With 2012 knocking on my back door, I figured it would be appropriate to take a journey through the last 365 days of Kaleidoscopic Wandering. This travel blog has been going strong for two-and-a-half years now with a variety of narratives, advice, interviews and insights into tripping around the globe.
This year I started my travels with a trip to Baja California, Mexico, where I went whale watching in Magdalena Bay. Shortly thereafter, I met my dad in Costa Rica for a trip packed with hiking excursions. In March, I visited the Cook Islands for the first time. Though I don’t care for the word “paradise,” if I had to pinpoint it on a map, it might be located here.
Early in the summer, I took a trip to Vancouver, Canada, for a conference, then made it home just in time to hop into the car with my husband for an epic 35-day road trip that took us through 19 states and two Canadian provinces. Highlights of our trip included visiting the Distillery District in Toronto, wine tasting near Niagara Falls, catching a Washington Nationals baseball game and watching fireworks in Washington D.C. on the 4th of July.
Upon returning home, I enjoyed a whirlwind of trips beginning with one in the Riviera Maya focused on environmental issues. Then I popped up to northern Nevada where I got to ride in a hot air balloon for the very first time. This was followed by a super inspirational weekend at the Mighty Summit near San Francisco and a trip to Oklahoma City for the Travel Media Showcase.
Except for a brief trip to Los Angeles for another conference, I spent the vast majority of the fall at home, catching up on current projects and preparing for new projects. This month, however, I enjoyed nearly a week in Naples, Florida, with my parents. A day after arriving home, I was back on a plane, this time for a totally and completely relaxing vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.
- South Rim vs. North Rim | Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona — This post was not only the most popular post published this year, but it is by far the most popular piece ever published on this blog. I love the questions readers have left in the comments.
- Transit Tours in South Korea — One of my favorite discoveries in South Korea, and, clearly, something other people are looking for, given the number of hits this post has received.
- Planning the Perfect Road Trip Play List — Prior to our summer road trip, I asked for your advice on what we should listen to and you answered! Check the comments for tons of awesome road trip music.
In addition to these three popular pieces, I published several others that I’m particularly proud of. They may not have gotten the love of the masses, but these four pieces are among my favorites from 2011:
- How to Survive a Flight Cancellation — For the first time ever, I was on a ccancelled flight, which left me stranded in Costa Rica. The experience taught me a lot, which I shared in this post.
- The Tumunu Tradition | Cook Islands — Drinking in a bush pub is by far one of the most unusual things I’ve ever done while traveling.
- When a Place is More Than a Place | Walden Pond, Massachusetts — Visiting Walden Pond was a very moving experience for my husband, and it was fascinating to visit it in a context other than a vacation destination.
- Negotiating Religion While Traveling — I think one of the most difficult aspects of traveling is learning to manage my views on religion. This post examines those struggles.
This year I also introduced the Here’s a Question for You series, a roundtable discussion of travel-related topics. It’s never too late to join the conversation!
As always, thank you for reading Kaleidoscopic Wandering. This blog would not exist without you. Stay tuned in 2012 for new trips (insider tip: Iceland is on the horizon), new content and tons of travel inspiration!