My 2017 review on Instagram

2016 was a very turbulent year, and I thought 2017 could only get better. In many things, I can say that's true but still it was filled with some ups and downs and that's totally okay. Because there were way more ups than downs. Here's a review and some behind the picture stories that I want to share with you.

But why through Instagram? Quite often I share a picture on this platform and a story but the story doesn't tell it all. So I want to share a bit more details to each picture, so you get the behind-the-picture story. Some of you might not even follow me yet on Instagram and I am sure you find it interesting to see what I share there. Also, Instagram is a good platform to look back and see what happened throughout the year.

2017 would be so much better. So I thought. I had booked a retreat in an Ashram in Germany and on January 1st I sat in my car with a very unpleasant feeling. I had a strange feeling of staying at home and I didn't even wanted to leave the house. And I was wondering why. Usually I am excited to go on a trip and if it includes yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, even more. I ignored it all and left our house. 


Only about an hour or so away, I had a bad car accident. I was incredible blessed and lucky. Barely nothing had happened to me nor to the car. At that point, I didn't knew yet that I wouldn't be able to do the plough yoga pose for months.... 

 

 

After the accident, I was in shock and took some time to recover, before I drove another 5 hours. It was worth it though. Of course I had these thoughts of turning around and driving back home. But deep inside, I knew there was nothing better than this week of yoga, it was all I needed. And it was the best decision I could have taken!

I enjoyed long winter walks in my home town Hohenems....

In January I also took a day off to spend some time with my cousin who left a few days later to California. We went for breakfast in Dornbirn and spent there several hours just eating delicious stuff and filling our tummies with cappucino.

It's a good day to have a morning off. ❤️ #dornbirn #meinvorarlberg #view

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Melanie Klien (@mafambani) am

A big change actually came in January too when I got braces (again). In 2017 I turned 30 and I wasn't very excited to get braces. To be honest, it was quite tough but everyone around me made it easier. No one ever said something about it, everyone told me it doesn't matter and let's put it like that: If you're getting braces later in your life you really got to love yourself (evil laugh). Especially when you go out on a date night and half of the food is still in your braces...yes, can you imagine what that feels like? It was and is quite painful from time to time but I know it's worth it every second. It needs some courage to get braces later in your life, because it would be easier to just keep going as you did before. I am still excited for the day my dentist will put it off again. 

 

I spent a lot of time with myself, took good care of myself and treated myself well. To love yourself, means to really spend time with yourself. That's what I learned. February was a wonderful time, I bloomed up again to full life. 

And all of a sudden, when you're totally fine with yourself and you feel good although you just got braces and all that, new doors open. The more you give yourself love, the more you take care of yourself, the more you listen to whatever your body needs, the more things came into my life, that actually felt good and right.

In April, I took some hikes as it was getting warmer and I turned 30. I decided to have a party and it was the best I could have asked for. So many lovely friends showed up and we had a great time together. Although some people left my life unfortunately this year, it might also be something that one has to learn. To let go, although it hurts so much. To lose friends is never easy, but the ones who stay make up for everything you're going through. 

In May I went to Meersburg in Germany (I really like this place!) and explored the town and later went for some wine tasting at winery Aufricht. From there you have the perfect view over Lake of Constance. 

Later in May, I traveled to Berlin. I was there a few years ago and it was freezing cold, but still I enjoyed the city. This time, with an amazing warm weather, I enjoyed it even more. I went a day earlier to explore more of the city and to join two Jivamukti yoga classes (I'm addicted!) 

I usually don't travel alone, so I practised it to be on my own in a city, and I actually enjoyed it. Here's one of my favorite things to do in a city. Sit back in a nice and cozy café and watch those cool Berlin people pass me. 

Later in May, my Dutch friend and I decided to meet up in the middle between Austria and Netherlands which happened to be Frankfurt. We didn't do much sightseeing at all, but did some shopping and focused more on good food. Of course we also had to catch up a lot and so we shared many stories along with some good drinks. This year our friendship turned 10 years as we met during my exchange semester in the US. We also found a really cool Latin club (unfortunately I can't remember the name) and had a lot of fun dancing.

In June, I explored our neighboring country, Liechtenstein and to be more specific, its capital. I was able to see the art museum Liechtenstein and we had a guided tour which was great. Later we took the citytrain (VERY touristy, but it's a funny experience...). And no, we didn't let our passports stamped...I'm not a big fan of traveling somewhere JUST to get a stamp...


This is one of the views we had on our ride. 

Now all of this seems like I had a lot of fun, which I actually did. Nevertheless, this year was also a bit challenging concerning my health. At the end of spring, beginning of Summer I had a lot of stomachache. I went to see the doctor a few times, had lots of check-ups but they couldn't find anything. All of a sudden the pain was gone and around 2 months later I had severe toothpain. I went to see a very qualified dentist and got to find out, that it was time to get a canal root treatment. Also, another tooth (by that time already treated from a canal root treatment 9 years ago), had a very bad infection that had to be treated as well. The next towo months were followed by many treatments, 7 in total. 

 

The treatments were of course very painful, sometimes quite okay but every time I left the dentist, I was in a lot of pain for two or more days. Anyone with tooth pain, now I know what you're going through. Lately my brother's girlfriend told me, that both, the stomachache and the tooth problems could have been from the same cause. Anyways, now I am back on track and healthy again. I'm so grateful! We don't appreciate our health day by day but if we do have health problems, we do again. Same with the car accident, many, many days later I still said thank you every time I got up in the morning.

 

I love to practice gratitude, it helps so much. And I want to set my focus again on it in 2018. I believe gratefulness opens up many doors.

In July, we went to Sicily. While we had a few destinations in our heads, it happened to be Sicily and oh boy, I fell in love with this country and I could go immediately again. There's still so much to explore and that's great because I loved the people, food and Nero d'avola is one of my favorite wine grapes. Enough reasons to go back soon! 

At the end of our Sicily trip, we spent some time in Palermo and did a tour with Gamze, who studies there. Throughout this tour we learned so much about the city and got to see some great places which we wouldn't have discovered without her. Do you know this feeling? Sometimes you visit a place or a city and you really enjoy it, but there's no need to see it again? Oh, different story with Sicily or Palermo. I loved those wonderful nights out on the streets in Palermo, enjoying a few aperitivo together with some food and those amazing happy hours. They have a fantastic bar scene too. Can't wait to go again!

Okay, enough of my Sicily love. In August we had a wonderful stay in Vienna. Being the capital of Austria and of the most amazing cities I know, I love to visit it every time again. Also, I have a few friends there. We discovered the gem of Hotel Beethoven and loved every single minute of our stay there. If I could recommend a great hotel, this would be my number one choice. Every floor and every room has a unique interior and the stay was marvelous.

Let me tell you more to this picture below. There's a story behind the story I wrote here. My grandfather was already in a bad condition just before we left to Vienna. I saw him on Tuesday and spent some time with him. The sun was shining and I told him a few stories. By that time he was sitting already in a wheel chair, and he was very weak. He slept a bit and then talked again. I told him 'see you soon', but unfortunately I didn't got to see him again. He died Saturday night. Friday night we went out with friends in Vienna and I had the feeling, the time had come. On Sunday morning, I woke up to see the sad news on my phone. I didn't know what to do. Should I take the train back all the way, would it help my grandmother or my relatives? Should I just stay and finish my job? I decided to finish my job there because he already died and there was nothing that I could have done. As soon as I came back, I helped my grandmother to prepare everything for the funeral. It all happened so quickly and all of a sudden it was over. 

 

Although everything was very sad, I remember the night we all sat outside, my family from Graz was here and we shared a dinner together. It was a warm night and it almost felt like my grandfather was still there. After the funeral, we went to our lake and we all sat there, our feet in the water and it was such a hot summer day. It felt so good to sit there to be in the nature and again it felt like he was very happy to see us all together sitting there where he loved to spend his summers. 

 

My grandfather always had 'his' seat. Whether it was the kitchen table or in the living room, he had his own chair. Seeing the chair now being empty, is not uncommon. Often, when I had just arrived at their house, his chair was empty as he was in the bathroom or just getting ready. Now, when I sit there for around 10 minutes, I realize that he's not here anymore. Although we were not very close, we had a wonderful conversation in May or June, I believe. It was a time when he was still doing quite okay. He was never good at telling compliments, only later when he became really old, he started doing it more. He never came out of his shell, I think. I think he was much softer on the inside, but just couldn't express himself on the outside. 

 

I admire my grandmother, after so many years spending every day together, she is fighting her way on her own. She's such a strong woman and she's a fighter. 

In September the weather was still great and so we visited my friend who was working in the alps, this was in Verwall.

What I love besides yoga? Hiking. Hiking allows me to calm down, to discover mother nature in all its beauty, in all its details and to rewind. It's great for my health and for my fitness, and so what happens when I combine the two, yoga and hiking? Hikoga! Apparently I just invented a new word but it totally makes sense!

In September I went to the SALT blogger conference in Salzburg and went earlier again to explore the city on my own. Of course I tried out a yoga studio and enduldged myself to coffee and cake and tried out some amazing vegan cafés and restaurants.

I joined my very first Instagram walk and had so much fun meeting other bloggers and to explore the city together. 

In October I visited Vienna to join the Vienna Fashion Camp - another blogger event. And voilà - went to the second Instagram walk with some really cool guided tours through Albertina and the state opera. 

And I met a fun travel blogger, this is Nina from The Travel Style

Those Austrian alps are never going to be boring, right? More hikes in October followed!

Hey, October! We visited Lisbon, the coolest capital of Europe, I think! I'm such a Portugal lover, I hope to be back very soon again. Such a great experience to stay at Inspira Santa Marta, the winner of 2017 World's Luxury Awards. Read more of our great stay here.

Amazing, amazing Lisbon. Can't get enough of you!

In November, we visited the Potentiale festival in Feldkirch, a festival for urban space creation (design, photography and media art). If you happen to be in Feldkirch (Austria) make sure it's around that time. There are many interesting exhibits and it's the time of the year where Feldkirch is full with some really cool people too. 

December was full with work, Christmas preparations. I am very thankful we went snowboarding once and saw a halo! What a magical moment. It's the second I have seen so far. 

One Saturday, we went for some Christmas shopping to Lindau, Germany together with my mother and enjoyed our day walking around, discovering some new shops and spent the afternoon later at the Kunst Café with coffee and cake.

I wrapped my gifts this year with some special wrapping from Flora et Lavora. Her stationary is really cool (and no, I am not getting paid for writing this). If you also love stationary, check her out. If you can't see it. The wrapping paper pictures a car that carries a christmas tree on the roof. 

Time flew by and Christmas was just around the corner. As I spent Christmas abroad two years ago, I really love to spend my time together with family and I enjoy and appreciate all the good food and wine. Still, I don't want to miss the experience of being abroad once. it was very different and at the same time also really cool Christmas. This Christmas was very traditional again with many family visits and in between I enjoyed some time in nature before I had to get back to work. 

Oh, 2017 was an exciting year. I fell in love again! Altough I wore braces and I thought I would never have a date anymore for an entire year. I even promised myself, that this is totally okay, funny, right? And it all came different than I thought. 

 

2017 was a challenging year work wise, health wise and losing a family member, my grandfather.

 

2017 was a beautiful year where I spent time with lovely friends, my boyfriend, some really cool trips, some closer and some further away, hiking and yoga. This year was filled with many magical moments, that I would never want to miss. This year was actually pretty amazing! 

 

So, we all might wonder: What will 2018 bring? I am sure it will be a good year. I don't have many new year resolutions. I started to work out more, and I would love to do a yoga training again and to travel more. And I want to read more, as always. I heard from some astronomy people that 2018 will still be the year of change. It's all about embracing whatever comes up. I am sure things will turn out well. 

Now, whatever your plans for 2018 are, make them happen. And be open to whatever 2018 might bring for you. I don't need to say more than what the picture above says. Listen to what feels good, and then follow your heart, your passions and your inner voice. Try as much as possible to be open, to open your heart to new experiences, to new people and see what magical things will happen. 

 

I wish you all the best and thank you for being on this blog, for reading whatever I write and for following my journey. Leave me a comment what your plans are tonight, where you want to travel or what you're hoping 2018 will bring you.