I’ll spare you a sappy “Best of 2009” or “Top 10 xxx of 2009” post; I’m sure you’ve seen enough of those on TV by now as networks churn out the usual end-of-the-year stuff.

This year, as with all travel years so far, was completely different from the rest. A different trip experience entirely with different types of people met.

In Asia I was blessed enough to visit Indonesia, East Timor, Singapore, Malaysia, and return to Thailand for a third time. Some Asia 2009 highlights are here.

I broke into South America for the first time this year with a quick two-month trip to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru — including getting to walk to Machu Picchu.

Vagabonding Firsts for 2009

I was able to get personal with some Komodo Dragons and was the only visitor sleeping on the island of Rinca, Indonesia.

I went on my very first traditional whale hunting trip in a canoe in Lamaleira, Indonesia which turned out to be a dangerous and interesting experience!

I survived nearly drowning in Bali which was a different experience, can’t say that I would try it again!

I was invited to a small village for a ceremony in Indonesia and was the first white person there for two years! (the last was a missionary; just in the 1960s this place was full of headhunters).

Life Changing

On a tragic note, I lost a dear vagabond friend while in the islands and not a day goes by while on the road that I don’t think about it. The rest of my travels are dedicated to her memory.

May There Always Be a Road

In a place where snow and bandits could close mountain passes with no notice, Tibetans used to greet each other with something that translates to “may there be a road”.

I pray that there always will be a road, and no matter snow, bandits, man-eating lizards, or whatever fate puts into the way, I will not stop until I’ve walked all the roads. I want to experience every culture, every Eden paradise, and every malaria dunghole on this planet while I still can. Come play with me.

Here’s to an exciting 2010 and may there always be a road!