Summery of 2008

Greetings friends,

Well, once per year I try to sum up what I have done, what went well, what didn’t go so well and is in need for improvement so the following year can become even better.
2008 started kind of in a dull tone due to the breakup with a girl, within the first couple of days into the new year I traveled to San Carlos de Bariloche in Patagonia, Argentina. I went through Brazil and Chile to get there, this one month trip that was advertised as a “Wildlife Biologist Volunteer” was far from that. However, it was nice and I met lots of cool people so the trip was for sure not in vain.

When I left Banff just before Xmas 2007 it was close to -30C and a meter of snow and when I got down to Patagonia, it was +30C and needless to say, I was dehydrated and sun-struck almost immediately.

The trip to, during and later from Bariloche was filled with troubles (canceled and delayed flights, luggage issues and much more) and it was not meant to happen, at that time I believe.

While in Bariloche I saw many XTerras and the idea of doing the Pan-American Highway was really taken form. The idea is still an idea and some more thought has gone into it, but it’s still years before I will be doing that kind of adventure. A suggested route is routed here:http://www.s-mart.se/map-panam.html

After leaving Patagonia, I was unemployed and kind of more down due to some old issues with my back and not being able to successfully complete my contract in Argentina.
It took me three weeks before I scored a manager position with my previous employer at a fruits and vegetable warehouse and signed a contract for six months.
My time in Sweden was quite stressful due to many variables and I think today looking back, that it was not weird that I almost “went into the wall” as people say. It was stress about my permanent residence application, work, future, goals and dreams in life, and grateful as I am for it, but being 30yo and living at your parents are too a reason why I didn’t feel 100% as well.

My time in Sweden was very nice though, I got to “hang out” with my nephews and get to know them lots better and they get to know me as well. I also met some really nice people during the summer that turned into dear friends.

Much of this tension disappeared when I went back to North America in the beginning of September. I had had a dream of driving down to the Grand Canyon and following the coast up, then get my visa and then settle in the greater Vancouver area. I saved and after spending two days in Banff I was on my way on what would become a 6week and 11.000km long road trip.
(Read more here: http://www.s-mart.se/adv-roadtrip-usa08.html)

After getting to Seattle and getting the bad news about the declined application for permanent residence, and the fact that it all came down to me missing out on two short weeks, I was broken, ready to throw in the towel, go home and mope and be bitter for the rest of my life. After catching up with a friend in Canmore, I was put into a better mood and onto better thoughts I started to apply for work in the Bow Valley, two weeks later I had secured a position as a Front Office Manager at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge in Canmore.

I started my new position the first of December and so far it feels like a large family where everyone takes care of everyone.

I have found out this year, that people do give a shit, even if you are not close friends that ‘hang out’ everyday, or even are on the same side of the planet I have received encouragements during the hard times and I hope I have been there and given back some as well, when my friends been in need.

I don’t want to mention anyone by name in this note, since I don’t want to forget to mention anyone.
Currently today 25th Dec 2008 I have 269 friends here on Facebook, obviously some are closer friends than others, some are colleagues, some associates, some are just random people I met in random places. None the less, all of you guys means something to me, there is a memory associated with each and everyone of you guys and that’s what I like about this site.

I was invited to Facebook two years ago (just after new years 2006) by a friend I bumped into at Panorama Mountain Village, even if I didn’t use the site for a long while after signing up.

Anyways, I am glad I have you as a friend, and if you have read this far it means you are one of the ones ‘giving a shit’ about me and if that’s not what’s friends are for I don’t know what…

Looking forward to read your summaries of your 2008 and I hope you will keep being part of my life during 2009!

I hope you all have had a Merry Xmas and will have a successful 2009!!!

With love, Stefan

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