Monday, December 5, 2011

Is it possible to overdose on adventure?

Twenty-eleven started out like any other normal year for me: lots of work in perspective at a fast-growing, culturally-intense, highly successful Canadian software company; weekly or at least bi-weekly business trips to New York City and other destinations of varying degrees of excitement; and a few personal trips ranging from weekends to week-long adventures. 

As it turns out, 2011 surpassed even 2007 (my previous record travel year) for the number of trips I took. I have one more planned to wrap up the year: the annual Christmas vacation south, with Mom & Dad. Oh - and yes, at least one more business trips, perhaps two, between now and the end of the year.

So - before I forget - where did I go this year?
  • February: business trip to Zurich, which included one day of skiing in Davos
  • April: ski week in Vail, Co
  • April: Spring Diva Camp, cycling camp with TotalCyclist, in Beaufort, SC
  • May: 4 days in Southern California, with the Divas, for the Amgen Tour of California
  • June: 24-hour trip to Philadelphia, for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship
  • June: day trip to... Milton, On (40Km from Toronto), for the Canadian Road Cycling Championships - ok, not a major trip, but still a fun adventure
  • July: 4-day weekend with Mom & Dad in Vail, Co
  • July: business trip to London, which included a weekend in Paris coinciding with the final stage of the Tour de France
  • September: Labor Day weekend visiting friends in Chapel Hill, NC
  • September: long weekend in Quebec City and Montreal, for the Grand Prix Cyclistes World Tour races (and a visit home to Mom & Dad)
  • October: Fall Diva Camp, cycling camp with TotalCyclist, in Jefferson National Forest, Virginia  Read about Fall Diva Camp in Virginia - it was fantastic!
  • November: one week trip to visit friends in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Mie-Ken, Japan
  • December: weekend trip to Austin, Tx, to celebrate my friends' 25th anniversary
  • December: week-long trip to Cancun with Mom & Dad for Christmas
Plus weekly or bi-weekly trips to New York City, and occasionally to Madison, Wi, to visit clients and make sure we're progressing as planned on large, business-critical, software implementations at financial services and insurance companies.

I will finish the year with nearly 110 flights, Super-Elite status with Air Canada confirmed for 2012. 

It was a great year. Fantastic, in fact. Almost every adventure involved a great set of friends, different almost on every trip. I got to explore new ground, undertake new challenges, meet new people, try new foods, and laugh! I laughed at myself a few times, but mainly, I had the kind of year where I could laugh with pure joy and delight at the wonderful experience that is my life. 

If you're thinking, "alright, enough already, stop rubbing it in", I apologize. I don't mean in the least to be rubbing it in. If anything, this is my acknowledgement of the following things:
  • I am bloody lucky
  • 2011 was unique
  • I am tired!
  • The best adventures and trips were the ones shared with friends - the other ones should have been shared with friends
  • I still feel bad about not being able to visit a friend in Geneva - I just couldn't fit it all in
  • Adrenaline and endorphins are addictive; traveling is an adrenaline rush for me, and releases a whole bunch of endorphins; traveling less will lead to withdrawal symptoms
  • Picking fewer destinations for 2012 is already proving difficult
  • I hope friends will come visit me in 2012!
  • Friendships extend beyond borders, time, cultures, work and family obligations; every once in a while, it's important to renew the bonds, get together and share some smiles 
  • Did I mention that I know I'm bloody lucky?
So here's to 2011, and planning for new adventures in 2012. Within another month or so, I should have fairly well-defined plans. I'll be happy to share them :-)

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