When I visited Spain in 2011, I immediately fell in love with the country and knew I’d return. In Madrid, I encountered a couple who had just finished their second Camino de Santiago, this time from Portugal. At the time, I knew nothing about it and asked them enough questions to know this was something I’d have to do. On the flight home, I was decided: I will walk the Camino de Santiago in 2014. On paper, it’s a big year for me. I turn 40. And while 40 is the new 29, or some hot nonsense like that, it’s also a good time for me to go somewhere I really want to go, enjoy what comes my way and meet people from all over the world while I’m doing it.
Walking, eating and meeting. This is what I want to do in 2014. As the months tick by, I’ll provide updates with my progress, planning and preparation. At best, it will be one person’s definitive guide to fulfilling her dreams. If you find it helpful, have questions, or even better, want to offer advice, let me know in the comments! Buen camino!
My friend Lori and I are planning to do the Camino at the same time and have been pursuing our planning with great, shared enthusiasm. She’s also blogging her Camino prep, and we’ve created a hashtag - #caminotwits - to tag information in our Twitter conversations. Needless to say, it’s quickly becoming the theme of our adventure and a source of amusement among our friends.
I’m taking a little break for holiday, but I’ll be back in the new year to share more photos, stories and tips from my travels near and far. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you Santa finds you and I hope you get to spend this time relaxing with friends and family and reflecting on a wonderful 2013.
Thanks to my wonderful readers and guest bloggers for another terrific year of travel blogging. I hope your 2014 is full of adventure, prosperity, good health and great eats!
Happy holidays! Where are you spending the holidays? Any unique traditions? Please share!
‘Tis the season for year-end lists! In the “business*” of blogging, year-end lists are a great way to contemplate the year that’s passed, while it’s still too cold** to think about next year’s travel plans. 2013 has been a pretty terrific year for me, travel-wise and life-wise – an amazing year filled with adventures and memorable life experiences.
Ever since I made the conscious decision to pursue a life of travel and interesting experiences, every year has just been getting better and better. As I approach 40 (and I’m coming up on it quickly since my birthday is in January), I spend a lot of time thinking and wondering if I’m living the life I want to be living. Without question, I am and 2013 was the perfect illustration of that.
2013 started out with some terrific road-tripping in Northern Nova Scotia, with the requisite maple syrup on snow. I also happened upon this magnificent herd of alpacas, the photo of which brought me joy throughout the year.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most wonderful place to spend it is New York City, thanks to countless movies and tv shows that show New York in its most festive, most Christmas-y light. Fun fact: I found Santa Claus at his day job with the NYPD:
I’ve had a sampling of holiday season in New York when I visited around Thanksgiving a few years back, but nothing prepared me for the wonder and excitement of visiting at Christmas. I was only in town for a few days, but made the most of it by jamming in as many holiday traditions as I could find, both old and new.
I spent a glorious five days on Italy’s Mediterranean Coast among the mind-meltingly beautiful villages of the Cinque Terre. The “Five Lands” – Riommagiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare – each have something special to offer. You will definitely find your favourite, and wonder why it took so long for you visit. I’ve already talked about the amazing hike through the villages during the wine harvest, now it’s time to see the best of the rest, my favourite village, Vernazza.