I keep seeing memes and comments from people on Facebook about how 2016 has just been a crap year. Certainly, for some it truly has, but most of the people complaining are really just being histrionic. No, I’m not happy about the apparent victor of the US presidential election, but I’m also not going to allow it to overshadow every good and positive thing that has happened to me this year.
It was a good year, and it was definitely the Year of Curveballs.
We began 2016 in Mexico with some wonderful friends, good food, and plentiful fireworks. Soon after the new year we began evaluating whether or not San Miguel would be our home. Even though we really enjoyed life there, Budapest beckoned.
In March, we left Mexico behind and traveled to Italy where we stayed for a few days in Verona and Milan. We had a house sit scheduled in Brussels, and after landing in Milan I received word about the terrorist attacks in Brussels that happened while we were in the air. We weren’t dissuaded, though, and continued on.
While in Belgium, I took the opportunity to visit Bruges which is something I had wanted to do for many years. I was so glad we went.
Then we were off to Budapest. We were thrilled to be back, started getting settled, and I signed up for Hungarian lessons. Life threw us two big curveballs while there—Tigger announced he was actually a transgender girl, and the Hungarian government just couldn’t get it through their heads that Tigger’s birth certificate saying “none” to mother meant there was no mother involved.
In order to get Tigger into the professionals she needed to see to help her process her gender journey, do a name change if she indeed wants that, etc., we needed to be in the US. We had planned on returning in a year after our Hungarian visa expired, but since we didn’t get that we decided to do it sooner.
We were able to secure a long-term house sit in the UK which meant we could save up money for the US, which was a very good thing. On our way, we stopped in the Netherlands and I was able to fulfill another dream—staying in a houseboat in Amsterdam. We celebrated my birthday there and were joined by a special couple we’ve known for a while online and met in person during one of our stays in the UK. They just happened to be outside Amsterdam so it made for a nice meetup.
And spending your birthday with friends is always lovely and not always easy to manage when you’re nomadic.
We stayed in a few cities in the Netherlands and quickly became enamored with the country.
Leading up to our sit in the UK, Turkey experienced a coup attempt. It just so happened that the reason we had the UK house sit was because one of the owners worked for the UN Human Rights Commission in Turkey. As his government counterparts were disappearing regularly, the UN cancelled his contract, and our sit ended up being shortened by a few months.
We figured we would just return to the US earlier than our current plan but were able to secure a few more sits to help us save a bit of money beforehand.
I was able to check another item off my wishlist and visit Bath, England, where we reconnected with the same friends we met up with in Amsterdam for my birthday.
Once in the US, things snapped together so well it was amazing. I applied for a job in my previous field of hospice, and within 2 weeks I was hired. I was able to buy a car, and despite the tough rental market in Olympia, Washington, we were able to get an apartment that is just over a mile from my office.
It’s a city with good public transportation and lots of opportunities for Tigger as well as a general openness to trans people. I connected her with an LGBT teen group, and she recently went to a weekend camp with the group and had a great time.
We are currently back on Whidbey Island where we sat a couple of years ago, and in just shy of a couple of weeks we’ll be in our new apartment where we can actually start really settling down and make our home ours.
So, yeah, I’m not happy about the possibility/probability of a President Trump, but overall 2016 has been really good and I’m not going to let one event drown out all the good that has happened to me and my little family. And while I am most definitely completely dreading Inauguration Day 2017, I have a lot of hope that the rest of 2017 won’t let me down either.
What are you looking forward to in 2017?