2022 Travel Year in Review: a Topsy-Turvy Route to Find Balance

The Local Tourist
11 min readJan 5

Traveling 93 days through twenty states is an unusual way to find balance, but when you’re a travel writer, it works.

Sunset on Long Beach from the car

I’ve never done a year in review before, despite publishing The Local Tourist for nearly twenty-one years. It feels a bit self-indulgent. “Look at me! Look at me!” But 2022 was transformative.

It was a year of healing. A year of growth. A year of discovery. A year of balance, or at least, figuring out what balance means to me.

I’d never picked a word of the year before, but in November 2021 I stood in my kitchen crying. Mr. TLT asked me what was wrong.

“Balance!” I sobbed. “I have no balance!”

2021 was rough. In addition to global issues, I’d finished cancer treatment in June. While I celebrated the completion of chemo and radiation, I was plagued with a rash that would not go away and hot flashes from H-E-double-hockey-sticks.

I didn’t let that stop me, though, and in August 2021 I jumped back into travel. I also jumped back into my workaholic lifestyle, even though I told myself I wouldn’t.

During the isolation of lockdowns and treatments I couldn’t work my normal twelve to fourteen hour days. When things began returning to “normal,” I promised myself I’d take time to relax. I wouldn’t work so hard. Life was too short.

It didn’t stick. By Thanksgiving I was exhausted and burning all the ends of all the candles. When 2022 rolled around, I decided finding balance would be my priority.

Did I succeed? Well, let’s see. I traveled ninety-three days through twenty states and thousands of miles. I published three books. Taught two intense multi-day writing workshops. Began offering my courses online. Gave a couple library presentations and spoke and exhibited at two Travel and Adventure Shows.

Balance? What balance?

As I look back on 2022, however, I’m not exhausted. (Maybe a little.) I had some of the most incredible experiences of my life. I frequently traveled solo, yet I was never scared or lonely.

2022 was a year filled with wonder, with awe, and with joy.

The Local Tourist

Born to write with a nearly obsessive love of travel, history, cooking, Chicago, and my husband. Author, speaker, exuberant lover of life.