Homer's Travels: A Homer's Travels Look Back At 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Homer's Travels Look Back At 2012

2012 is coming to an end and the world rolls .  It's time to take a look back at what I've been up to the last twelve months.  After an amazing 2011, 2012 had a high standard to live up to.  Not sure if it did or not.  I can say it had a very lackluster feel to it.  The big themes of 2012 were Asian travel, exercise, and the health of family members.

Let's look back at 2012, shall we:
  • January:  I set a goal to post more in 2012, a goal I did not achieve.  I resolved to become more optimistic in 2012, another goal I did not achieve.  I asked for ideas for how to become more optimistic and for a new favicon for Homer's Travels ... and got few responses.  Back strengthening exercises resulted in better sleep.  Push ups started causing shoulder aches ... aches that would turn out to be rotator cuff tendinitis.  I finished documenting our Route 66 & California trip with a comparison of the Camino and Route 66.
  • February:  The month started with weird weather that interfered with plans.  Blood tests came back within range, a good thing.  My knee, that had been bothering me since my 2011 Topa Topa hike, began improving this month.  The Wife ice fished while I overdosed on homemade sugar cookies.  I ended the month lamenting the lack of posts that didn't exist.  Unfortunately that perception was more of a prediction as the number of posts dropped off as the year continued.
  • March:  We started the month with a trip to Galena, IL which helped my mood a bit.  I bought a new camera that could withstand the elements.  We went to see the sandhill crane migration for the second time, this time seeing a rare whooping crane.  I conducted the changing pictures experiment.  My walking routine, that started in December 2011, continued to progress nicely.
  • April: We curled for the second time in our lives, this time with no injury.  I broke the 2,000 mile walking mark. I realized that hiking/trekking is what I like to do and I added the Appalachian Trail to my plans.  I achieved my goal of doing 100 push-ups - then I quit to let my shoulder heal.  The month ended with a visit to an ax murder house.
  • May: In May I started my ab work which is slowly doing its job of flattening my stomach and strengthening my lower back.  I celebrated my Caminoversary.  I finally finished the Oak Creek Trail. Other hikes this month were limited by the hotter than normal temperatures.  Memorial day was spent remembering one of the Wife's uncles who had passed earlier this year and remembering all the people who have given their lives for our country.
  • June: Best way to start the month is to watch three television bees and feeling pretty stupid afterwards.  I tried to plant poppies in iia pair of boots with less than positive result.  We lost a great author when Ray Bradbury passed.  I paused my exercise routines in preparation for our Asian trip and because of persistent aches and pains.  At the end of the month we traveled to China and began our Asian Adventure.
  • July: We returned from our Asian Adventure and spent a few weeks readjusting to being home.  The Wife was sick the week following our return.  I had a hard time getting back into my groove.  Sitting on the couch and watching the Olympics was fun but didn't help my mind sync up.  Looking for a dog came and then went without resulting in a dog.
  • August: This month started with a scare when my Mom went to the hospital with infection on the brain.  We lost a great explorer in Neil Armstrong.  This month, and the next four, I would slowly post about our Asian Adventure.  Frankly I don't think my soul was in my writing- a much different feeling than I had after my 2011 Camino and our Route 66/California vacation.
  • September: The month's post were dominated by Asian Adventure posts.  I did take time to post about an unsuccessful attempt to buy a new back pack for my 2013 Camino.  I also talked about restarting my exercise regimen and some of the new issues that popped up soon after including plantar fasciitis.  I also started riding my bike twice a week.
  • October: What a month.  The dominant thing of the first half ... well I'm not going to post about it.  Suffice it to say that there was a family issue that threw everyone into turmoil that has persisted until now.  This month was also the Wife's fiftieth birthday, a milestone I will reach next year.  Next the Father-in law scared everyone and went to the hospital to have a pacemaker/defibrillator installed.  To finish the month off my Network Storage crashed ... hard ... and I lost a large chunk of my pictures.  Pretty sure October was not my favorite month this year.
  • November: The election came and went - Thank God! - and things did not change.  My plantar fasciitis continued to bother me so I took the entire month off from walking - the second month of November where I didn't walk.  A leaky dishwasher resulted in a whole new set of kitchen appliances.  We celebrated a good Thanksgiving.
  • December:  Both 12/12/12 and the end of the world came and went.  I finally finished chronicling our Asian Adventure.  One adventure down, dates were set for my next and I bought airplane tickets for my 2013 Camino.  I bought a new toy: a Nexus 7 tablet. A new toy didn't help much for my disposition.  I was grumpy most of December. A couple days after Christmas we brought home a new dog.  Santiago will probably dominate our household for a while.
  • This year I hiked 589.70 miles.  I would have topped last years 756.44 miles if it hadn't been for my plantar fasciitis.  I ended up skipping about six weeks worth of hikes trying to heal my heel.
  • I biked 468.31 miles.  I have ridden almost as many times, and more miles, this year than the last four combined.  I am slowly adding the miles to my biweekly rides though the cold and snow have put my riding on hold the last few weeks of the December.
  • Snowshoeing ... zero miles this year.  Winter 2011-2012 was just too dry.  While we did get some snow in late December, it fell mostly in the city and the places I usually go to snowshoe got less, I suspect we will not get enough snow this year for any substantial snowshoeing.
  • I read 10 books this year including my first ebook - the same number of books as last year.  Not even close to the sixteen book goal I'd set for myself.  Near the end of the year I was finding it hard to find books that interested me.  I don't blame the books, I blame myself.  I still managed to read about 4,409 pages - about 24% more than in 2011 but still far fewer than in 2010.  Of course this doesn't include all the articles I read on the internet and in magazines (Wired and National Geographic mostly).  I have no easy way to quantify these.
  • This year we went to no concerts.  Not sure this has happened to me for at least ten or fifteen years.  Just didn't see any act that caught my eye ... or ear.
  • The number of post this year, 113 including this one, was dismal.  The lowest annual count since I started Homer's Travels.  Longest writer's block ever ... or maybe I should just blame Facebook.
2012 ... felt mediocre, this despite the month long Asian Adventure.  I guess I should have expected it as 2011, especially the summer, was so incredible.  It's hard to live up to that standard.  I felt we fewer little side activities this year, though I don't think I have evidence to back up that claim.  The health scares for both the Mom and the FiL didn't help much for the second half of the year.  While 2012 may have been mediocre, I did discover something important about myself.  I discovered that hiking/trekking is what I really like to do.

2013 may be a bit more low key still.  Yes, I will be going on my second Camino, but there are no other big plans coming ... at least not yet.  I'm sure Iago will liven things up a bit.  I have to change my expectations, I think, and let the year stand on its own without the shadow of summer 2011 hanging over everything.  Maybe 2013 is when I move past the Camino and continue on to the next stage.  I just have to keep on trekking and forge ahead to the next trail.

Here's to a Happy and Prosperous New Year for all.
May all your dreams come true in 2013.


  1. Yup! That's a pretty big year! ( I like to state obvious things!)

    1. Miss B: Sometimes the obvious has to be stated. I just wish I knew why it felt so empty despite all of it.

  2. Since there's no possible way I can go back and read all 113 (yipe!) posts from 2012, thank you so much for posting this. And, seriously, 113 posts and you're beating yourself up for not posting enough? Have you SEEN my blog for the last two years? Sheesh.

    2011 was a high point, the same as my recent travels have been. I feel ya. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance it all out.

    1. GH: I seem to remember you saying something about not liking end of the year list posts ...

      113 post is nearly half of what I was posting in 2007, 2008, and 2009. You had an excuse as you were traveling all over the place and you were doing the life changing thing. I had no excuse.

      In time you will figure out how to put it down in writing. Remember, it's not the traveling that changes us, it is the contemplation after returning that changes our lives.