At the end of each of the last two years, I’ve looked back in awe at a calendar filled with adventures. At the same time, I’ve stared nervously into the new year, wondering how it might fill up, if at all.
We are at the bottom of December, once again. And, once again, I marvel at a year that brimmed with excitement and opportunities that, just twelve months ago, I never dreamed would be possible. With every corner I’ve turned, God has met me with more than I could have ever expected. And for that, I am immensely grateful.
2013 flew by. Literally.
I think I spent just as much time on planes as I did in restaurants and hotels. I hopped around the globe, logging more than 120,000 miles across a dozen U.S. states, five countries, and three continents. I was home (in Kansas City) fewer than 100 days this year, and not more than two weeks in the last three months. The good news is that my busyness was evidence that my new-found career as a photographer and writer gained important ground this year. I worked with and for some amazing people in some amazing places (more on that later). And, of course, I managed to eat some pretty great food along the way too.
The unfortunate result, as some of you know, was that I had little time to write about it all. This blog was a bit of a sleeper in 2013. And that makes me sad. I started writing this blog (now nearing its tenth anniversary), primarily, as a personal journal about my relationship with food. It also provided a convenient medium in which to adjoin my interests in writing and photography. This year, my record lagged – in certain months, it came to a halt – leaving silent, gaping holes that should have otherwise been filled with colorful and delicious tales from the road.
But, also, over the years, I’ve derived much joy from sharing my experiences with those who care to read about them. Although I appreciated the privacy I maintained as a blogger during the seven years that I spent in self-imposed anonymity, in the years since I went public with my identity, it has been incredibly gratifying to meet many of you who have been reading my blog over the past decade. You – cooks, bloggers, writers, chefs, photographers, waitstaff, artists, and eaters-at-large – whom I’ve met at events, who have cooked for me, who have introduced yourselves to me on the streets, who have reached out to me through email – thank you for giving me the encouragement and incentive to continue writing and photographing.
Although I can’t make up for a spotty year of blogging, I will take this opportunity to give you a tour of my year – what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been, and, of course, where I’ve eaten.