Why 2012 was my best year yet

This morning’s email about me being nominated for a Ninjamatics weblog award in the travel category set the tone for the day/year. Holy piss, 2012 has been fabulous!

My blog readership has soared. People tend to pay more attention when you ACTUALLY travel, who knew? I also received the Top Solo Female Award from Go Abroad, and a Top Travel Blogger award from Tripping.

I love this time of year. I love reflecting. I love thinking back to how much can occur in such a short amount of time. I’m amazed, impressed, motivated, inspired. And if you wanna cut through the sap and just look at some pretty pictures, then so be it.

Even better, my writing career has SOARED.

• I became the first Newfoundland and Labrador media member of the Travel Media Association of Canada
• I was featured in a massive article in The Telegram
• I became the Lead Writing Faculty at MatadorU
• I became a regular contributor to SOAR, Halifax’s airport magazine
• I was featured in Reader Digest’s Our Canada magazine

  • I started working on this book with Matador Network
  • I had the honour of working with several tourism leaders, like Contiki, Alberta Tourism, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Aeroplan, etc.

    I wrote some of my favourite pieces, ever.

  • Newfoundland’s food revolution – which took me to dozens of restaurants for some of the most mind-blowing food experiences I’ve ever had
  • Notes from a Canadian seductress – which was just plain ridiculous and fun
  • The unravelling of generations — The most personal piece I’ve ever written, after my grandmother’s death
  • Not coincidentally, 2012 has been my best year for travel. My best experiences:

    • Drunk and alone at Disney World in Orlando, Florida
    • Meeting my best friend’s baby in Halifax, Nova Scotia
    • My first taste of Quebec City
    • Visiting family in Ottawa
    • Living and loving in Montreal
    • Being pleasantly surprised by Calgary
    • Yoga atop a mountain in the Rockies
    • Being a cowgirl in Saskatchewan
    • Taking a REAL vacation in Dominican Republic
    • Drinking all of the beers in Czech Republic
    • Cruising down the river in Hungary
    • Mozart and museums in Vienna
    • Falling in love with Central Newfoundland

    My favourite place? Prague, by far. There’s something about such a laidback, historical city that just suits me. Plus there’s a lot of beer and sausage. I miss Europe.

    Which brings me to my next point.

    Where am I going in 2013?

    My only solid plans right now are TBEX in Toronto (say “hi!”) and the TMAC conference in Saskatoon, as well as the Calgary Stampede in July.

    OH and one of my best friends is getting married in Jamaica. And I’m STANDING in it. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

    JAMAICA!

    BUT here’s the exciting news.

    I’ve begun tracking down my family history in Ireland. In 2013, Ireland is hosting a yearlong celebration called The Gathering. It’s basically like Newfoundland’s Come Home Year: if you have family history in Ireland, you’re invited back to explore your roots.

    And I have to say, I’m a bit obsessed with this root exploration business. I blame my human desire to fit in SOMEWHERE.

    It’s going to be an unreal experience, and I’ll be undertaking the biggest writing project I’ve ever done. I want to go back to Cork and Kerry and track down my long lost Walsh family, capture the experience, and explore those Newfoundland-Irish connections.

    Naturally, I’ve come to a roadblock. While I know my great-great-great grandfather came from Kerry, I can’t seem to find any record of him. My great-great grandfather was born in Lawn, and that’s it. No other records to say whom his parents were.

    It’s like a goddamn genealogical treasure hunt!

    Can I find them? Can I make contact with my family? Can I revel in my Irish roots? Mark Critch suggested I just show up in Ireland and tell people my name is Walsh, and inevitably I’ll find them. I’ll bring whiskey.

    OTHER plans?

    Once I’m through with Ireland, I’m hopping over to Iceland. Because if there’s anything I love more than genealogy, it’s geology. Plus Icelandic people are fucking crazy.

    AND THEN:

    Maybe Berlin? I know at some point, this year or next, I want to live there for awhile. Being in Europe this summer awoke a need to know the history there. Can you believe the Berlin Wall fell in my lifetime? Unreal.

    And also, beer and sausage.

    OMG I love Europe. How can I even think about exploring the rest of the world? There’s NOT ENOUGH TIME.

    My resolution?

    To enjoy life more. To not overwork myself. When I wrote that recent books of 2012 list, the fact that I had only read 16 books was a huge, glaring failure in my eyes. It’s not easy to quantify the amount of time spent with loved ones, but if I don’t have enough time to enjoy one of my most beloved activities, then I’m failing at life.

    That’s why I’ve upped the book challenge to 52 in one year. Yep, one a week.

    I don’t have any immediate plans. To be honest, I am LOVING being home right now. I have incredible roommates, the very best of friends, a hilarious family, and a sweet rescue kitty that adores me more than my mother.

    And I am alive.

    What a fucking year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/arina.kharlamova Arina Kharlamova

      It really does sound like an INCREDIBLE year for you. And I know it was. So proud of all your accomplishments! And 2013 already sounds baller. Berlin, Ireland, Iceland?! WHO ARE YOU YOU MAGICAL WOMAN and WHAT IS YOUR LIFE.

      I might be going back to Berlin in the summer *very very maybe at this point*, but I definitely have to see you in Toronto in June! We can grab a brewski or go to the vodka bar and watch me sniff angrily at all the grossness of my “roots”.

      Happy new year Candice! It’s been a pleasure.

    • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

      Wow – congrats on such an awesome year! Love the adventure!

      Very cool to be tracing your roots. Have thought about it – my roots would have me all over the world (awesome!) with the half Scandinavian, half Aussie genealogy to keep me digging for years!

      Looking forward to meeting you at TBEX – and thanks for the kind words on my Matador assignments! Cheers to 2013! Keep on living it!

    • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

      Wow – congrats on such an awesome year! Love the adventure!

      Very cool to be tracing your roots. Have thought about it – my roots would have me all over the world (awesome!) with the half Scandinavian, half Aussie genealogy to keep me digging for years!

      Looking forward to meeting you at TBEX – and thanks for the kind words on my Matador assignments! Cheers to 2013! Keep on living it!

    • Caroline Eubanks

      See you in Toronto lovely!

    • http://twitter.com/SeattlesTravels Seattle Dredge ✈

      Awweeesome year! Mountain yoga & Czech beers sound like the best parts. I agree that 2012 was the best year, but let’s try to beat it with GEOGASMPUFFINSFALLOVARIES!!

    • http://gigigriffis.com/ Gigi Griffis

      Congratulations! So glad to hear it’s been a banner year for you! Here’s to an equally brilliant 2013!

    • http://twitter.com/hikebiketravel Leigh McAdam

      Yeah Candice! So great to hear all that enthusiasm and will look forward to seeing you at TBEX. I’m very happy you’re alive & look forward to reading about your 2013 travels. I’m working on qualifying for TMAC – good on you for getting those credentials.

    • http://twitter.com/stevo120665 Steve Whitty

      Well done on achieving so much in 2012. I look forward to reading about your travels in 2013. Happy travels

    • Lela

      Come to Asia! I’ll bring you around Singapore ;)

    • Kae Lani| A Travel Broad

      Way to go! Keep up the awesome! If you’re ever in Philadelphia give me a hollah — that is if I’m not on the road as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kamischka Kamila Anna Napora

      Berlin sounds like an awesome idea! I’ve lived only for a month back in 2007 but loved every second of it. This city is one of the greatest ever and I’m sure you’d enjoy it too! It’s also a really good base for travelling around Europe! So go for it! Here’s to the awesome year of 2013!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kamischka Kamila Anna Napora

      Berlin sounds like an awesome idea! I’ve lived only for a month back in 2007 but loved every second of it. This city is one of the greatest ever and I’m sure you’d enjoy it too! It’s also a really good base for travelling around Europe! So go for it! Here’s to the awesome year of 2013!

    • Aoife

      Ooh, sounds like a fab year!! Delighted your coming to Ireland for the gathering. Try the local church for your great-etc grandfather, more than likely they will have some record of a marriage or birth or anything! :) Happy New Year and Best of luck with your search!

    • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.arrouas Michelle Arrouas

      What a wonderful year! Can’t wait to follow you in 2013.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.arrouas Michelle Arrouas

      What a wonderful year! Can’t wait to follow you in 2013.

    • Abby

      Go Candice go!!!!! Happy New Year!!

    • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

      52 books!!! You are insane but give me your list as my challenge may just be one a month.

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Hahaha, I’m not holding my breath on 52 books. But so far so good!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Thanks, my dear!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Aww, thanks Michelle!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      That’s my next plan! Still home for the holidays. Cannot WAIT to hit up Ireland. :)

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Oh god, this whole comment makes me so excited. BERLIN!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      100% will do!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Oh I’ll get there eventually, trust me!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Thanks kindly, Steve :)

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Thanks, Leigh! Hope to see ya around TMAC soon. This year’s conference is in Saskatoon, so I’ll be hopping over to Calgary shortly after :)

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Thanks kindly, Gigi!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      #GEOGASM!!!!! I’m overdosing on life

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      :o Six short months!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Thanks kindly, Anita! Happy to have you in the U!

    • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com/ Candice Walsh

      Hahahaha, “Magical Woman.” Best comment ever. Thanks, Arina. <3

      Whether it's in Toronto or in Berlin, I'll see ya in 2013!

    • Pingback: 2012 in Review Recap of Recaps

    • http://www.travelerahoy.com/ Alouise

      A little late on the commenting but holy 2012 sounded like a really eventful year for you. Hope 2013 rocks your socks… in the best way possible. I think the idea of tracing your roots back in Ireland sounds amazing. I’m a total nerd for genealogy and family history. And if I can get over to TBEX in Toronto (I have ticket) I’ll make sure to come by and say hello.

    • eriksmithdotcom

      Good work, Candice- Awesome to see all of your hard work paying off. Looking for more big things from you in 2013!

    • Jenn Smith Nelson

      Congrats Candice! Well deserved! Wishing you even more success in 2013! Hope to also be at both tbex and Tmac too this year.

      It’s time to meet and drink beer.

    • sparkpunk

      It’s a good thing that photo was at the bottom of the post, otherwise I never would have read the rest.

      Excited to see what 2013 holds for you, Candice! And I can’t wait to be a part of it for the #puffinswhalesicebergs brigade with Guilliamme & the TBA Adventurer.

    • sparkpunk

      It’s a good thing that photo was at the bottom of the post, otherwise I never would have read the rest.

      Excited to see what 2013 holds for you, Candice! And I can’t wait to be a part of it for the #puffinswhalesicebergs brigade with Guilliamme & the TBA Adventurer.

    • sparkpunk

      Good gracious. I can’t wait to hang out with you guys.

    • JustChuckinIt

      Candice, I JUST was introduced to your glorious blog by the awesome Zak Irving. What a gnarly year of blogging you had, and what a stellar year of traveling too! I have family roots in Ireland and Germany, so I’ll be glued as you track down yours. I’ve always wanted to know my past better, but I have no clue where to start. My family was never ones to share the history of our family, so I don’t even know who my Grandparents parents were. Bummer. Oh well, I’ll keep a keen eye on this blog for some Ireland inspiration.

      By the way, I’ll be headed to TBEX as well! Anyway, glad to kinda-sorta meet you and looks like 2013 will be even greater for you!

    • JustChuckinIt

      Candice, I JUST was introduced to your glorious blog by the awesome Zak Irving. What a gnarly year of blogging you had, and what a stellar year of traveling too! I have family roots in Ireland and Germany, so I’ll be glued as you track down yours. I’ve always wanted to know my past better, but I have no clue where to start. My family was never ones to share the history of our family, so I don’t even know who my Grandparents parents were. Bummer. Oh well, I’ll keep a keen eye on this blog for some Ireland inspiration.

      By the way, I’ll be headed to TBEX as well! Anyway, glad to kinda-sorta meet you and looks like 2013 will be even greater for you!

    • Martina Mc Auley

      Hi Candice, it’s midnight here in Amsterdam and your post above is going to be the last blog entry I’m reading tonight. Good thoughts to go to bed with. Congratulations on the writing awards. I would love to be able to just concentrate on writing but to me, writing for a living sounds like the ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’. I admire you for what you’ve achieved in the last year and it does give me encouragement to keep going with my writing.

      I see that you might be going to Cork and Kerry this year. Cork is a lively city and county, as is Kerry. I haven’t been back to Cork since I studied there in 1988. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Be prepared to talk ‘the arse off yourself’ when you’re over there, as the Irish love to talk. It’s also good advice to bring some whiskey with you. Will be interested in reading that blog, when you go over there.