I may have only been living in Kitzbühel for 3 months and it feels like home already,so much so that I have decided to stay here for Summer too. My German is slowly improving, as is my skiing, I am learning to love the snow and my friendship group is full of a wonderful people from all over the world.

I wake up in the beautiful mountains every day and, for the most part, have had wonderful weather so the breathtaking views can be seen but the friends I have here are what really makes Kitzbühel for me. I was able to share a Christmas meal with other Brits, I saw the New Year by joining some of my regular guests in the street outside work setting off fireworks (very strange as I am used to standing at least 20m away in a garden or field and not the party that was happening in right in the middle of buildings and crowds), and, during the chaos of the Hahnennkamm Rennen I took the opportunity to go up another mountain and spend 3 hours on the Saturday with a friend avoiding the crowds and practicing my own skiing before going to the less crowded Slalom race on the Sunday.

During the Christmas Markets in December, one friend remarked at how most of us are “runaways”, we came to the mountains to have fun and avoid major responsibilities of a “normal” life. He called the town “our Neverland” without even realising my obsession for all things Peter Pan, and it really is. I spend most of my time, even when working, having fun and I laugh so much that I am sure my face has more lines on it than ever before and I love it.

A year ago I was quite a reserved person and easily scared by new experiences but now I try new foods, sing in public, join conversations with people I do not know well, if at all, I play in the snow and try to get to as many local events as possible. I know Simo would be proud of me. Although I miss him and wish he could still be here to see all of this I know that without experiencing the last 10 months, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. I also need to say a huge than you to my beautiful friend Sam who invited me here in the first place knowing that I would love it.

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Last week I had to get a hair cut and the hairdresser was asking how long I been growing it out, assuming that it had been a short bob for a while and when I told her about having shaved it and that this was only the 3rd cut I had had since it had been growing back she looked close to tears in amazement that I had actually done it, something I had not seen in a while.

Simo’s family travelled to Thailand at the end of January and took him back with them as they had promised at his hospital bedside. The photos and updates from Sam showed a wonderful adventure for the family and I am so happy for them that they were able to see the place he loved so much, and hope that I will one day soon be able to see it for myself.

I will try to write again soon and not leave it another 3 months, until then I wish you all safe travels and many wonderful adventures!

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