who did an amazing job putting on this event together.

Later that month, I got to go to visit Bay Area where I’ve been dying to go for some time but somehow never made it back since my last 1/2 day visit in 2004. I had to work during the week but took advantage of any free time I had to explore the area, do most of the touristy stuff, just like visiting Alcatraz. After being friends on social media for few year, I also finally succeeded meeting Maykel Loomans in person by visiting him at Facebook HQ. That week, I also got to visit Google HQ after Tab Atkins gave me and my friend Nikola, who I was staying with, tour.
This was another trip that sadly has ended for me on more somber note yet again, after I got a call from my older sister that our 92 year old grandma took her last breath just few minutes earlier.

June

Trisha & Andrew

First part of the month ended up being mostly spent taking some time to myself. I guess I didn’t realize that I was slowly spiraling down with some of the personal events that occurred over the course of several months leading up to my grandma’s passing. I assumed that some of the changes in my behavior were associated with me becoming tougher as life has thrown different obstacles at me throughout my life to date, rather than me facing an actual meltdown. And what a meltdown it was! Talk about humiliating, as well as very much humbling and eye opening moments those were. Yes, there was more than just one.

No matter how many times I may feel that my life away from my family may be hard and lonely, I can also safely say that I am very lucky to have made some amazing friends over the years who are here for me and have helped to get through times like these. This time was no different, even though not many people knew about what I was going through because I didn’t want them to worry or burden them with it.

I got end this month on more positive note as I got to visit New Hampshire during our ladies’ weekend getaway, which was then followed by one of my friend’s, Trisha, wedding in Rhode Island.

July

Summer was in full swing and I got to celebrate my first year as Massachusetts’ resident on July 4th, where I spent my first few weeks prior moving into my own place, at my friends’ lake house in Hopkinton.

Later that month, it was time to go back to Portland for the first time since moving to Boston. It was my third year helping Ari Stiles and Christopher Schmitt to host CSS Summit out of our Portland’s office.

After a week in Portland and visiting some of my favorite places, including Oregon Coast, I took a train and headed up north to visit my very close Slovak family friends in Redmond, WA.

August & September

Kim & Tim

Upon my return from PNW, I got go on yet another trip, this one was to Sugarbush in Vermont for Kim and Tim’s wedding. I was lucky to witness yet another beautiful ceremony on the top of a hill. I’ll most definitely never forget the day when I took a ski lift wearing a formal dress, jewelry and high heels.

Later that month, besides making it finally official of becoming a Masshole by getting a MA driver’s license along with new plates for my car, I also made my very last student loan payment.

As summer was slowly coming to an end, I put my travels on hold and stayed put. In September, not much has happened, other than me upgrading my iPhone 5 to iPhone 5S.

October

I was very much looking forward to October as I knew that for the first time in 14 years, since I first came to US, I will be going back to New York. The main excuse was to be finally able to attend Brooklyn Beta, as well as seeing a lot of my friends in one place over the course of several days who flew in from all over. These few days were filled with lots of laughter and most sleep deprivation due to all the socializing and catching up with everyone. Talk about fun week, lots of Ubering and some stories I could tell you about. Just like about the beautiful view from my hotel room I shared with Sarah. She sure has a soft spot for NY bridges at night, just ask her. 🙂

November

Just like every year, I begin it telling myself that I one year wiser. I don’t tend to celebrate the fact that I am older by throwing a birthday bash. Those who know me, know that I have a rule of no presents. I do love spending it with friends and family, if possible. In 2012, I got to spend it with my family for the first time in 13 years but this one was a special one as well. My lovely friend Sarah surprised me with beautiful flowers that were delivered to our office and then my amazing neighbor Amy has planned a late lunch followed by a fun photo walk around Boston.

December

Danielle & Andrew

The day after Thanksgiving, bunch of my MA friends got on a plane and headed down to Cancun to be part of yet another beautiful and tearful wedding ceremony. We all watched Danielle and Andrew to tie the knot at a beach. It was a very nice one week spent relaxing at the beach, by the pool, then back at the beach. You get the idea. 🙂 I don’t think I have been that relaxed in some time and got caught up on some well needed sleep. Honestly, I can stay put only for so long, not to mention, when I am somewhere for the very first time, I itch to explore. So, I got to be a tourist for two days and was excited to visit few amazing places like Tulum & Chichén Itzá Mayan ruins, as well as Il Kil (“Sacred Blue Cenote“) for a little swim.

So, there it is, my 2013. What about 2014? Did I make any new year resolutions? I sure did. I also am looking forward what this year has to bring. I am already planning ahead few trips. I am hoping to drive up to Canada at some point this year and visit Niagara Falls, and possibly places like Montreal or Toronto. I also know that I will be back in Europe later this year to be a bridesmaid at Geri & Colly‘s wedding in Nottingham. Haven’t decided yet whether I’d try to plan my first visit to Barcelona prior the wedding or just stick around UK and visit some of my friends there.

I am sure that there will be more to come this year. What it is, only time will tell. So that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope to see you this year. Let’s make it awesome together. Happy 2014, everyone!