This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please read my disclosure for more details(Last Updated On: January 27, 2020)
This is a long and overdue post. I wasn’t sure at first whether I was going to make an update about my life for 2019 but here goes!
Since the end of 2018, I stopped posting a lot of personal information on this blog, mostly for privacy reasons. For example, I stopped sharing my net worth reports and blog income reports.
However, 2019 was a very exciting and interesting year for me and I wanted to document it. I hope you enjoy this post!
January – March 2019
This was quite a tough period for me. First, I had my exams for my PhD, which proved to be quite challenging. Second, I was just going through a breakup with my boyfriend of 2 years, my main support system for my entire stay in Switzerland so far.
However, I was able to focus on other things to make myself happy. I spent a lot of time in the mountains snowboarding and discovering a bunch of new ski resorts thanks to my unlimited ski pass.
One of my friends got engaged and we went to Morocco for her Bachelorette party. It was my first time in North Africa/in an Arab country. Looking back, it was a great trip even though we had a few mishaps (including having random creepy guys follow us around)!
April – June 2019
During this time, I was again, very busy with my PhD studies. The second semester started in late February and it proved to be a lot more difficult than the first.
I spent Easter in Palma and that was fun. I got to practice my Spanish and my new Spanish friends were very impressed by my level of fluency. I also met a famous artist there.
Back in Switzerland, the weather started warming up and I did a few hikes in the area.
In June, I had my first visit from a friend from back home. It was one of my good friends from back in my figure skating days. We did a short trip around Belgium (Brussels & Bruges), Luxembourg, France (Colmar) and Switzerland (Basel, Neuchatel, Lausanne). Colmar was the cutest place ever!
Finally, I finished my last exam and was finally done all my first-year courses. I was very pleased it was over!
July – September 2019
In the summer, I was lucky enough to go on a research exchange in South-East Asia. I spent a total of 5 weeks abroad.
At the same time, I was able to volunteer and work on one of my personal passion projects – an educational workshop on garbage management and recycling. My workshop was a huge success and we were able to train 20 educators and 25 schoolchildren. For 2020, the project will continue to be funded so we can reach more people! I’ll also be attending the Clinton Foundation conference again and this time it will be in Edinburgh, Scotland!
October – December 2019
Now that I am done all of my PhD courses, I can finally focus on research! I have a lot of interesting projects lined up and collaborations with researchers from abroad!
During the fall, I had another friend come visit and we did some sightseeing in the area. My friend enjoyed Switzerland in the fall, it’s a beautiful time if it’s not raining.
I also picked up figure skating again (thanks to my figure skating friend’s visit) and now I am skating 2x a week.
I had another goal of learning how to ski. I have been snowboarding for years but never found the appeal in skiing. In Canada, snowboarding is way cooler. However, here in Switzerland, most people ski. I finally committed to learning how to ski and now I am a strong intermediate skier. Knowing how to snowboard definitely helped with the steep learning curve of skiing.
Last but not least, I also met my boyfriend’s family and spent Christmas with them. It was crazy, I had never received so many gifts in my entire life!
Overall, my finances in 2019 have improved significantly from when I was a Master’s student. I no longer feel “poor” or have to live paycheck to paycheck.
As you may have guessed, I am working on a few side projects in addition to this blog. In total, my side hustles cover all of my living costs and I am able to save 60-70% of my income every month! I am pretty happy about that! I’m investing most of it.
I’ve also started to be more relaxed with my money. I am still frugal, but I “splurge” once in a while. For example, I am allowing myself to eat out more. As a Master’s student, I nearly never ate out, but now I’m trying to eat out at least 2 times a week so I can try new food and restaurants in the area.
Goals for 2020
I always set an overwhelming amount of goals for myself. Instead of boring you with all the mundane goals, I will just highlight my main goals:
1. Make advancements in my PhD
I’m in my second year of my PhD now and the pressure is on! We only receiving funding for a maximum of 5 years and I am aiming to finish sooner than that.
My main goal in 2020 is to really work on finishing at least 1-2 papers, attending conferences, and networking as much as possible. I would really like to do a research exchange somewhere in the USA after my second year.
2. Start transition to life after Switzerland
I recognize that I will likely be leaving Switzerland after my PhD. I’m starting to miss my family and friends and I picture myself going back to Canada or to the USA after my PhD.
Nevertheless, Switzerland has been a huge part of my life. I love this country so much and there are still so many places left to explore. Therefore, I came up with a list of about 15 items that I want to do before I move away from here. They’re mostly hikes or small trips in various areas around Switzerland and Europe. I’m hoping to cross off this bucket list within the next few years before my PhD is over! Of course, I will document them on this blog (if I can ever find the time)!
3. Continue working on passion projects and volunteering
As mentioned previously, I am working on a few passion projects outside of this blog. I hope to continue working on them. I really wish to grow them to a point where I no longer have to actively manage them.
I also want to dedicate more time to this blog. I neglected it for the large part of 2019 and I want to pick it back up again.
My goal is to also give back more which includes donating my time and money whenever possible.
4. Continue doing everything I love (hobbies)
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I have a lot of hobbies. I am addicted to studying and learning new things.
In 2020, I just want to continue doing all of my hobbies and making improvements in all areas (i.e. ballet, figure skating, tap dance, skiing, snowboarding, yoga, piano, guitar). I also want to keep practicing my Spanish and improving my Mandarin.
5. Continue growing my income and investing
For 2020, I hope to continue increasing my income even more and invest more of my money. I also wish to donate more now that I am more financially stable.
Thank you for reading this post and continue to follow my blog! How was your 2019? What are your goals for 2020?
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