Really though, it was an absolutely amazing 2023 for me on many different levels and so for me, this post is a review of the past year, one that will forever change my life, as I got engaged last February to the most amazing lay and now this year, we are getting married. I also traveled between 4 continents, went to 4 new countries, Albania, Botswana and the previously mentioned Vietnam and Cambodia. Perhaps, not on one’s main list of places to experience, but ones that should be considered. I also did a bit of travel around the US this past year, perhaps doing the last road trips of any significance here in America, before I return to Europe in the long term, as my future is there with Rosa, and you will hear more moving forward. Rosa and I spent time in the UK together and caught Billy Joel at Hyde Park this past summer and then went to Brighton where she had gone to school.
I guess that before Rosa, my goal was to continue to “conquer” more countries, and then the pandemic happened, so travel early on was limited, and then I met her, and my focus changed. I also experienced new places like Jersey and Guernsey in the UK, and places in America I had not ever been like the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. I went to York and to Hull in the UK, as well and more new places in Italy when I lived there this past summer. I even hit another Hard Rock in Siem Reap, so I still have more Hard Rocks under my belt that countries visited, but that is not as important now. I promised I would not count South Africa, even though I have the stamp in my passport twice (in and out), nor South Korea, another transited country. Of course, I could list them with an asterisk, but for now, my focus is elsewhere as I am now preparing for a very different future. Yes, there will be travel and Rosa does not want to stop that part of me, but we will do some travel together including our honeymoon in March.
For the business end of things, what a year. Only once before had Wandering Puffin LLC hit a milestone sales year, not income folks, and that was some time ago, but that happening changed how I did business and I believe since I changed my model, I have become better at what I do as I have gained more experience overall to better assist my valued clientele over the years. Your business and support are truly appreciated as I move forward and adapt to the ever-changing environment in which my industry finds itself. I plan on being around for a while and without my clients, the Wandering Puffin does not exist, so from a very good year in 2019, to the crash of the pandemic and the rising from the ashes with fits and starts, I feel very comfortable moving forward in this new year of 2024.
To quote Charles Dickens from a Tale of Two Cities, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Life is full of challenges, and it is how you handle them that will define who you are. We all have them, and we all deal with them in our own way. I push forward the best way I know how and have learned to ask for help when I need it. Of course, I have the best support system now, as I look forward to my marriage to Rosa come February. As an amazing teacher I had so many years ago said on many occasions, “there ain’t no easy answers to nothing”. Thank you, Dick. Finally, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, for your support of my crazy little world and business and all your well wishes for my future with Rosa.
Have a safe, healthy and happy New Year!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin