Hi friends! Happy 2012! I hope you enjoyed your holidays! I surprised Jesse with plane tickets home to Toronto for Christmas and it was so wonderful to spend time with our family and friends. The end of the year is always a time for reflection, if for no other reason than to remind yourself of all the things you did in the past 12 months!
One of my favorite things to do is to share my love of technology and innovation with others, and I was so lucky to be able to do that all around the world in 2011. I had a chance to speak in Mexico, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. After two and a half years at the World Economic Forum, I was ready to get back to writing. I moved to Paris full time and decided to embrace the city of light fully by taking a few months off. I spent the summer wandering through cobblestone streets, reading in cafes, and spending rainy afternoons tucked away playing Little Big Planet 2 and L.A. Noire.
Through copious amounts of internet browsing and reading, the table of contents and structure for ArchiTechs finally emerged and I started creating my outlines and organizing my thoughts. I jumped into the writing process and drafted chapters!
My favorite moments of 2011 (in no particular order):
1) Geeks on a Plane Tour
Organized by Dave McClure of 500 Startups, I joined 40 other geeks on a whirlwind 10 day trip through Latin America to meet innovators and entrepreneurs in the region. We visited Brazil, Chile and Argentina. From a networking event at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio to hearing the President of Chile speak in Santiago and staying up all night in Buenos Aires, I could not ask for a better group of people to experience this adventure with. My favorite part of the whole trip? The fact that I’m still close with the Geeks. Definitely one of my favorite trips. [Also, seeing Dave bust a move in a club: not to be missed.]
2) Having dinner with one of my favorite fiction authors, Nalini Singh in New York
As some of you may know, I love writing in all its forms but have a special passion for fiction! I went to a writer’s conference in New York and had the opportunity to meet with one of my all time favorite authors: the wonderful Nalini Singh. I have been a fan of Nalini’s for the last five years and we’ve corresponded on and off during that time.
When I found out we would both be attending the same conference I sent her a note and was so delighted when she accepted! We had such a fun time that our coffee turned into dinner! Nalini writes incredible Paranormal/Urban Fantasy romances and her books are constantly in my re-reading cycle. It was a little weird to meet someone for the first time in person when you’ve spent years reading and experiencing bits and pieces of their imagination, but Nalini was so sweet and down to earth that I felt as though we’d been friends for years. I can’t wait to catch up with her again in 2012, I’ll ALMOST forgive her for making me wait for another 6 months for the next instalment in her series.
Read the books. So good! (If you don’t believe me check the Amazon reviews.)
3) Swimming in the Hot Springs in Banff, British Columbia
Whenever I’m traveling for work, I always try to spend some time exploring the area I’m visiting. One of my favorite discoveries of 2011 was swimming in the outdoor natural hot springs nestled in the mountains of Banff, British Columbia. There is something that is so majestic about looking at mountains that’s amplified when you’re in a toasty natural jacuzzi.
4) Norway Road trip
There’s nothing more I love than a really good road trip. They are just so much fun! Nothing but the open road, guide books, good music and great conversations. In the past few years we’ve done road trips around Ireland, California, Floriday, Quebec and this year we added Norway to the list. We took 5 days and drove from Oslo to Bergen winding our way through the incredible fjords. The highlights include eating freshly caught salmon at the Bergen fish market and booking a REALLY remote hotel through booking.com i only to arrive at 10pm and find it completely shut down for the season. Jesse and I also became obsessed with Viking lore purchased some books that I read aloud while he drove. One of my Oslo highlights was the incredible Viking museum which features several actual Viking boats. [By the way, Vikings = Badasses]
5) Attending Kundavi/Sandbox TransAmerica Summit
I am very blessed to have a global network of friends and colleagues who I can call on if I need help with anything. The only downside is that being so spread out, we don’t really get to hang out all together very often. I was thrilled with Sandbox announced this Summit because I knew I would be spending the weekend in an absolutely stunning location with some of my favorite people. In addition the wonderful conversations and exchange of ideas, the programming also included some unique activities as well. I slept under the stars on the beach, spent a few insane hours inside a sweat lodge with a Shaman, swam in the pacific at 3am and hopped a fence for the first time since I was 14, lol.