It’s easy to think: “whoa, another year gone, and all I’ve got is an extra five pounds to show for it” …until you decide to post a visual retrospective on your blog. It seems I’ve done more than just eat.
Here are my highlights from 2011:
JANUARY: My brother Zach and I spent the first couple of weeks of 2011 on Bowen Island, B.C. It was there, in my friend Heidi’s B&B, that I finally ditched my yucky old blog and switched to WordPress. You’re looking at the result of that move right now.
FEBRUARY: I went to Ireland to explore the music scene. Favourite moment: a fiddle lesson on remote Achill Island. Crappiest moment: smacking a stone wall with my rental car. Fun times. Thanks, Irish tailgater.
MARCH: Hiked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales by myself for four days. Worst blisters of my life!!!!! But I’ve forgotten all about those now. Thanks, sugar-coated memories.
Also in March: Billy came to England and we spent an entire month in Lewes, living in my friend Andy’s flat. It was heaven, partially because of the many walks we did, partially because of the Indian takeaways. Billy’s 34th birthday was celebrated with a picnic on the South Downs. I’m SO glad we took this long sojourn when we could. People, if you have the gift of time, USE IT!
MAY: I attended Pow Wow, a huge American travel conference in San Francisco. The Walt Disney Museum was particularly inspiring. It’s a personal look at Walt and his family.
JULY: Caught my first (and, so far, only) fish on Haida Gwaii! Thanks, ocean.
Then I celebrated my birthday back home in Victoria with my awesome brothers, Jake and Zach!
(And Billy, of course!)
SEPTEMBER: It was great catching up with Canada’s top travel writers, editors and tourism industry peeps at the GoMedia conference in Edmonton. Here I am with my friend Jim Byers, Toronto Star travel editor.
After GoMedia, travel writers fly all over Canada to pursue various stories. I was thrilled that I got my top choice, Prince Edward Island, where I splurged on a sexy Edwardian smock dress and made this video homage to Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables TV series:
OCTOBER: Thoroughly fed up of being sandwiched by loud neighbours both above and below, we moved out of downtown Toronto and into the village of Kleinburg, Ontario.
We got a good onslaught of kids (displaying various levels of courtesy) at our new place for Halloween.
NOVEMBER: I made my way back to Lewes for the most epic Bonfire Night celebration in the world. My friend Rupert, of Rocket FM, hooked me up with this choice vantage point, right by the war memorial.
My young British friend Eleanor asked me to style her hair like mine. Awwww!
I also visited Bronte country in Yorkshire and caught up with my friend Willow in Nottingham. All in all, great trip and the first “real” vacation I’ve had since 2008. Thanks, steady salary.
DECEMBER: Had the quickest trip ever to Chicago (still not sure if I was really there) to check out the Trump Hotel.
And it all came full circle: 2011 ended right where it began, in British Columbia surrounded by loved ones. While it’s great to hop on planes and wait at baggage carousels, there’s really no place like home.
Do you take time to reflect on the year gone by? If so, what was your favourite memory from 2011?
I may not travel as much in 2012, but I’m brimming with optimism about the year to come! There are exciting plans afoot, the first of which I will share with you tomorrow.