Well it seems that time of the year — time for the year-end lists. Best movies of 2010. Best books of 2010. Best new theme parks of 2010. You get the drill. Not shockingly, most of these “best” lists are also top 10 lists.
Top 10 lists suck. More on that in a couple weeks.
But in all the hullabaloo about everyone’s best things of the year, I think we lose focus on what is truly important. The best things are great, but by definition they are rare and almost unattainable.
Well, apparently they aren’t all that unattainable, since everyone has ten of them in a variety of categories at this time of year, but you get the point. Focusing on only the things at the top is quite unfair to the bulk of life, the average.
Time for the fair to middlin’ to get their due.
So, these are some of my pretty average, not-so-bad, posts of 2010. So, go grab a thoroughly mundane American beer out of the fridge, microwave up some of the leftover holiday food, and have a moderately enjoyable time with my 2010 summary.
- First things first, I spent New Year’s Eve of 2009 alone. In a casino in Cairns, Australia. At a poker table. Good night though — as I recall, I think I won $400-500 or so, then walked out around 2 a.m. into a torrential downpour and walked about a mile back to my hostel.
- I was going through my 2010 posts quickly in drafting this up and realized that my first 2010 post wasn’t until January 18th. And in keeping with the spirit, it was just a photo post (Uluru sunrise). I didn’t even bother with any text. Jeez, how average could I be?
- February 1st saw the publishing of one of my most popular posts — the Hostel and Dorm Rules. That one is actually pretty good and the comments from other people are great, so it shouldn’t be included in this review post, but nothing defines fair to middlin’ better than the ubiquitous Irish Pubs on the Road post. I love Ireland and Irish beer and Irish pubs, but my God, they are everywhere you turn.
- The longest I spent in any one country on the trip was the six or so weeks that I spent in New Zealand in February and March. Since I then embarked on a twenty day cargo freighter ride home, with no internet or other distractions, there are a lot of New Zealand posts that I wrote while on board. A couple of them might be considered pretty good and funny (Hitchhiking in New Zealand and the Wellington Sevens posts, heard and seen), so they have no place here. Instead, let me give you a little diddy I did about a quirky little movie theater in Wanaka, New Zealand, where I saw The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus one afternoon.
- After my long, long freighter ride home, it appears I went into a prolonged state of average here at Go, See, Write. Well, actually, it wasn’t even Go, See Write, back then — it was still at blogspot.com — which practically defines plain and simple averageness. These were the lazy days… the days of Photos of the Day. Some funny, some scenic, some historic, but all just plain old lazy. Right up the alley of this summary post!
- After I got back to Arkansas, I milled around the basement of my parents’ house for a few months, caught up with friends and hit a few happy hours. Middle of the year and some good, average chilling out time. And the lazy continued — it is kind of embarrassing to go back and look at how little I was writing and working on this blog. How lazy was I then? Heck, even some of my lazy photo posts were of… people just looking at art. Wow.
- I did run into an older friend of mine that was annoyingly close-minded about other religions in the midst of summer and was pretty happy with my ranting post about it all, including a great, great recording of the morning call to prayer in Stone Town, which was far from average, but damn it — you do deserve some excellence in my year-end memory post.
- Wow, I am just going to have to ignore June and July. More photo posts. I am getting a theme — lazy, lazy. I mean Budapest is beautiful, Brandenburg Gate is damn cool, and the colors in Petra look almost unreal, but still… get to writing. Jeez.
- September saw me back on the road again, this time to Colombia, ostensibly to start working on the book about my RTW trip. It did get me writing again, and also got me to finally move this blog to a self-hosted website and get moderately serious about it. I finally wrote a bit about climbing Kilimanjaro, the best and most difficult thing I have ever done. Wrote my first post for The Huffington Post. But I think from this part of 2010, I shall give you… the craziest person I have ever met. The scary thing about that is although he was the craziest… there are lots of strange people in that town.
- By late October, I had taken a detour to the island of Grenada for a bit of fun with a friend and come up with the idea for my interview series, the Lucky 13 Questions. Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic was the first and I’ve been doing two of them a week ever since. Lots of fun to get to know people in the travel community a lot better through 13 off-the-wall questions.
- And that’s pretty much it. I went back to Colombia for a month. Took some photos in a cool town near San Gil, wrote an obnoxious post about bad travel writing, but average and mundane is probably best typified by my ranting about cold showers…. almost in a top 10 format.
And that is where we should end 2010 — right where this post began. Top 10 lists suck. My wish for 2011 is the end of the top 10 list, except for Letterman, cause he does it right.
Oh I love that I’ve been included in your average moments of the year.
Feliz nuevo año!
there is NOTHING average about you!
The funny thing is that this approach is a lot more interesting than any other “best of” post. Looking forward to 2011. B well, Phil
anytime I get a compliment on one of my posts that is intended to be humorous from you…. I am honored, Sir
Total fan. As a hater of Top 10 lists myself, this suits me just fine! Also, so fun to explore your site through this post. Must come back when I have more time to click on every single link!
Hehe! It’s nice to see something different at this time of year. I quite like Top 10 lists though =)
We loved that cinema in Wanaka too!
I didn’t know you hit that cinema also — so cool.
Ha! Even though I do year-end “best/worst” wrap-ups myself, I love this summary of the average and middling. Because thats what a lot of travel is! Maybe I’ll do a list of “meh” hotels sometime 🙂
Interesting twist to summary posts 🙂
Happy New Year to you! So what’s in store for the start of 2011?
going to travel in the Middle East for the 1st half of the year, then go to Tbex in Vancouver and then perhaps have a cool project set for September or so. Hope it is a great year!
Lots of reflection at this time of year for you, for me, for lots of people. I love taking the time (and that’s where the difficulty lies) to look back at accomplishments, where I fell flat, where I need to up my game, what approach works, what’s lame…
I like some Top 10 lists but you’ve got me thinking on how to approach writing from a different angle. Those top 10 lists don’t always capture the spirit of travel.
Love your blog BTW.
thank you so much for your kind comments!
So tired of top 10s as well 🙁 I’m a bit tired of all that has become standard in the blogging world, but ah well 🙂 Here’s to 2011!
Well, I have never liked them and damn sure I am not going to do them now that they are everywhere. On the other hand… dirty little secret on this post is that when I knocked out draft number one, there were 10 points inadvertently.
I like your list. I like top 10 lists too, or top 7, or top whatever… I just love lists in general. What can I say, lists make a blog post easier to read (and write) :p
I thought this post was average.
(See….see what I did there? No? Oh FINE).
Delighted to have met you this year, sir, and to become a regular visitor here. A wry soul, thou art.
Later today I’m writing a Bottom Ten post, I’ll confess, but on the whole it’s not the “Ten” bit that annoys me, it’s the “Top”. Ranking the unrankable. That said, I welcome any trend that allows me to take the piss out of it. I’d really hate to live in a John Lennon style utopia where everyone was nice to each other and flower petals fell from the sky and cute puppies ran around yipping and all that kind of sickening group-huggery.
I admire your unflinching self-criticism up there. I admire it because I thought of doing itself (criticizing myself, I mean, not you, that would be rude) but I concluded I’d have to beat myself unconscious to sum up how erratic my blogging has been this year.
Keep ranting. We like.
Cheers to a wonderfully mediocre 2011 😉 Hope it’s totally fair to middlin’ on average (but with some amazing highs in there too!).
Festivus for the rest of us! Best in 2011.. er, I mean, Average in 2011!
Thanks for all your support in the past year.
Festivus! A lawyer friend of mine forwarded me an article that some federal prisoner sued to be allowed to celebrate Festivus and won. Cracked me up.