Looking at 2013

Now 2013 is over, 2014 has started, and it’s a new year with new possibilities, challenges and experiences. I thought I’d take a look back at what 2013 was like for me.

Thinking about all the things that happened in 2013, it’s hard to fathom just how many things one can experience in one year, places to see and things to do.

I never really got to write a post about my 2012, but I was quite happy with my Summing up 2011 post. This time around, I contemplated what I wanted to cover and share, and came to the conclusion to focus on travel and places.

One thing that I also realized is that I’ve been blogging far too little this year, and rather just sharing small stories and anecdotes on Facebook (and some of the stories below are taken/inspired from those posts, marked as quotes). In 2014 I really want to get going with writing more here, and I hope I’ll live up to it!

Traveling and speaking

Since I started to keep track a few years back of how much and far I travel, 2013 was the year with most travel days and kilometers so far: 99 travel days, 211,074 km covered, visiting 27 cities. A big amount of that was covered in the fall, which was packed with lots of interesting trips and experiences.

I’ve spent the last days categorizing and gathering my pictures from 2013 in a good structure, and all photos are available on Flickr – there you’ll find both all travel pics as well as those from other things I did throughout the year.

When it comes to speaking, I became Lanyrd’s most well-traveled speaker, with having given presentations in 27 countries at 66 events. That number has now gone up to 29 countries and 72 events; I really look forward to my 30th country I will speak in! Any takers? 🙂

Also, all the slides and videos from my talks are available on Lanyrd.

Let’s go through my trips in 2013:

San Francisco & Mountain View, USA [January]

Starting the year in a good travel fashion, I had to get up at dawn January 1st to fly to San Francisco, and then go down to Mountain View. We were giving our very first Firefox OS workshop to invited developers, teaching and hacking away.

Checking into a US hotel (in Mountain View now):

  1. Turn off the air condition, to avoid room temperature below freezing.
  2. Unplug the fridge, since it sounds like a hippo is trying to make love to it.
  3. Try and act grateful to the receptionist for the makeup remover (and thinking of asking for a hair brush as well…).

I also managed to squeeze in some time in San Francisco:

Mozilla office by Bay Bridge - San Francisco, January 2013

Best quote in San Francisco today:

A clerk in a store couldn’t believe Apple products are much cheaper in the US than Europe, since “Europe is so much closer to China than the US”…

[All pictures from San Francisco in January]

London, UK [January]

A couple of weeks later, it was time for our second workshop, this time in London. It was a good event, and also one where we learned a lot about the platform from people in the Mozilla community, such as Luca Greco, and I finally got to meet him in person.


Hotel gym offers Very Personal Trainers. I don’t want to know what that means…

Flight home cancelled. Heathrow doesn’t seem to like snow. Will hopefully get home tomorrow! (great help from British Airways, though!)

“…around 260 flights are due to be cancelled on Sunday after 2-6cm of snow was forecast”

2-6 centimeters? This really sounds like a joke for Swedes…

[All pictures from London in January]

Barcelona, Spain [February]

In the end of February, I went down to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, which is a massive event within the mobile sector. I believe there was around 90,000 visitors and the halls were enormous.

About to fly to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. We’re on Vueling airlines, and Patrick Finch has already made jokes about them re-vueling the plane. It’s gonna be a long flight…

We worked day and night for about a week, talking till we were blue in the face. To me it was really great to be there, to meet all kinds of people with very different backgrounds, and talk to them about Firefox OS and the Open Web, the possibilities and implications for the future.

Robert Nyman - Mobile World Congress - Barcelona, February 2013

I also got to give a presentation together with Brendan Eich – it’s pretty cool to be a JavaScript developer, and then have the inventor of the language as your CTO and then also co-present with him. 🙂

With Mozilla @ MWC 2013

The day before it all started I got up early and had a nice look around in Barcelona, together with Fábio Magnoni: Park Güell, Sagrada Família and more.

Robert Nyman - Park Güell - Barcelona, February 2013

Mozilla, Ubuntu and Opera at Mobile World Congress, in the shape of me, Bruce Lawson and Stuart Langridge.

Mozilla, Ubuntu and Opera at Mobile World Congress - Barcelona, February 2013

[All pictures from Mobile World Congress Barcelona in February]

[All pictures from Barcelona city in February]

Edinburgh, Scotland [April]

Traveled to Edinburgh to speak at the Whisky Web Conference, Great fun!

I’m in Scotland.
And yes, of course I ate Haggis last night.

Edinburgh, Scotland April 2013

Morning rainbow over Edinburgh

Morning rainbow over Edinburgh

What working remotely is like

Surgeons' Hall - Edinburgh, Scotland April 2013

[All pictures from Edinburgh in April]

San Francisco & Google I/O, USA [May]

I wrote more extensively about this trip in Tidbits from my trip to San Francisco and Bogotá, Colombia

Dinner with Mozilla, Google, Opera and Microsoft in the shape of Bruce Lawson, Rey Bango, Sam Dutton, Ali Spivak, me + Adam DuVander and more!

Dinner with Google, Opera, Microsoft and lots of other nice people - San Francisco & Google I/O, May 2013

Lots of Chromebook Pixels - San Francisco & Google I/O, May 2013

Surreal party at Google I/O with Billy Idol playing:

Billy Idol, Google I/O party - San Francisco & Google I/O, May 2013

[All pictures from San Francisco & Google I/O in May]

Bogotá, Colombia [May]

I wrote a lot more detailed about this trip in Tidbits from my trip to San Francisco and Bogotá, Colombia

My life. It’s currently about 7 in the morning local time in Miami, where I’m sitting with my manager Mark Coggins waiting our next flight to Bogotá, Colombia. One day ago I was in San Francisco watching Billy Idol and Steve Aoki playing at a Google Party.

We’ve flown five hours overnight, and the two people sitting next to me got into a fight twice over encroaching each other’s space – once during take-off… Naturally the Swede tried to mediate the situation. The result was of course that the guy sitting in the middle got our shared armrest and some of my space…

I managed to get some sleep in a weird position and now my body hurts everywhere. After we had landed I got to see a new first: someone flossing in the restroom. The high life of a traveler…

We’re now in a lounge, which was nice to have access to, but the “coffee” being offered looked like a horse had had diarrhea, so I managed to find a Cuban restaurant where they only spoke Spanish, where I could get a proper espresso.

Our current discussion is about Colombia, our assigned bodyguards and the sort of surreal lives we lead. That’s my life.

Bogotá, Colombia, May 2013

Monserrate - Bogotá, Colombia, May 2013

Lama - Bogotá, Colombia, May 2013

[All pictures from Bogotá in May]

Oslo, Norway [May]

Gave a presentation today at the Web Rebels conference about life choices, how to approach challenges and opportunities and how to move forward in life.

No code, no programming. Great fun and very liberating!

It was filmed: What are you going to do with your life? by Robert Nyman

The bald brothers - Oslo & the Web Rebels conference

Oslo & the Web Rebels conference

[All pictures from Oslo in May]

Jurmala, Latvia [June]

A few days vacation over Midsummer, with some nice beach weather and swimming.

Latvia, June 2013

[All pictures from Jurmala in June]

Madrid, Spain [July]

After having worked with it for a few years, it was a fantastic experience to be there for the first Firefox OS launch in the world!

I wrote a long story about the history and my takes in The launch of Firefox OS – my thoughts and some history.

Firefox OS launch pics, Madrid, Spain

Conference lunch in Madrid – dipping churros in chocolate!

Madrid & SpainJS

Just gave a presentation in Madrid about Firefox OS. Had a great time and quite enjoyed it! This is some of the feedback – I think I did well!

“@robertnyman congrats, one of the best styles i’ve seen on stage

Love @robertnyman’s humor sense. Great speaker. #spainjs #mozilla

Listening to @robertnyman speak always reminds me how awesome mozilla is (with good humour to boot) #spainjs

FirefoxOS is now my preferred platform for mobile apps dev.Love the idea of improving the world. Thanks @robertnyman.

@robertnyman rocks as presenter #spainjs

It was a terrific talk indeed, best one for now imho. Congrats @robertnyman!

I think i should buy a firefox os phone and after listening @robertnyman talk”

[All pictures from the Firefox OS release in Madrid in July]

[All pictures from Madrid in July]

Baška Voda, Croatia [July]

A vacation in Croatia, a country I’ve really started to love. Great nice people and beautiful surroundings!

Croatia, Baska Voda, July 2013

Croatia, Baska Voda, July 2013

Belive it or not, this picture was taken with a mobile phone, in action!

Croatia, Baska Voda, July 2013

[All pictures from Baška Voda in July]

Gran Canaria, Spain [August]

Family vacation, and celebrating my oldest daughter’s birthday by going on a dolphin safari, where we got to see tons of them and a turtle as well!

Gran Canaria, August 2013

Toronto, Canada [August]

Quick work days as the beginning of a longer trip.

Night woes. I had a noisy fridge in my room, preventing me from sleeping, waking me up all the time. Eventually I decided that enough is enough.

I got out of bed to unplug it, but realized that the space between the cupboard it was standing on and the wall was to small to fit my arm. I really tried, but couldn’t reach the outlet. And the cupboard was far too heavy and big to move further away from the wall.

Then I tried with a hanger, but at 2 in the morning, really drowsy, I quickly came to the conclusion that playing with a metal hanger around an outlet probably wasn’t a good idea.

After a while, I managed to see there was a small hole in the cupboard, where the cable went from the fridge out to the outlet. Success!, I thought and managed to squeeze in my arm, reach the cord, and gently unplug it. However…

When I tried to pull my arm out again, I was stuck. Really stuck. By the elbow. I couldn’t budge the fridge, I couldn’t find a good angle to ease my arm out again. Like a trapped animal I tried to pull harder and harder, really hurting myself.

After calming down and trying to carefully asses the situation, I managed to achieve a successful combination between arm angle and pulling hard. I was free!

Liberated, with a very aching arm, I went to bed and feel asleep.

Toronto, August 2013

Toronto, August 2013

[All pictures from Toronto in August]

Porto Alegre, Brazil [August]

I wrote in much detail about what happened during this trip in BrazilJS conference and a very interesting night in Brazil – a really recommended read, with great pics and videos too!

At the BrazilJS conference, getting ready to speak to close to 1000 people later today. Slightly intimidating and very exciting at the same time!

BrazilJS, August 2013

[All pictures from Porto Alegre in August]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [January]

Hello Copacabana!

Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, August 2013

Great day in Rio de Janeiro! Fábio and I went to the Sugarloaf Mountain, a most outstanding part! We took the cable car all the way to the top, watching all of Rio, Christ the Redeemer and the sun setting behind it.

I’ve been lucky to see many places in the world, but I have to say that the coastline here in Rio is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

Sugarloaf mountain - Rio de Janeiro, August 2013

Sugarloaf mountain - Rio de Janeiro, August 2013

Rio de Janeiro, August 2013

Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, August 2013

[All pictures from Rio de Janeiro in August]

Bangalore, India [September]

Went to India for workshps and giving a keynote at the JSFoo conference. It also led me to expressing my feelings on travel in Why I travel.

Bangalore, India, September 2013

Bangalore, India, September 2013

Bangalore, India, September 2013

Bangalore, India, September 2013

[All pictures from Bangalore in September]

Aarhus, Denmark [September]

When I got into JavaScript a good number of years ago, Douglas Crockford was a huge inspiration to me. Then, in one of my first major talks – about JavaScript nonetheless! – he was in the audience. We made friends, he liked my talk (!) and we have met on and off during the years since.

Today I got to meet him again, and I have to be honest and say that it is a special feeling of accomplishment, when he seeks me out after his talk to sit down and talk about it, and a lot of other things.

Aarhus, Denmark, September 2013

Aarhus, Denmark, September 2013

[All pictures from Aarhus in September]

Lisbon, Portugal [October]

Arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. As a nice surprise, the conference organizers had an offer to speakers and attendees to go surfing in the Atlantic this afternoon! Of course I had to take them up on that, and together we were five brave souls: me, James from England, David and John from Ireland and Matthew from Slovakia, and we were helped by the excellent surf teacher Luis.

We had wetsuits and the water was about 20 centigrade – not cold at all, to be honest. It’s been a LONG time since I surfed last, and it was such a great time doing it again! You do get a good beating by the water, but when you manage to stand up it’s all worth it!

I was also reminded that when you surf and get thrown in the water a lot, you swallow a lot of air, since you hold it in. So on a regular basis you need to burp; I felt like I sounded like I was calling seals at times…

Lisbon, Portugal, October 2013

Lisbon, Portugal, October 2013

Lisbon, Portugal, October 2013

Checked into the hotel, where I got the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory room. Now time to go to a pre-conference party! That is, after a very long shower to get warm.

Lisbon, Portugal, October 2013

[All pictures from Lisbon in October]

Toronto, Canada [October]

Good day in Toronto with the Mozilla Summit, bringing together employees and community members from all over the world. Got to hang out with my dear friends Stuart Colville and Chris Mills, pose with a fantastic ice Firefox and see a… well, unparalleled… karaoke version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

Wow! Last night Mozilla had organized for us to play an ice hockey game in the historical Maple Leaf Gardens here in Toronto, the venue for Toronto Maple Leafs between 1931 to 1999. About 22 years ago I came to Canada to play ice hockey for two weeks, playing games against a number of local teams.

What was special back then was that I got to go and see a NHL game in the Maple Leaf Gardens. So to come back now and be able to play a game myself on that ice was a fantastic moment! I used to play ice hockey for about ten years when I was young but I have only skated a handful times since I was 18.

Skating came back to me fast, though, but I’d say that the puck handling wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. Also managed to get a hard tackle/hit, so I’m a bit sore today, but it was great fun!

Playing ice hockey at the Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

Playing ice hockey at the Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

Great day yesterday in Toronto with fantastic friends! We went on a full-day excursion of the city, naturally including a visit to the CN Tower (which was the highest in the world for 34 years!).

Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

Toronto & Mozilla Summit, October 2013

[All pictures from Toronto in October]

San Francisco, USA [October]

Guess who spoke just next-doors to the Apple keynote this morning?

Apple keynote - San Francisco, October 2013

Great evening after the last day of the HTML5DevConf in San Francisco. Hanging out with really nice, down to earth and inspiring people – the best kind!

San Francisco, October 2013

Wonderful time at the Mozilla office in San Francisco with the fantastic Shezmeen Prasad and Luciana Viana! Bubbles and oysters for lunch!

Then the mandatory picture from the Mozilla patio overlooking the Bay Bridge, Halloween feel at the office and some nice cars.

San Francisco, October 2013

Mozilla office - San Francisco, October 2013

Mozilla office - San Francisco, October 2013

[All pictures from San Francisco in October]

Guadalajara, Mexico [October]

Nice day yesterday here in Guadalajara, Mexico, being guided through the city by Jorge and Paulina! Eating local food, getting the authentic Mexican experience! Some things spicy, some interesting beer mixes and lots more!

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

Happy to have done a great Firefox OS workshop yesterday in Guadalajara, Mexico!

Firefox OS workshop - Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

Then we went out with the attendees and organizers in the evening, having a good time and the necessary tequila when in Mexico (only one for me, thank you).

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

The evening also included recreating the Evolution of Man chart and ending up in prison…

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

Also got the chance to have my Walter White/Breaking Bad moment!

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 2013

[All pictures from Guadalajara in October]

Mexico City, Mexico [October]

Being a massive fan of pyramids, one of the places I’ve wanted to visit is the Teotihuacan area in Mexico City. Thanks to Miriam Leon and Jorge Diaz I finally got to do that yesterday!

They were kind enough to spend their entire day taking me there, and patient enough to watch me climb a lot of pyramids – I do like climbing stuff. Walking down the Avenue of the Dead, and got to get up on top of the Pyramid of the Sun and as far as was possible on Pyramid of the Moon.

Teotihuacan - Mexico City, October 2013

Teotihuacan - Mexico City, October 2013

Teotihuacan - Mexico City, October 2013

Mexico City, October 2013

Mexico City, October 2013

I did, however, have an experience I’ve never had before…

Jorge and I walked for about an hour to a massive local market, packed with people. I was the only non-Mexican for miles, and not sure I’d gone there on my own. Then he looked up this medicinal place where I was to get a “Limpia” – a “spiritual cleansing, used to cleanse the body, mind and soul of negativity”.

When they do that, the person performing it and the one being cleansed have to be alone in the room, so I walked up these VERY small stairs into a back room, where I was alone with a guy speaking only Spanish (and while I love speaking Spanish, my level leaves a bit to desire). I can confess that I was just slightly worried…

Then he used raw eggs and some what I believe to be small branches with leaves from a tree to cleanse me, mumbling words and trying to explaining things to me (suffice to say, I didn’t understand).

Afterwards, he let Jorge in and explained his impressions of me. It was an interesting conversation about dealing with things that I have on my mind, envy in the world, me always getting up again when I’m down and more.

Mexico City, October 2013

Got a new job in Mexico.

Mexico City, October 2013

[All pictures from Mexico City in October]

Boulder, USA [December]

Mozilla Developer Engagement Leads work week in Boulder, Colorado. Discussing goals for next year, possibilities, metrics, defending the Open Web.

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

After a long day of meetings yesterday, I blame/thank Luke Crouch for taking us to the local Avery Brewery here in Boulder, Colorado. We had a few tasters and some of them were really good!

The 16% Mephistopheles Stout, though, was good but at the same time almost like drinking tar.

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

Went on a lovely hike today in the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Boulder, Colorado. It was -7 Celsius, so quite a refreshing walk.

It took me to the Settlers Park and the Red Rocks Trail, where people came in the 1850s, looking for gold. I also saw a lot of squirrels and one woodpecker, but none of them were unfortunately interested nor kind enough to pose for a few pictures.

Boulder is a nice little town with about 80,000 people, and it has a few historical buildings and places to look at as well.

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

Luckily I got upgraded (again) on the Denver to London flight – an early Christmas present from British Airways, I guess – so I could lie down and have a proper sleep.

Also, the lobster starter was excellent!

Boulder, Colorado & the Rocky Mountains, December 2013

[All pictures from Boulder in December]

Thank you!

My biggest gratitude and thank you to all the amazing people I met in 2014, the great times we had and the experiences we shared!

Here’s to a fantastic 2014!


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