Happy Holidays! I can’t believe it’s my 12th year of doing these holiday videos! I’m not a video person mainly because I hate editing video. It takes me a full 10 to 12 hour day to get this video done. So every year I don’t think I’ll make the video and then tradition (and guilt) wins out.
I traveled more than ever in 2018! One of the things I have come to realize since having a home base, I spend a lot more time on planes than I used to. Each time I go on a trip I now have a home to come back to – so I find myself on more long distance flights than ever going back and forth rather than just going from one place to the next.
After a slow travel start due to knee surgery, I ended up traveling a lot in Europe this year; Norway, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and 6 weeks in Spain! I even added new countries to my map this year! That has become harder and harder as each travel year goes by. I find myself going back to the same places more often than new places any longer. However, Portugal, Iceland, and Greenland were all new to me!
Even though I’ve been on the road about 50% of the year, I’ve also worked really hard to learn about and explore my new home – Denver and Colorado! I’ve been welcoming friends and family and starting to understand this awesome town in addition to exploring new mountain towns outside of Denver!
Embracing the Cold
Maybe it’s all of those frequent hot flashes that makes me love traveling in the cold these days. Whatever the reason is, I love to travel to the cold environments. This year I traveled to Alaska in the heart of winter, Iceland, and Greenland. With the cold comes the northern lights, sled dogs, and snow shoeing adventures.
2018 was the year I finally took a biking tour! Since I’ve been having knee issues, I was told that biking was a great thing for me to do. Thanks to that I also learned that biking is a great way to travel! As soon as my knee healed I was also hitting the hiking and snow shoe trails!
I was lucky enough to be introduced to a new Pilgrimage route in Norway this summer, the Saint Olav Ways. It was a spectacular long distance hike through the middle of the country. In addition I fell in love with Maine’s Hut system this fall.
Embrace Food and Drink
This year I was able to meet and spend time with one of the best chef’s in the world, Juan Roca in Costa Brava Spain. It was like meeting food royalty! In addition, I also met at the Faroe Islands one and only Michelin Star Chef. But my favorite food experience in 2018 was meeting and cooking with the Grandmother’s of Sils. This is a group of grandmothers who have a goal to share their old recipes and traditions with the younger generation.
And when it comes to drink – Gin of course won out this year for me.
Embracing the last Niece Project
2018 also marked the last Niece Project. I can hardly believe that I started the process back in 2012 and now it’s over. In fact one of my nieces even got married this year! This was Erin’s first big trip and I was so impressed by her ability to handle and accept India. I’m still digesting the fact that the Niece Project has wrapped up.
My Christmas Gift to You…Some Advice
My gift to you is travel advice. During my long haul flight to India, I contracted blood clots that moved into 3 pulmonary embolism in my lungs. This was a near death experience – I was lucky. This could have easily been prevented if I had got up and walked every 2 hours on the flight, didn’t drink alcohol, and wear compression socks. So – I say that each of you should go out and buy a pair of compression socks for any traveler in your life right now!
Compression Socks I Recommend
I have a few gear brands I love for travel and luckily they also make compression socks.
2018 was an exciting year full of great adventures, time with family, healing, and some close calls. The blood clots – and essentially travel – could have killed me. I can only believe that I am still here for a reason…I’m still trying to figure out why.
But while I ponder that – I hope you and your family have an incredible holiday season!
Go ahead and enjoy ALL of my holiday videos. It’s like going back in a time machine!