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Goodbye 2023

The Year That Was

2023, man. Where did that jet-powered rocket of a year even go? Poof! Maybe it's just me, but the years seem to be shrinking faster than my jeans after a holiday pie binge. Maybe it's because after those pandemic years spent in our collective cages, 2023 was like a lion unleashed, tearing through our calendars with a roar that could rattle a rhino's tusks.

Speaking of roars, check out our 2023 travel map. Thanks to Google's trusty tracking magic, it looks like we were hopped-up kangaroos, bouncing across continents like nobody's business. First stop: Oz, where we hadn't seen our Aussie mob since 2019. Koala cuddles, barbie blowouts, and enough tofu on the grill to make any vegan drool – let's just say it was a total koala-fications success.

Next, we boomeranged across the pond to see our British mates for the first time since 2018. Think scones, stiff upper lips, and enough rain to fill the Thames (and then some). Yeah, 2023 was basically a global escape-the-cage mission, with wanderlust as our high-octane fuel.

A house with a porch and stairs

Description automatically generatedCentral Tilba, New South Wales, Australia

England, USA, Canada, Australia – we collected so many passport stamps, it’s hard to believe. We were practically urban nomads, leaving a trail of laughter and maybe a few new friends across the map. 700 locations? That's a lot of landmarks for just one year.

But hold onto your gardening gloves because it's time for the botanical bonanza that was 2023. We did two garden tours. England's green glory had us swooning, and Canada and the USA tag-teamed to unleash a plantastic extravaganza of epic proportions.

Think roses redder than a flamingo's blush, lilies bigger than basketballs, and trees so old they could tell you about the dirt dinosaurs rolled in. We inhaled enough flower power to make bees jealous, and our cameras practically burst with enough botanical beauty to make David Attenborough cry tears of joy. Well at least “we” think so.

A person and person taking a selfie

Description automatically generatedCaterbury England

From manicured masterpieces to wild wonderlands, we waded through waterfalls of wisteria, tiptoed through tunnels of tulips, and shimmied under willow trees weeping diamond tears of dew.

Buckle up, fellow wanderlusters, because it's time to summarize our two-wheeled 2023 escapades. On our trusty electric bikes, we cycled 130 miles of road and tracks, our legs pumping like pistons fueled by wanderlust and maybe a questionable amount of oats. We biked through quaint villages, hugged windswept coastlines, and even braved a few hills that threatened to turn my lungs into bagpipes (thank goodness for that electric assist!). 18 hours in the saddle was not bad for one year.

That's not all, folks. We flew 27,376 miles in 61 hours. Not much when you say it fast, but enough to circle the globe and then some. We watched sunsets over cotton candy clouds and even managed to avoid the in-flight movie selection to get some sleep.

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generatedSomewhere in the Pacific Northwest

But hold on, let's not let our wanderlust eclipse our eco-cred. All that jet-setting did generate a not-so-heavenly 11,060 kg of carbon. Thankfully, at home, we were Mother Nature's secret agents, churning out 9.5 megawatts of our own green power in 2023 thanks to our home solar and battery storage. Alas, that only offset all this flying by 3,800 kg of carbon. Flying is carbon-heavy, but we did the best we could to reduce our footprint.

And sometimes, “they” say, the best journeys happen on four wheels, and “they” were right. We drove 9,467 miles in 354 hours, most of which was in electric cars. We devoured highways and back roads like a hungry Pac-Man, blasted singalongs to questionable road trip playlists, and navigated detours with the precision of seasoned cartographers. We enjoyed so many locations in the USA and Canada, I have to say we are privileged to have done so. What a year 2023 was for road trips.

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generatedJapanese Garden in Portland

But let's not forget the good old-fashioned shoe leather. We hiked and walked 463 miles on foot, 217 hours of soaking in the world one step at a time. From sun-drenched beaches to misty mountain trails, dry arid deserts, our boots painted the earth with our footprints. We hiked through ancient forests that whispered secrets in the wind, crossed babbling brooks that tickled our toes, and climbed hills that offered views that could launch a thousand postcards.

2023 wasn't just a year, it was a symphony of motion, a kaleidoscope of experiences, a testament to the fact that the greatest adventures are often measured in miles, laughter, and maybe a few blisters. So, bring on 2024! We're ready to crank up the wanderlust meter and keep this epic journey rolling. I hope we can.

A person standing on rocks near a waterfall

Description automatically generatedWhite River, Oregon

Here's to 2023, filled with jet lag, family hugs, and enough adventures to fill a library. Now, excuse us while we dust off our passports and dream up our next whirlwind escapade. Who knows, maybe 2024 will be the year we travel even further.


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