New Year’s Eve 2012: Celebrating an Awesome Year!

Light fountain
“Fountain of Light” in Larnaca, Cyprus

A warm, cozy studio apartment in Athens was our home one year ago today. And on this day, Athens’ revelers slumbered in preparation for the parties and fireworks that ended 2011.

We were midway in our Round-the-World trip, and celebrating the end of a very exciting year. Today, New Year’s Eve 2012, we’re contemplating the end of another fascinating year.

We’ve always loved change and 2012 didn’t disappoint. Each month rewarded us with new places, experiences, and a few surprises along the way. So here’s the wrap-up for a banner year.

JANUARY found us in Greece, Jordan, and Sri Lanka. Athens provided antiquities, and a close look at an EU country during a troubled and turbulent time. Petra far exceeded our expectations, and fulfilled a lifelong dream. And discovering beautiful Sri Lanka was a very pleasant surprise.

FEBRUARY was a month of movement … Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Each place was unique and captivating in its own way. There were many highlights, but Angkor Wat in Cambodia was the top.

MARCH slowed the pace considerably. Australia and New Zealand provided a quiet respite for dealing with a parting gift from Southeast Asia … Dengue Fever for James.

APRIL brought us to marvelous Hawaii, and back to the USA. With a couple of short stays at the beach, and a stop in Savannah. Our plan was to stay mobile and keep moving.

MAY and our love of the Southeast US in springtime took us to coastal Georgia, and a big surprise. Without being in the market, we found and bought a little condo we’ve named Basecamp Gallivance … a small haven for the rare times we’re not traveling!

JUNE supplied a glimpse of summer and a chance to explore the island. The renovation was just beginning, and our enthusiasm was expressed with a paint brush.

JULY showed us how the locals celebrate and relax. The renovation progressed and our consolation was the thought that at least we could work inside with the AC. 

AUGUST was the apex of summer, and the work on the condo as well. Our energy was flagging, but like a tired horse on a long ride, “we smelled the barn.”

SEPTEMBER, an uncrowded time to travel, inspired us to head out on the first leg of our month-long Baltic Excursion – Finland. We drank a champagne toast in Helsinki to the first birthday of the Gallivance Blog … and Helsinki’s 200th!

OCTOBER found us on the road in The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This was a new part of the world for us, and the trip provided the relaxing break we needed.

NOVEMBER and a few lingering renovation projects drew us back to the condo for the welcome arrival of cooler weather.

DECEMBER for us, is normally the month that we stay OFF the road. The renovation is down to a couple of big, pain-in-the-butt projects, and we’re determined to see it through. And even though there’s work to be done, we squeeze in as many cozy, relaxing days as possible.

So we say goodbye to another year, that really has been awesome. Happy New Year to all our readers, wherever you may be.  We have 6 words for you – Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! And Happy Birthday to the perfect travel companion, my best friend and soul mate, Terri.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
James and Terri



We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

11 thoughts

    1. After being in place in Athens for the month of December, January and February were months of movement, and we covered a lot of ground. We finally visited Petra in Jordan, which has been on our list for years, and it was fantastic. On a whim, we stopped in Sri Lanka, and it was a wonderful surprise. Check out the archives for details.

      1. Sri Lanka really was fun. We thought that it would be a lot like India, but it isn’t. Getting around the country is a bit of an effort, but it was definitely worth a stop. If you get a chance, check it out. P.S. The food is to die for.

    1. Our suitcases do get a workout, that’s for sure. We’ve traveled all of our adult lives together, and it’s our one big indulgence. If done properly, it gets in the blood, and causes very itchy feet.

  1. Awesome year it was,but I bet 2013 is going to be full of more exciting and wonderful travels!Have a wonderful time!You know how to enjoy every day of your life!
    Good on ya and good luck Terri and James!

  2. Thank you for liking my blog on Coast Starline train to Seattle.I’m truly envious of you 2 being able to travel the world! You two are born to travel and wish you many more discoveries around the world.


  3. What a fabulous year James & Terri! You are such an inspiration. I truly hope to travel full time one day soon (I have no idea how to get started) and put my own belovelive spin on my travel experiences. Here’s to wishing you much joy and adventure in 2014!

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