As 2009 ends and I prepare my annual review à la Chris Guillebeau, I had to stop and think about the insane amount of experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met along the way. “Whirlwind” can barely capture the appropriate velocity of the past twelve months, during which time I went from living in Colombia to prepping for a move to Brazil, and an index card bluebrint of arrows and airport codes turned into a series of places and faces that passed all too quickly from dreams to memory. Since bringing in 2009 with millions of people on Copacabana Beach, I’ve been to 35 cities in 15 countries on five continents. Wow.
It’s only now, looking back, that I realize the magnitude of those statistics. After all, while on the road, more attention had to be paid to details like food, lodging, transport, and other logistics than to the entire scheme as a whole. Outsiders had the luxury of awe and wonder; I had to figure out how to get from the airport to my CouchSurfing host’s house and where I could find wireless Internet.
Now, I think about the new friendships forged, the old friendships strengthened, the innumerable moments that I yearn to repeat, the people with whom I want to hang out again, dance with again, smile at again, hug again, make love to again, meet again, and say goodbye to again. These memories serve as bittersweet affirmation of the transitory nature of life; that nothing is permanent and every present moment is just that, a present to be treasured.
So, at the end of this calendar year, I give thanks to the Cosmos for 2009 and everyone in it. And for 2010 and everyone in it.