As I write this in mid-December 2022, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to see this year pass. The third year of the COVID pandemic was not quite the return to normality that we all hoped it would be – at least not for me. I don't want to exaggerate. Compared, for example, to the challenges that Ukrainians face every day in their battle against Russia, I have nothing to complain about. That said, the past year threw some unexpected curve balls my way (as well as a couple of more-pleasant surprises and the return of at least some paid travel-writing work). Here’s my annual year in review that might help explain why I’ve been relatively quiet on this site – and also why I hold out hope that 2023 will be at least a little bit (and hopefully a lot) better.