My reasoning is that the year you take off for your round-the-world adventure (or similar Big Thing), you go through a lot of emotions. Reading about the experience from someone else’s view might help you prepare yourself a bit.
(Or maybe I just really want to write a holiday newsletter disguised as a blog post).
Here we go:
We started off the year with the Resolution Retreat a la Chris Guillebeau. This was the most formal one either of us had ever done, and we benefitted greatly from taking the long view at the start of the year. The big news later that month was buying our plane tickets to Quito, and then a sort of philosophical musing about the stages of life and how they build on each other.
April was a biggie in that Warren started mourning the death of his career at the same time as we sold our house almost immediately in a down market and then had a big indoor yard sale for our friends. I’m thinking those things could be related.
In May Warren jumped from a plane on purpose, and we did a video on moving day about what it feels like to get rid of all your stuff. This is also when we moved in with our good friend BetsyM, who tolerated our craziness for 4-1/2 months. (You are a saint, and we love you.)
In July I got personal after a prompting from Corbett Barr and wrote a few things you may not know about me. We also got crazy over the July 4 holiday and dyed my hair blonde on a whim. You’ll see later this did not turn out well.
In September we celebrated our 2-year anniversary of making the decision to travel, and I wrote a story about getting to the other side of fear (my favorite post of the year, btw). We also hosted the Seattle Meet, Plan, Go! event with over 100 attractive, interesting and intelligent guests who wanted to learn more about long-term travel. The next day we shaved my blonde head into a crewcut after a good majority of it started falling out (note to readers: if you bleach your hair for the first time, use a professional).
October is when everything changed. We left for our trip on October 1, but not without some big excitement as Ecuador experienced an attempted coup against the president the day before. We saw some really cool things the first month, including the Otavalo Market and a closer look at how the artisans make their crafts. We also admitted that learning Spanish is hard and detailed all our DIY efforts.
November was our first financial report, and it was a good one. We were staying at the home of friends for free, you know! We also experienced The Day of the Dead up close at an indigenous cemetary, and it is an experience we will never forget. You guys helped us organize our first Virtual Minga to help a small clinic, and we finally left the confines of our friends’ beautiful home just in time to witness an erupting volcano and defy death by riding bikes 17 km along the Cascade Route along with all the crazy Ecuadorian drivers.
December brought out our second financial report for the trip, and we also celebrated my 40th birthday with a trip to the highland jungle, some hiking along the gorgeous Quilatoa Loop, and finished off birthday week with a sushi dinner with good friends in Quito. We also finally left for Colombia, but not without a lot of weather problems and a little bitty bribe.
We are finishing off the year and starting 2011 in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, known for the large number of residents who live past 100. It feels right to be in the “valley of longevity” as we start off our first full year of travel, and we are excited to participate in the “el viejo” tradition of burning the “old man” who represents bad memories and experiences for the previous year at midnight so the new year begins with a clean slate. That’s a pretty fantastic tradition, if you ask me. (Many thanks to Pablo Chacon for letting us in on the tradition via Facebook.)
How was your 2010? We’d love to hear the highlights – the things that most impacted you this year. (And I promise not to say anymore bad things about holiday newsletters.)
Here’s to a great 2011 for all of us!