annual review: travel


In the tradition of Chris Guillebeau, I’ve been starting to conduct an annual review. What went well this year? What didn’t go well this year? It’s a goalsetting of sorts, but using the reflection as a means of focus and improvement.

I’m breaking my review up this year, and starting with one of the biggest priorities in my life: travel.

So, what worked this year?
I had a big setback in my travel schedule with three emergency gut surgeries (luckily everything was benign, and they were able to put me back together again). But I was able to use airline credits to my advantage…

  • In August, I visited my 50th state! I actually was able to celebrate my 40th birthday in West Virginia, my 50th state. When I was a kid visiting a lot of the US with my family, I marked off a lot of places I’d been, like a grocery list. But now, it wasn’t so much a goal of “every state” but to be able to visit all of the diverse cultures of the US. And I did it!
  • Most other items got tabled for medical reasons, other than fulfilling my husband’s lifelong dream of visiting the USS Yorktown in Charleston (a very well-done museum, if you get the chance!).
  • Another fulfilled “goal” that I hadn’t realized until midway through this year, ha: I made it outside US soil at least once. Technically, I was in London on New Year’s Day (that’s when we came back) but we also spent Thanksgiving in Vancouver. I think that forcing myself (ah, such arm-twisting!) to experience another culture is such a learning experience… and one I can bring back to my students.

Which means that the places I visited in 2014 were London (UK), Atlanta, TN/Smoky Mountains, VA, WV, MD, NC (Outer Banks FTW!), SC, Las Vegas (our first time, in our 40’s!), Vancouver BC, NY (Long Island/NYC/Buffalo/Orange County–friends and family visit), NJ, PA/Philly area (again, friends visit). It’s a bit tame for me, but OK given all of my medical emergencies.

As for travel goals for next year?

  • As mentioned above, get out of the country at least once.
  • We haven’t solidified our summer yet, but there are thoughts of staying somewhere a little more long-term. Berlin has come up a few times, but mostly because we’re familiar with it, and decent infrastructure. Costs are rising, though, so a part of me leans toward Spain–yet I haven’t been there before. Thoughts?
  • Visit at least one new location out of state.
  • Visit at least one new (to me) location in state (Washington).
  • Slightly travel-related–I currently have online freelance writing work, but see if I can find more to sustain living elsewhere… and entertain the idea of giving up the regular job at some point (or, teach online). Scary jump!

So there are my travel goals for the coming year–I recommend anyone think concretely about where they want to go. Otherwise, next December comes around too fast… right?

Merry Christmas to everyone!

3 Responses to “annual review: travel”

  1. 1 Steve Yool

    Merry Christmas to the REAL Geographer!

  1. 1 annual review: everything else | In Search of My New Normal

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