New Year's Eve in Chiang Mai, Thailand

New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wow, 2015 has come and gone. And what an incredible year it was, too!

As is customary, last January we resolved to make modest life changes. Then the biggest life change of all took precedence as we became parents in April.

Around the same time this modest blog underwent explosive growth as our story was shared in mainstream media around the globe. In a few surreal moments we’ve even been recognized by readers in the wild.

Without a doubt it has has all been a grand adventure. What do we we plan to do in 2016 to keep things exciting?

Travel

SE Asia

We will be in Chiang Mai, Thailand for another week. Then we fly south to Krabi, Thailand for some beach and ocean fun.

We will stay in Ao Nang for a week and then on Koh Lanta for 3 more, although our accommodations plans are still in the works.

Koh Lanta Sunset (photo credit)

Koh Lanta Sunset (photo credit)

In early February, our Thai visa will expire and we will move on to Malaysia. Langkawi, Penang, & Kuala Lumpur are on the agenda, followed by a few days in Singapore.

587px-Location_Southeast_Asia.svgWe have a few weeks of unplanned time (Bali? Philippines? Vietnam?), but in late March / early April we will return to Taiwan for Winnie and Jr’s birthdays. It is amazing to me that it is already approaching one year.

For the Mandarin speakers out there: If all goes according to plan, Winnie’s book will be published this spring with book signing events in Taiwan in early April. (In the mean time, check out her blog!)

Europe

In mid-April we are flying from Taipei to Lisbon, Portugal. All 3 of us are flying Business Class for a total of ~$200 (Travel hacking, I love you!)

KLM World Business Class (photo from The Points Guy)

KLM World Business Class (photo from The Points Guy)

In mid August we fly from Reykjavik, Iceland to Minneapolis.

For the 4 months in between, anything is possible. A reverse version of this European highlights itinerary looks interesting, but most likely is too ambitious and we’ll make it only as far as Southern Italy

european_highlight_itineraryDue to the nuances of European visas we will only be allowed to spend 90 days in the Schengen Region. For the remaining 4-5 weeks we are looking into exploring Morocco, a bike tour of Ireland, and visiting the Mad Fientist in Scotland.

I’m not yet sure how we get to Iceland, but a sailor friend half agreed to bring us there under the power of wind.

United States

In mid-August my clan is renting a few cabins on a lake in Northern Minnesota. Grandma, both parents, and my 3 siblings will be there, along with their spouses and 9 kids (10 total, including our little beast.)

This was a regular thing when I was growing up, but will be the first such event with we 4 kids as adults. We will while away the days fishing, swimming, boating, and eating Grandma’s awesome home cooking.

grassy_meadow_swing_campfire_ringAndrewSawyersMoonSetting(photos courtesy of resort website)

After recovering from the mosquito attacks, we plan to visit friends in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Since Jr loves to dance and already has a fur coat, we may also make an appearance at Burning Man. (Maybe. Unlikely, but maybe.)

Let's Dance (more)

Let’s Dance (more Jr pics)

And since this little blog won a Plutus Award this year, we should plan to attend #FinCon16. Plus we’ll be in the neighborhood.

South America

As the weather turns cooler in the US, we intend to head south. Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and more are waiting.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil seems like a good place to be for New Year’s Eve 2016 .

Blogging

In the early months of this year, expect a revamp of this site. It will be easier on the eyes, mobile friendly, and faster loading.

I also bid out some work for a Go Curry Cracker logo, although I’m not terribly excited about the early results. Any designers out there want to give it a go?

There are also some new and exciting media appearances in the works. We’ve even had a couple proposals from reality TV producers. That would be fun!

And of course there will be loads of new content. I have a list of ideas as long as my arm, many as a result of comments and emails.

I think the growth will continue, which is amazing. It would be wonderful for more young retired families to join us on the road.

Fitness

Last year I started the Slow Carb Diet and did well with it. These past few months in Chiang Mai I’ve been doing Crossfit nearly everyday.

Sled Pull Competition (me on right)

Sled Pull Competition (me on right) (photo by Crossfit CM)

I intend to continue these activities this year. While I don’t always have a kettle bell handy, I find that a baby is an effective substitute.

kettlebell

I suppose I could have more goals for this year, but hey… I’m retired.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing. Happy New Year!

Jeremy, Winnie, and Julian

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