Jumping into the New Year

This lap around the sun has been a beautiful one. While I could surely find some visuals to represent this, I don’t know that I could really capture it all in a highlight reel. There was so much that happened between the photos; where we made decisions and pushed past what we thought was possible. 2023 will always be bookmarked for being the year Austin and I moved to Germany, but personally, it stands out as one of the best years of my life because I FELT so much.

I have experienced immense excitement, discovery, and awe since moving abroad in July. On the same token, it’s important not to neglect reflecting on the first half of 2023, which was spent leading up to our move. During these months, I processed disappointment, but found comradery and compassion in many unexpected forms. I remained optimistic by tackling a new career path and defining my own success, independent of those who doubted my decisions. In 2023, I recognized that there is an infinite world of opportunities available when you are open to seeing them.

Overall this year, I’m most proud of allowing myself to lean into feeling deeply and for acting with the persistent kindness and occasional boldness that this life requires. I’m proud of actually making this blog and remaining open to sharing my experiences to those who want to listen. As New Year’s media fills our screens and grabs our attention, I think we should be mindful to not compare our experiences to anyone else’s. Instead, lets use these recaps to inspire us and focus on what we DID this year. Remember that the small accomplishments add up. Remember the moments of beauty. Remember the people who are in your corner. Remember that a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be drastic. Reward yourself for slowing down to make intentional choices along the way. Even when it feels un-comfy, ride the waves of disappointment, triumph, and joy that life throws at you. Never apologize for feeling these things and take the jump to act boldly in 2024 if you are called to 😊

Speaking of jumping…

Austin and I spent New Year’s Day watching 50 world cup competitors jump/fly/catapult themselves through the air in quite possibly the most graceful display of athleticism I have ever witnessed. The New Year’s Ski Jump competition is revered widely in the region as a tradition attracting both locals and visitors from around the globe. This event is hosted annually in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on January 1 and is technically the second of four events within the World Cup Four Hills Tournament.

The venue is the iconic Olympia-Skistadion in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The original Olympic Ski Jump was built prior to the 1936 Olympic games, but was since reconstructed for the 2007 season. The current structure has a total height of 149 meters and a takeoff velocity of 92km/hr. The surrounding Ski Stadium retains much of its original architecture, featuring amphitheater seating from the 4th winter Olympic games. The landmark is definitely worth a visit no matter what time of year you visit Garmisch, but it’s a true spectacle to behold if you are able to catch the alpine athletes in action.

This is probably one of the most memorable sporting events I have ever attended. Granted, I come from the mid-west so baseball, football, soccer, and basketball are the extent of my previous professional sport viewing experience. I have watched ski jumping in the winter Olympics on TV, but I had never seen such a unique event in person. The Olympic Ski Stadium comes alive with crowds celebrating the new year, waving flags, and cheering on elite global athletes. This year, the arena was sold out to capacity with an attendance of 25,000 fans. Two German athletes were in the top five of favorites battling to win, drawing even more excitement, since Germany had not taken first place since 2002 (we can relate as Bengals fans ). The passion for winter sport was palpable in the stadium. I can’t imagine the feelings of adrenaline, momentum, and courage required of athletes as they set their skis onto the ramp track, preparing themselves to quite literally defy gravity, facing views of the Bavarian Alps and the large crowd below.

For this particular event, the trial round began at 12:30 and the scoring round began at 2:00pm. Points are awarded for jump length, as well as aerial style to produce a final score. Although there are 50 skiers, the pace was quick. Every time a German skier jumped, the crowd went wild cheering and waving flags. Andreas Wellinger from Germany took third place, jumping an impressive 291.4m. He is still in the running for the overall World Cup title.

Watching the Ski Jump competition on New Year’s Day is a beloved tradition for many Germans. If they can’t attend in person or when the weather is too cold, they enjoy watching on TV. Austin and I liken it to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show for Americans on Thanksgiving. Since we live in Garmisch, I think we will adopt the tradition to attend the New Year’s Ski Jump competition on an annual basis. Alternatively, we may opt to go skiing at the nearby Garmisch Classic Ski resort some years to listen to the crowd and pretend the cheers are for us 😉 No jumping for me though LOL Whether you prefer to view or participate in winter sport, it definitely feels like the right way to ring in the New Year here in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Prost to a happy and healthy 2024 for all!! 🥂


  1. I am so thrilled for this experience for you both. Thank you for sharing as I may never have seen this part of the world. Happy New Year.

    • Thanks so much Mesi! Happy New Year to you too – I’m glad you are enjoying following along! It has been such a fun way to stay in touch 🙂

  2. Happy New Year. So fun to experience it through your eyes.

  3. Maureen Roberts

    Thank you for the opportunity to join you here! Your writing is beautiful and captivating, and your experiences delightful!
    May your days in the ‘New Year’ be equally blessed and inspiring for you and Austin, and those of us walking with you from afar. ♥️

    Health, passion and joy to you…
    Maureen. xoxo

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