Travel Photo 2009 Review!

January 04, 2010


"While I can run, I'll run; while I can walk, I'll walk; when I can only crawl, I'll crawl. But by the grace of God, I'll always be moving forward" - Cavett Robert


How was your year? As promised, this is our travel photo review! 2009 was an exciting and dramatic year for us. It seems it is the custom in the blogosphere to do a review and perhaps I should have posted it before we began 2010, but it made more sense to me to post this after the holidays. Many of the links are to more photos that we took along the way.


January began with a first! Our 8 year old watched  America's first multi-cultural, mixed-race President's Inauguration live from the BBC from our living room in Spain.

Campo walking lemons spain
Mozart picking flowers, citrus & avocados in the "campo" in front of our winter home in Spain in February

February blew us away because we got nominated for three Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards which was beyond thrilling. I think we were the only ones to get three nominations and I didn't even know about it until my cyber friend Peace from Australia told me on Twitter. Meanwhile we enjoyed participating in yet another amazing Carnival in our tiny village.

Speaking of Twitter, one of our most popular posts this year was Twitter & Travel 2.0 I'm still amazed at how much the internet & the good friends that we have made through it, have influenced our travels. As I read how 60% of schools will be virtual by the end of the decade, watch the "economy reset" continue, witness the continual increase of digital nomads & 4HWW types, I'm more convinced than ever that the world is going through a huge change/shift like during the industrial revolution. We are living in exponential times. I thought 4000 followers on Twitter was a lot last February and now we have about 24,655 and growing daily!


In March, we celebrated my birthday in Granada, listened to a left handed guitar playing gitano, explored the Alhambra at night, soaked in a divine Arabic public bath, had yummy food and then took Mozart skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains before heading home to the warm Med sea beach. Not too many get to ski both Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges ( California and Spain) by 8 years old, but the whole long weekend was so grand, we might do it again this year!

April meant another spectacular Semana Santa in Spain! There are no words to describe the exotic and elaborate Easter week celebrations in Spain, so I try to share them in pictures. Seville is the star of Semana Santa and I'm so grateful we saw that, but I also really so appreciate it in our little village, where we know everyone. Oh and we won two of those Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards which made our decade!!


In May, I won my first contest and 200 dollars worth of clothes!  We were packing up and completing our winter in Spain, so I still haven't ordered the clothes because my mom has to pick them up and have a place to send them to, but we will get to that part soon.


In June we headed out on our six months on the road! One of our first important stops this year was Portugal again, so that Mozart could swim with the dolphins. It was a breathtakingly stunning experience that none of us will ever forget and I will blog all the details soon!

We celebrated the fourth of July in gorgeous hidden beaches in the Costa Brava and then the rest of the month in heavenly Cinque Terra. Both are beyond compare so I really must have two pictures for this month. We have lots more stories and photos coming on these areas too.

Costa Brava, Spain

Cinque Terra, Italy

August was divine and started with two operas at the ancient coliseum (2nd largest after Rome) the Arena in Verona and we stayed at our favorite farmstay/Agritursimo and ate all the delicious fruit and grapes off the vine that surrounded us. Then we sauntered through Slovenia, swam in one of the worlds largest pools in Graz, met a family of long time readers of our blog in Vienna, and visited the trumpeter in Krakow where we also had a blast eating dumplings at a peirigi festival!

We thought we really had found total August bliss when we discovered that we had a huge, park-like campsite to ourselves right on the Danube in Melk, Austria for 20 euros a night. It was Nirvana as we explored this wine region by bike and boat, but alas as we were about to leave, I ended up in a bike wreck that changed our lives forever.


Thus, most of September was about hospitals, pain and recovery, as we all dealt with and continue to deal with a right handed mother who has no right hand or arm. Luckily it is healing, but the nerve damage makes for a very painful and slow recovery. I couldn't even get in our RV, so we got an apartment in Melk just across the street from the hospital. Then, I read that some dear friends were gathering in London for a movie screening and book launch and I knew we had to go..some way, some how!

So in late September we made it to London and had a great time thanks to Roomorama, DaVinci's hard work, and lots of handicap wheel chair services at airports and train stations which made it possible in my weakened condition. 

Hungary countryside fall

In October we headed out to Budapest to take advantage of the baths for my arm and Bratislava in Slovakia, but the weather had turned very cold and rainy, so we didn't stay long in either place. We wanted to get to Barcelona to the sun, warmth and an indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi to help my arm as I was still in a lot of pain. Instead our RV died in the middle of no where, but luckily in Austria, next to a McDonald's and 500 meters from a Ford dealer!

View from our RV resort campsite in Barcelona

November brought blissful days in Barcelona, just relaxing, healing, swimming and locating our winter rental in southern Spain. Amazingly, we also got a call from Matt Gross, from the New York Times ( Frugal Traveler) who did an interview with us over the phone! Wow, talk about make our year! Then more blissful days in the healing waters (from Roman times) at a spa that is our stopping point between Barcelona and Granada.


December has us back in our sweet village for our fourth winter here and in a new rental home.We settled in, Mozart popped back into the local school to see her friends and immerse deeply in her second language. We enjoyed another lovely Christmas and holiday season in Spain and I wrote about how to do that when you are far from home.

"Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right." ~ Oprah Winfrey

Spain, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, England in 2009, many of them repeated to areas we have been as well as exploring new places. Looking forward to another exciting year! What were your favorite highlights of 2009 or are you already focused on your 2010 adventures and goals? Our general travel plans for 2010 includes Canary Islands, Israel,  Egypt,  Jordan,  Spain,  France,  Corsica,  Italy,  Sardinia,  Switzerland,  Miami,  San Francisco,  Hawaii, Tahiti & Malaysia for the winter. We follow our bliss, so it's always open for change.

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you. - Marsha Norman

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Love the review! It's fun to read about your adventures one at a time, but it's even more thrilling to read about them all at once in summary form.

Your plans for the coming year look so exciting - TAHITI!!! WOW!

We hope to explore our neighboring countries using our home here in Vienna as a base. We're hoping to ski on the Austrian/Italian border and then head down to Rome for a week. We found out where we are headed next - Heidelberg, GE!

Happy Travels, ST3!


wow! that's a lot in one year!!!

wishing all of you great things for 2010!

anna the ovni

Bonjour Soultravelers 3!

I'm living in the little city of Lausanne in Swizerland, little but not least, because it's the olympic city!

If you need a guide! I'm here, and will be very happy to meet you!

Happy new Year 2010 to Da Vinci, Jeanne D'Arc and Mozart!


Quite a year, even with the terrible accident! Also, every time I see a photo of Cinque Terre, my heart hurts a little. Must go there.

Heather on her travels

Happy travels in 2010 & hopefully no more accidents


Even with the accident, it looks like a lovely and jam-packed year. And, I absolutely love your last sentence, "We follow our bliss." What a wonderful way to express that sentiment. In fact, if you don't mind, I may adopt it from now on in casual conversation with folks.


I'm happy to have found your blog and had the opportunity to correspond with you. In the little we've communicated you seem very pleasant. I enjoy reading of your travels and find your journey inspirational.



@Kerry- Thanks so much! Sure was fun meeting all of you in person finally! Your 2010 sounds exciting too. We considered going to Tahiti for our honey moon over 18 years, so FINALLY will see it! lol.

@flip- Thanks! Some how I'm also going to finish my book with all this travel too!:0 Hope you have a great 2010 too!

@anna- Bonjour to you & thank you for your generous offer! I haven't planned Switzerland yet (we have taken a quick peek) but looking forward to visiting there!

@Candice- Thanks! Yes, I thought I'd be healed by Xmas since it's 4 months since the accident, but now I pray for it to be healed by my birthday in March some & maybe completely by the time we leave Spain! I hear you about Cinque Terra, we shall return!

@Heather- Thanks, you too!

@Akila Thank you! It was a great year & just the right pace, so we had lots of time to luxuriate! Some years we have gone too fast & packed in a bit too much. Feel free to use that phrase...following one's bliss is a great way to live!

@Damon-Aw, thanks or should I say Mahalo to you! Welcome! Some parents use our videos & stories as jump off point teaching moments for kids as young ones seem to really relate to a place when they see another kid there. We're doing a series of kids books based on our travels (added to my book)....soon!


Hi there, what an amazing year you have had. So many places you have seen, people you have met but most of all enjoying every moment as it comes!! Hope your arm will heal soon. Andalucia is such a pure place with incredible villages, welcoming people, honest and great food.... We keep going back there. For us 2009 was the year we said today one year ago we left on our 5 month trip around the world, today one year ago we were in Australia, New Zealand, Easter island, Chili, Argentina, Tenerife.... living a dream!!! We keep traveling and thanks to some great flightprices we will spend the last weekend of january in Nerja.

Sending you all best wishes for a good health and many more happy travelmoments in 2010!! Greetings


Travel Blogs

I'm so sorry about your accicent and hope you're ok. The blog is amazing!

Philipp Knoll


I found you through the 4 Hour Work Week Case Study Video published on Tim Ferris' blog. I loved it and had to check out the website. The way you live your life as a family is truly inspiring. My wife just gave birth to our 4. kid on the 31st of December 2009 (Noah is just a couple of days old now) and we are on a fantastic journey ourselves. Our journey sure is different from yours. For one right now way settled in Austria, a place you have been to already. But there are great things to come our way just as there are for you! Just wanted to let you know that I'll check on what you are up to once in a while and wish you all the best. Get in touch once you are back in Austria...



Thanks for the terrific review of your year. Our travel highlight this year was two weeks in a house on Grand Cayman Island. Beautiful! This year we have modest vacation dreams, probably a week-long trip to the Smokey Mountains and a trip to Branson, Missouri. We're saving to hopefully take a three week trip somewhere in Europe in 2011. Hopefully in the future we will take our own six month to one year RTW journey, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

Camels & Chocolate

Mozart is too precious. And what an upbringing for a child. I love you guys.

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