What a year!

It’s just over one year since I’ve worked full time, and I thought it would be fun to make a bunch of lists of what I’ve done in that year.


  • About 33000 miles by airplane, visiting 14 airports
  • Around 6000 miles by car
  • 2000 nautical miles by sailboat
  • 1000 nautical miles on the Alaska Marine Highway (a car ferry)

Types of vehicles

  • My Slumbaru
  • Airplanes
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Pickup trucks
    • with dead goat
    • without dead goat
  • Boats
    • Wonderland
    • Ferry from Haines, AK to Bellevue, WA
    • Ferry on Lake Geneva
    • Senegalese water taxi
    • Lanchas in Guatemala
  • A camel
  • A horse
  • My hiking boots
  • A zipline


You can see a full list, as well as I can remember, at Tagzania. I ended up with 75 places, which means that in a year I moved to a new place on average every 4.8 days! Hopefully when Tagzania clears up some bugs, I can post a map visually showing all the places I was.

  • United States
    • States: CA, NY, CT, MA, NV, UT, CO, WY, MT, AK, WA, OR, AZ, NM, VA, TX, TX, TX (so big it counts for 3!)
    • Notable cities: San Antontio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Portland, Salem, Seattle, Whitehorse, Skagway, Haines, Telluride, Hyder, San Francisco, Pasadena, San Diego, Arnold, Roseburg
  • Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory)
  • Portugal (Lisbon and several other small towns to the south)
  • Spain
    • Ayamonte
    • Canary Islands (a special administrative region of Spain)
      • Arrecife
      • Las Palmas de Gran Canarie
      • Santa Cruz de Tenerife
      • Isle of Graciosa
  • Senegal (mostly Dakar, but also a village on the Saloum River)
  • Belize
  • Guatemala
    • Flores
    • San Andrés
    • Livingston
    • Puerto Barrios
    • Coban
    • Panajachel
    • San Pedro
    • Quetzaltenango
  • Mexico
    • San Cristobal las Casas
    • Palenque
    • Oaxaca
    • Puebla
    • Mexico City

National Parks

  • United States
    • Great Basin National Park
    • Arches National Park
    • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
    • Grand Tetons National Park
    • Yellowstone National Park
    • Glacier National Park
    • Klondike Goldrush National Historical Park
    • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Canada
    • Waterton Lakes National Park
    • Banff National Park
    • Jasper National Park

Work (6 out of 52 isn’t bad, is it?)

  • Tellme, Sysadmin, 3 weeks
  • Tellme (Virginia), manual assembly, 3 weeks
  • Freelance consulting, 2 sales calls (yes sales!)


  • 6 weeks one on one Spanish lessons
  • 4 classes in 3 weeks with RedR
  • bunches of American Red Cross classes

Languages I’ve heard (and sometimes spoken)

  • English (Texan, American, English, International)
  • Spanish
  • Spanglish
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Several Mayan languages
  • Wolof and one other Senegalese tribal language whose name I forget

People I met came from

  • New Zealand
  • Germany
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Madras, India
  • Australia
  • Cameroon
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Spain
  • England
  • Ireland
  • United States
    • Washington, DC
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Berkeley, CA

Professions of people I’ve met

  • First time resturanteur in Haines, Alaska
  • American bar owner in Guatemala
  • Dreadlock-wearing lawyer
  • Doctors and nurses
  • MSF Logisticians
  • IT guys (but no gals, hmm)
  • Electrician
  • Tax accountant (it’s true, they really are boring)
  • Teachers
  • Civil engineers
  • Retired British Army seargent

Stuff I would never leave home without

  • My black REI One jacket
  • My (now) battered and ragged pair of Chacos
  • A notebook (mine’s from Lanzarote!)
  • Leatherman
  • My guardian angel keyring
  • 2 500ml Nalgene bottles

Stuff I keep carrying, but never really use

  • A mini Moosewood Cookbook
  • Universal drain plug
  • My Tilley Hat

My Quick Mental Checklist while Traveling

  • Can you get out of legal trouble? Have you touched your passport?
  • Can you buy yourself out of any other problem? Do you have 2 cards that work in ATM’s, more than one credit card, and some US dollars in $20’s and at least one $100? Are some of those things not in the same place as others?
  • Will you be flying? Have you touched your flight paperwork?
  • Will you be riding a bus? Do you have food and water?
  • Is your shampoo in the shower still?
  • Have you told your guardian angels where you’re about to go?

Things I learned

  • In the middle of the ocean, steering through a squall, running aground is the last thing you think of. (But when you do think of it, you feel like an idiot since land is over 1000 miles away.)
  • Construction (and most other engineering aspects of life) is the same in Guatemala and Senegal
  • How to type on a US keyboard in Spánísh módé.
  • The chicken salad sandwiches in Guatemala City won’t kill you.
  • How to unlock a GSM phone.
  • No one in London’s ever been to East Anglia. Trying to find someone who has is like trying to find someone in New York who has been to Rhode Island.

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