Happy New Year (and new decade) friends! I’m sure you’ve seen a million and one ten year updates and I guess I didn’t want to miss out on the party. As Ryan and I ring in the New Year, our last in Europe (for now at least), I joined the ranks of people thinking back over the last year and last decade.
I’ve always been a fan of countdowns, milestones, and reflection. The New Year has always been my favorite time of year and so many of my major life events have revolved around the holiday. It’s the perfect time to take stock of what we have, what we’ve done, and where we want to go. So let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
2010 brings us back to little Sarah and Ryan as juniors at Hudson High School. Yes, a decade ago, Ryan and I were friends that were still a year away from dating. We still had to go to prom with other people (Ryan’s only prom, by the way. We’ll get to that later….) He was hockey obsessed and I was spending just about every spare second I could in the choir room.
2011 was the spark, ladies and gents. 9 years ago, Ryan and I started dating a few days after New Years. (Happy 9th anniversary on Sunday!) Ryan stood me up for prom (check out the story here…don’t worry, things worked out for all involved!) and then jetted off for 6 months in Alaska after graduation while I headed down to Madison for college.
2012, Ryan found himself in New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin. He was still hockey-obsessed while I was spending my time doing normal college things. Pictures from this era should probably not resurface but, here we are.
2013 was probably Ryan’s favorite – time for him to join the real world and head to “college”!! I spent the summer in Copenhagen and my love for Denmark has been burning ever since. (Here’s to hoping we can make that home for a bit someday…)
2014 went by without much fuss. We still managed to get some embarrassing old pictures though!
New Years 2015, I accepted my first job offer, a decision that really seems to be working out for me 5 years later! I planned a move out to Denver and, after spending a grand total of 3 days out there with my mom over Spring Break, I got an apartment, moved in with a woman I had met for 4 hours up to that point (another awesome decision!) and made the move out to Denver that summer. Cue 2 happy years of hiking and skiing!
New Years 2016, we make it official. 5 years after we started dating, Ryan pops the question on a ski run in Keystone after nearly falling off the chair lift. It seems like just yesterday that we were getting engaged but the next four years really flew by.
Just after New Years 2017, Ryan got assigned to move to Germany. We had been hoping for a position in Europe so finding out that we were making a move across the Atlantic was really a dream come true. We spent the next 6 months planning for not only for an international move but also for marriage and new jobs.
The second half of 2017 began the greatest adventure of our young lives, with a 7 country, 25-day honeymoon, complete with 5 others (only for the first two weeks) Ryan got to dip his toes in the European waters and it’s safe to say, he was a fan.
2018 and 2019 were a blur of activity so I’m going to cheat and roll them all together into one. After settling into the European lifestyle (things move a bit slower over here) we rolled into an amazing string of travel. We were visited by family and learned a lot about ourselves throughout the challenge of acclimating to a new culture and learning a new language. We took a combined 95 trips to 32 countries. We saw a fair chunk of the world and had the time of our lives.
We spent the last hours of the decade on the crowded shoreline of Lake Zurich. We strolled the old city and heard no less than 10 languages in as many hours. We replied to questions in French, German, and English and the experience was laughably familiar. We ordered sushi, sake, and mochi in German since the staff didn’t speak English. We sipped Prosecco with our Swiss Hoteliers and chatted about the difficulties of understanding the varying accents between each Swiss city. We tried our best to soak up every moment of our quickly dwindling time here but mused about how hard it has become when these streets have started to feel so much like home.
Safe to say, the last ten years have been pretty amazing. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye. Growing up together, seeing the world, and finding our place in it has been quite an adventure. I have no doubt life has a few more in store for us. 2020 looks set to be pretty amazing but it is also the year we will leave our home, the first place we lived as a married couple, for a place we have never been and know virtually nothing about (no, we don’t know where yet. But none of the options are places I’ve been before.) I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to be living the life I have always dreamed of and I hope the future holds more travel, exotic locations, and growth experiences. Part of the 20s will probably be back in the US. I’m hoping part of them will be spent elsewhere in the world, too. So cheers to the last ten years. You’ve been amazing. And cheers to the future. May the rest of our lives be the best of our lives.