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“I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good.”

Up to no good in the face of travel and adventure of course. Because why else would I have left you for such an unbearable amount of time!? I have so much more to report, write, and happily describe to you in this fabulous new year. My own Marauder’s Map is spreading out in all directions, embracing past adventures and awaiting new ones. Welcome, 2013, and may you bring plenty of stories and exciting tales, not only of the mischievous Count Dracula in the hills of Romania, but of many more mythical creatures that I may happen to come across. As the Mad Hatter says to Alice, “You would have to be half mad to dream me up.” And friends, I think I truly am half mad, for I have dreamed up many wonderful things as the year came to a close, and hope to dream up many more in the coming months.

As previously mentioned, I have a soft spot in my heart for Christmas. My mom, dad, sister and I spend many wonderful evenings by our Christmas tree, which, in true German tradition, brightens the room with real candles. (Don’t tell the fire marshall. I promise, we are experts.) It brings the family together without technology and with only Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium sounding in the background as we let ourselves travel to the magical world that only Christmas and candlelight can bring.

This year I jumped from a chilly Romania, to a snow-covered Lake Zurich, to a fabulous German Weihnachtsmarkt (where, don’t fret, cup after cup of Gluehwein was consumed), to London’s glitzy Regent Street that displayed—with many lights—the Twelve Days of Christmas, until ultimately ending back in Suburbia, where houses were covered in lights, trees where shimmering in windows, and the weather wasn’t quite cold enough for my liking. But that’s usual for a Christmas in North Carolina, and where else would I rather be for Christmas than curled up at home?!

But, since the holidays are coming to an end, let’s not dwell on the year just passed, but instead allow me to let you in on a little secret. My resolution for this year will be the following: I will hopefully never need to leave for such an extended amount of time again!

And so, with that, I will leave you to ponder the adventures you will take in this new year (I already have some exciting ones brewing that I cannot wait to tell you about!) with the following quote from the book I am currently reading:

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road