In 2009: Highlights from the Year

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Most will argue 2009 was not, in fact, a good year. Well, while I had my share of lost jobs and heartbreak, I also had equal parts triumph and happiness. Really, I can’t complain. Because, in January

I journeyed to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for the first time to cover the launch of the Best Job in the World contest. In February

I rented a house in Tahoe with some good friends (two of whom just welcomed their first baby to the family two weeks ago).

Then, my mom came out to visit for 10 days and we lived it up in Big Sur and Carmel. In March

I made my inaugural trip to the South Pacific and fell in love with the Cook Islands

and hopped over to New Zealand while I was there for some high-adrenaline fun. In April

SVV and I moved to San Mateo, where I was under house arrest while completing two more books (on sale at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc., along with a third that comes out Jan. 5!). In May

I went to New York to catch up with my pals “en route” to Alabama to see my cousin graduate med school…

then continued on to Destin with the extended fam for vacation. As well as…

GOT ENGAGED while camping in Sierraville. In June

I got hit by a cab in Finland

caught up with good friends in Estonia

did a whirlwind tour of Latvia

and celebrated Germany’s 20 years of reunification in Berlin. I also…

found a wedding site

went to visit friends in Charleston

and met up with my family in Orlando. (June was a CRAZY month.) In July

Scott and I went back to Tennessee for his birthday and to see a dear friend (my other mom) who passed away a few months later. That was terribly hard.

We also went to Vegas, a trip we’ll likely never repeat…

and I went way, way, WAY north, all the way to the Arctic Circle in fact, played with walruses and arctic foxes

went dog sledding and dove into the Arctic Ocean (was even on New York 1 in my bikini for this feat!) and visited the world’s northernmost settlement in Svalbard…

then spent some time on the coast in mainland Norway with lovely Ellen. In August

I stayed at home, as I got dreadfully sick with an auto-immune disease, but still got to enjoy my Gap party and a visit from one of my college BFFs, Megan.

I also surprised my mom at her 60th birthday party in Tennessee and even brought her a puppy as an added incentive. In September

it was off to San Diego for Holly’s wedding

and Switzerland for an assignment

then Atlanta to buy my wedding dress with my mama (no picture of that till May, sorry). In October

I went back to Tennessee (again) to work on my new book (and challenge Jack Daniels to a game of chess, as demonstrated above)…

share SVV’s first Neyland Stadium experience (rockstar)…

and show my Danish friends around my lovely home state. I also went back to NYC to visit my old pals, since you know, there wasn’t enough going on clearly. In November… I went to the Middle East for the first time, Israel to be precise…

and also to Macau, where I attended the Grand Prix and jumped off the world’s highest sky jump while there, and Hong Kong. When I returned, it was Thanksgiving time in Sac and Ellen from Norway came to spend it with us…

then she and I spent a couple days being wined and dined in Yountville (Wine Country). In December

we had holiday parties nearly every day of the month, including a huge engagement soiree after SVV and I came back to Tennessee (story and photos to come). Now, after a glorious two weeks at home catching up with every extended family member related to me and not changing out of my pajamas until 6pm most days, as of last night, I’m back in San Francisco (sans luggage; something had to go wrong, of course) to ring in 2010 in style with some good friends.

I flew too many miles this year to even count, somewhere in the 100,000 neighborhood (compared to last year’s 68,628), and put another 10,000+ on my car. So, thank you, 2009. You had your challenges, sure, but ultimately you were legen—wait for it—dary! I hope 2010 is equally as blessed!

For past year-end reviews, see my recaps here: 201720162015201420132012201120102009 and 2008.

COMMENTS
  • December 31, 2009

    Wow – what a year! I should do the same. There wasn’t so much travel for me this year as in 2006-2008 but I did get married and move continents!

  • December 31, 2009

    I am so envious. So, so envious!

  • December 31, 2009

    overall sounds like a fabulous year for you!! can’t wait to follow your adventures in the new year! 🙂

  • December 31, 2009

    You definitely had a great year! 🙂

  • December 31, 2009

    Geez, you’re such a slacker. Quit laying around the house and get out and do something, for God sakes! 🙂

  • December 31, 2009

    You are blessed, blessed, blessed! And I appreciate that you share your adventures with us (me!). I envy your energy and youth. It never occurred to me as a young, independent woman to travel and write about it. You are mahvelous, dahlink. I pray rich blessings on your 2010!

  • December 31, 2009
    Raychelle

    What a fantastic year for you! I’m exhausted just reading all that you accomplished 🙂

  • December 31, 2009

    Whoa! I am green with envy over your year! Mine seems positively BORING in comparison. Nice work! 🙂

  • December 31, 2009

    Jaw. on. floor.

    I forgot how busy you were this year and all the incredible sights you saw. Thanks for sharing those wonders with us. You always make my list of places to see before I die grow longer and longer.

  • December 31, 2009

    1) I forget sometimes how adorable you are. Dutifully reminded.
    2) You have done more this year than most people do in a lifetime. It’s just mind-boggling.
    3) In the picture of your ring (gorgeous!) it looks like you’re going to punch me in the face. Gangsta.

  • December 31, 2009
    redneck musings

    dang cuz. i went to argentina. that was cool….

  • December 31, 2009

    What a year, friend! You’re so inspiring. Here’s to 2010—and hopefully meeting up again. xoxo

  • December 31, 2009
    Amy

    What a fantastic 2009. Sure you had some lows, we all do. But they make the highs that much sweeter. I can’t wait to see where 2010 takes you.

  • December 31, 2009

    I love hearing about your adventures, and can’t wait for the next installment. Hope 2010 brings you lots of wonderful memories!

  • December 31, 2009

    You’ve certainly had an adventurous 2009. I can only see it getting better.
    Happy New Year and beyond.

  • December 31, 2009

    What an amazing year for you! Thanks for letting us all vicariously experience faraway parts of the world through you… can’t wait for what’s to come in 2010!

  • December 31, 2009

    Happy New Year!

  • December 31, 2009
    melanie

    I’m exhausted just reading about your 2009! Although I’m also jealous that mine wasn’t even remotely as exciting.
    Can you tell me where you got that gorgeous purple maxi dress that you’re wearing in the photo of your family at the beach? I love it!

  • December 31, 2009
    therunningbob

    Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to reading about next year’s adventures!

  • December 31, 2009
    SVV

    Punch me in the FACE fee-yonce, this is why you’re so attractive. I can’t box you in (even with a proposal) 😉

  • December 31, 2009

    You truly have a blessed life.

  • January 1, 2010

    Some year, that. Happy 2010.

  • January 1, 2010

    So much travelling in one year and so many fabulous places. I actually cannot put into words how absolutely jealous I am!

  • January 1, 2010

    Have I ever mentioned how insanely jealous I am of your travels? That photo in the South Pacific is stunning.

  • January 2, 2010

    You have the best job EVER ! your pics look GREAT !!! 🙂

  • January 2, 2010
    Amy

    The nice thing about photos is USUALLY they’re only of pretty, fun, happy experiences – it makes remembering the good times over the bad a little bit easier. Yours are no different. Looking forward to reading more from you this year!

  • January 3, 2010
    Rhi

    What fun photos! And, I think 2010 will be pretty exciting for the both of us!

  • January 3, 2010

    I’ve been following your blog all along and read about many of those adventures and I still can’t believe you fit all of that into a year. Here’s too a great and grounded 2010!

  • January 3, 2010

    What a year! I hope this one is twice as good!

  • January 4, 2010

    What a great way to round off your year! You really were super busy, but it’s awesome that you will have the photos and blogs to look back on in years to come!
    Happy 2010, lets hope it’s just as good, if not better than 2009!

  • January 4, 2010

    WOW! That’s a lot! Hope your 2010 is just as or exceedingly good!!

  • January 5, 2010

    Oh my, that made me dizzy just from reading it all! We travel as a family & I hate to fly (even though or perhaps because I was once a flight attendant) so could never keep that pace, but it looks like you had a ball!

    Congrats on your engagement, Happy New Year & have a fantastic 2010!

  • January 5, 2010
    Katie

    Holy Moly! What a year! Thanks for keeping me entertained while work is slow and I have time to wander the blogosphere. Cheers to new adventures in 2010!

  • January 6, 2010

    Oh wow… it does seem a pretty busy year you’ve had!

  • January 7, 2010

    I am so envious of your travels. SO ENVIOUS.

  • January 7, 2010
    kvv

    Man, it made me tired to read. Great post. Though I love reading about your travels, I know how draining it all can be. No wonder you were sick for a while. I hope next year you can spend some good time in your adopted city!

  • January 9, 2010

    My niece (R Childers – friend of your sister) turned me on to your site. Wow! You are living my dream life! I will be back to live vicariously…

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