Bridging the Gap… Summertime fun and Autumn Travels

I won’t lie or hide it. I’ve been very blessed this year with good health and great adventures; extraordinary opportunities to travel, make new friends, and experience life to the fullest. So much so, that I am now faced with the challenge of bridging the gap between April and December.

Here goes….

 

The summer began with a big party to celebrate ICAN’s Five Year Anniversary. The Indiana Carcinoid Awareness Network (ICAN) is a group I started in July of 2008, when I still lived in the central Indiana area. I was diagnosed in May 2006 and no support group or networking group was available in the area. The closest meeting I could find was in Chicago, which I attended on occasion and was fortunate enough there to make good friends and realize the impact a local networking group could have in the Indianapolis area. I dreamed it up in early 2007, and establishing the group and building it to what it is today is something that I am most proud of. We are over 40 members strong, and we are more than just patients. We are friends and we are family.

Summer time parade watching!

The rest of our summer was filled with BBQs, Parades, car shows and our usual Chicago sight-seeing. We have really enjoyed living in Chicago the last three years and you just can’t beat the summer-time festivities.

 

When August began, so did a new job for me with Hyatt. Now 10 years into my career with the company, I had started a new job that allowed me to work on strategy and process improvements. It was an exciting time, as I was asked to take part in an assessment project that had me traveling to various hotels in Dallas, TX; Orlando, FL; and New York City; followed by two more weeks of travel to Europe, including stops in Germany (Mainz, Berlin, and Hamburg), Paris, France and the United Kingdom (London and Birmingham). I was traveling with just a few other Hyatt colleagues and a small team from Deloitte Consulting, and I can say with certainty that these were some of the most fun days I’ve had working. Not only was I able to visit some of our best hotels, but made new friends and new Hyatt memories. (Click HERE for Pictures of this trip)

The project lasted a little over a month, and I assumed my travels would be over. However, I was then approached to assist at our Regional Corporate office in Zurich, Switzerland for 4 weeks, to help with financial reporting and analysis. This 4 week project lasted from mid-October to mid-November and it wasn’t very long after my arrival that the position was offered as a permanent assignment. I was enjoying the work, and Brian and I have been hoping for a few years that we might have an opportunity to work and live abroad. This sounded like the perfect fit, so there really was no decision.

To take you back a few steps… A few years into my diagnosis, Brian and I took a step back to assess where we were in our lives. Our marriage was certainly happy, but with the diagnosis we started to wonder if we weren’t doing things for others, when instead we should be doing things for ourselves. Were we just following life’s plan as others imagined it should be? It seemed then (as it still does today) that it is more important for us, and more satisfying, and more adventurious to live the lives that we want to lead. I don’t think that when we made those decisions (nearly 4 years ago now) that we could have realized how rewarding this experience could be. Our marriage is stronger and happier, and we’re having fun and about to embark on our next great adventure!

So that’s where we are at now – we are preparing to uproot our lives again and move to Zurich, Switzerland. We’ll land on Dec 30 and celebrate a New Year in our new town. But with that being said, it’s time to do a Farewell Tour…

“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.” — Richard Bach