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Last night I couldn’t sleep. Legend says, when you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream, right? I turned around over and over again, but I know that when I can’t sleep there is no use in trying. I start thinking and my thoughts get pretty dark when it’s dark outside. The only solution to avoid over-thinking is getting up, doing something and then go back to sleep later.

I was scrolling through strangers’ Instagrams, when the thought of the year ending struck me. I mentally recapped this year and, after going through my own Instagram pictures, I figuratively patted myself on the back thinking “Well done, bro, 2013 has been an amazing year”. So, this year, like the past two (here is the 2011 edition, and here the 2012), I will share my year in review with you guys if you don’t mind.

January: I started off the year buying plenty of fruits and veggies. This time it was not just a new year’s resolution, it turned into a new habit. I moved into my brother’s room for 6 months. I needed some time on my own, I got more and more into photography (like that’s something that is happening every month of every year since 2009 or so, so..) and made my new place a little cozy.

February wasn’t that special. I really didn’t do much. I was getting tired of my job and was trying to keep myself positive. My friend Sonja and I had a few lovely dinners together.

In March I organized a surprise party and girls night out in Amsterdam for my friend’s birthday; we had an amazing time. I went to see Of Monsters and Men live in The Hague on my own and really enjoyed it: this was an experience that made me grow a lot and gave me a confidence boost. I was happy and smiling again: first my mum came to visit. She had been working on a secret project for me for a while.. it involved feathers.. Then my dad came to visit; we celebrated Easter together and danced the night away (that’s right, my dad is that cool).

In April I got a message of love from my roommates and I baked a cake we called “the Black Flower” which was sold in a local cafe. Finally the secret project became reality and    I got the feather my mum had drawn tattooed (no, no regrets, ever) and then happily biked through (someone else’s apartment) on a BMX.

Since I was feeling rebellious, in May I also got a piercing in my ear (I guess it’s called forward helix, it’s in a pretty unusual place). I went to Ireland and almost got blown off the Cliffs of Moher. I relaxed in the garden and went Geocaching on a rainy day.

June was the month I moved in my new place. Little did I know it would have been for 6 months only (yep, I am moving in a week!). I bought new furniture and made the room look pretty. On Midsummer, Sonja and I celebrated as if I were a real Swede too. We made flower crowns and went out in town, where we got asked over and over what the hell we were doing. I spoiled myself and bought a new lens and a microphone for my camera: everything I needed.

July is my favorite month. I did a Color Run, which was an amazing experience! Then Roberto and I drove to Italy. I had the most wonderful days there. Back in my town, back to nature, back to the sea. I have no words to describe it. My friends from university, who I hadn’t seen since graduating two years back, came over and stayed a few days. We had so much fun, and I am still really thankful they came to see me.

I started off August in Italy. I cooked a lot and enjoyed everything the garden gave us. My parents and I drove through northern Italy and southern France for a weekend. I definitely take after them when it comes to my love for exploring. Back in Holland, I worked another few days at the office and on the last day I was surrounded by love from my colleagues.

In September I started working in my favorite shop. That’s when time really started flying. I loved and love it so much. It has nothing to do with my studies, but it’s just such an enjoyable place and environment. I took the IELTS in Amsterdam and passed it. I found out quinoa can be used to make an amazing granola and when to eat out with Roberto.

The 3rd of October was Leiden’s liberation day and I took tons of photos around town. Roberto and I spent a day together in Utrecht where we found this lovely little place. I loved my job more and more and was very happy when I was asked to help with the presentation of the products. Also, I kept working out regularly.

In November I was featured in WordPress’ Freshly Pressed with this post, and got plenty of lovely reactions! My dad played Sinterklaas when he came to visit me and left a present and kilos of sweets. I made Coconut Dates Truffels for an event in Amsterdam.

December is my month. First Roberto and I celebrated Sinterklaas; it was a very cozy evening.. My Birthday was lovely: we headed to the beach and had a nice day exploring. I made my room look Christmassy and Roberto and I spent Christmas together, looking forward to the beginning of the new year together.

I probably missed hundreds of things.. these are only the things I remember from my Instragram pictures. It was a truly amazing year and I am looking forward to start the new year with plenty of new ideas, projects and happy thoughts.

See you in 2014!
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