Friday, January 10, 2020

2019 Travels

Here's a look back at the travels of the year. This is becoming a blog tradition. I guess I'd better write this one now before we head off on another trip. Last year had us in Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, and France in addition to our usual trips back to the U.S. and Sweden.

The beginning of last year feels like forever ago with the February trip down to Malta to escape the winter. It wasn't exactly warm there but it was warmer than Riga. It was also the less crowded off-season for Malta. I think many of the European destinations are better visited in the off-season for this reason.

I had some work training in April to attend at our Embassy in Budapest. I took the opportunity to bring my wife and add the weekends to it at our own expense. It was a great little vacation for sightseeing the city. My flights were covered by the work trip so that's always a good bonus when that can happen.

Easter weekend is a 4-day weekend in Latvia so we visited Stockholm using the Tallink ferry. The ferries are a cheap and fun way to get around the coastal cities in this area.

May was back home in Texas for our first of two R&R trips. We spent most of it getting our new house ready to AirBnB and visiting my family. We managed a little road trip to Austin during that visit so it felt a little bit more like a vacation.

We intentionally stayed home in Latvia for the summer to fully enjoy more of what's around here. I have lots of blog posts tagged for Riga and Latvia this year. This would be a great place for a vacation since the mild summers can be extra nice with the sun only setting to a twilight level. I think it's even better living here instead of just visiting, so I'm still grateful for getting this assignment.

September had a trip to DC for another training class and visiting family. I didn't blog about it because it's just another place I've called home. I don't generally see new things there that I think are worthy to share on a public blog.

November had a quick 3 day weekend bus trip to Vilnius, which is the capital of our southern neighbor Lithuania. I prefer the old towns in Riga and Tallinn as a tourist, but Vilnius is still worth a visit and might be a good place to live too.

December started our plans to get away a bit during the winter. The first big trip was to Paris, which had various issues for everyone due to the national work strike. It still turned out to be a great trip though with more walking and less metro. I was there once before, but I managed to see all sorts of stuff that I hadn't seen before. Paris is all that and a bag of chips, or all that and a baguette, or something to that effect.
I traveled the equivalent of one time around the world according to my Google Maps summary. A couple of times back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean helped achieve that result.

Wow, it's fun to look back at the year! Now I'm ready for what we've planned for the next few months to continue the winter escape, even though this winter has turned out to be rather mild for Latvia. Regardless, we're going to have some more short vacations shortly. Stay tuned!

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