I think the year 2012 can be divided into two perfect halves. The months leading up to June were filled with planning, packing, chaos, panic, nostalgia, excitement and fear of the unknown. There was not a single day, I think, where I did not have something wedding related to do. The wedding that consisted of three different events. Whether it was running around to get my wedding dress altered, or getting makeup trial, meeting up with the vendors to decide on the details, or searching up ideas for wedding favours, experimenting with various flowers and LED lights to get the center pieces right, or planning seating charts for 400+ guests...you get the picture! Heck, I even remember running errands till the very last day before the wedding events were supposed to begin. In my case though, it was not just the wedding planning. My then-fiance, Umair, lived in Germany. And we were to fly to Germany literally 1 day after the wedding. So apart from the wedding planning - there was also the moving and packing! And amidst all the chaos, there were moments of nostalgia and an overwhelming range of emotions. I have always been very close to my family and the thought of leaving them made me anxious. I had also never set foot in Europe, and that too in a non-English speaking country! What's it like in Germany? Will I like it? What if I get homesick? I was one big ball of anxiety, stress, excitement, nostalgia all rolled into one!
However the wedding weekend itself (we had three events, Fri - Sun!) was relaxed and just perfect. All the fears that I had of things going wrong - well, none of that happened! I didn't fall during my entrance, the photographer was not late to the events, the center pieces were done well ahead of time (thanks to my lovely family and friends!), and no kid ran into the wedding cake! If there were little things that might have been off, well, I felt too happy, chirpy, pretty and bride-y to care! I remember while having dinner, at our wedding reception, just looking around the hall remembering all the planning and waiting that had gone into bringing that day to life, and thinking '...well, this is it!.' Everything had come together so beautifully!
The second half of my year was quite the opposite. While the phrase for the first half of the year was 'so much to do, so little time', the second half was mountains of free time and not much to do! Well, unless you count traveling as a thing to do. Then oh yeah, there was lots and lots to do! I was in Europe and there were little cafes all around and cobblestone streets and pretty pink and yellow buildings. There were no deadlines to meet, no events to plan, no clothes to alter! The second half was more relaxed and slow. My husband surprised me with a trip to Edinburgh a day after we landed in Munich. I had once mentioned to him that I'd always wanted to go to Scotland. So you can imagine my excitement when he surprised me with Edinburgh tickets. And after Edinburgh, there were many weekend and some non-weekend trips. In just six months, I had seen Edinburgh, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Zurich and some medieval little towns around Munich. I love how easy it is to travel within Europe. I mean, we did all these places just on weekends! Minus Paris/Belgium. Also, it's amazing that in just a few hours on a train you end up in a different city where people speak different languages and have different cultures. You go north west a few hours and you hear Dutch. Go south west a few hours and you hear French. Go straight south and you hear the pretty pretty Italian! I love it! Actually now that I think of it, there is so much to see in this world that 'so much to do, so little time' pretty much describes life. So yes, my second half of the year was spent traveling, learning German, learning to cook new dishes, absorbing different cultures, gaining new experiences and meeting some great people. We then welcomed 2013 in a war zone-ish city center where Germans were throwing rockets and fireworks in every direction possible. I can not say I wasn't scared for my life that night! But what a firecracker of an end it was to an absolute rollercoaster of a year!