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December 30, 2009



This time last year I was working as a publicist in Las Vegas, promoting the opening of a night club. On New Year's Eve, I had to be at the club to make sure a TV station got the interviews and the shots they needed. This year I will be in Baltimore, celebrating with my friends. A year from now, I hope to be in Europe, ringing in 2011 with travelers from around the world.


Leigh, I'm honored that my tweet starts off your post.

We haven't had some of the life changes you have had this year with settling down as expats and sending your child to school, but can certainly relate. You summarize it perfectly: "travel forces you to be acutely aware of each moment. You have to think about where you will eat, where you will sleep and often even something as simple as buying a new pair of shoes takes time and thought in a way it simply doesn't when you're home."

I currently need to replace some of my threadbare clothes and it just feels like way more effort than it should!

Last year at this time we were at Dan's mother's place outside Orlando, Florida. We were trying to plan our travels in Central and South America and naively thought we could see the everything in one year. Even though our list of countries visited from the year is less than we had expected, my head is full of experiences, questions, and is still trying to make sense of some of the places we visited. It feels like enough to fill several years.

At this time this year, we're taking it slow in Buenos Aires. We need time to be still and process everything. Then there's the task of figuring out our plans for 2010...

I'm really looking forward to reading about your visit and experiences in Israel. Safe travels!


I love your family, I want to meet them someday. I didn't realize you haven't been to Israel in 20 years, I hope you have an awesome trip! I'll try to hold down the fort at Life. Butterflies in my tummy.

I'm honestly terrified to let 2009 go, it was probably one of the best years of my life, both personally and travel-related. My career exploded, I traveled often, I made a million new friends, and I finally started creating my Internet presence. It's gonna be hard to top all that.


Hi Leigh... hope you guys have a great trip to Israel. I loved meeting you all here in BA. These comments are fun to read. I'm hoping my 2010 is like Candice's 2009. A year ago I was still holding on to a past career. I spent the holidays pumping out materials for middle school kids in Russia. After about 2 years of work on the project, it stalled and I never got to see it in action (just a pilot but not fully adopted). It was a real let down, but it also made me change paths and focus more on photography and writing and having a personal life. Sometimes you have to fall down before you can see that you're on the wrong road.

Can't wait to read about your trip. Happy New Year!


Wow sounds like you have had an amazing 2009. I am really looking forward to 2010. I am finally working overseas and enjoying every bit of life. This is the first year in a long time that I am very excited to start.

Safe travels and a Happy New Year!


Although we live in the same city it seems to be difficult to join our girls toghether.I hope we can before summertime ends. I use to summarize my year by the end of it, so by this time last year I was wondering how 2009 would be, without the clothing store I had owned for the last 6 years. In fact this year was a bit hard for me waiting for a bussiness opportunity. However, I spent more time close to Maia, and it made me feel better and learn a lot from her.
Happy New Year!
Maia send a bunch of kisses to Lila


This time last year I was already feeling twinges of 'this is the last time I'll..."
We had just taken down our Christmas decorations, and instead of putting them away for next year, we put almost all of them in the For Sale pile. We were in the process of selling everyting we owned to go a-traveling.
Since then we've traveled to and/or lived in Germany, Serbia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Scotland. It's been awesome and challenging, frustrating and liberating. You said it well - traveling constantly keeps you from being too comfortable, from taking things for granted.
Our children have been a revelation. Watching them grow into themselves, and into the world, is an honor.
We have no idea what we'll be doing or where we'll be living - or for that matter how we'll be making our living - this time next year. Instead of being frozen in fear, I'm ready to roll.
This may have been the best year of my life. So Far.

Leigh Shulman

Hey Diana! Sounds like you've not only had some wonderful changes but a lot to look forward to as well.

Enjoy your night in Baltimore, and see you in 2010.

Leigh Shulman

You may not have had the same changes as we have, but you've certainly had your share. As has everyone.

I love that my life is so full of change that I have to be more aware. I remember too much time in my life during which I couldn't tell you the difference between one Monday and the next, because I had the same schedule over and over.

One year, Noah and I went through our time together and tried to remember what we had done every new years for the last 20 years. The most memorable ones coincide with the most volatile times in our lives.

As for replacing clothes, if you end up waiting until Salta, I can take you/show you the Salta market where you can get anything you'd need.


Leigh Shulman

You may have butterflies, but I don't have a second thought. I'm fully confident in your fort holding. :)

It's been an amazing couple months working with you. I simply couldn't ask for more or better.

As for letting 2009 go, my first thought was that 2010 might be less than you'd want. But it's sort of the nature of things. Some days up, some days down. That, and it's all about your own perception.

If my experience of you is any indication, though, your perception and view of life promises for another wonderful year.

Leigh Shulman

I agree. It is fun to read about what others are doing, have done and will be doing. It's all so different and interesting.

And it's so true what you say about disappointments paving the way for new opportunities. I actually just read an article in Wired about how failure or not getting what you wanted leads to greater understand, opportunity and invention. The article doesn't seem to be online right now, but it's definitely worth a read.

I'm happy we had a chance to meet this year. We loved staying at your loft in San Telmo and hope to see you again the next time we're in BsAs.

Leigh Shulman

That is fantastic, Eric. I'm happy to hear it.

Looking forward to hearing how 2010 plays out as you write about it on your blog.

Leigh Shulman

Most definitely, Daniel. We will find a time to get together before the summer ends. We get back to Salta end of January, and I will give you a call or text.

I'm sorry to hear that the last year has been difficult for you, but your attitude is wonderful. I look forward to getting to know you, Maia and the rest of the family better (asado americano, perhaps?)

Besos a Maia de Lila, tambien!

Leigh Shulman


Your description of last year brings back memories of the time we were going through our things, selling some, packing others, making choices.

It all felt so overwhelming and big at the time. I literally felt my stomach tighten when you wrote "This is the last time I'll...."

Then, you look back after all is said and done and feel so free. Even if you don't know where you'll be or what exactly you'll be doing. And then as you travel, you find more and more "last times," which I've come to appreciate as a very important part of life. It keeps you in the moment, allows you to be more thankful, I think.

I'm happy to have been able to get to know you a bit through the blog this year. A happy 2010 to you and the entire family. Looking forward to hearing more.

Charles Conlan

To the Shulman Family a Happy New Year....

Susanna a.k.a. Cheap Like Me

What great reflections! For me, it's like 2009 was a holding pattern, and I'm thrilled to let it go. Some new changes started seeping in late in the year, hooray! I hope you have a wonderful trip; I'm sure it will be inspiring.

Leigh Shulman

Looking forward to hearing more about these changes.

The trip was hectic, crazy and yes, most definitely sparked a number of thoughts and soon to be blog posts and photo essays.

That said, I think there's also something to be said for holding patterns, even though they do tend to be somewhat uncomfortable. I think our minds need the rest before we can burst through to the next thing.

It's been a great year getting to know you again. Been loving your blog as well as your posts on Matador.

Here's to 2010 and more!

Gina Lannin

Hi Leigh - It was about 1 year ago that I was having dinner with you and our families in Salta! Since then we have returned to the states and stared our own cookie business, the kids are back in school, and Grant is back to playing the sports he loves! I agree, what a difference a year makes!

Leigh Shulman

Wow, Gina. I can't believe that was a year ago. Not surprisingly, given the subtext of this post, it feels a lot longer.

Congrats on the new cookie company. I've just been poking around your site drooling over all the different cookie options.

And how cool that you include cookie and icing recipes too. Lila and I bake a lot, so I'll definitely be checking those out.

Here's to another great year ahead!

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