Consolidation and Realization: Annual Review 2011

Amen.

It’s that time of year again, good people, for a bit of self-reflection and pre-planning. And following the lead of peer-mentor Chris Guillebeau (who’s almost done with his all-the-countries-in-the-world quest), I’m looking back on the year that is about to close and looking forward toward the year that’s around the corner.

What went right in 2011:

I was promoted from editorial assistant to assistant editor of Time Out São Paulo; I represented the magazine on Brazilian TV (and in Portuguese); my writing was featured in Time Out London, on the Matador travel network, at Get Your Guide, and at Gap Year Escape; I was profiled in Ebony magazine (in the current issue, still on newsstands); I officially started my travel consulting firm Fly Travel Media and landed my first set of clients and investors (Rob and Star, infinite thanks); I traveled to Berlin twice and began laying the groundwork for the six-months Berlin/six-months Brazil arrangement that is one of my medium-term goals; I visited Zurich for the first time and made repeat trips to New York, Miami, Portland, Brasília, and home to Jacksonville; and, most importantly, I attended the very first World Domination Summit this summer, where I met some of the most amazingly forward-thinking people in my life and where I learned that I have everything I need – right now – to begin building a better me, on every level.

What didn’t go right in 2011:

I had a severe case of hives that took four months to clear up and overdosed on a corticosteroid that caused me to gain 15 pounds in two weeks; a very demanding work situation meant very little time to take the excursions that I’d planned for at the beginning of the year; Fly-Brother.com is thus far still un-monetized and blog posts have dripped in irregularly and infrequently (and my podcast series remains painfully silent); Finnair did not choose me to be one of its seven Quality Hunters, despite a solid application and video; the dramatic rate of inflation in Brazil (São Paulo’s now the world’s 6th most expensive city for expats, up from #10 last January) made securing the type of home base I’d been planning here virtually impossible and infusing a dose of reality into this Brazilian Dream that even I had bought into; I’ve not remained in contact with the people that I’ve met over the past year as much as I should have; and despite my parents’ best efforts to raise an upstanding young contributor to society, my 17-year-old brother is now an adjudicated youth and possibly a convicted felon.

Going into 2012:

I’ll be taking a sabbatical from Time Out for a few months to focus on writing projects and Fly Travel Media while in Berlin; I’ll be traveling to as many destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia as I can (compared to Latin America, flights from Europe are a steal); I’ll be monetizing Fly-Brother.com with a mix of my own products and those from worthwhile vendors; the Fly Brother Podcast will be resurrected (I promise, this time); I’ll be returning to São Paulo just after Northern Summer to plug back into the dynamic energy of my favorite city on the planet; I’ll be focused more on maintaining contact with old and new friends as well as building partnerships with like-minded individuals; and I’ll be determined to maximize my opportunities and possibilities, to the best of my abilities. It’s about the realization of my goals. Oh, and I will be at WDS 2012, one way or another.

In 2012, no regrets. Higher. Farther.

What about you? How has your 2011 turned out and what are you anticipating for 2012?

You can follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook!

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