Looking back at 2013

1 January 2014

2013, you've been a good year.

Read more after the jump

You took me a year closer to becoming a doctor and finally ceasing to be a student. I have exactly 43 weeks of med school left and I have mixed feelings. I cannot wait to be done with university, which has been organising my life for the past 6.5 years, at the same time I don't want the rest of my life to be dictated by my employer either. We'll see how it pans out. For now let's just focus on you.

You've been definitely better than 2012. You gave me time to do things I enjoy doing, you've been generous with sunshine and full of meetings with friends and family. I almost thought you were ruined when J forgot to update his passport and my plans for a trip to Thailand fell through. But you redeemed yourself with a wonderful vacation in Capri and Norway instead. Anyway, here's what I want to remember of you, and now make some space for your baby brother 2014,  if you will.

Thanks for being gentle with me.


Loch Venechar 

 A short drive to Stirling and a bit further to the lochs, it was raining so much we didn't want to leave the car. Luckily we brought tea and chocolate chunk cookies.



This was a month of the hardest exams I've ever sat, sh*t (or med school) just got serious. 5h of written exams have fried my brain and I needed a break pronto. Visiting family is always the best: good food, free booze, babies to cuddle and documentaries about Antarctica to be watched. Batteries charged.


Snow in Edinburgh 

You got the seasons all mixed up 2013. It was snowing in the end of March in Edinburgh. I wasn't impressed but in hindsight it's my only memory from March. I also started my first clinical placement that month. 


North Berwick 

A short drive East to a lovely town of North Berwick, we will have to come back for the famous lobster roll one day. That time we just got ice cream and I took a picture of a random guy as he looked like my husband from the distance. Looking though pictures on my computer I discovered a photo of a stranger with a seagull.


We had a chance to play tourists in Edinburgh, gave a little tour to our friend and her babies. Jakub loves to play tour guide if you let him talk about architecture and walk along the Dean Valley. There was a lot of blueberry ice creams eaten in May too. A good month. 



Another exam diet behind me and our friends' wedding in Warsaw - June started off very well and was one of my favourite months of 2013. We stayed in Warsaw in an airbnb flat in an old but beautiful tenement building, which remembers the days when Warsaw was called the Paris of the North: think marble staircase, a wooden lift, high ceilings, tons of natural light and a view of rooftops from the window. The wedding was awesome, we had our firs breakfast at the infamous Charlotte and remembered why we loved living in Warsaw so much.


This was the busiest and the best month of all. A much needed break from the hospitals, wards and studying, replaced by sunshine, meetings with friends, good food and travel. Here's what we did: 

  • Ireland - visited family and friends and swam in the Atlantic for the first time in our lives
  • London - cycled in Notting Hill on Boris Bikes and ate first red velvet from the Hummingbird 
  • Tallinn - went to a brilliant Estonian wedding and felt almost at home in Estonia 
  • Akeroya (Norway) - discovered that I like gin & tonic, made fish cakes, caught 3 cods in the sea, snorkelled among jelly fish, made our first crisp bread
  • Trolltunga (Norway) - hiked Trolltunga, slept in the mountains, discovered that hot dogs and a reindeer stew are the best camping food. (Here is my guide to hiking Trolltunga)
  • Oslo - wandered around Oslo and ate too much ice cream. Since it was our 3rd time there we didn't do much else. 


Rome - I learnt that 2 days in Rome in 39 degrees in the hottest time of the year is not the best idea. Also, Romans take vacations in August, which means that the best restaurants are closed. Noted. (Part I, II, III, IV)

Capri - to date the best trip of my life. Staying in a tiny guest-house run by two Italians, swimming in the cold blue Mediterranean looking up on white cliffs and eating the best ice cream of our lives. This was a proof for me that almost no destination is out of reach if you are ready to make sacrifices when you travel. Capri is a luxurious destination for some but also a place where Italians buy summer houses and come with their families to escape the heat of the mainland.

Skye - a very unexpected trip but a highlight of 2013 and one I want to repeat asap. An inspiration to explore the Inner and Outer Hebrides in 2014.


I went back to hospitals in the end of August, beginning with 5 weeks of surgery. I couldn't wait for it to be over, I'm not a budding surgeon, that's for sure. With a prospect of 5 weeks in Warsaw on a self-selected module in a baby ward it was much more bearable. I hadn't lived in Warsaw for over 6 years. I couldn't wait. 


Warsaw - this was one of the best months of 2013. I spent 5 weeks on the neonatal ward in one of the Paediatric hospitals, lived with my brother and then my sister, caught up with old good friends. In the afternoons I would walk around the neighbourhoods I hadn't had time to explore when I was in high school, tasted various diners and eateries, took pictures.

 I can't even describe how much Warsaw has changed over the past 7 years, for me it feels as though it's a city with massive aspirations and hope, trying to prove its worth. Sometimes perhaps trying a bit too hard, but it's definitely lived up to my expectations. It's almost like a very well kept secret of Central Europe and only known to the locals.

The weather was amazing, thanks to airbnb you can stay in beautiful period accommodation for a fraction of the price compared to other capitals of Europe. There're so many good restaurants, so much to do. I'm writing my guide to Warsaw soon, I promise. (Can you tell I had a good time there?).


Dublin - a 45 min flight for a weekend to visit my best friend, visit to a pub, coffee tasting in one of the best cafes on the island,  a long walk and a lot of very good chat. There was an evening in an Irish pub where locals had a bit of an Irish folk music jam session. Again, I need to write it up.


London - second trip to London of the year, a much more touristy but still fun. Love actually and all. It just confirmed that I want to live there and it that the move has to happen soon (ish).

Poland - Christmas at home = enough said. A costly trip but worth every penny.

So here we are. 2013 was a good one but here's to a more adventurous 2014. 

Happy New Year friends. 

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