The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre in 2009

Meyknecht's FarmPhoto by Carrie Kellenberger, November 2009

Today is the second day of the second decade in a new millennium and it feels like an auspicious date for reflecting on 2009. Here is a quick recap of the things that caused major changes in my  relationships, my health, and my job this year.

My relationships

Best moments:

  • Starting out the year as newlywed couple was obviously the highlight of the year for both of us. A lot of crazy changes happened this year, some good and some not so good. I am truly thankful for my husband and the life we have together.
  • John and I both loved having his 4 year-old-son, Caleb, with us for the summer.
  • November was a hard month, but at least I got to spend it with my amazing family.

Worst moments:

  • My grandmother’s death in November was really hard to deal with.
  • Two friendships came to an end this year. I’m not usually one for giving up on people, but when friendships turn sour, sometimes it is best to forget about it and move on. Since this decision, my life has been a lot less complicated and stressful.

My health


  • Finally, an end to my health problems. These past two years, I’ve been sick more often than I care to admit. The doctors at NTUH were finally able to pinpoint the problem and give me proper treatment. It was a long, rough year health-wise, but I am back on track and feeling strong again.
  • I’m back at the gym on a regular workout schedule and I’m happy to report that I’ve started running again.
READ:  A Perfect Weekend in Taipei


  • My hearing got a heck of a lot worse.


My Jobs

This year was a big one for me professionally. I have continued to work at the publishing company, and I spent a considerable amount of time and effort building my freelance portfolio. I found freelance work as a writer, editor, and photographer with publications like Hip Compass Escapes travel magazine, Wandering Educators, and Travel and Leisure Asia this year.

I started two new blogs, redesigned Taiwan Photographers, and invested a huge amount of time into branding My Several Worlds. Expect a facelift on MSW, and some really cool, new interesting features this year. All of my sites are doing well and in July, I finally started drawing a steady monthly income on all of my sites.

I am thinking about scaling back on my work hours and focusing more on my web activities. This year, I have a number of ideas that have gotten off to a good start. When the time is right, I am hoping that I will be able to focus on my own business full-time.

Travel in 2009

John and I did a lot of short excursions in Taiwan this year. Owing to my health problems, we weren’t able to travel as much as we had hoped to. Nevertheless, we journeyed to Singapore, Canada, the US, and the Pescadores this year.

In the first part of 2010, we will be journeying to Palawan in the Philippines. I will be also be spending a considerable amount of time in Canada and the US this summer. I’m making my first trip to Las Vegas in July.

READ:  2010 Summer Update: Home Sweet Home

Books: Visit my GoodReads profile for a complete list of books that I tackled this year. Among my favorites this year were:

  • Anything written by Jodi Picoult or Philippa Gregory
  • The Heretic’s Daughter by Katherine Kerr
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • I reread Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth, one of my favorite all-time books, and then delved into the long-awaited sequel on Kingsbridge Priory two hundred years later in World Without End.

Music I got into this year:

Lily Allen, Elbow, Lady Gaga, Ladyhawke, Drive-By Truckers

Things to forget from 2009:

  • This one is a tough one, because I want to forget it with all my heart, but I know I can’t. The video of Neda Agha Soltan as she lay dying in the street after being shot during the Presidential Election Protest in Tehran, Iran.
  • The Tiger Woods sex scandal
  • Kanye West
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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at

18 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre in 2009

    uberVU - social comments

    (January 2, 2010 - 2:01 pm)

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by globetrotteri: The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre in 2009: Photo by Carrie Kellenberger, November 2009
    Today is the second day of …

    michelle G

    (January 2, 2010 - 2:09 pm)

    The pillars of Earth is one of my personal faves, and I am glad you are getting better and feeling well. Here is to a amazing 2010


      (January 11, 2010 - 12:26 am)

      Have you read the sequel? What did you think? Thanks for your owngoing support and encouragement and best wishes for 2010!


    (January 3, 2010 - 12:22 am)

    Sounds like it’s been a year of a lot of change! I am so glad to hear you have gotten to the end of your health problems! May 2010 be your best year ever!
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Happy New Year, Nochevieja from Spain! =-.


      (January 11, 2010 - 12:28 am)

      Thanks ST3! It is a huge relief to be on the mend. I hope your arm is healing well, Jeanne. Happy travels in 2010!


    (January 3, 2010 - 2:46 am)

    I’m glad your health is finally sorted out, Carrie. You’ve been busy and 2010 looks like it will be a break-out year for you. Congrats and cheers!
    .-= Stevo´s last blog ..A day on Sanmenkou Island, Shenzhen =-.


      (January 11, 2010 - 12:29 am)

      Hi Stevo,

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it all works out!


    (January 4, 2010 - 4:15 am)

    Lordy! You accomplished so much more than me, and I don’t have the same health challenges! You’re truly an inspiration. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!
    .-= Cahleen´s last blog ..Ultrasound Update =-.


      (January 11, 2010 - 12:33 am)

      Aw, Cahleen, that’s sweet to say. I guess my health challenges worked out for me in a positive way. Although I was’t able to do a lot of physical activity, I still got a lot of things done on the computer. Here is my lesson learned, from the bad always comes a little good. 🙂


    (January 4, 2010 - 9:51 pm)

    Happy New Year, Carrie! Wow, 2009 seemed to be a year of the Good, the Bad and the Bizarre for lots of people I know. To quote a favorite song, 2009 was “my time to live some, learn some.”
    Thanks for sharing your highlights of 2009! Take a bow! 😉
    Hope you and My Several Worlds thrive in 2010!
    .-= Sonya ´s last blog ..Most Popular Stories of 2009 =-.


      (January 11, 2010 - 12:37 am)

      Thanks for you support and encouragement, Sonya. You are certainly one of the friends that I made this year that helped to make 2009 such a success. Thank you!


    (January 6, 2010 - 8:15 am)

    Hi Carrie, Happy new year!
    Glad to read that your health has improved! Would you recommend over I keep track of my book (and movie & music) consumption over there but it is a bit messy…


      (January 12, 2010 - 12:36 am)

      Hi Kim,
      Happy New Year to you, too! I’m glad I’m on the mend as well. What a difference it makes in my whole outlook on life. I used All Consuming a few years ago, but I had the same compaint as you. My page was a mess. I LOVE Good Reads. It’s well organized, I can follow my favorite authors and read their blog posts, I’ve joined a couple of book clubs, made a load of new friends, and I can create and follow lists and reviews. Good Reads has also inspired me to join in on more conversations about books and write more reviews. I really like it. Find me there if you decide to join. I’d love to talk books with you!


    (January 7, 2010 - 4:05 am)

    I think there are a few more items that could be added to that list of things to forget from 2009 (would’ve been a great year to have amnesia). On the topic of hearing problems…I can still hear The Who concert I saw when I was 16. And I don’t think the Stones helped my ears a few years after that.
    .-= Chinamatt´s last blog ..Seaweed and Beer? =-.


      (January 12, 2010 - 12:39 am)

      Hi Matt,

      While making this list, I was trying not to be overly pessimistic. Yes, I agree that I could add way more to it. 2009 wasn’t really a great year for me, but it seems like 2010 has started off on the right foot. I’m going to focus on the future. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and best wishes for the new year!


    (January 10, 2010 - 5:51 pm)

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot of successes in 2009. I hope 2010 will be a great year for you!
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Why I Love Winter =-.


    (January 28, 2010 - 3:43 am)

    Happy (belated) New Year! Your site has really exploded since I first ran into it early last year!! Congrats! I wish you the best of success with your freelancing, keep up the good work!
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..Perros and Plazas of Cartagena =-.


      (January 28, 2010 - 9:36 am)


      Thank you! Yes, it has been a busy year. I’m happy with the way things have turned out and I’m hoping that I can find even more success this year. Thanks for reading MSW and Happy New Year!

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