Thursday, January 3, 2013

Moscow to LAX: Reflections of 2012

Stepping into 2013, I can't help but reflect on 2012.  It was a long, exhausting, yet, amazing year, full of experiences most people only dream of.  For much of the year, due to my job, I traveled to six continents, numerous countries and countless cities.  It was a year to take stock of and not take for granted.  I'll treasure the experiences and feel very fortunate to have had them.  I met new people, observed new cultures, ate new foods, cultivated new friendships and embraced each day for what it was, good or bad.

The photograph above is poignant and memorable to me because it is of our final flight of the year.  It was my flight home.  That picture does not depict an airplane wing and horizon line.  I see is an image full with emotion.  I see exhalation, relief, excitement, joy, contentment and reflection.  I sat in flight that afternoon, journeying from Moscow into the night sky across the North Pole, thinking of the year behind me, and what was to come.  I was full with excitement, knowing that Muy Alto would be eagerly waiting to retrieve me outside of baggage claim once I'd arrived, and yet, I was sad to think that I may never see many of the places I had visited, ever again.

I sat thoughts racing, struggling to hold on tight to the new memories I had made.  I mentally revisited my day with friends walking amongst the clouds on Table Mountain in South Africa,

thought back to my moment daydreaming on the black sandy beaches of Karekare and Piha in New

Zealand and recalled my stroll with a local tour guide through the streets of Soweto in Johannesburg.

I remembered the evening of Milonga with friends in Buenos Aires.  We gawked in awe of locals dancing tango under ambient umber lighting, when later that evening, nearly dawn, we shared an organic and impromptu moment of sound and song with the remaining locals on hand.

I thought of my day climbing the stairs, in reach of the top, of the centuries old Sun and Moon pyramids in Mexico, and of my accomplished hiking excursions with Muy Alto, during his first ever visit to Australia.

I remember my day of dim sum in Hong Kong and Korean barbecue in Seoul

and savouring sunset while sailing the Swedish fjords.

There was cycling through the streets of Copenhagen,

and I took in the traditional and legendary Temple Bar in Dublin.

In Paris, I strolled along Boulevard Champs Elysee and saw Le Tour Eiffel at the stroke of midnight.

There was wine tasting at the vineyards on Waiheke Island,

ice skating at Red Square in Moscow and so much more.....

I think back to my visit with friends old and new in London, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul and Melbourne.  These cumulative instances feed my soul.  I reminisce.

My wish for 2013 is simple,.....  that this year come remotely close to, or be nearly as interesting as 2012.  For that, I'd feel that I had done something right in another lifetime.

HAPPY 2013!!!