For as long as I can remember, every time a year came to an end I would curse it, spit at it, then kick it in the groin and declare good riddance as I eagerly awaited for the ball to drop to finally put that crap year out of its misery.
But for the first time that I can remember, I’m actually sad to see the year go. Where the Zeros continuously served up one tall glass after another of FAIL, 2010 instead turned out to be a refreshing bowl of WIN, topped off with a sugary dose of AWESOME.
So what made this year so special? Well…
- It began with my first ever trip to Boston last February. I had so much fun that I was effectively bitten by the travel bug, and I knew my life would never be the same again. My blog would also complete its metamorphosis from a blog where I whined about my failure of a life, to a blog about traveling and geocaching. Although I still whine every now and then, just to a slightly lesser degree. :-D
- After that trip, I invested in completely upgrading my desktop for the first time in 8 years. I now have a powerhorse that can not only play all the latest games but also makes it SO much easier for me to work on my many blogging projects.
- By this time (after purchasing my new computer) I was breaking records with the income I was generating from my blog. 2010 would prove to be the most lucrative year I’ve ever had in terms of sponsorships, revenues and giveaways I received as a direct result of blogging.
- Then came the long awaited GPS cradle for the iPod Touch that I had been pining to get my hands on for months. This was one of the most CRUCIAL purchases I have ever made. It not only made it feasible to use my iPod for geocaching, but it also powered all my geolocation apps from Whrrl to Navigon. It allowed me to do everything I ever wanted to do with an actual iPhone, at least until it finally becomes available on the Verizon network (hopefully next month!)
- And then came… the MACBOOK. If 2010 had been nothing but a pit of death and destruction, my MacBook’s arrival alone would have ensured that 2010 would still go down as the GREATEST year in history.
- Although not as important or exciting, It’s still worth noting that this was the year my car received its 60,000 mile service. It’s one of the most extensive (and expensive) service jobs to ever have done for your car, but once it was out of the way I was confident I could rely on my beautiful ride for another 60,000 miles, as well as for the future road trips I was planning.
- 2010 also marked the first time I ever went to a Drive-In movie theater. The movie sucked, but the food was teh awesum.
- I would finally, at long last, transform my wardrobe from Walmart drags to Banana Republic/Gap awesomeness. Let it be known that from now on if a girl rejects me, I will at least have the consolation of knowing it wasn’t because I was donning a $5 sweatshirt from Wally World.
- I also joined Collective Bias, a marketing agency that opened doors for new sponsorships, new possibilities for generating revenue for my blog, as well as a trip to Las Vegas to attend BlogWorld.
- In October I began my first ever road trip, traveling over 4,000 miles to at least 14 different states. and at least 20 different cities. The experience will stay with me forever.
- I experienced my first ever car accident too, just outside of Columbus, Ohio.
- I hadn’t flown on an airplane since I was 14, but that streak was finally broken when I flew to Vegas to attend BlogWorld with my friend Casey. It was also the first time I have ever gone on a flight on my own.
- And of course, VEGAS! Easily one of the noisiest, busiest and most unbearable cities I have ever been to. Not even the buffets could lure me back there again. The trip to Vegas also marked the first time I’ve ever attended a major conference like BlogWorld as well.
- After 7 or more years, I would finally meet one of my closest friends, Casey, who discovered my previous blog circa 2003, and has been a thorn on my side ever since. :-D While in Arkansas I had the pleasure of meeting his wife, kids and parents, and in a unusual twist of fate we met up again only a few weeks later, this time on my home turf in New York. For you Psych enthusiasts, I am the Shawn to his Gus, and occasionally vice versa, although we don’t know what started first. It’s like the chicken or the egg, minus the chicken. And possibly the egg.
- While in Las Vegas I could honestly say the biggest highlight of my trip was meeting Bailey of MakeoverMomma.com. To meet such a beautiful woman who was also hearing impaired like me, but so fiercely determined not to let that keep her down was inspiring. Meeting her family was also a treat and gives me a reason now to visit Virginia in the future. I am so blessed to have her as a friend as well.
- And finally, I would close the year out with a trip to New Hampshire for an early Christmas getaway, where I took an unbelievable driving tour of the gorgeous White Mountains and feasted on the bestest nachos and pancakes evahs!!11!1 The trip also gave me the occasion to meet yet another Internet friend, who by now I’m sure regrets that decision. LOL, I keed, I keed… I hope.
After all that, it makes me wonder how 2011 will stack up in comparison. Can the new year continue to carry the torch of awesomeness just as 2010 did? There’s certainly a lot expected to happen for 2011 that makes me hopeful. For one, it will mark the arrival of the iPhone on Verizon. YES, YES, THANK YOU GOD, YES.
Not only that but I will probably purchase my first iPad too when the second generation comes out, completing my trifecta of owning an iPhone, MacBook and iPad. I will be an unstoppable force of ubergeekness then.
I also have a few trips and meetups planned already, beginning with a meetup with Bailey in the city in January, then again in February when she comes to attend the fashion show. I trust by then she can sneak me in so I can ensconce myself in a sea of the world’s hottest models, where any one of them could be looking for a downtown man like me. Just like Billy Joel says, so it must be true! :-D
After that I would immediately flee New York (on Valentine’s Day no less) for a trip to Portland, Maine (and possibly beyond), a return to New Hampshire for a day or two, and finally a four day stay at Boston, where everybody knows my name, and they’re always glad I came.
March will be even crazier with a flight to Texas(!!!), where I meet up with Casey again at SXSW for a few days of Texan BBQ, funsies, and possible new networking contacts (read: people who can save me from my current dead-end job.) After SXSW I might rent a car and take a drive from Austin to Dallas for a few extra days of sightseeing around the state before returning home.
In April or May I’m planning another trip to Tennessee for a week long stay in the Smokies, hoping this time around I’ll have a chance to explore Knoxville and some of the surrounding areas before vegging out once again in a gorgeous luxury log cabin. Tee hee. It will also give me a chance to stay in Virginia for a night and meet Bailey and her family again (at which point I have to think that they’re all going to get sick of me by then, lolz.)
After that things get a little fuzzy. There’s a travel blog conference taking place in Vancouver in June and as much as I want to visit the city, I’m not sure it might be worth the investment then. There’s also the tornado chasing expedition I want to join in late June or July in Colorado, something I need to keep hush hush because my mother would be very upset if she knew what I was up to.
I do know it’s a given I’m going to be in either Colorado or somewhere in the Rockies for my 35th birthday in August, because there is absolutely no way in HELL that I am going to be celebrating that here in stinky New York.
2011 could also possibly be the year I travel abroad for the first time. My friend Casey will be traveling to Germany sometime in the fall and I may (permission pending) tag along for the ride, presuming there’s enough room in the trunk to hold me.
The only downside I’m seeing for 2011 has to do with my blog. Despite the record breaking year I had in generating income from it, my traffic level actually went DOWN by 10 percent for the year, and Google reduced my ranking from a PageRank of a studly 5 to a paltry 3, effectively setting all my efforts to bring in traffic back 2 years. Thanks Google! Motherf—- but anyhow, something will have to give in 2011, otherwise my blogging income will eventually evaporate, along with my dreams of becoming a full-time and self-employed blogger AND my ability to travel on a semi-regular basis.
For 2011, it’s make or break time. Bring it, baby.