I’m pretty late with this, looking-back-at-the-whole-year thing, since I’ve been once again been away with not that much time to spare. So here’s the summary in case any one is interested.
In terms of travel…
It feels like I definitely hit less countries last year than I did the year before, instead doing a little bit localised travel, despite starting the year off in The Andaman Islands, and ending it in New York. Whilst in India, I finished up my travelling by visiting Kolkata, before staying in Bangalore a few more days before returning to the UK.
Work needs seemed to shuffle me around a little bit when I first got back, ending up in both Lancaster, Coventry, and a short stint in White City (woo hoo, London!) before ending up in Calgary where I stayed for almost a third of the entire year! Even though I was based outside of Calgary for the, almost four month period, I still ended up visiting Bath, Glastonbury and Wells in a week for a conference, and Limerick for yet another one.
I definitely made the most of staying over in Canada though with trips to lovely Vancouver, the entertainingly named Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, the world’s best dinosaur museum in Drumheller, and Banff for afternoon tea. This isn’t even counting the four times that I managed to go skiing at Lake Louise and Sunshine.
Upon returning to the UK, I ended up in Norwich for Simon and Holly’s Wedding, Marlow on a daily basis for my work project for the rest of the year, and then Preston and Manchester for yet another work conference.
I finished off the year of travelling with trips to Torino (Turin) in Italy for the Slow Food Festival, Aberdeen to visit Stacey and Wes, Frankfurt (Germany) to visit my friend Martin, and Barcelona (Spain) failing to escape to any particularly warmer climate before finishing the year off with a trip to New York and Boston.
In terms of entertainment…
Was very strong musically kicking the year off with The Diamond Hoo Ha Men, closely followed by both Paramore and Jimmy Eat World. Later in the year, I caught Alicia Keys, Xavier Rudd, Finley Quaye, Kaiser Chiefs, Subsonica, Franco Battiato, and finishing the year off with The Kooks, Coheed and Cambria, Ben Kweller, and The Fratellis.
I volunteered for Calgary’s first Virgin Festival, even scoring VIP tickets to see a small, intimate acoustic set of The Fratellis. I also enjoyed hitting the Sled Island Festival, seeing different bands in different venues around Calgary and a nice couple of days laying in the sun chillin’ to plenty of tunes.
In terms of theatre and musicals, I went along to a Cirque de Soleil, the Sound of Music, Gods of Carnage, Cabaret, and 61 circus acts in 60 minutes.
Other notable things:
I enjoyed Calgary’s Stampede (also known as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth), set out to walk to the farmer’s markets to only end up getting slightly sunburnt on what ended up as a 20km hike around Calgary. Further to the previous split between work and life, I also split my life blog from my food blog (since so many of my posts seem to revolve around them).
Looking back at the year, I realised that all this travel seemed to made it more difficult to catch up with close friends, particularly when they start to leave the country, though it’s created other opportunities of creating new ones.