Fifteen People Have Spoken: 2010′s Best Stuff – Part One

Happy New Year
Happy New Year by Marlis Seelos

I have stirred the proverbial pot a bit…
We can all check the web to find the Top 100 Travel Websites and the Best Music of 2010 and even the Best Breeds at the Westminster Dog Show. Granted, all fascinating stuff but why rehash it? It’s out there – over and over. (Yes, I really do understand the rankings thing.) But, do you want to be “just a number” or would you prefer to be remembered as a real person who had a real opinion too? Our 15 contributors to this Round-Up Discussion voted for the latter. Due to the length, this will be a two-parter also. (Don’t want to leave anyone out as they have graciously submitted their contributions.) So, without further ado – here are their responses to:

Everyone is currently coming up with the “Best Of This Thing or That Thing. Personally, I would rather let you decide the Best of Whatever. Be it movies, music, books, websites, destinations, festivals, beaches, snow banks, pajamas or pets – the choices are yours. Please tell me what you have found to be the best thing(s) for YOU in 2010.


Jasmine Stephenson

Jasmine Wanders

My best decision of 2010 was learning Spanish. I love being able to navigate my way around any type of conversation, haggle in markets and bus terminals, and strike up conversations with those around me. Learning the language has helped me be able to understand the heart of the people in Latin America, something not possible without Spanish.

Pam Mandel

Nerds Eye View

It was as though we were hanging from a ribbon in the sky. I was, at that moment, for the first time ever, completely enchanted with the idea of flight.

Yeah, I know, it’s lame for someone who loves to travel, but I really dislike flying. This fall, I took a press trip to Alaska that required me to climb in and out of a lot of tiny airplanes. Late at night, after a tour up in Wiseman, above the Arctic Circle, we flew back to Fairbanks in a not quite dark sky. I sat behind the pilot, who was so kind to me about my small plane anxieties. At one point on that flight, it was as though everything had stopped. There was the noise of the engine, the backlit instrument panel reflecting in the windows, but the air was so still, I had a feeling of complete motionlessness. It was as though we were hanging from a ribbon in the sky. I was, at that moment, for the first time ever, completely enchanted with the idea of flight.

Michael Schneider

OtherGuy’sDime Blog

Without question, the best thing that happened to me is RETIREMENT! Yes, after 33 years of teaching I finally said good-bye to the classroom, to be replaced by overseas travel, cultural immersion, book writing, playing the guitar, learning Japanese, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty by Kris Kalav

Many professionals (especially men) are afraid to retire because they believe they are defined by their job and paycheck. They worry they will go from respected doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and financiers to a non-working shlub (Yiddish for nobody) sitting home with nothing to do but get in the way. That is sad, as retirement can be one of the most rewarding times in a person’s life, especially when you are still young enough and healthy enough for travel, adventure, and excitement. In the brief time I have been retired I lived in Bhutan and found a visiting position at Columbia University to be close to my children and grandchildren in New York. It also afforded me time to finish my new travel book On The Other Guy’s Dime.

So, please remember that old chestnut “On their deathbed no one ever said, ‘I wish I spent more time at work.” Enjoy your career to its fullest, but remember to also enjoy that next phase of your life.

Gary Arndt

Everything – Everywhere

The best thing, which came out in 2010 for me was Adobe Lightroom 3. It has really streamlined my photo editing and the tools are easy and very powerful. It has allowed me to recover images I took in the past, which for various reasons that weren’t good enough to publish. It is now what I use as my primary photo-editing platform.


The Longest Way Home

The best thing(s) for Dave in 2010:
Having the best website to document the most fascinating travel journey in the world today?? Eh… Does that count? :)

Best travel film I saw goes to… “UP”. I’m not a huge fan of animation, Ice Age aside, but UP really pulls in a tale about travel; few really get.

Best travel info I got goes to… Wikitravel. In researching many places without a guidebook I found wikitravel gave me the fast facts I wanted without being bombarded with ads, affiliate links & e-books.

Best thing to happen in 2010 to me goes to… Wikileaks. Yes, it’s the first war on information. It’s a turning point in civilization as we know it. And, we are living through it. I only hope we win.

Best thing to end 2010 for me goes to … the start of 2011. New steps onto fresh territories await. While many retrace old paths, I shall endeavor to make new roads in modern day exploration of our little blue planet.

Best wishes to all, the wonderful editor, readers and contributors of this holiday season!

lisa Shusterman

One World – One Trip

For me, the best of 2010 has to be publishing a book. Just as taking my trip around the world was a huge accomplishment, so it is with writing a book. It’s one thing to talk about doing something big, but when you actually do it, there is a sense of achievement you can’t compare to anything else.

The icing on the cake, however, is the people who have come into my life as a result of writing this book.

The icing on the cake, however, is the people who have come into my life as a result of writing this book. Originally I never thought past the stage of publishing, but once you have the book in your hand, you think, “Now what?” The obvious answer is, market it. Well, in the process of marketing my book I have come into contact with such wonderful people: other authors, travel bloggers (like Gretchen), travelers… Great people doing amazing things with their lives.

One of the things I love about travel is the people I meet; both locals and other travelers. These people bring richness to my life I don’t feel I have when at home. By writing this book, I seem to have found a way to bring these people into my life without having to leave the house. I would prefer to travel, but it has turned out to be the next best thing.

Debby Lee Jagerman

Debby’s Departures

Mirror Lake Debby Lee
Mirror Lake by Debby Lee Jagerman

Clear crisp alpine lakes. Verdant never-ending forests. Colorfully brilliant meadows of wildflowers. A majestic snow – and glacier – covered mountain. Birds and bears and other wildlife. Roaring rivers and calm streams. Days of exercise with breathtaking views. And nights of sleep under the stars.

These are just some of the experiences on the best backpacking trail: the 93-mile-22,000-feet-cumulative-elevation-gain-and-loss Wonderland Trail, which circumnavigates Mt. Rainier in Washington State. Because Mt. Rainer National Park itself is one of my favorite places to go day hiking anyway, I particularly enjoyed spending weeks there during the last two summers.

The trail can be done in as little as three days, if you are an ambitious trail runner that is, or an average of eight to 14 days depending on what itinerary you prefer. With anywhere from three to 12 miles of hiking a day, and with re-supply locations every few days, the weight of your backpack can be kept under control.

A typical day includes getting up in the morning, smelling the fresh clean air, cooking, eating breakfast, washing dishes, and breaking down the tent and campsite; then hiking; and taking pictures; stopping to enjoy the views; breaks to eat and relax; more hiking; more pictures, etc. And then, at the next camp, setting up the tent, eating dinner, journal writing and sleeping.

Only to wake up the next day and do it all over again. But with different scenery…simply the best! Hey, a family that hikes together stays together!

Stay tuned for Fifteen People Have Spoken: 2010′s Best Stuff – Part Two!

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Discussion »

  • #1Bryan Brough

    By far and away the best thing for me in 2010 was leaving my old tired routine back in the U.S and moving half way around the world to Australia. I fell in love with writing again and my photography has improved as well. I love how inspiring the road is.

  • #2Brad

    The best thing for me in 2010, was really getting to see the world more. I’m a changed person and am addicted to traveling. I hope in 2011 and beyond I can continue the passion and figure out how to finance it. :)

  • Add Your Comment

  • The Guy: I think Dave and Jodi raise some very valid points and they are consistent with my perceptions based on over...
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