2008 A Year in Review

It was another great year of traveling, music, friends, and a little bit of work. Oh yes, I did actually work a few months this year, and it was an ideal situation for me. 6 months of grinding through working life in London, England turned out to be an incredible summer. I was able to see many shows in London, travel around Europe every couple of weeks, and still save enough money for the 6 month holiday that I am currently on.

English Bay photo by Laura Ward

2008 brought me to new places, a new continent, new friends, and old friends. But following my travel route is like following a ping pong ball. This is a summary of my trips this year. Try to find the logic towards the itinerary…

  • Flew Vancouver to Mexico City for a weeklong roadtrip to south Mexico & flew back for 2 days
  • Flew Vancouver to Brazil via a week in New York then bussed around S America for 2 months
  • Flew Brazil to Dublin via 3 days in New York then flew to London for a week
  • Flew London to Vancouver for a week then
    Hitchhiked/Bussed/Drove Vancouver to Los Angeles via San Diego for 2 weeks
  • Flew Los Angeles to London via 1 day in Dublin to start work for 6 months
  • Flew London to Nashville, drove to New Orleans, Memphis, Manchester, Atlanta, and Columbia
  • Flew Columbia to Detroit to London
  • Trained London to Belgium for a weekend and back to London
  • Flew London to Slovakia, bussed to Austria for a weekend, and flew back to London
  • Flew London to Sweden for a weekend and back to London
  • Flew London to Norway for a weekend and back to London
  • Flew London to Italy for a weekend and back to London
  • Flew London to Venice, drove to Munich and Verona, trained to Milan, & flew back to London
  • Flew London to Mexico City via 1 day in Vancouver
  • Drove Mexico City to Cancun and flew to Havana for a week long Cuban road trip
  • Flew Havana to Cancun, drove to Mexico City in a week, and flew back to Vancouver
  • Drove Vancouver to Victoria for the weekend and back to Vancouver
  • Drove Vancouver to Seattle for the night and back to Vancouver
  • Flew Vancouver to Las Vegas for the weekend and back to Vancouver

Are you lost yet? This is the statistics from 2008. I started doing this a few years ago by looking back in the year to see how it measured up to the previous years, and 2008 did not disappoint.

WORK

  • 118 Days Worked
  • 7 days at the first London job, then I quit
  • 111 days at the second London job

TRAVEL

  • 18 Countries
  • 4 Continents
  • 164 days in London
  • 27 days in Europe
  • 50 days in South America
  • 10 days in Cuba
  • 30 days in Mexico
  • 38 days in US
  • 46 days in Vancouver

TRANSPORTATION

  • 130 hours on 24 trips by Air
  • 142 hours on 18 trips by Bus
  • 7700 kms on 13 trips by Road
  • Longest flight – New York to Sao Paulo 13 hrs
  • Longest bus ride – Cuzco, Peru to Santa Cruz, Bolivia 36 hrs
  • Longest drive – Mexico City to Cancun 1400kms and 15 hrs,
  • Most productive day – Breakfast in Florence, Lunch in Pisa, and Dinner in Bologna
  • Busiest travel day – Hitching a ride from Vancouver to Seattle, then bussing from Seattle to Sacramento, then hitching a ride from Sacramento to Santa Cruz
  • Craziest route to a destination – Flying London to Venice then driving to Munich and back to Verona then training to Milan to fly back to London.

Bonnaroo

TOP 3 CONCERTS

  • Nine Inch Nails in Victoria, BC
  • Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo
  • Sigur Ros in Gotenburg Sweden

OTHER PERFORMANCES WORTH NOTING

  • Iron Maiden in Sao Paulo
  • Bruce Springsteen in Vancouver
  • Eddie Vedder in San Diego
  • Wintersleep in London
  • The Swell Season in London and Bonnaroo
  • Raconteurs, Gogol Bordello, and Jake Shimabukuro at Bonnaroo
  • Neil Young at Werchter and Gotenburg
  • The Wu Tang Clan in London
  • Nine Inch Nails in Las Vegas
  • Metric in Vancouver

Guinness factory

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR

  • Puerto Escondido
  • Mexican Food
  • Roy Jones VS Felix Trinidad fight at Madison Square Gardens
  • The Cherry Tree Bar in Brooklyn
  • Brazilian Churrasco
  • Surfing Florianopolis
  • New England Patriots losing the Super Bowl and their perfect season
  • Brazilian Carnival
  • Samba Gringo Samba
  • Mini zoo and the worst museum ever in Porto Alegre
  • Argentinean Beef
  • Eating two Argentinean steaks on my birthday
  • Watching wrestling in Santiago, Chile and talking to the Edge about hockey
  • Wrestling a blowup doll on Chilean TV and being called Dragon Steamboat then Pokemon
  • VIP Cama busses in South America
  • Chilean Coast
  • Copacabana, Bolivia
  • The woman who sold me a sweater in Puno, Peru after she found us like 10 times
  • Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Coco leaves in Peru
  • Iron Maiden in Brazil
  • Pousada Tribo in Ubatuba, Brazil
  • Visiting relatives in Rio de Janeiro
  • Hanging out with Tatiana and Venassa in Brazil
  • St Patrick’s Day in Dublin, showing up unannounced
  • Whelan’s Pub in Dublin
  • Being a tourist in Vancouver
  • Bruce Springsteen on Mon, Blind Melon on Tues, and Eddie Vedder on Wed and Thur
  • On the road with Newfie Joe
  • Eddie Vedder west coast tour
  • Falling asleep at the 2nd to last Eddie Vedder show
  • My first pair of sanuks
  • Throwing away my flight to stay 6 more hours at Whelan’s in Dublin
  • Quitting my first job of the year after one week
  • Stefan showing up for Shawn Smith in London
  • On the guest list for Swell Season at the Barbican
  • Foo Fighters at Wembley Stadium
  • New Orleans
  • Southern Roadtrip
  • Bonnaroo
  • Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo
  • Back stage passes at Bonnaroo (thanks Leigh)
  • Stealing beer from Donovan Frankenreiter and Cat Power with my pass at Bonnaroo
  • Sigur Ros staff recognizing me for trying to use their toilets at Bonnaroo then giving my a free ticket to the show in London, after all hope was lost
  • Seeing Vancouver friends in Europe
  • Euro Cup final in Vienna
  • Staying at Wombats
  • Last minute decision to attend Rock Werchter
  • Concerts in London
  • Weekend in Sweden
  • Nottinghill Carnival
  • Visiting la casa de Pin
  • Full roast lamb and party in the woods in Oslo
  • Discovery of La Volte wine in Florence
  • Chianti wine festival
  • Eating 1 kg of buffalo mozzarella cheese
  • Oktoberfest
  • Living in Old Street on the canal
  • Tom Brady injuring his ACL
  • Dolphins 38 – Patriots 13
  • Mexican road trip
  • Tulum, Mexico
  • Shelley’s wedding in Cuba
  • Cuban road trip with amigos
  • Felix and his crew in Cuba
  • Six pack of beers and quesadillas in Mexico
  • Manny Pacquaio mexecuting Oscar De la Hoya
  • Hanging out with Mike McMcready in Seattle
  • NIN in Victoria and Las Vegas
  • Miami Dolphins AFC Champions

LOWLIGHTS OF THE YEAR

  • Losing my bank card in Santiago, Chile
  • Closure of the Inca Trail during Feb
  • Cancellation of my route on the Death Train into Brazil
  • Missing out on Tom Morello’s solo gig in Hollywood
  • Missing Pemberton Festival, NIN in Red Rocks, and various weddings on the mainland
  • Not getting into a tent at Oktoberfest
  • Getting ripped off left right and center in Cuba including the CUC exchange rate

rockband

PLACES TO VISIT IN 2009

  • Hawaii
  • Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal
  • Hong Kong/Macau
  • South East Asia, Nepal
  • Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia
  • Africa?

SHOWS TO SEE IN 2009

  • Anything in Hawaii
  • Hot Wax and Champagne in Toronto
  • New festival in Malibu?
  • Coachella if not Bonnaroo again
  • Roskilde Festival in Denmark
  • Glastenbury Festival in UK
  • Any show at Red Rocks
  • Nine Inch Nails in Europe
  • Pearl Jam wherever

Gracias to everyone for making 2008 such an amazing year. 2009 will be even better! See you guys soon!

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