Oh, so it is. I’m usually much more on top of my New Year’s posts, but 2013 was one heck of a year and I wasn’t really sure where to start. Then I thought, I’ll just begin with what’s always closest to my heart: the food. (And drink.) And I’m gonna preemptively put a few dollars in the proverbial jar, because I’m about to sound like a… well, maybe just don’t read this if you’re prone to fits of jealous rage. Right, the food…
In my 2013 travels, I found that Kuala Lumpur has the best street food and France still has the best food food. In a surprising development, France’s fromage and baguettes and two-Euro vin rouge also joined Balinese nasi goreng in my Best Meals on a Tiiiight Budget category. Between Western Australia and Otago, I think I added about 30 new beers to my lists. And I had a Singapore Sling. In Singapore. Best coffee still is (and probably always will be) from Oceania. Unless you happen to come across an Aussie cafe in Paris, which I did.
I also managed to come across some pretty grand adventures. I rode to the top of a mountain via helicopter… and experienced weightlessness on the way back down. I rode to the top of another mountain in a tram, and the top of another in a trolley, and the top of another in a chairlift. I traipsed through a favela or two. I interviewed Carissa Moore on a live webcast in Taranaki, and then I saw her crowned World Champion in Cascais. I flew through a 30 year storm and drove clear across New Zealand. I surfed in the Indian Ocean and watched two oceans collide. I saw a bunch of thieving monkeys in a kitsch Hindu temple. I saw the Milky Way on several occasions. I rode a camel!
I know that you know that what’s actually closest to my heart is the humans. I got to hang out with Yudi in Bali and explore Alice Springs with the other KC. I slept on my Scottish friends’ couch in New Zealand, and I finally got to Mount Maunganui. I went on a not-so-blind blind date in Coolangatta, was rescued from a rain storm in Portugal, had BoBo lunch with Laeti in Paris, and visited Vortex for the third year. I met so many amazing, new friends and relied on the old ones once more. (Thank you.)
The past 12 months have been some of the happiest and craziest ever, but even gypsy hearts grow weary sometimes, and at the start of 2014, I am probably the most excited that a person has ever been over possessing a P.O. box. For the moment, my adventures are [relatively] close to home, but I’m always, always looking forward to the next one, and I’m pretty keen to see where 2014 takes me…
2013 By The Numbers:
66,555: Miles flown.
4: New countries visited.
7: WCT events attended.
2: New countries surfed.
1: New continent surfed.
10: “Couches” surfed.
4: New mountains skied.
1: Extreme strike mission.
At least two: Professional ding repairs.
6: Cars hired.
230: Consecutive days spent outside of the U.S..