2010 was, unequivocally, the most interesting, exciting year of my life.  It was my first full year living in London, and I was just getting the swing of it at the beginning of the year, having spent the latter half of the year before getting my bearings on these haphazard London streets and accepting the loss of my oh-so-loved modern conveniences only found in North American flats.

To begin the year, I rang in 2010 in style, in Amsterdam. I went alone, and had an absolute blast. While there, I made my resolution for the year: To travel as much as I can, hitting at least 10 different (probably European) cities in the process. By my count, I did that and beat that.  I’ll not list them all now, but I will have to write about the rest of those trips at a later date…

Last year’s resolution was, I think, the only time I’ve ever actually stuck with it.  It helps to have something so fun yet achievable. Now, on to this year’s resolutions.  I’m setting a few, because there’s a number of things I want to work on, and because I love a challenge, and also, because I haven’t decided on one big “Thing To Do” for 2011.  No worries.  Here goes:

  • Blog more.  I started this blog last year with very little idea what I’d be making of it.  As it turns out, I’m still figuring that out. In the meantime, I see no harm in getting a few random posts about my thoughts and activities published for the time being.  I suppose this is, really, the best way to start.  That said, writing is an intensely personal process for me, but getting myself in the habit of publishing my thoughts should be a good exercise.  Plus, I want to document my life somewhere other than Facebook or Twitter, where the future (and privacy) of said content is unknown, and I can expand beyond a restrictive 140 characters or so.
  • Cook more.  After moving to this flat at the beginning of last year, I got out of the habit of really cooking.  I used to have a kitchen I could really take pride in, and made the most use of I knew how, experimenting in a new playground.  Here in London, I’m sharing the flat, and really don’t feel any sense of ownership of the kitchen.  My plan is to make a bigger effort to stalk up on groceries, get creative again, and make myself some home cooked grub.  At least a couple times a week, if I can hack it.
  • Eat more fruit.  This should be achievable now that BraveNewTalent is having fruit delivered to the office.  Win!  But if it weren’t for that, I’d likely be down to whatever I can salvage from Pret on my lunch breaks.  It’s not my fault that no where in London serves piles of fresh fruit, a la Chez Cora. Actually, I should eat more healthily in general.  I say this as I tuck into cheese and pate with crackers and wine…. see that second point about cooking more.  I need to work on this..
  • Keep moving and travelling.  I’m not going to set a number of places to visit, like I did last year, as 2010 was all about seeing more of Europe.  This year, I’m open to trying some places a little further from home, which likely means I’ll have to spend more time in each place and therefore can fit fewer in.  Although I’m determined to go back to France, perhaps for the Beaujolais Nouveau week.  Oh, and getting in some SCUBA diving, a new trick I picked up in Greece this last year. And perhaps somewhere even more awesome for the next new years celebrations.

Okay, New Years Eve then.  This year, I rung it in in Times Square. In New York City. How COOL is that? Okay fine, it wasn’t cool per se to the native New Yorkers I spoke to, who all favoured hitting up a house party or overpriced club, to standing in crowds, sans alcohol for an indeterminate number of hours to watch a glittery ball drop for 10 seconds.  But for me, seeing the ball drop, in person, in Times Square was just one of those things I had to do.  Check!

Times Square was exhilerating and energising.  For anyone thinking of going, don’t pay attention to those who say you need to turn up early just to see the ball drop.  Just be ready to sweet talk your way past about 3 sets of cops, and shell out about $20 each on a deposit for a restaurant booking within the second or third set of barriers.  Give yourself a couple hours (not the 12 that they recommend) to sort it out will help. So will taking on a fake British accent, as I learned.

So, lots of stuff to achieve this year, in 2011.  For starters, I’ll keep my progress up here on this blog.  And start planning something equally epic to ring out the year.  Perhaps Tokyo? Buenos Aires?  I feel a tradition coming on…

All of that said, I am looking forward to seeing what unfolds in this coming year.

Happy New Year, all, and all the best for 2011!