Looking back to 2022.. and hoping for a wonderful 2023 ..

The past year has been colourful. I have traveled extensively, which is definitely a plus. I have presented my data in a very important meeting, which is great too. But in terms of relationships, I did not have a good year. But I guess you can’t really have it all.

The year started with lots of tension from my partner. Me and my daughter had COVID when we visited my partner’s family in India. And his mother tried to pierce my 2year daughter’s ear within 104+ F fever. As a trained doctor, I could not accept that because there is high chance of infection with bad outcome for a small kid. I was shocked when I came to know it was planned without discussing with me in an unsterile condition by a village quack. I protested, but answered with lots of threats including I should leave their village leaving my daughter there. I took quick decision, and left with my daughter and my mom ( who was thankfully accompanying me ) and took a train to another city wherefrom I had a flight scheduled next day. The whole time, my partner and his brother kept threatening us via sms. We flew to Germany back a day later. My German friends took us in theirs for a week or so, considering the threats they thought it is not wise to stay at my own place. I received no communication from my partner next 2 weeks though he was supposed to come back with us which of course he did not. My downstairs neighbours, my friends all helped me pas through this. Then suddenly one evening my partner came back, I told him to move out.. But he would not, he is giving the excuse of my daughter. In Germany the separation is very complicated and so is the custody. I had to allow him to stay because if I call for help, I am directed to a rescue home, which I absolutely won’t stay in. But I changed my room lock and my neighbours and friends are alerted for no-one is trusting him any more. I am taking my time to understand the process and how I can get out of the situation. Certainly that is my one goal for 2023.

The whole situation made me stay away from home as much as possible. I worked hard all week when my daughter is at day care and every weekend I tried to get away. In February I went to Maastricht in the Netherlands to watch the carnival which is excellent there. The town is very close to German border and have an excellent flavour of Joie de Vivre, its zest for life. Arriva runs regular trains from Aachen, Germany or Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands. Carnival is the best time to indulge in city’s lively atmosphere.

In March, I went to Burges, Belgium for a day trip. Just to mention, all of the trips I went together with my 2 yrs old only and we both had super fun time. Bruges attracts probably the most tourists than any other city in Belgium. I always wanted to visit here and finally after 4 trains and 5 hours journey we were there and we loved it. We ate waffle together and fries. We walked through the old town , shopping streets , took photos and at around 5, went back. While coming back, were so late that we finally came home at next day 1.00 am, my daughter already sleeping in her kinderwagen ( Buggy).

We got a circular that we need to take the remaining leaves of previous year by March, otherwise they will be lost. So last week of March we took off and went to Portugal. Now this is a place I definitely recommend. It is warm, sunny and beautiful. Affordable hotels, amazing foods , great pub lic transports. What else you need for a a vacation? Take a look..

In April, I worked a lot and only went out 2 Saturdays to some local beautiful places in Rhine valley. Mostly because I can travel them with my semester ticket without any extra costs. Going out in the weekends also helps my daughter staying away from screen time, these babies born during corona are completely addicted to screen. And Rhine valley is so beautiful and so underrated.

In the May it was the same. I worked hard on some stuff and only managed to travel on 2 weekends. I went to a small city in Belgium called Liège and to the tulip garden in Keukenhof in the Netherlands. Both for day trips,which though hectic, but quite good as I could save money for accommodations.. May is special month, we celebrated Ellie’s second birthday with her and my friends.

June was extremely busy with work too, mostly because we would be going to holidays in the next month. We just went to Berlin for a conference. German government gave this amazing offer of 9 euro ticket for the whole country regional trains in summer and we could see few places like Rotheneburg ob Der Tauber and Rüdesheim am Rhine From mid July to first week of august, Ellie’s daycare is closed for 3 weeks and I always spend my half amount of leaves in this time. I started planning the trip, which is not easy considering traveling alone with luggage, buggy and a 2 years old. However, we managed to have a wonderful trip through Austria, Lichtenstein and Hungary for a week and later to Switzerland for 2 days. We also had chance to sneak out to Münster for a Saturday with our beloved friend Ashy. I would particularly recommend Lichtenstein. The mountains in Malbun reminded me of Himalyay and I would love to go back. This time we were there just for a whole day. The day ticket is 8 EURO and it is worth it.

After the vacation, I get back to work and Ellie was back in Daycare. My grave mistake was sharing the news of relationship issue with my partner to my boss and she took full advantage of it. She humiliated me in small issues, blamed me for things I did not do, did not let me go to conferences I wanted, asked students to spy on each other. I wanted to quit many times, but my friends and family kept me motivated. I sent my abstract to EMBO annual meeting Washington D.C. and it was accepted. Not only that., I was awarded a travel fellowship to attend the same in December. I was also selected for hosting a round table discussion among scientists. But to be cautious, this time I did not share the news with anyone except my mom. I kept myself preparing. In September my mom came to visit us and help me with Ellie, while I studied. So I decided to take a week off in October to show her Italy. I planned everything and took my mom and Ellie, but it was quite expensive , beyond my calculation. I came to accept it as showing my mom was my dream. Moreover, she also was kind to share my expenses to some extent.

We also took a weekend to visit Palma de Majorca as we got a cheap flight for 50 bucks.And a day trip to Amsterdam which went all minds of wrong. In November I worked hard to prepare for the conference, though my boss created a lots of problem. My other boss who is my actual employer haven been quite professional and it saved me from a bit. My mom agreed to take care Ellie so I could travel to the USA and present my data. My ex colleagues in USA hosted me and I met few professors in Harvard as well for my future plans. As soon as I came back to Germany, my mom left in 2 days. It was pre-booked flight and her visa was finished, so I could not keep her here. But it hurt a lot, she is like my shield. In the last week, we went to Dortmund Christmas market. We had 2 days holiday and went to Paris for 2 days. It is pretty close to us by train. Then coming back, I again started working as I need to submit some report on Monday. So far, it has been eventful year, but I am grateful for my friends, my readers , my Insta followers and my mom and daughter.

This year will be challenging, but I am determined to fight back and keep the most important things in mind.. taking care of my and Ellie’s health and getting out of toxic relationships are on the top of my list. I wish you all a wonderful new year filled with happiness, health and success. Thanks for reading and following, you are my extended family. Lots of love…

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