This was an amazing travel year for me. Especially on the heels of a few years which – by David Alport standards – were a bit thin in the travel department. Herewith, my top travel moments of 2008. I hope that you have your own list, and I look forward to sharing more adventures, thoughts and dreams with you in the year ahead. Happy New Year!!!
March, San Francisco: Standing in Civic Center Plaza as a member of the crowd of extras, watching Sean Penn deliver Harvey Milk’s soaring 1978 speech to come out of the closet.
April, Bear Mountain, NY: My first AIDS Lifecycle hill training with cycle buddy (and all-around buddy) John. Reaching the top of the mountain made me realize that I was not going to have as much trouble completing the 7-day California journey as I’d been worrying about.
April, Vancouver: Though it snowed on April 20th (!!!!) and I complained through every flake, I loved spending time in this beautiful city, mostly because I was with beautiful Eduardo.
May, JFK-SFO: My first flight on Virgin America. An experience that will be repeated many times. This is an airline created by people with brains.
June, Lompoc, CA: Riding up an insanely steep and long hill on Day 5 of the AIDS Lifecycle, drawing all of my energy by thinking about the many amazing people in my life, some gone, most still here. By the time I reached the top, my face was streaked with tears.
June, Los Angeles: Crossing the finish line in Los Angeles after riding 545 miles from San Francisco, seeing both sets of parents and so many friends waiting and cheering. A highlight moment of my life.
June, Meat Packing District, NYC: My trip down the block to Florent for closing night. Bittersweet, but nothing like going out with a bang and a party. All hail Florent.
July, Sebago Lake, Maine: Jumping into a warm lake under a moonlit sky ... naked. Pure, heavenly bliss.
August, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya: Traveling with my friend and colleague Steve on my first visit to the heart of Africa … and a refugee camp borne of unspeakable civil strife. Seeing the smiles and hearing the stories of these people was heart-breaking and soul-stirring at the same time.
August, Kibera Slum, Nairobi, Kenya: Touring the second largest slum in Africa, and feeling the light and hope that shines even in the most difficult of situations.
September, Masai Mara, Kenya: Elephants and Giraffes and Tigers and Wildebeests and Rhinos and Cheetahs and Hyenas, oh my!
November, London: Rediscovering this amazing city after way too many years away. Old friends, new friends, disco roller skating, the London Eye, the Tate Modern. Urban doesn't get any better!
November, Times Square, NYC: Election night, 11:05 in Times Square. Need I say more?
November, St. Louis: The blissful joy of being surrounded by family with nothing to do but eat.
December, New York, New York: A month without a plane flight and the chance to soak in the rich diversity, creativity and culture that make this town my favorite place to return to in the whole wide world.