It has been a long time, I know, since I last made a print here. It was somewhat on purpose, I must admit. What started as mild weakness, elevated heart rate and nausea in the middle of summer ended up being…well, by now a big bump in my belly which in 3 months time will be a baby version of me and my hubby Ignas.
The journey was exciting but also very challenging. In the first few months I had zero energy, which for me, used to triathlon and competitions, was a frustrating experience. I did run and bike and swim, in the heat of summer, which was an increasingly tough experience. Morning sickness? Yeah, a bit of that too. Every day first thing I had to eat a cracker or a piece of bread just to stop feeling queazy. ALL things I used to like to eat I had to give up: from salads to tea. The healthy stuff went to the bin, all the easy carbs – bread, pasta, potatoes – became an every day thing. All things combined, it caused me a bit of a stress and a kind of identity crisis as my body gradually changed. Well, at least my husband was happy – he got more chances to eat potatoes over my first 3 months of pregnancy than over our 3 years of marriage 😀
Thankfully, past 2-3 months, things get back to normal again. Sure, the favorite clothes go deeper in the wardrobe and are replaced by something more comfy and loose around the belly (not my style basically), but other than that I got myself back somewhat. We managed to have a very active autumn indeed. In mid September we went for a long weekend in Rome, Italy – it was supposed to be for an Ironman competition, but oh well…ended up being a tourist trip with ton of walking, sightseeing, and gorging on the simple but beautiful Italian food. I would be back to that place again and again, especially in early autumn when the weather is just perfect – not too hot, not too cold.
In mid November, we spent a similar long weekend a bit closer to us here, in Jordan. It’s just a 3 hours flight but so much worth the experience. Us being us, we packed a quiet intense itinerary of 3 days – 1 day to drive North close to Syrian border, where we saw not only the tourist destinations like Jerash, Umm Qais, Ajloun Castle, Roman heritage, but also Syrian refugee camps (over a million of them living there?!), lots of police with guns and even tanks. It was a poor poor part of the country, with a deep history.
The other day we went all the way South of Amman, the capital were we stayed, to spend 2 hours in Wadi Rum, the famous dessert where the Martian, Aladdin and a few other movies were filmed. Beyond amazing! That place used to be deep under the sea millions of years ago, and you could see in the mountains different layers of sediment.
From there we continued the journey to what is called the miracle of the dessert, Petra, magnificent city built just a few centuries BC by nomadic Arabs, traders, who were called Nabateans and thrived a few centuries in AC. The history of the place goes however much longer back – with first settlements likely there already 8000-9000 BC, so it’s truly ancient. Everyone goes to Petra to see the Treasure, the entrance gate/shrine to the magnificent city all carved in the stones. We were there too, but what amazed us not so much The Treasure but the overall size and scope of the city carved in stone!
The last day in Jordan we spent in Amman, the capital, discovering some Roman ruins and feeding the irresistible local cats (me) basically.
So, no, pregnancy hasn’t affected our passion for travel yet. Neither for having fun in this region: now the best time of the year to be here, and you can feel from the plethora of events. We have been to a few concerts, e.g. Eminem – who still can perform very well. The last weekend of November was the dedicated F1 final with 4 concerts, where my husband saw one of his favorites, The Killers, whilst I enjoyed my favorite singer Lana Del Rey most. The whole F1 event is just a remarkable weekend overall, with so many fancy cars and yachts and people from all over the world – for the third year in a row, we went all in, and enjoyed it, with me getting a few benefits here and there due to my belly 😉 Again, pregnancy hasn’t stopped us from walking over 20k each day and dancing in the concerts, teaching the baby how to party! Also, looking for a nice car as a birthday present 😛
It is thus clearly a myth that a pregnant woman is handicapped (I can’t stand being offered “mam-sit-down” in hospitals and other places). The only thing we had to give up on is the triathlon races. Now the triathlon season is fully on, but I stay on the sidelines with only a gym, a bit of run, swim and indoor bike regime. My hubby got a knee injury too, so it suits well to take some time off racing. But we will be back next year! Triathlon is what united us, and we will continue. For me, personally, it will be a great challenge to bounce back after pregnancy. I can do it 🙂 So far, 7kg gained, almost 7 months in. Something to work on after!
We not only did travelling and fun this year, but also lots of hard work – especially last few months. Over a 10 month period we managed to develop our kombucha brand (“YAlA kombucha”), taking from zero to something that many want. We had huge success in the Ripe Market just last month, and even restaurant owners came over to offer us partnership. This was the success story of 2019 – and we did it ALL ourselves basically. Now the question is – how to go big, and that will be the challenge for 2020.
Next week is our last before we hit Lithuania for Christmas. Just a short vacation to visit all the family (they still haven’t seen me with the belly), enjoy some pampering, and do something cultural. For New Year’s, the plan is to come here to Abu Dhabi, but instead of dining somewhere fancy we decided to do a cozy home environment, alone or with friends. We may meet the 2020 on the beach with a picnic at night, dressed in animal overalls and and walk around St Regis hotel scaring people haha 🙂 basically just do something crazy meeting the New Year – because the next year is going to be just that. Crazy.