Daily Archives: December 26, 2010


Not only is this my 100th TwT blog post, but it is also (most likely) my final post of 2010.

I would like to end this year of Travels with Tavel with a photo series of my signature Tavel Leap (and some non-leaps or almost-leaps), in chronological order, from some of the wonderful places I was able to visit during the wild and crazy 2010:

Chicago, Illinois. USA. January 2010.

This one (above) represents more of a leap of faith that I took, visiting my then-boyfriend in Chicago. Leaps of faith are a whole other kind of Tavel leap, and I tend to take them often. (Even with a bad knee, sometimes these leaps have the roughest landings…)

New Orleans, Louisiana. USA. March, 2010.

Rome, Italy. April 2010.

Pompeii, Italy (w/ little brother Robo). April 2010.

Buenos Aires, Argentina. (La Boca neighborhood.) April 2010.

Quito, Ecuador. (Old Town, Quito - my second week in Ecuador). May 2010.

Papallacta, Ecuador. (Hiking the Paramo at 4,000m/13,150+ ft.) June 2010.

Mindo, Ecuador. (Zip-lining through the cloud forest.) July 2010.

Old Town Quito, Ecuador. (Leap w/ friends outside Quito Basilica in Old Town.) July 2010.

Canoa, Ecuador. (Horseback riding along the Ecuadorian coast.) August 2010.

Pichincha Volcano over Quito, Ecuador. (Altitude: about 15,500 ft.) September 2010.

Cotopaxi Volcano in Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador. (I was too tired from 3.5 hrs of horseback riding to jump. Altitude: 4,700m/15,500ft.) October 2010.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. (Gardner's Bay, Isla Espanola.) November 2010.

I’m very good at looking back. In fact, I’ve spent countless hours looking back and trying to find meaning in things that have come and gone and left deep marks in my heart and mind. But my personal new year’s resolution is to spend less time looking back and more time looking forward. If I find myself feeling extra Buddhist, I can focus on looking only at the constant “now,” but that might be difficult considering that 2011 will be the first year in a long time that I have an actual long-term plan of attack.

I spent 2010 up (at almost 16,000 ft on Pichincha Volcano and near Cotopaxi Volcano), down (sea level, or even snorkeling below the surface of the sea in the Galapagos), and everywhere in between (in Ecuadorian cloud forests, among Italian ruins, wandering through Argentine streets, and revisiting New Orleans for the first time post-Katrina). I think, like most years, this was a year of ups and downs for me, personally, as well. But I can honestly say it was one of the richest years experience-wise that I have ever had. I learned more than I could ever imagine about people and the world this year, and probably — most importantly — I learned immense amounts about myself and what I want and need.

While my backpacks, suitcases, hiking boots and flip-flops are all put away right now, these lessons, these experiences, these once-in-a-lifetime adventures are neatly packed away in my mind. I am beginning 2011 with such hope, such motivation, and such excitement for all that is possible, and I couldn’t have been where I am now without the rollercoaster year that was 2010.

A happy, healthy, inspirational, wild and wonderful (and maybe even somewhat stable and calm) New Year to you all! As you can see through these photos, not every leap is as graceful as the next (and in 2010 I took some hard spills), but at least I leapt at all.

Thank you for leaping with me.

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