Looking back at 2010
When I think about 2010, I think of us as being mostly at home in Bangkok… I think of it as year when we didn’t travel very much. My blog and my i-photo library, however, tell a different story. We visited six countries in 2010: Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong/China, Japan, Canada and the USA. Here’s a quick summary of our year:
After an incredibly busy December 2009, we spent a quiet month at home in January. This is the view from our apartment as photographed by a friend.
In February, we had a lazy week in Kata Beach, Phuket catching up with our friend Gen. While Gen biked all over the island, I relaxed and we managed to squeeze in several memorable meals at an amazing Italian restaurant called Capannina. Oh yes… and I wrote an entire YA novel about a Princess called Sophie! (Now, the editing!)
In March we spent a weekend on the island of Koh Samed, Thailand with friends from school. Our favourite hotel on Koh Samed is called Samed Cabana and it is the very first place we stayed when we arrived in Thailand in the summer of 2009. This part of the island is quiet and relaxed… no boom, boom, boom of Thai night clubs.
During our Songkran holiday, we travelled to Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, Vietnam. DP and I both fell madly in love with this perfect beef stew at La Fourchette in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I was mesmerized by the strangely beautiful slow-motion ballet created by the motos as they moved gracefully through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. We both kicked back and relaxed in Hoi An which is one very chilled out town!
May was a sad and violent month in Bangkok and we were grateful to get out of the city twice. We spent one weekend in Singapore where I bought a new MacBook Pro and we visited with our friend Lynn. Later in the month, we had had a few days at Cape Panwa on the island of Phuket; this trip was a good-bye celebration for one of our friends who moved back to Canada at the end of the school year. DP and I were very fortunate to meet Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Crown Princess of Thailand, at our hotel.
June = school’s out for summer. As we always fly through Narita on our way back to Canada, we decided to stay for a week in mid-June. We spent six glorious days exploring Tokyo and Kyoto; highlights of the trip included Shibuya Crossing, taking the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Kyoto, and seeing a young Geisha in Kyoto. We thought that perhaps we could live in Japan.
We spent the moth of July in Home-Sweet-North America. I visited my family and friends in Ottawa and, while DP took a course a UBC, I spent a week shopping and going to Broadway shows in New York City. We spent the end of July with DPs family in Calgary and had an amazing day trip to Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta.
In August, the new school year began and our friend Shelley visited us in Bangkok. We introduced her to the unique shopping opportunities available at MBK and to our favourite Thai vegetable, morning glory.
In September, DP and I had a working weekend at a posh hotel in Hua Hin for a school function. Although the beach does not compare to those of Koh Samed or Phuket, it was great to get out of Bangkok for a couple of days. Thankfully, we had a relatively cool fall in Bangkok
In October, we travelled to Hong Kong for an ACT Therapy workshop. This was our first visit to the crazy cultural jumble that is Hong Kong and we both fell deeply, truly, madly in love with the city and with the food. I took a LOT of photographs. Hundreds.
In November, we received the lovely news that we’ve been hired to work at an international school in Yokohama, Japan beginning in August of 2011. This is an excellent move for us; I have written more about my feelings about leaving Bangkok here. DP and I also shared a Thai meal with Wendy from Escape from New York who had escaped to Bangkok for a few days. It was lovely to meet a fellow blogger!
In December, I marked my four year anniversary as a blogger. During the first two weeks of the month, I sent off – on behalf of our high school seniors – hundreds of university applications to universities around the world. Then we flew to Hong Kong for a week. Our holiday included sightseeing and taking hundreds of photographs, several meals with our friend Jenn and her mom and this scrumptious breakfast in our hotel room on Christmas morning. It was great to be away and, as always, it was great to come home to our perfect apartment in Bangkok where we’ve been writing, watching films and ushering the old year out in a very laid back way.
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” ~ Lyn Yutang
Looking ahead to 2011
I do not write New Year’s Resolutions. Betsy Lerner writes: “Resolutions are promises you can’t keep. Resolutions are looking at yourself on January 5, 17, or 29 and being utterly disgusted.”
Although I have never experienced an emotion as intense as disgust with regards to resolutions, they just haven’t worked for me. Instead of making specific resolutions, I like the idea of naming three areas to focus on in the new year… facets of my life on which I intend to spend more time and energy. A sort of New Year’s “Eat, Pray, Love” if you will. My mantras for 2011 are:
1. Radiant health
2. Financial freedom
3. Creative practice
What are your words for 2011?