Chicago, IL, US
This is my current “home base” and, as such, it is entirely inevitable that I will be here for at least some amount of time during December, even if for little more than laundry. (One noteworthy weekend is that of the 14th, when I will attend my company’s “end of year*” party, which I am in part planning, before spending the rest of the weekend celebrating my birthday. (*Our CEO has informed the party planners that we are to call this an “end of year” party, as he personally believes that “holiday” parties are for “old people in formal attire,” two things our company is not.)
Boston, MA, US
Though I am based out of Chicago, my current project is in Boston, so it is where I will be spending the majority of my December hours; specifically, those from Monday morning to Thursday night.
Denver*, CO, US
Although I live in Chicago and work in Boston, my heart is still tucked away in Colorado, as that is where I am from and where my parents and extended family still live. I am incredibly, incredibly fortunate to call this place my hometown and be able to spend time in such a wonderful place with my whole family for the holidays. We will be there from a few days before Christmas to a few days after. (*“Denver” actually incorporates several more (non-major) cities, as we will be driving there from Chicago with our very well-traveled dog.)
Simply because I have always wanted to go, and there are easy flights from Boston. It will be a weekend trip and, yes, I am going in December, when there are no more than five hours of light . This is partly because my Boston project wraps up in January, so I wanted to take advantage of the short-term launch-pad currently at my disposal. Also, I figured: screw it. I want to see the city – the country – and the whole seasonal light thing is part of its poetry. If nothing else, I can take advantage of all the indoor time for writing. Incidentally, if it’s not the trip of all my wildest hopes and dreams, I can always, always go back.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
John and I typically have at least one international trip each year, but 2012’s was postponed given the unique circumstances of our lives this year. So, here at the end, we think we may finally have the chance to spend a week away. We were initially considering Asia – and have been looking at Hong Kong flights since last fall – but when it came down to booking one, I felt lukewarm about it for this particular trip. We started researching other places; John would periodically look up from his laptop to run one by me, and I would sigh and say they all felt the same. When he suggested “Ethiopia,” however, something felt right, and I said yes. We booked the week between Christmas and New Year’s, predominantly because my firm shuts down for the week, and we are now looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve exchanging champagne toasts with plastic cups and then midnight-kissing over the armrest aboard a plane.
We have a ten-hour layover en route to Ethiopia. This was partly circumstantial, given flight schedules (nearly all of which connect through Turkey), and partly deliberate, given that we booked the one with the longest layover. We visited Istanbul about a year and a half ago, and loved the city. We are looking forward to a whirlwind rendezvous – a wanderlust’s quickie, really – to reignite the memory of what we liked so much the first time.
Full disclaimer, because I dislike misleading blog posts: this itinerary is, of course, entirely not typical of all my months or my lifestyle overall. But it is certainly an exciting and inspiring way to round out the year and ring in the next one!