Grabs, December 2005

Dear Friends...

As you can imagine, 13 months on the road went by much too fast. An extremely fascinating, enjoyable and interesting time with no stress, no pressure and a great feeling of absolute freedom had to come to an end sometime. (All the details, pictures and travelnotes, you find on ) So we returned home just in time for the Swiss national holiday in August. Coming home was not always easy: Getting back into "normal" life, with rules, obligation and always the same surroundings, the same people, the same daily routine,... But coming home also brought some nice things - like having family and friends close again, good food, daily hot showers, mountains, sports,… And everybody really tried to make our home-coming easier, thank you so much!

The first month was filled with lots of weddings of friends (and my parents' 33rd wedding-anniversary party in our garden – so thrilled that they are still so happy together!) Unfortunately we couldn't attend all the parties. We had so many appointments with people whom we hadn't seen for more than a year, we went for lunches, coffees, dinners, biking or hiking together, talking about all the experiences, us away and them here, to get the latest news. Fixed dates and meetings and having to keep the time was a new experience for us, after just living every day, one by one, for such a long time – carpe diem! I still don't wear a watch and will keep this freedom as long as possible.

The first three weeks it was raining day and night, so being back in Switzerland was even more difficult for me. Although I have a “new” mountainbike I didn't go biking as often as other years… But I loved cycling or rollerblading on the dam of the river Rhine, for hours, just switching off the brain and enjoying the beautiful nature.

Two weeks after we arrived back home I got an email from a friend, that there was a job-ad in the paper that sounded perfect for me. So I applied (although I only wanted to start working in autumn) and got the job a week later. Since the 2nd of November I work for ABACUS Research AG, a company that creates business-software. I support the guys who sell and introduce our software to the clients, write manuals, test them and will start giving courses next year. It's really a great job, a fantastic company and such a nice team.

The same week I got my job, Markus got a new one too. He's also working in St. Gallen, at GWZ, a company that produces Software for insurances and municipalities. He's working as a project manager and likes his job, too. Also in the same week we found a cute little house in Grabs. It has 4 ½ rooms, just perfect. It's old but has a good spirit :-)

We went to Lenzburg a few times this year, to see Andreas and Ursula. Once for a concert (Streetrats, was great) and once for the baptism of their wonderful daughter Eowyn, Markus' god-daughter, who was born just a day after his birthday! Another new baby in our life is Cecilia, the daughter of Fabiola and Heinz, Markus' brother. She's so beautiful and happy, smiling all the time.

All of September I was working in Wildhaus, teaching two classes in one - happy kids who live in the mountains. Definitely different to teaching in a town like Buchs. But as usual, teaching was hard work and convinced me, that I am happy to give it up. However I must say, it was rewarding to work with children who want to learn.

I really enjoy all my time with Nanouk, my godson. He's 2 years old now and such a clever and joyful child – no wonder with such brilliant parents! When I had time during my "free" months, I went to St. Gallen to look after him with my mother, when Natalie (his mother, my sister) was working. Sometimes he came to see me with his parents and once I even had a date with him over lunch, at Ben & Gaby's.

In October I was allowed to go and see Ben's work at Sky-guide, where he's learning to be an air-traffic-controller. I was absolutely fascinated and most impressed! On the same day the earth shook in Pakistan and India . Places where we had travelled only a year ago were totally destroyed. As Pakistan was one of my favourite countries, I feel close to those people there and am sad about what happened on the 8th of October. All I can do is pray for the people in the northern areas that they are strong enough to survive the hard wintertime.

Two days after that, Seb, our friend with whom we had spent more than two weeks in Tibet, came to see us in Grabs. He is cycling from France to Nepal on his self-made-bike. We spent a great week together, climbing, cycling, hiking and especially talking lots about travelling and life. His father and his friend came to meet him on their way east, bringing pizza, wine and a nice time to our house. At the moment I'm making a website for Sebastien, I love this creative work and could spend every free minute on web design… The time with Seb motivated us to start climbing again. We enjoyed some nice climbs out in nature and on inside climbing-walls with friends (which we hope to continue more often in the new year!).

After my first course at ABACUS we went to Lugano to tidy-up the caravan for winter. It was a beautiful sunny weekend, as always in the Ticino.

In November my working-life began and I still have to learn to get used to my new part of my life. But I like my job and that's a big deal. After my first week at work we went hiking the Fürstensteig in Liechtenstein with Dani and Luzia and enjoyed our time with them.

A week later I had to have my ankle operated after a small accident in Thailand. So that made me walk with crutches for weeks and it's still not as it should be. But hoping for the best – I don't want to miss another snowboarding-season…

The third weekend in November we spent with the whole Milsom-family in Wil and Zürich, enjoying lots of fun and peaceful moments together. We also went to see the musical “Sisteract” in a tiny old church in St.Gallen with Mam, Ben & Gaby.

As you see, my weeks seem to be packed with activities and I hardly find time for myself to just lean back and enjoy the memories of our bigtrip, sort and order our photos, relax and read. I hope I can find more time for the people who want to meet up in the new year. Sometimes I feel so bad that I can't stop talking about my travels – it's just like an oasis in a desert, dreaming in my memories is like a short trip to heaven… but I slowly feel my feet touching the ground again. We'll see what the new year brings, am sure it will be good.

For the new year I wish you, that every day will be a special one! Take care and enjoy life!

Lots of love from snowy Switzerland – just came back from sledging from the mountain down to our house…

:-) Jennifer

archive new year letters.... 2003 - 2002