The 2010 Lonely Planet Calendar
There’s something about getting a new calendar that brings out my inner geek, the part of me that revels in stationery supplies and finds the smell of pencils and paper somewhat intoxicating. As a student, the beginning of fall—my favorite season—was always exciting not just for the crisp sunny days and technicolored leaves. I was equally thrilled to have fresh, new school supplies, and to this day, I get a charge when replenishing my office supplies or choosing a new journal. I also carefully select an agenda book and a wall calendar each year. Usually I wait until they go on sale in January, but the The 2010 Lonely Planet Calendar was a nice, early treat.
The wall calendar is a bit larger than average (11 3/4” by 13” when closed), and each day has a large square with plenty of space to jot down birthdays and appointments. Holidays from around the world are unobtrusively pre-printed in a subtle grey ink. Each month is a visit to countries in all corners of the globe—from The Bahamas to Sweden to Indonesia. Vibrant photographs and a brief overview of each destination give armchair travelers a taste of local culture, flora, fauna, traditions, and landscapes.
My favorite month in this calendar is February when we visit Iran. I’m partial to the country's aesthetics—the intricate mosaics, minarets, and domed architecture—all of which are featured in brilliant color. I looked to my birth month (December) with special anticipation. In December 2010 we visit Malawi; highlights of the page are breathtaking photos of Nyika National Park and a canoe that appears to be carved from a single tree.
Lonely Planet was started in the 1970s by a young couple who wanted to show others how to travel the globe on the cheap while having authentic experiences in the places visited. Today Lonely Planet has offices in Melbourne, London, and Oakland with over 500 staff members and 300 authors. Tony and Maureen, the young couple who started it all, are still actively involved in the organization and their empowering approach to travel ("All you've got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!") is still the company’s guiding motto.