2011 Year in Review: Travel and a Cookbook

Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as  a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 200720082009 and 2010 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.

2011 in Review

In general, I stayed much more focused this year. In past years, I’ve had a tendency to become exhausted and burned out with too many side projects. This year, I focused on a couple of things and was happier and healthier as a result.

  • I finally published my vegan cookbook: What Dawn Eats: Vegan Food That Isn’t Weird. I have been collecting recipes for this cookbook for 15 years, and I am really excited to have it published. It is available in paperback, Kindle edition and PDF format. Out of everything I did in 2011, this is what I am most proud to have accomplished.
  • I spent a lot of time traveling in 2011, which is something I had been wanting to do for a long time. After ending a relationship of 6 years in May, I realized that this was a great opportunity to combine some of my work travel with a few fun side trips, since I didn’t need to hurry home to anyone. Aside from a few trips to San Francisco, Ohio, Seattle and Austin, most of my travel was international. I went to Vancouver (BC), Victoria, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. You can see pictures from some of my trips on Flickr, but I’ve been a little lazy about getting the set from Europe posted.
  • I also had more than my share of personal turmoil this year after my father unexpectedly passed away in June. It was a sudden reminder that life is short, which also fueled my travel bug to see the world while I can. However, the silver lining in all of this is that my sister and I learned that we had another sister that we never knew about. It’s been great to spend some time getting to know her and my new adorable little niece.
  • Aside from a little slacking during the holidays, I’ve been happy with my progress toward getting stronger and healthier. Over the summer, I had a few long runs of over 8 miles (~13k), which is longer than I had ever run in my entire life! I had a minor setback in an unfortunate incident with a sidewalk (sidewalk: 1, Dawn: 0), but I didn’t let it slow me down. The doctor called me an endorphin junkie as I was sitting in his office a week later looking at the follow-up x-ray of my fractured finger asking him when I could start running again, but he gave me the OK as long I as didn’t fall on my hand. During the cold and rainy winter months, I’ve been mostly a gym rat, lifting weights and doing cardio on the machines, but it keeps me in shape until the weather improves enough for me to want to run outside.
  • From a work perspective, I am still leading the Community Office within Intel’s Open Source Technology Center. While it’s been a rough year with a lot of changes in some of my projects (MeeGo and now Tizen), I’m happy with the work. I get to work with amazing, smart people both on the team at Intel and in the community of open source developers, and I have the opportunity to work on interesting projects while traveling to new places.
  • I’ve also presented at a bunch of conferences this year. Most of the presentations were related to my work at Intel talking about MeeGo, Tizen or community metrics at various Linux Foundation events, the MeeGo conference, AppUp Elements, OS Bridge and OSCON. However, I also did a couple of presentations about Hacking RSS at SXSW and WebVisions, just for fun 🙂
  • I also somehow found time to read almost 40 books this year and am attempting to learn French.

What I Want to Accomplish in 2012

  • I plan to continue to do more traveling in 2012. I really have the travel bug, and I just want to visit places that I’ve never seen before.
  • Like last year, I want to continue to be even healthier this year to build endurance and strength with longer runs in the 8-13 mile range and more regularly hitting the gym to lift weights. After pigging out over the holidays, I also need to get more diligent about not eating too much and making better choices about what I eat.
  • In a carryover from what I wanted to accomplish in 2011, but never quite got around to it … I still want to get back into doing some light programming for fun projects. I’ve been dabbling a bit over the past couple of years, but mostly with things like shell scripts and awk that aren’t really programming, so I’d like to do more with PHP and APIs.
  • Right now, I’m at the phase in my French lessons where I know some basic vocabulary, but I want to get to a point where I can actually carry on a conversation in French that goes beyond basic greetings and travel phrases in 2012.
  • I will also try to get better about blogging here after neglecting this blog for the past few months.

2 thoughts on “2011 Year in Review: Travel and a Cookbook”

  1. Hey really enjoyed your travel pics and comments. You have certainly been busy. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished.

  2. Once you have the travel bug it’s very hard to get rid of it. In college I studied in both Italy (2 months) and Hong Kong (5 months) and for the past 5 years I’ve been trying to find the perfect job that involves traveling and technology.

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