December 28, 2003

By Michael Strickland

The Year in Travel

As the year (and this column) winds down, I look back on what 2003 held in store for me. Though a number of things didn't work out as I had intended this year, one aspect of my life did live up to expectations. My love of travel has grown with every year, and 2003 gave me a smorgasbord of opportunities to get away and visit places I've never been.

I started off the year (and, again, this column) on the road through the American Southwest, seeing the natural beauty of Arizona and New Mexico. In April, I joined a group of adventurers on a Total Escape excursion to Joshua Tree National Park, which proved to be the catalyst for the rest of my travels this year. Through friendships made on that trip, I made numerous trips to Baja California: the Baja 500, Mike's Sky Ranch, Guadalupe Canyon, Ensenada, Baja's wine country, Cabo San Lucas and more. I also slept amongst the pines of Big Bear three times within a one-month period; camped and hiked in the Laguna Mountains as long as my allergies allowed me; and explored sites like Onion Valley and Fossil Falls along Highway 395, east of the Sierra Nevada.

Long have I enjoyed camping, but long it has been since I've camped as much as I did this year. With the addition of a new Coleman camp stove and sleeping bag to my collection of gear, 2004 promises to maintain this trend. More than anything, I hope to return to Europe this coming year, though my employment and financial situation will have to factor in to the feasibility of such an opportunity.

But most of all, I want to make real strides in an area which I've neglected in 2003. Though I've done lots of traveling, and have written up most of the trips for my personal edification on my travel site, I've made little serious effort at publishing any travel articles. I've made the trips, I've done the writing; I just haven't taken the few extra steps to tailor my writings to specific publications and start sending out queries. It's a goal I intended to work towards when I dropped out of law school. The recognition of my love for writing and travel helped me make that decision last January. Now, it's time to follow through.

So it remains to be seen what awaits me in 2004, but whatever else happens, it will surely involve lots of writing and traveling!

My travel site has been updated with content and photos from most of the year's travels. Take a moment to pay a visit.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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December Columns:

12/31: Happy New Year
12/29: Return of the Oscar King
12/28: The Year in Travel
12/26: Trial by Piranha
12/25: Merry Christmas
12/22: Red Squares
12/21: Havasu Falls
12/20: Last Will & Testament
12/19: Bah Humbug
12/16: Newsworthy
12/15: The "Strick" Dialogues
12/14: Animal-Animal
12/12: Old Memories
12/7: Letters to the Editor
12/5: Greed Strike
12/4: Another Day at the Office
12/3: The "Back" in Quarterback
12/1: Sixty-Four
Previous months in The Archive

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