2022 was an interesting year. While it wasn't my best year financially, it was one of my best years mentally. I learned a lot. There were difficult challenges that shed light on things I hadn't noticed. Tough decisions were made. I'm happy with the outcome, where I'm at today, and I feel stronger as a result.
Now that 2023 is here, I want to look back at 2022 to reflect on what happened and how I can use my experience to make 2023 (and later years) better.
Last year I spent 222 days living in hotels. That's more than half of the year — 60.82% of 2022, to be exact.
About 2-3 weeks were spent living in AirBnBs. When AirBnB was new, I loved it and would prefer it to a hotel. But that changed about 2-3 years ago. Hotels have so much more value and this is a topic I could write an entire post about.
Here's a breakdown of how many nights I spent in hotels:
Only a few of these hotels were in the states. On average, hotels outside the US are less expensive and of better quality. Again, this is another topic I could write about. I think it has to do with the traveling culture of American vs. non Americans.
In 2022 I visited the following 10 countries: Russia, Armenia, Turkey, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, USA, and UAE (Dubai). Out of the European countries (i.e., Spain, France, Germany, and Poland), I felt like Poland was the best with France as the second best. But overall, my wife and I were disappointed.
Spain didn't feel as special as it did when I first visited in 2017. And while France was nicely decorated for Christmas, it was very cold and due to changes in their energy dependence, even the indoor areas were cold too.
As I write this, I'm in the US and paying more attention to the differences here versus elsewhere. I'm also deciding on where my family and I will live. There is no perfect country. After living and working from 40 different countries, my philosophy is this: the people you're with, not the place you're at, matters most. Good company can make up for a subpar environment.
In 2023, I intend to spend less time traveling and more time establishing myself in the places I spend the most time in.
In 2022 I told my wife I wanted a divorce. We're together now. Relationships aren't easy.
From 18-37 I had lived on my own. I had no one to answer to and I did what I wanted. This lifestyle and mentality changed when I met my wife who greatly prefers doing everything together. Thus, from the day we met in person, we were glued at the hip. It's been incredibly difficult to adjust.
There are cultural differences as well. Being from the US, I am used to thinking independently. My wife is from Russia. Her preference is to think as a team. We've learned a lot from each other about how to approach life from these two conflicting mindsets.
They say you make less friends as you get older, but the ones you make are of better quality. I can verify this as a fact. I value the friends I have and in 2023, I'm looking forward to staying connected with them further.
I lost a big client in 2022. It was overall a good thing. The company grew too quickly and this resulted in more bureaucracy instead of revenue and growth. It got boring.
This change led me to seek out new clients, but the results from this were mixed. While I did find one, the contract only lasted a month.
One of the biggest challenges as a freelancer is finding great clients with amazing products. Over the many years of working as a copywriter, I've been expected to turn lackluster and or copycat products into goldmines. I realize the futility of this task, yet I still try. Because, you know, it would be an amazing story... if it worked.
I've continued to work on my own marketing as an affiliate. This can have mixed results. There are days where I lose hundreds and others where I make thousands. It's a very competitive industry and it has many parallels to gambling. Ideally, I'd be working this type of job for a company instead of using my own funds. But, this is the best I can do right now to bring income in.
So, that's my 2022 in review. See you next year. ✌️