The end of a year. There’s so much to say and look back on, and at the same time I am already certain that I will temporarily forgot some of the amazing things that happened to me this year. For it was indeed a fantastic year!
One thing I do know, though, is that I will only namedrop sparingly, since I’ve meet an abundance of fantastic and outstanding persons this year, and there is simply not room nor time to go through all of them. Suffice to say, this year has without a doubt been the year when I’ve met the biggest number of terrific individuals, and I hope you know who you are and how happy I am that I met you!
A new job
In March this year it was finally decided and happening – I joined Mozilla as a Technical Evangelist! Lots of new changes with working for something you truly believe in – a non-profit organization dedicated to keep the web open and free! It is naturally also a big change working full time from home (or, well, wherever I am at the moment), and quite liberating to work from literally anywhere as long as I have a laptop with me (and honestly, after having the new MacBook Air, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a big bulky laptop again).
For a good part of this year, I have been together with someone very special and I am really happy to have met a person who means a lot to me! She is smart, beautiful, funny, spontaneous and just an amazing being.
She is indeed one of a kind and I look forward to a continued great future together!
(I’m letting her be a bit incognito for now :-))
Travel and speaking
This year was packed with a lot of travel, speaking engagements in four continents and a whopping 178,541 km covered during 95 days on the road. I’d like to briefly go through my journeys this year below. And, if you like pictures, below each destination there is a link to all photos from that trip, so don’t miss it!
Brussels, Belgium [February]
I went to Brussels to give a joint talk with Christian Heilmann about HTML5 at FOSDEM, and we spoke to a completely packed room!
Mountain View, USA [February]
A very intense trip to California, with arriving in the evening, followed by a full day of interviews for trying to get the position at Mozilla, and then travel home again the next day. It’s a long trip, but in hindsight it was definitely worth it! 🙂
Montreal, Canada [March]
I was speaking at the ConFoo conference, and the trip included some interesting meals and sightseeing. Plus, of course, a dip in the outside rooftop pool at the hotel, surrounded by snow!
I also got to know Jordi Boggiano here, and later on this year we also met in Italy and Switzerland.
Las Vegas, USA [April]
Microsoft invited me to take part of their MIX conference, and it was an extraordinary trip in so many aspects. Given the normal stance I get from web developers and the community, it was interesting, to say the least, to be at an event where the majority liked Microsoft and rooted for Internet Explorer…
It was also my first time in Vegas, and I complemented it with visits both to Hoover Dam (courtesy of Mike Taylor of Opera who drove me there) and visiting Grand Canyon, and also flying in it in a helicopter.
Vaasa, Finland [April]
Ok, I’ll be honest. No offense to Vaasa, but after a week in Vegas, it’s hard to compete. I did have a good time, though (I always do :-)) and the OpenKvarken conference was an interesting place to speak at. Also, having discussions with people like Monty Widenius (of MySQL fame) and Martin Storsjö of Bambuser is always a good thing!
Verona, Italy [May]
Ah, Verona. Supposedly the home to Romeo and Juliet, something that the town had built upon immensely. A nice Italian town and the jsDay conference was a good place to be speaking at! First time actually meeting Patrick H. Lauke, of Opera, in person, which I’m quite glad for!
London, United Kingdom [May]
Managed to find some time to visit my brother in London, and we squeezed in seeing Eric Clapton play at Royal Albert Hall and some good stand up at Comedy Store. Also happy to meet friends like Jake Archibald and his elusive girlfriend, Stuart Colville, Frances Berriman and more.
Paris, France [June]
Between my old job and starting at Mozilla, I had a few weeks off and was quite happy to take my daughters to Disneyland Paris! It was a success, for all three of us, and it was an intense and joyous week!
London, United Kingdom [July]
Time to speak at the AJAX User Group and also get to meets tons of friends in, and around, London. Good times!
New York City, USA [July]
I was quite happy to land this gig! Speaking for the GothamJS conference on stage on Broadway in New York City! Pretty cool! In 2000, I had a stint in New York and I hadn’t been back since. So, given September 11 and everything else that have happened during the last eleven years, I was extatic to be back, and it is a city I truly love.
San Jose, USA [July]
Immediately following the New York City visit we had a Mozilla work week in San Jose. First one for me, having been employed for about two weeks, and we had a very nice off-site meetup and get together.
Zurich, Switzerland [September]
In the fall of 2010, while at a conference in Poland, I told Markus Leutwyler that he should organize something in Zurich. A little less then a year later he pulled it off, and I was happy to be asked to speak at the FrontEnd conference there. As I often do, I also managed to get some good sightseeing with some friends, which had us ending up outside the city in a moment that was like a mix of Deliverance and Blair Witch Project…
San Jose, USA [September]
On the way home to Sweden, I had a layover in London for a few hours, so me and my brother managed to squeeze in a visit to Jimi Hendrix apartment since that specific day was Open House Day in London.
Los Angeles, USA [October]
After MIX in Las Vegas in April, Adobe MAX was my second massive conference this year. And man, I have to say, Adobe sure can put together a conference, and the outdoor party in downtown Los Angeles was amazing! Cirque du Soleil performance, Weezer doing a gig and much more! It was also my first time in LA, so I had a day packed with sightseeing.
On top of that, I managed to walk right into the shoot of the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Amsterdam, Netherlands [October]
Flying in directly overnight from LA, I got to Amsterdam the first morning of the Fronteers conference. Amsterdam is a place where I have lots of really good friends, and it almost becomes sort of an overload being there – it’s so intense!
Paris, France [October]
Believe it or not, this was the first time I was actually in Paris – I’ve only been outside the city before. I went there to speak at Paris Web which I quite liked. Giving a presentation that is live translated with both sign language and into French text on a screen is pretty fun! I also got to do all the touristy stuff as well – Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Musée du Louvre and Mona Lisa and more – by staying over the weekend.
Johannesburg, South Africa [October]
First time in Africa, and why not start by going all the way down to South Africa? I spoke at the Tech4Africa conference, which was a great mix of varying speakers and attendees. The conference organizers also graciously offered all the speakers a three day safari in a game reserve seeing all the amazing animals and surrounds they have, and it was out of this world! Lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodile, giraffes, ostriches and so much more!
Santiago, Chile [November]
I flew directly from South Africa to Chile, via Brazil, to speak at the StarTechConference. After the high in South Africa I just wanted to stay there, but my visit in Chile turned out to be quite amazing as well! The different thing in Chile was that us international speakers were treated like rock stars, posing for pictures all the time, signing autographs etc. Slightly awkward when you know that you are just a normal person, but, I have to admit, quite entertaining too. 🙂
Berlin, Germany [November]
I got three days at home after Chile, and then on to Berlin and MozCamp Europe. My last travel this year, and while it’s great fun, I also felt how worn out I was and that I just needed to be home for a while. However, the most excellent company made this into yet another fantastic time.
Summing up the year
All in all, this year has been tremendous! Overall I’ve gotten to experience so much, meet so many people, see so many places and also grow as a person. I’m finally finding out who I really am, what I want and what I don’t want, and ultimately, what I want my life to be like. And that, my friends, is a genuinely wonderful feeling!
Happy New Year, and may all your paths be fantastic!