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year in review: 2016

2016, travel, year in review
● Where was I? USA, Argentina, Japan, Spain, France, & Portugal.

It’s back! As always, I write this for personal reasons, but you’re welcome to revisit the past year with me. Sorry there was not much of a 2015 review but believe me, some things are better left unsaid 😉 It’s all más que bien ahora. The insane pace of 2016 makes a month-by-month summary impossible to write & even worse to read, so I’ve grouped events of the year into a few broad categories. Let’s go!

Assignments began early with updating the Rick Steves Spain guidebook in March & April, covering most of Andalucía & the Camino de Santiago. Whew. Add 3 Portugal tours, 4 Spain tours & 1 Basque Country tour during the Running of the Bulls. But wait, there’s more… copy editing & issue production for two editions of AJAL for Darío, plus a manuscript for a 240-page book to be published by Bloomsbury hopefully this year.

Endless Mile, Robert Wright, Cristina Duarte, Lisboa, Lisbon

With so much work, I needed some down time… like 15 days in Japan —here’s a post about that amazing trip— plus one week in Nantes, Île de Ré & Bordeaux with my Seattle family. Spending two weeks in Seattle over the summer with Rafa seemed like vacation to me since he’d never been to the US before. We had an amazing time, also driving down to Astoria, Portland & Mt. St. Helens.

Endless Mile, Robert Wright, Japan, Kyoto, Kinkakuji

Rafa? Who’s that? My husband! We got married in November… but I’ve left out a lot of the backstory. I took a very quick trip to Esquel in February to get as much of the rest of my stuff as I could. Lugging 8 suitcases of mostly books between terminals at JFK through ice & snow had to be one of the more interesting moments of the year.

I finally saw Semana Santa in Sevilla —a dream come true. Moving from Seattle to Sevilla in August was bittersweet, but I knew good things were in store: no jetlag for work, a fantastic apartment, marrying an incredible guy & residency in Spain to boot. Thanks to Sylvain, I watched a lot of classic French cinema last year. I also did the same for Spain, concentrating on the 1960s & 70s. Great stuff!

Endless Mile, Robert Wright, Rafael Alfonso Díaz Rodríguez, marriage, boda

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve almost disappeared from Facebook. I still log in to check on y’all, but I’ve never been fond of the platform & last year I reached a limit. I’m still on Twitter, but that’s about it. Social media has many benefits; however, certain negatives have become apparent over the past couple years. In spite of not being mainstream or popular, I will continue to blog as often as possible. My domain, my content, my control… hmmm, sounds like Janet Jackson 😉

With stability comes time & patience to write. The Catholic Heritage guide for Lisbon (published in 2019) is shaping up nicely with 30 pages complete & many more to come. The Lisbon tumblr page is gone since it really didn’t provide much benefit. Guide sales are going great with every year better than the last. I’m pretty amazed since I haven’t been able to spend time on writing, promoting, etc… must be a good sign.

Endless Mile, Robert Wright, Lisboa, Lisbon, guide, Catholic heritage, São Domingos

If only we all knew that answer!

I’m working on my schedule for Rick Steves as I publish this, so that will be set soon. Maybe visit Berlin in February? I still have to ship my things from Seattle but can only do that once my residency paperwork is in motion. Very soon. I’ll take Rafa to Iowa in November to help go through my mom’s storage unit, ship some of it to Spain & sell the rest. Of course we’ll stop in Chicago along the way.

App development raises its head again… I finished the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos Android app before all hell broke loose in 2015 & it works great. I play with it all the time on my tablet! But a few tweaks Google requested before placing it for sale were never completed. With any luck, I’ll be able to remember enough Java & XML to get that part of the business off the ground. Rafa wants to help write a guide to the 1929 Expo in Sevilla, so that will likely be the next new project for Endless Mile.

How will I adjust to life in Spain? So far, so good. At least I know what to expect, & all of the bureaucratic bits (marriage & residency) have been relatively easy. I’ll enjoy being close to home even while working. And having all my stuff in one place will be a positive change from the last 17 years. I’m not too optimistic about the state of the world in general, but I have a strange feeling that I haven’t had in a long time… this year is going to be a very good one. Have a great 2017!

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