Buen Viaje, We say goodbye to 2011

 Sitting at the dock of the bay.....Naples, Italy

Welcome 2012! It is with great pleasure that I embrace your arrival and send 2011 on a different path, one that leaves it up to our memories to recall the past, as we make room for the future to be discovered.
It was a year filled with a lot of promising and noteworthy experiences. With much gratitude I had the opportunity to travel to many countries and landscapes I had never envisioned setting foot in; the only Switzerland I knew before was from the white capped peaks of the Swiss Miss box, or the infamously corny and catchy Ricola commercials, I couldn't spot Pompeii nor Naples without the help of Google Maps, and Morocco was in my humble opinion filled with tagines and cous cous. It's only when we confront our naivety and ignorance that we truly learn something.

Additionally, I started this blog, and continue to enjoy bringing to you my favorite food moments in and around Spain. Page views aside (my competitive bug will never die), it's a pleasure to pursue something that I have many passions for, and look forward to encountering and sharing more gastronomy and opportunities through this magic portal that Internet offers us.

But like all years, it was sprinkled with its darker moments. In November I completed two years of residency in Spain, a bizarre realization as this new "home" becomes a little more of a permanent existence in my passport, but also remains a strange strange land - finding work in Europe's worst job market, making friends, the grueling reality of learning a language with nearly 30 years of age, not to mention the many political, social and colloquial references that go unnoticed. This American identity I once had so clearly imprinted in the blood-type, has begun to feel like an unusual electric fence - the Spanish and European media praise and berate our practices, their shopping centers slowly mimicking the superstores of the US (which I can't stand), while other traditions remain to shine through giving me faith that some things are still worth fighting for - yet there are other times I would fly back in an instant for a sushi meal in Los Angeles with my best girl friends.

En fin, I exit 2011 with a hopeful attitude. I know I will look back upon this year in the long haul, as an essential growing period in my self discovery.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy 2012! May you all be able to seek out your dreams and discover new ones- the world is your stage!




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