Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Well, to answer Robert Burns's most famous question, I don't think it's a case of "should" for me any more. No, much more like "Can auld acquaintance be remembered?"
Either way, the year is ending and I have watched the last sunrise of 2010 from my home. That hasn't been the case for most of the year, as we traveled and visited -- partly because we had to wait to get into our new house but partly because we just love to travel and visit anyways. But in the end, as we walked into our house on Wednesday night, it was pretty clear to me that one of the great joys of traveling is getting home again.
As this is the last day of the year, it seems the right time to do the Year in Review that every other lazy site does. But, hey, it's the holidays so why work too hard? Anyhow, here goes:
The big news of 2010, of course, was moving house from Sydney to Hobart - along with all the disruptions that caused. But if there was any obvious trend this year, it was that for one year, at least, we became nomads.
For the year, we slept in our own bed 130 nights, which means we didn't sleep in our own bed for 235 nights - and 41 of those nights were aboard ships or ferries.
We went around the world twice. We boarded planes 34 times, embarked on boats 9 times. We took trains and subways and buses. And we drove on enough road trips to keep the oil industry in business.
We we were in 16 countries, five of them Muslim. We were in 5 Australian states and territories and seven US states.
We were in the desert in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia. But mostly we were on water. Our travels included the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans. We were in the Andaman, Mediterranean, Aegean, Red and Dead Seas, as well the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.
And we were on islands. We started the year in Oahu and by year's end we had been on the South Island of New Zealand, Singapore, Phuket in Thailand, Mykonos in Greece, Malta, Vancouver Island in Canada and Orcas in Washington state. And oh yes, Tasmania and that big island to the north, Australia.
We saw lots of old things - Ephesus, the Pyramids, Carthage, Petra, the temples at Luxor (and even stayed at the Luxor in Las Vegas).
None of this could have happened without the generosity of our family and friends. We stayed (quite often) with Peg, Shirley, Bob and Deb, Walt and Terry, and Robert and Jaki. We were fed (quite well) by those folks, by Sandy and Dave, my mother and father, and Jason and Lora.
And Caroline pitched in by taking care of Streak for us.
We have had the sort of year that few could even dream of. I do believe it even took care of LK's wanderlust - well, at least for a few months.
And now we are ending this amazing year in Kingston Beach, our new hometown. Yesterday a trio of brilliantly colored parrots landed in the tree outside our window and feasted on its flowers. This morning I peeked out the bedroom window just before first light. Sitting above the bay in the dark gray sky was the waning crescent of the moon and just below it was the brilliantly shining morning star. And this afternoon will be a sunny, warm summer day.
It's nice to know that even when we get home, we're still in a fantastic place.
Thanks to everyone for making our amazing year happen and for sharing it with us. Happy New Year to all.