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  • Writer's pictureTai Rattigan

Vienna, Dubai and partying like it's 1999

December was an amazing month packed full of travel and new experiences. I'm putting December's Shazams at the top since there are a lot of photos from the travels :D

Christine had planned her sabbatical from Amplitude and we decided to take an extended trip before she starts back.

I had just started my new job at GGV in November so it was funny to immediately take 6 weeks off - but also gave me some time to decompress between leaving Amplitude and really starting at GGV.

Christine was already in Rome with one of our best friends, Nisha, when I headed out to Europe to meet her in Vienna. In classic fashion, I'd managed to mix up my flight dates which resulted in a last-minute call to British Airways. Also in classic fashion, I lucked out and got moved onto a better flight time with a better seat at effectively no cost since I could cancel my hotel in London for a layover I no longer needed! Christine will happily tell you about all of the times I've messed up flight bookings :D

Our first stop was Vienna, we wanted to experience the Christmas markets of Europe before we settled back in the US for good. The highlights were our nighttime gluhwein and punch crawls, low light was the lack of fresh vegetables available to eat - I left Vienna desperate for a salad, which was a first.

Next on the trip was Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi felt like a sleepy version of Dubai but I'm pleased we still visited both especially so we could visit the grand mosque. The people are so friendly and courteous and Christine was very impressed with all of the women's nails and makeup.

We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of seafood and the nice beaches here and the service at the hotels was consistently outstanding. The highlights were the restaurants (so many of them), cocktails in the Burj Khalifa, and the shopping. Not many lowlights to report except it's not designed for walkers so you're constantly calling an Uber to get anywhere.

Next, we ventured on to Brighton, my hometown to spend Christmas with my family. Christine and I have decided taking turns is the best way to do Christmas however both of our families travel a lot - so we'll see whether it sticks to that schedule forever.

We got to hang out with our dear friends Gus, my best man, and Nat for lunch one day and it's so nice to be able to slip back into old friendships as nothing had ever changed.

I made a Christmas game which taught my nieces how to invest in stocks which sparked the inspiration to write a series for people to start building their stock portfolios in 2020. Personal investing is probably the only way someone can find social mobility without gender, race, sexual preference, economic status etc. being a factor. All you need is a bank account and occasional internet access.

The last stop before getting back to California was Seattle to check in on Daniel and Angela and ring in the New Year.

I finally got to go up the Space Needle, which I recommend to anyone in the city. The wait isn't too bad and they have a bar up there!

We also stopped in at our favourite seafood spot Taylor Shellfish and basically ordered everything possible on the menu.

Happy New Year to everyone, wishing you the very best in 2020!

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