Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011: A year of challenge

2011 was certainly a challenging year. First of all, a lot of things have happened in the world: The global economic crisis, the euro close to it's collapse, occupy (fill in)-movements, unrest in Syria, Egypt, earthquakes, and so many other events that will be kept in our minds for quite some time.

For me personally, 2011 was also a year with full of changes. I started the year at a New Year Party in Vilnius/Lithuania (with -20 degrees outside), recalled memories in Oslo/Norway in February, spent family time in Madrid/Spain in March, visited museums in St. Petersburg in April, and initiated my move to Hong Kong 5 days later. After that, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, China and Macau were also stamped in my Passport.

It is obvious that Hong Kong left the biggest impression on me this year. 2011 was the year I moved to Hong Kong permanently, and gave up my (quite comfortable) life in The Netherlands. But so far, it has been a great experience, with lots of discoveries and new impressions, some of which you have been reading here on my blog.

But I must say, that my move also left a mark on myself. Moving to a new country, leaving everything behind, and trying to adapt to the new culture and environment has been tougher than I expected. The climate, the food, the busy city, all took a physical toll on me. Frequently lacking energy due to the life-work imbalance, insomnia due to 24hr noise, nose and throat problems due to bad air quality, I experienced it all. Luckily, day by day I am getting more used to it, and hopefully I will be able to deal with it all.

Also the challenge of leaving all my friends and family combined with the mental pressure of the Hong Kong daily life (to which I am trying to fit in) has been tougher than I expected. But I still feel that moving here has been the best decision of my life so far.

To conclude my 2011 experiences, I can say, always try to achieve what you are dreaming about.

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
(French Philosopher Paul Valery)

Thank you all for reading my blog and for the emails and replies you have sent me. I appreciate it very much! Also a big thanks to my family and my friends who supported me during all this time!



  1. Hi Roald,

    Ik lees je blog regelmatig. Een leuke manier om kennis te maken met het verre oosten en hoe je daar je draai vindt.
    Fijn dat het steeds beter met je gaat. Ik wens je een heel goed 2012!

    Hartelijke groet, Ingrid van Ramselaar

  2. Hi Ingrid,

    Ik zie je reaktie nu pas, maar uiteraard (het is al weer 2 maanden geleden maar toch) voor jou ook een goed 2012 gewenst!