Is it too late to look back on 2008, although we’re already seven days into 2009? I hope not.
2008 was an unforgettable year for me. I jumped out of a perfectly good plane, dined with the chief of a Fijian village and appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
I danced the samba during carnival in Brazil, hiked on a glacier in New Zealand and parasailed in Argentina. I met people from all over the world. I crossed the international date line twice and the equator five times.
I cheered for Botafogo at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. I drank aguardiente, Fernet, caiprinhas and kava. I learned how drive on the left side of the road and where to find the Southern Cross in the Southern sky. I got paid to bake cookies and became a Lost Girl. I learned that a visa isn’t a credit card, it’s a major hassle. I got hooked on Vegemite, alfajores and ceviche. I read books by Leo Tolstoy, Jules Verne, Joseph Heller, Isabel Allende and Bill Bryson.
I found paradise. I waddled with penguins, fed kangaroos, held a koala and played with monkeys. I danced the tango, made empanadas from scratch and spoke Spanish with a distinctly Argentine accent. I waded into the Indian Ocean. I found myself in the middle of a major Islamic city at sundown while the faithful broke their Ramadan fast.
I declared my independence and leaned on my wonderful, amazing friends. I started running. I channeled Cameron Diaz for Halloween and filmed a vignette for the WE network. I dialed Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Nevada for Obama and helped win an election. I met a band named “God or Julie,” I was quoted in New York Magazine, and I was sketched on my way home to Brooklyn. I got a column and started a new blog. I turned thirty.
2009 may not be filled with as many exotic destinations, but I hope it’s just as exciting. I hope that when I look back on 2009, my list includes, “I found a job I love.” Maybe I’ll throw some trapeze lessons in for good measure.
Happy new year, everyone. May it be a happy one indeed.