A Year of Reflection: From Inside Out

A year of reflection Yvonne and Lars Seier Christensen - 2016

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A year of reflection

The year 2016 has been bittersweet, a mixture of ups and downs. As one gets older the stakes get higher, and somehow the challenges are more amplified.

I felt this profoundly in 2016 as I faced some difficulty in my personal life; however, the flip side of life’s challenges is they can make you stronger and realize your ability to survive and thrive. I realize I am fortunate in many ways; however, no one is exempt from challenge, no matter how lucky or privileged I may be perceived from the outside. As many of us know only too well, how we are seen from the outside can be deceptive, and not be an accurate reflection of our inner self. As 2016 draws to a close, I would like to share some insights, highlights and beautiful moments from this year.

For those of you that know me, the word challenge has never been part of my vocabulary. Life is what you make it has always been my motto; however, sometimes your path is obstructed by those whose goal is to undermine people regardless of the human cost. You know the type – a person with little self respect or moral aptitude. Sadly, I have encountered my share of these types in 2016. Lucky for me, as I am sure many of you have also experienced, I have an even stronger resilience and benefit of great support system to rely on. There are many lessons to be learned from life’s challenges, including to never be underestimated and the importance of those who are your true friends and allies!

so lucky I am to have the possibility to travel, 2016 has been my most traveled year which I would like to begin my 2016 year in review with sharing with you some of my favorite trips;

Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival 2016 a year in reflection by ysclife.com

Carnival Parade at the “Camarote” Rio de Janerio 2016

This was truly a beautiful a year in reflection and fun experience and a nice culture awakening, hats off to all Brazilians who painstakingly create , design and build these amazing beautiful , high tech and sophisticated carnival floats , decorative costumes it beats the hell out of all carnivals in the world to date.

Carnival Parade 2016 Rio Carnival a year of reflection by ysclife.com

Carnival Parade 2016 Rio Carnival

I found my self dancing samba until day dawn broke even my husband gave into the rhythm. The music and beats were simply too addictive and so enjoyable with laughter and smiles all night long.

In short, I can highly recommend the visit but please do setup hotel, carnival stand , restaurants and transport in advance and be super prepared for the extortionately high costs if you want to watch the carnival in style at the VIP ” Camarote” area, a nicely organized sections offering all types of meals, snacks  for all palates and drink as much as you like until the early mornings. Otherwise out of the expense of Camarote you can still experience and enjoy the best of street carnival and parade along Copacabana and Ipanema beach beyond,  colorful moment to reminisce on a dull rainy day.

Opulence in Vietnam

www.thereveriesaigon.com

The Reverie Saigon by ysclife.com - Year 2016

The Reverie Saigon

Vietnam, a country famed for its extreme natural beauty , it’s simple and happy lifestyle, “street food” which is actually edible without giving tummy upset , wonders of the world and UNESCO sites a nation that always smiles. Vietnam would be the last place you would imagine to see such an opulent fantastically designed hotel with nothing  spared. This hotel I will never forget, it’s filled like a treasure box,  with many unique beautiful iconic  furniture pieces from Italy and the walls are adorned with marble masterpiece all around , everything about this hotel is bombastic, you like it or you won’t, I was in 2 minds as it’s really an eye opener and must be the most adorned hotel in the world! you must visit next time you plan to trip to hoi chinn min city. In many cases you might have guessed the service might be off a touch, immature but for sure no,  the service was so impeccable!  I would ask all you European hotel managers to get your  staff sent over to get trained there  in understanding of what service truly means, tip top hotel , tip top service.

Necker Island

Necker island by ysclife.com - Year 2016

Necker Island

I was thrilled to be invited to a five day leadership gathering that focused on your purpose in life. Richard Branson is one of my heroes and I learned more in five days than I have in all my fifty years, that’s how it felt!  Being on Necker Island among such amazing and brilliant people changed my life and rekindled the dreamer in me, inspiring me to create “shareyourconnections” which is still under App development.

Turning 21

Being 21 ysclife.com - Year 2016

Natasha’s 21st Birthday pool party

Turning 21 is a sweet innocent age for some.

My daughter Natasha turned sweet 21 in July and we celebrated at out Swedish summer home. You would have thought that mum would have a say in the lunch/pool party Natasha created in a lovely Beverly Hills  themed style; however, I arrived home from Necker Island and everything was ready. This was the first party I didn’t have to organize, and yes, she followed in mums footsteps, organizing with professionals a white glove service for her young friends, free flowing  champagne which I prefer to offer than hardcore spirits , no sign of that!  A delicious ” Krebsegilde” style lunch with a “live” saxophonist complementing the upbeat chart music, all around an amazingly pretty setup which is a good feeling to know we bought up our daughter well, she understands how to entertain plus she has many other good moral attributes . I like to personally thank all the professionals , companies and individuals that helped bring this party together Look forward to the next event.

Lebanon

Lebanon,s great oak tree district - Year 2016

A view from the top

Lebanon is truly a country rich in culture and history. It was my first visit ever visiting family friends, I took just 4 days out with 2/5 daughters Eloise and Angelica , not really enough time to explore this beautiful country, so much to see in such short time and we succeeded still with a great experience. Other than the delicious breakfasts which was extravagantly laid out every morning , a feast for lunch and ridiculous large amounts of more delicious food for dinner , there is no doubt that Lebanon also has a rich food  culture.

A feast of traditional Delicious Lebanese cuisine for breakfast by ysclife.com

A feast of traditional delicious Lebanese cuisine for breakfast

After the lovely breakfast one of our morning trips which I will never forget was driving North direction to the forest of the cedars which are aged over 3000 years a fantastic trip, I am still in awe of the heights and the almighty trunks which can span 10 meters and more.

The great cedar trees of Lebanon - Year 2016

The great cedar trees of Lebanon

Portland, Maine

Maine lobster roll by ysclife.com - Year 2016

Portland Maine lobster roll served from a truck

The best ting about having good friends all over the world is you get to visit them! My friend Paula lives in Portland and invited me to visit. She bragged about Portland’s food, beer and lovely seaside charm, and while we will want to see our dear friends no matter where they live, it is a bonus if they live in the best place to eat lobster, which is even shipped to CPH! Portland is the quintessential New England port city that is gaining a word wide reputation for its bustling industry of quality restaurants and craft beer. The best place to get a lobster roll is a food truck parked near the lighthouse at Fort Williams, overlooking the rocky cliffs and pounding surf. We sat on a picnic table on a sunny fall day with the breeze coming off the sea and a horizon so clear it felt as if we could see as far as the Faroe Islands. A perfect setting to enjoy a lobster roll and some girl talk!

Enjoying lobster roll on a sunny day in Maine by ysclife.com - Year 2016

Enjoying lobster roll on a sunny day in Maine

We sat on a picnic table on a sunny fall day with the breeze coming off the sea and a horizon so clear it felt as if we could see as far as the Faroe Islands. A perfect setting to enjoy a lobster roll and some girl talk!

San Francisco – Silicon Valley

San Francisco - Year 2016

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in USA, and also the place where everyone has an opinion because some of the brightest and most innovative people in the world reside in the Bay Area. The top 1% richest in America are located in Silicon Valley, the hub of tech dominance. Ever heard of the TV series The Streets of San Francisco? A more suitable name might be The Hills of San Francisco! One must be in good shape to walk those hills;however, the vistas of the Bay and a five bring view are well worth the effort. Like Tony Bennet, I certainly left my heart in San Francisco!

That’s it folks! A nice way to wrap up my review.

So everyone has a challenge year, 2016 was definitely mine;however, traveling  helped me through with all the new experiences to which contributes to defining myself and renew my sense of purpose, and for that I am forever grateful for.
We learn our lessons and take them with us into the new year, hopefully more informed and strengthened.
So here’s to new beginnings, a happy and healthy 2017 to you ALL and I look forward to sharing my upcoming journey together with you in the blog-posts to come!

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