Many people get excited about the end of the year because of the holidays, the time off, the food, and seeing family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, all of that is awesome (duh), but another tradition I get excited about around this time is seeing the next year’s “where to travel” lists, the pinnacle, of course, being the NY Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2018.” Yes, I was one of the 9,000 people to apply for the job of visiting and writing about each of the 52 places over the upcoming year. I didn’t get it.
I played with Barbies until I was way too old to do so, because I loved making up stories and drama between my Barbies and my younger friends’ Barbies. My Barbies had to use human socks as beds and sneaker boxes as cars, but I had a friend who had the Barbie dreamhouse, a red convertible, and that elusive pink jeep that everyone wanted. I hadn’t thought about that pink jeep for almost two decades, but this September, there it was in front of me – lifesize – and I was going for a ride.
Back in the day, when I also wanted to be a professional pole vaulter, I wanted to be a film producer and director. But just as I’ve never cleared the bar in pole vaulting, I’ve never released any of my videos other than for high school projects, like when we produced a version of Huckleberry Finn with the actors kayaking in my backyard. This April, I went to a travel video workshop with Kristen of Border Free Travels at the New York Travel Festival and promised myself I would start doing travel videos.
Coming back from a trip is always tough for me. Myanmar – where I’d been for four weeks, and my first adventure since quitting my job to travel – was especially difficult, but there is something to say for coming back to America. This time when I came back, I didn’t settle into my old routine, because, well, I don’t have a routine anymore. A week after I returned, I went off to the Southwest with my family to explore more of America – which is already great, for the record.