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Friday, April 16, 2021

The Yr of “Oh No”

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Couple and dog on a blue couch, surrounded by plants in front of a colorful bookshelf.

Psst: Please you should definitely observe all native rules, social distance, and wear a mask to maintain your self and others secure. Additionally, adverts are how we pay our payments and preserve our weblog free so that you can get pleasure from! We additionally use affiliate hyperlinks. In case you make a purchase order by means of them, we might obtain a small fee (for which we’re deeply grateful) without charge to you.

I’ve a confession to make.

At the end of 2019, exhausted and burnt out, I made a New Years decision that, in hindsight, might have doomed your complete world: I wished to journey much less and spend extra time at house, baking and taking lengthy walks and watching birds within the yard.

Yep: I put that out into the Universe, after which the Universe was like “oh, dip?” and right here we’re, in month 976827682768 of the worst world pandemic in over a century. Alexa, play “Be Cautious What You Want For.” (BTW: I needed to Google this, however it seems that there’s a nation music with this title, together with, weirdly, an “erotic thriller film” starring one of the Jonas brothers. What the what?!?!)

Anyway, you guys, I’m actually sorry about… you realize *gestures broadly at all the things*

However you’re most likely questioning: was all of it price it, Lia?!?! Did you get your silly want and spend 2020 taking lengthy walks, watching birds within the yard, and baking bundt desserts??

And the reply is … kinda. Let’s get into it.

Estimated Studying Time: 35 minutes

Searching for extra year-in-review posts? We’ve been writing them yearly for the reason that starting of our journey weblog. Here they all are, or simply decide a 12 months:

2020 by the Numbers

Earlier than we dive into the main points, let’s begin with a fast abstract of how the 12 months went. I promise that solely a few of these are made up.

This is my home office! It's filled with travel things, from postcards to globes to smaller globes to travel-themed cups to a big scratch-off map. Yes: I literally wrote a gift guide for myself and then bought everything on it.

Sensible Wanderlust

  • Crew Members: 10
  • Weblog Posts Revealed: 27
  • Books Revealed: 1
  • Complete Readers: 2.06m
  • Complete Web page Views: 3.02m
  • Site visitors In comparison with 2019: -24%
  • Gross Revenue In comparison with 2019: -16%
  • Months that Internet Revenue was Adverse: 4

2021 Replace: Heads up – storms in February washed out an enormous chunk of Freeway One in Large Sur. Sadly this occurs each few years – the precarious nature of the freeway is a part of what makes it such a landmark! However earlier than your journey, you ought to be conscious of any detours or highway closures and plan accordingly. The chunk of freeway that is closed at the moment means that you can go to Large Sur – however not drive by means of it. You may need to take a detour on Freeway 101 (connecting round Cambria) and Freeway 68 (connecting round Monterey) in the event you’re driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Girl in yellow jacket in San Francisco, California crossing the street, with a view of the Bay Bridge in the background.


  • Existential Crises: At the least 5
  • Domains Bought: 3
  • Succulent Pups Collected: 2768728627
  • Succulent Infants Grown: 92768
  • TV Reveals Binge-Watched: 18
  • Greatest-Promoting Books Written: 1
  • Bundt Desserts Baked: 0
  • Take-Out Dumplings Consumed: 983
  • Lengthy Walks Taken: 582
Jeremy holding Mulan in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, in front of a lake.


  • Sourdough Loaves Baked: At the least 30
  • Cookies Baked: At the least 300
  • Desserts Baked: 4 (vegan almond olive oil, black forest gateau, thunder cake, yuletide log) plus 24 cupcakes (almond desserts full of orange curd and topped with ginger buttercream)
  • Woodworking Tasks Accomplished: 4 (herb backyard, cloud shelf, mountain shelf, trellis, canine feeder, birdhouse)
  • Podcasts listened to: 60 hours
  • Piano songs discovered: 23
Dog in a hammock on camping trip


  • Methods Realized: 15 (Sit, keep, down, excessive 5, shake, meerkat, up-up, off, bounce, communicate, don’t communicate, don’t bounce, discover it, watch me, contact)
  • Bully Sticks Chewed: 267
  • Stuffies Destroyed: 20
  • Tiny Bits of Stuffing Strewn Throughout the Home: 9268296787
  • Canine Beds: 5
  • Chairs Claimed: 2
  • Seasonally Themed Outfits: 6
  • Tenting Journeys: 2

Cling on … who’s Mulan?? Let’s get to it!

Kissing in front of Cinderella's Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Keep in mind when photos like this DIDN’T trigger visceral emotions of hysteria and disappointment? Ahh, February 2020, we had been so harmless then.

The Starting of 2020: The Glory Days

January, 2020: a brand new decade. The world was shiny and stuffed with promise. Jeremy and I had been fortunately settling into our new rental house in Oakland, full with an enormous yard and a devoted workplace – no extra working in a nook of our lounge behind the sofa!

Our journey weblog had by no means been extra profitable, however I used to be feeling burnt out after a 12 months full of 26 journeys – that’s one journey each two weeks on common, in the event you’re number-crunching – and I wished to spend extra time at house (*cringes in hindsight*).

Little did I do know that I’d already discovered the primary of many humbling classes of this 12 months: there’s such factor as an excessive amount of of a superb factor, and I had reached my restrict.

The starry-eyed surprise of hopping on a aircraft to go to a brand new vacation spot had light to a sense of routine. I’d stated “sure” to too many unimaginable alternatives, and I wasn’t giving myself an opportunity to savor the thrill of planning a visit to a brand new place. I used to be dangerously teetering in the direction of the brink of feeling ungrateful for the ridiculous, wonderful, and unimaginable alternatives that my job as a journey blogger afforded me.

Plus, I felt like an actual hypocrite working in the direction of a zero/low-waste life-style at house… solely to hop on aircraft after aircraft.

So, a few weeks after I turned 30, we tied an anchor to ourselves to assist us keep grounded and at house… within the type of a cuddly, fluffy pet.

Black and white puppy in front of a snowy cabin in Lake Tahoe, California.
Meet Mulan! This fluffy bundle of pleasure joined our household in January 2020.

Meet Mulan

I’ve all the time been a self-proclaimed cat particular person, however I fell head over heels in love with Mulan earlier than we even met. Jeremy and I had been shopping adoption listings, and I noticed a blurry picture of her on the web site of an area shelter (the fantastic Jelly’s Place in San Pablo, in the event you’re a Bay Space native in search of a brand new buddy). All I knew about her was that she was rescued from a meat farm in South Korea and that she was named after my favourite Disney film, however one thing deep down was telling me that this was The One.

Positive sufficient, the second I picked her up, she snuggled proper into my arms and gave me kisses. By no means in my life have I been something apart from supremely grossed out by a canine licking my face … till that canine was Mulan.

I’d solely felt love at first sight as soon as earlier than, after I caught sight of Jeremy for the primary time trying like a tall drink of Ginger Ale together with his crimson beard set ablaze within the night mild. With Mulan, it was a unique type of love – however it was intense.

We turned in our adoption software instantly, solely to search out out that actually everybody else on the shelter was doing the very same factor. Mulan was the most well-liked canine on the shelter that day by far – seems she was giving snuggles and face kisses to everybody! (We’d later uncover that she has the ability to make each single particular person she’s ever met really feel like she’s their favourite human in your complete world .)

So we confirmed up just a few days later, armed with paperwork from our landlord exhibiting that we had been welcome to undertake a canine, to beg our case and persuade the shelter that we’d be, like, actually nice canine mother and father. We had an enormous yard! I labored from house! Jeremy spent years working as a handler at a doggie daycare! Please, please, PLEASE decide us!

It was a little bit creepy, however it labored. The shelter allow us to take Mulan house on the spot!

…. which we had been fully unprepared for. We bee-lined for the pet retailer on the best way house, frantically Googling issues like “what to purchase to maintain a pet alive.”

The subsequent few weeks had been a blur of late-night wakeup-calls, potty coaching, leash coaching, crate coaching, journeys to the vet, and researching. Neither of us had ever adopted a pet earlier than, and we had been ill-prepared for a way extremely troublesome it might be. As Mulan wailed and scratched at her crate at 3am for the millionth evening in a row, we discovered ourselves questioning if we’d gotten ourselves in means over our heads. Was it all the time going to be this tough?

However after just a few weeks, all of us adjusted. Quickly Mulan was our little journey companion, tagging together with us on hikes and even driving together with Jeremy on his bike commute to highschool every day.

Since then, we’ve come to see Mulan as greater than only a pet or perhaps a beloved companion: she is a member of our household, and we each really feel as if she is our little one. We’re chargeable for her well being, happiness, and security, and it’s by means of us that she learns the right way to navigate the world. Coaching, socializing, bodily actions, and exposing her to new experiences all helps develop her confidence whereas additionally serving to to stimulate her thoughts and preserve her physique wholesome.

We’re additionally extremely lucky to dwell in a dog-friendly place: Mulan is welcomed all over the place from our favourite cafes and eating places to the native retailers in our neighborhood. We convey her with us almost all over the place, and he or she’s made associates throughout Oakland!

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