2018 Year in Review

What went well and what didn't in 2018.

2018 Year in Review

It's that time of the year again.
Time to wrap up presents, eat like there is going to be a global famine and ask three simple questions:

  • What went well last year?
  • What did not go well last year?
  • What do I want to do next year?

Now as you read this keep in mind that it is mostly written for my benefit, so I can reflect on the year and have this journal to refer back to later. I do it in public because I think you may enjoy it and be able to learn from it in some way.

manuel & vicky on a horse

What went well

Travel ✈️

2018 has been a great year for travelling (not as good as 2017, but still great). I've finally gone to South America and travelled to 8 countries in total, including Perù, Cuba, Belgium & France.

The year kicked off with 3 months in South America, visiting Cuba, Perù, Cuba again and Dominican Republic.

Cuba was our first destination and although I liked some things, I definitely didn't love it. I often felt like I was being "robbed" with prices 20 to 50 times higher than the "real prices" for very poor quality and service. The food was also a big problem; I totally get the embargo, but after 1 week of rice, beans and disgusting pizza my body was getting sick and craving vegetables. If you're going to Cuba (I'm not talking about resorts for westerners with all the amenities, but the REAL Cuba), read this article my girlfriend wrote first.

That said, the cars were actually cool :)

old car in cuba
old car in cuba

Perú was a big surprise and I'll definitely go back one day.

If you're a foodie, you'll love Perù: the food scene is just incredible and Lima boasts two restaurants in the top ten of the world. Vicky and I loved just about everything including, obviously, Ceviche.

ceviche in Lima, Perù

One cannot visit Perù without going to Machu Picchu. So we did and it was absolutely amazing. It's definitely not the easiest attraction in the world (you need to acclimatise to the altitude first, etc), but it was totally worth it. The view was breath-taking.

panoramic photo of machu picchu, Perù
manuel with locals & llamas

Dominican Republic
The third leg of our South American trip was the Dominican Republic, where we were the guests of our friend Robert Fenton. To say that we were in Paradise is an understatement: we were living 15 to 20 seconds from the sea (the bloody Caribbean Sea!), eating either fresh fish or super-healthy vegan recipes from Anett every day. Life was almost TOO good there :)

dominican republic sunset
vicky with giant lobster
vegan food in dominican republic

3 decades 👴🏻

I turned 30 in August. 3 decades... 10,950 days... 262,800 hours... ok, you know where I'm going with this.

Turning 30 was a good reason to reflect on my life. What I've done, where I'm going. That sort of things. I even managed to come up with 30 things I've learned in my 30 years.

In October Vicky (who also turned 30 this year) and I threw a party to celebrate our joint 30th birthday. We asked our friends and family to come to Italy and we spent an unforgettable weekend in Tuscany.

family photo in a pool
manuel & masala dressed smart

Books 📚

2018 was a great year for reading. I wrote a dedicated blog post about that, so I won't repeat myself here.

Better life-work balance ⚖️

One of my big goals for this year was to improve my work-life balance. I started experimenting in May with 4-day long work weeks and they have been very beneficial to me. I will write a blog post about it soon.

Valentina's wedding 👰🏻

In October Valentina, my best friend of a lifetime, got married and asked me to be her "testimone" (the Italian version of the best man). I'm grateful Valentina asked me of such big honour and I wish her a long and happy marriage.

manuel & vicky dressed smart for a wedding

What did not go well

Stationary lifestyle 💪

2018 has been a bit of a failure for my body. I've spent most days working from home, sometimes averaging less than 200 steps in the entire day.

I tried to go to the gym regularly but my motivation clearly wasn't enough. I failed my goal of bringing down the average cost per visit to €5.

Business 💸

Maître didn't hit the goals I set at the beginning of the year and in July I decided to part ways with my business partner. It hasn't been simple but I'm confident 2019 will be a great year.

What I want to do next year

My goals for next year are:

  • Save £10,000
  • More meaningful relationships
  • Grow my business to $25,000 MRR
  • Write 2 blog posts per month
  • Read 25 books
  • Get in shape. Target weight => 85Kg.

What are your goals for 2019?