I spent December 31, 2011 with my sister and her family in northern Virginia.  As we awaited the countdown, random mixes of our favorite 80’s and 90’s hits mixed in with independent and foreign artists playing in the background, and the slow gin fizz was flowing (thanks Ray) and guests were getting primed for the countdown.  3, 2, 1 . . . and we were off into the new year, 2012.  Within a month I moved out of my DC apartment, within 2 I resigned my job, and by March I was on a plane with 40+ strangers to start my life in Albania.  New people, new language, new chapter, new adventure, new, new, new.

I spent December 31, 2012 with friends in my freezing apartment in Elbasan. Only two of us made it to the countdown, bubbles in hand. Fireworks and firecrackers blasted like a war zone. A little frightening, but a great spectacle (quick note – the city completely shuts down by mid day new years eve, so stock up on food, booze and any needed supplies. Two days later and we’re at less than half operation. Just saying).

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing all I can to make the most of this experience, but granted I was wondering that in my old life as well.  Thanks to my daily planner and Facebook Year in Review, I can say that I might not be doing everything, but I’m just getting warmed up.

Happy New Year 2013!

As a final note, there’s a lot from December still to catch up on, so expect those in pieces over the next few, as ¡Permiso Albania! presents “The December Issue: 2012”