Felixstowe Suffolk UK
A year ago today, Clive and I were stranded with thousands of other passengers at New York’s Kennedy Airport, snowed in en route from the U.S. to Paris.
After an uncomfortable overnight funded by Air France at an airport hotel, followed by a convoluted series of shuttle buses and flights from LaGuardia to Washington National Airport and another shuttle to Dulles International, we made it to our Paris sanctuary just in time for New Year’s Eve.
In one way, it seems unfathomable that tomorrow is, once again, New Year’s Eve. We’ll soon be into 2012. In another way, when I reflect on our activities and movements of the past year, I can only sigh with a strange mix of relief, satisfaction, and hope that the new year will be less hectic. More specifically, I can’t imagine another year like 2011, with so many nights spent in so many different places or, as Clive says, with so much sleeping around.
A Look at the Calendar
Thanks to Clive, we maintain detailed master trip calendars, and I’ve always kept daily journals and travel diaries. Maybe it’s my mathematics background and/or my general love of numbers, but when I’m pondering something I often find it helpful to first simply ‘look at the facts’ — which, in the context of sleeping around, led me to review our 2011 calendars and diaries and do some adding-up.
A few highlights and/or lowlights based on where we spent our nights:
Number of nights in a Felixstowe hotel: 6
Number of nights at Felixstowe Rental Palace: 58
Number of nights in our new place (counting tomorrow): 181
(number of nights on an airbed: 163)
(number of nights on blissful new bed I don’t want to get out of every morning: 18)
Total nights in Felixstowe: 245
Number of nights in Australia: 65
Number of nights in New Jersey: 15
(number of nights lost to hurricane: 5)
Number of nights in Paris: 15
Number of overnights on airplanes: 8
Number of nights in Penzance/Isles of Scilly: 11
Number of nights in London: 6
So What? A Brief Assessment as the Sun Sets on 2011
Most of our 2011 sleeping around was for one of two reasons: we moved from Sydney to Felixstowe, and we visited immediate family in Australia and the U.S.
Completing our overseas move and moving forward with our new adventure has to be at the top of my list for what we accomplished this year. We’ve made good progress with our renovations. As much as we want to travel and explore new places, especially now that we’re based in Europe, 2011 just wasn’t the year for it. Nor was it the year to spend more time in Paris, one of my longstanding personal dreams and goals. We did discover one fabulous new location, the Isles of Scilly, and squeezed in a few wonderful days in London.
We feel blessed with our new life in Felixstowe, which I’ve written about on this blog, particularly in ’15 Things I Love about Felixstowe’ and the ‘Top Ten Tapestry’ posts here and here. We’re getting better at travelling light, including going to Paris with only a backpack, which was definitely a 2011 thrill for me. Family highlights included doing a fund-raising walk with Clive’s daughter in April, being present for his granddaughter’s first birthday in October, and having my son with us over Christmas.
Where to for the New Year?
No matter the motivation for one’s travels, frequent overseas trips and long-haul flights come with a certain weariness, despite all best efforts to manage jet lag.
My word for 2011 was ‘settle’, but the reality of our life this past year was such that we experienced an almost chronic jet lag. We’ve begun to look at our family and travel plans across the whole of 2012, with the objective of giving our bodies and minds a better chance to appreciate our time with loved ones and regroup between trips. We still have much to do in our apartment, and I’m still considering what the right word might be to capture our 2012 goals.
More to come! In the meantime, cheers and Happy New Year to all.