Happy New Year! Despite being less than two weeks into 2020, it already feels like a short but not insignificant lifetime since Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s time for one of my favourite posts to write – all the travel adventures I had over the last 12 months. I started these annual recaps in 2016 (see 2017 here and 2018 here), and they’re some of the posts I always enjoy re-reading when I’m itching to get away from home.
The new year kicked off with a few days in Portugal (Sintra and Lisbon). After a busy Christmas traveling around the UK, we enjoyed a much-needed city break for two, full of good food, lots of walking, and beautiful architecture. A few days after we got back I then left for Las Vegas, which was the complete opposite of laid back Lisbon. I was there for work but managed to squeeze in some good food and a pilgrimage to see James Turrell’s ‘Akhob’ installation.
In March another work opportunity took me to New York. I ate cookie dough in Washington Square Park, cleared my jet lag with a stroll along the High Line, took myself on a date to see Andy Warhol at the Whitney, and enjoyed learning how to make dumplings in Brooklyn.
My birthday month and since I don’t like to make a big fuss about it, I spent it in the beautiful seaside town of La Paz, Mexico, as one does. We stayed at the beautiful Costa Baja resort, ate large quantities of guacamole, and I had an excellent excuse to wear my favourite new vintage sundress. We also spent a couple of days diving; exploring a wreck, swimming with a whale shark, and diving with sea lions, all of which were firsts for me, and incredible experiences.
The end of April/beginning of May saw me back in NYC for work. I got to travel there four times in 2019, experiencing a different season every time, and feel truly lucky for that. Cue more eating ALL THE THINGS and walking around the West Village sighing to myself about how charming New York is in spring.
We made up for a quiet June with not one but three vacations in July, starting with a road trip around the Southern half of Oregon. We visited Crater Lake National Park, saw petroglyphs at Lava Beds National Monument, and stayed in the cutest A-frame house on July 4th. Later in the month M had to be in Nashville for work, so I decided to tag along for a long weekend. It was far, far hotter then this gal likes, but it was novel to see all the music and lights downtown. We impulsively booked three tours – one for the food scene, one at a print shop, and one at Jack White’s record label. All three were brilliant in their own way, and allowed us to fit a lot into only a few days. When we got back to SF we also spent a weekend in Guerneville, in a cabin in the trees.
September was also a ridiculously busy month, starting with another work event in New York, which meant I got to see the Notes on Camp exhibition at the Met. I loved it and it was wonderful to experience the city in the summer. From New York I travelled straight to New Orleans to attend a conference. It was my first time there and although, like Nashville, it was ridiculously hot and humid for me, I still managed to get out and explore some of the city, visit a couple of museums, catch some live music at Preservation Hall, and eat some Cafe du Monde beignets. As if that wasn’t enough, I then flew back to the UK for the weddings of two of my favourite people, who miraculously got hitched within one week of one another (the expat dream).
After such a hectic September, October was relatively low-key, but I did make it away for one night… to wake up at 6am and run a duathlon. It was my second year taking part in Mermaid Triathlon/Duathlon in Capitola, and although I don’t recommend taking part in a race while jet lagged, I do recommend doing it on a beautiful beach surrounded by strong, badass women.
The year ended with my final trip to New York – my first time experiencing the city at Christmas. In the space of five days I experienced torrential rain, snow showers and bright, crisp sunshine. I took time out from work to pay a visit to The Tree at Rockefeller Center, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and the holiday windows of department stores like Saks. It was a wonderful way to get me in a festive frame of mind, and *whispers it* I didn’t even mind the snow.
I’m immensely grateful for all the travel opportunities I’ve had this year and look forward to what 2020 brings, starting to a trip to Texas tomorrow…