A year ago this week, I left my job at Google to strike out on my own. I am looking forward to writing more here about how the past twelve months have unfolded. For now, I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have had the chance to connect with my family, so many friends, old and new, and build a new business (the yet-to-be-announced Lowercase Capital) that is leaving me feeling fulfilled, helpful, and so optimistic about the future despite this harrowing economy.
In that light, while I had expected my schedule this year to be a bit slower and reserved compared to the frenzied pace of Google, those who know me are well aware that I can't help but seek out adventures, whether personal or professional. Thus, I thought it would be fun to label a map showing each city in which I spent at least one night this past year.
My total number of miles flown was down sharply from the average of the last four years, and I spent many more miles in my car as I canvassed Nevada for Obama and made a pilgrimage to Moab and Bryce Canyon. There are definitely a few more destinations on this list that were purely for fun compared to years past, but most were still for visiting portfolio companies, giving speeches, or trying to convince decision-makers.
My chance to speak and teach at Oxford is always an annual highlight, as is the chance to kitesurf on the North Shore. I count my lucky stars every year I get invited back to Necker Island. My friend Jerry hosted a few of us for an unforgettable week in Tuscany for his birthday. Wow. Snowkiting in Utah was a new thrill for me and Marrakech was simply exhilarating. During the warmer months, Ironman training kept me closer to home, glued to my bike seat and pounding the pavement. Nevertheless, I am grateful I was still able to get to Aspen for the Henry Crown Fellowship at the Aspen Institute and Washington, D.C. was palpably abuzz with the transition in full swing.
All told, many of these trips were only possible thanks to the generosity, hospitality, and companionship of great friends. For those who I didn't get to see in 2008, let's get on the books for 2009!
(In the meantime, though I know it's by no means a cure, I did buy a staggerlingly large amount of carbon offsets in the hopes of mitigating my impact this year. If you want to better understand why we are all nonetheless screwed, I highly recommend reading this presentation from www.wattzon.org)