Saturday , July 24 2021

The 12 months of “Oh No”

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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 all the 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 international pandemic in over a century. Alexa, play “Be Cautious What You Want For.” (BTW: I needed to Google this, but it surely seems that there’s a nation tune 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 already know *gestures broadly at every little thing*

However you’re in all probability 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 because the starting of our journey weblog. Here they all are, or simply decide a yr:

2020 by the Numbers

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

Sensible Wanderlust

  • Crew Members: 10
  • Weblog Posts Printed: 27
  • Books Printed: 1
  • Complete Readers: 2.06m
  • Complete Web page Views: 3.02m
  • Site visitors In comparison with 2019: -24%
  • Gross Earnings In comparison with 2019: -16%
  • Months that Web Revenue was Damaging: 4
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 very least 5
  • Domains Bought: 3
  • Succulent Pups Collected: 2768728627
  • Succulent Infants Grown: 92768
  • TV Exhibits Binge-Watched: 18
  • Finest-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 very least 30
  • Cookies Baked: At the very least 300
  • Desserts Baked: 4 (vegan almond olive oil, black forest gateau, thunder cake, xmas log) plus 24 cupcakes (almond desserts full of orange curd and topped with ginger buttercream)
  • Woodworking Initiatives Accomplished: 4 (herb backyard, cloud shelf, mountain shelf, trellis, canine feeder, birdhouse)
  • Podcasts listened to: 60 hours
  • Piano songs realized: 23
Dog in a hammock on camping trip


  • Methods Discovered: 15 (Sit, keep, down, excessive 5, shake, meerkat, up-up, off, soar, converse, don’t converse, don’t soar, 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

Grasp 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 vibrant and stuffed with promise. Jeremy and I had been fortunately settling into our new rental house in Oakland, full with a giant 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 yr 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 realized the primary of many humbling classes of this yr: there may be such factor as an excessive amount of of an excellent 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 mentioned “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, superb, 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 way of life 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 at all times been a self-proclaimed cat individual, however I fell head over heels in love with Mulan earlier than we even met. Jeremy and I had been looking adoption listings, and I noticed a blurry picture of her on the web site of a neighborhood shelter (the fantastic Jelly’s Place in San Pablo, in the event you’re a Bay Space native searching for a brand new good friend). 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 aside 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 wanting like a tall drink of Ginger Ale along with his crimson beard set ablaze within the night gentle. With Mulan, it was a unique form of love – but it surely was intense.

We turned in our adoption software instantly, solely to seek 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 individual she’s ever met really feel like she’s their favourite human in all the world .)

So we confirmed up a number of days later, armed with paperwork from our landlord displaying 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 just a little creepy, but it surely 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 the way extremely troublesome it might be. As Mulan wailed and scratched at her crate at 3am for the millionth night time in a row, we discovered ourselves questioning if we’d gotten ourselves in method over our heads. Was it at all times going to be this difficult?

However after a number of 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 baby. We’re answerable for her well being, happiness, and security, and it’s via us that she learns the 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 reside in a dog-friendly place: Mulan is welcomed in all places from our favourite cafes and eating places to the native outlets in our neighborhood. We deliver her with us almost in all places, and he or she’s made buddies throughout Oakland!

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