I just re-read last year’s ‘year in review‘, and noted the final paragraph I wrote this time last December:
‘It’s strangely unsettling to begin the year with a good deal of work uncertainty, but if all goes to plan, there will be lengthy stints in Iceland and Denmark for guidebook research – and if there is a god, somehow I will be in Denmark for Eurovision in early May. There is also the dream to finally reach Greenland, and to maybe hang out in Tokyo for a wee while. I’m hoping for big things, 2014. Please do all you can to deliver.’
And I’m so thrilled to report that 2014 delivered on the travel front, in a big and joyful way. I spent 20 weeks travelling this year – most of it for work, all of it for pleasure. It began with 2.5 weeks of dedicated holiday time with an old friend in Sri Lanka, a gorgeous, sultry and unexpectedly delicious destination.
Two sizeable spells were spent in northern Europe: 7.5 weeks in Denmark in April-May, and six weeks in my beloved Iceland in July-August. I was indeed in Denmark for Eurovision, with a much-prized press pass that was put to good use (proof that god exists, and that he – or she – loves glitter and key changes and wind machines as much as I do?).
That epic double-dose of travel joy was followed by a whole lot of writing and very little life outside my four walls and endless deadlines. But I eventually emerged, dazed and confused, to reclaim my sanity.
And then, finally, 3.5 weeks in December were spent on a mega-roadtrip (6500km covered!) through outback and regional New South Wales, for Lonely Planet’s guide to Australia. What a treat. Big blue skies; hot, dusty outback towns; historic gold-rush villages; fantastic food and wine regions; seriously quirky places and people. It was a glorious end to a great year. The travel gods have smiled on me in 2014, and I’m very very grateful – and if it’s not too greedy, I’m hopeful for more of the same in 2015…
Some pics from the NSW roadtrip: