Wow. As I begin to write this post I must confess that nostalgia and an overwhelming mix of feelings are taking over me. This blog means a lot to me, and even though I haven’t published anything since August 2019, there wasn’t one single day since then that I haven’t thought of Packing my Suitcase.
This blog brought me amazing opportunities to travel, keeps lots of memories and incredibly valuable travel tips, and gave me friends for life. Here used to be a safe space for me, but with so much that happened in my life, I backed away from social media for quite a while. There were, of course, reasons why I didn’t feel like writing here or sharing my life on social media anymore. 2019 was probably the worst year of my life, no, not even compared to the roller coaster of 2020. In 2019 I had a knee surgery, lost my best friend, Enzzo, who was a big part of this blog and our family, and went through depression.
Every time I thought of writing here I thought of Enzzo. My grieving process was way longer and harder than I expected, and yes, I needed time to heal. I also needed time to rethink how I should take things further here on the blog. I wanted to be able to be honest with you as I’ve always been, and not just share beautiful things when my heart and mind felt as such dark places.
So many things changed and happened since then, and I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t an easy journey, but it’s one I can happily and honestly share with you. Everything changed when I decided I needed to seek help and started to have weekly therapy sessions with a psychologist that helped me get to know myself better. This journey of self-discovery led me to face my fears, believe in myself and overcome my depression.
In the past year I started my photography business, which is something that, thanks to Packing my Suitcase, I was able to do. Because of my blog, my photography skills developed and I ended up taking this hobby to a more serious level. 2020 was a year filled with photoshoots, and I loved meeting so many amazing people along the way.
In 2020 I also got to train and run my first ever half marathon. I ran alone on the streets of Munich because all marathons were cancelled (we all know the reason why). My daughter turned 3 (can you believe it?), she now goes to Kindergarten and speaks 3 languages, Portuguese, German and a bit of English. Despite COVID-19, in 2020 we still got the chance to take two amazing trips to two of our favourite countries in the world, Greece and Croatia. These trips were a bit different than usual, with all the restrictions taking place at the time.
First we went to Croatia at the end of July, where we got to visit Korčula for the first time. We are great fans of the Dalmatia region, having already visited Hvar and Brač before. Korčula was no different, we fell immediately in love with the island. As for Greece, we had been to Paros, Astypalea, Mykonos and Athens before, this time we made it to Milos, and I tell you what, I’ve been to some amazing places in this planet, but this island still got my breath away. AMAZING. I promise I’ll do my best to write a few special tips for both of these islands here on the blog, who knows, maybe they’ll be your next destinations.
Travels apart, in 2020 I accomplished my biggest dream: to write a novel. Ever since I was a child I dreamt of writing a novel. Along the past 10 years I began writing about 4 different stories but never trusted myself to finish them. This time was different, this time changed everything. So much that this novel, a Young Adult contemporary romance called INCOMPLETE, is being published this year, precisely on May 7th, on my birthday. Soon you’ll all be able to read it, as it will be available worldwide. To read an extract and find out more about INCOMPLETE you can access my author’s website or Instagram profile.
Yes. A lot happened, and I have been planning on writing here since last year, but I hadn’t felt ready like now. Everything on its time. You know what the best thing is? Getting messages from so many of you asking me how I am and whether I was going to write on the blog again. You have no idea how much these messages meant to me. I might not have millions of followers, but I know that the ones I have are loyal and care about me as a person. Thank you so much for not giving up on me and on the blog. And you know what? I can already tell you that the wait was worth it, because now, for the first time since this blog was created back in 2014, you’re going to see our faces here. This was something I wanted to do for a while, but also never felt ready for it. As I said before, everything on its time.
Here on the blog I always called my hubby, W. and my daughter Baby M. then Little M., well I’m revealing their identity too. From now on, I’ll be calling them Wolfi and Madu, which is how I usually call them. Also, we have another puppy, also a Golden Retriever, named Fitzgerald, but we call him Fitz. He arrived in our home in February 2020 and now is a big guy, so that when he’s sitting he’s as tall as Madu standing.
Yes, a lot to catch up on, right? Especially considering how crazy this past year living in a pandemic has been. As of now, here in Germany we are still in lockdown. Restaurants are closed since November, stores since December. I haven’t been to Brazil since September 2019, which was when I last saw my parents. Crazy times indeed.
I hope all of you are fine and I wish you all health and love for this 2021. Fingers crossed we will all be back on travelling again soon. In the meantime, you are welcome to ask me any questions you might have about me, us, our lives. I can’t wait to catch up with you and share a bit more of our lives again.
Thank you for patience, understanding and loyalty,
Allane, Wolfi, Madu, Fitz and Enzzo (the brightest star in our sky).