My Most Awesome Travel Moments of 2012

Looking back, I can’t believe that 2012 is the third ENTIRE year I have been blogging. That’s a lot of blog posts, a lot of typing and a lot of traveling. This year alone I went to 4 continents and crossed the Pacific and Atlantic ocean each twice. I flew across the United States 8 times. AND it was actually kind of a slow year compared to 2011, if you can believe it.

It was a great year though! Full of adventures, juicy steaks, new cities and challenges.There were some kind of crappy moments too of course. Terrible flights, bad meals and more rainy days then I will bother to count.

But you know what? I didn’t break any cameras this year. Plus, I got to spend lots of time with friends and family. So it was actually pretty stellar. When I look back at it I remember my trips of course, but mainly I remember specific moments. Those moments when time seems to stand still, when you remember the world is magical place and the joy of exploring it. Those moments are pretty much the reason I travel, and I had some great ones this year:

Ringing in the New Years with FIRE- in Ecuador

We really started the year with a literal BANG as we set off fireworks and burned an effigy of Barney on the beach in Montanita, Ecuador. Shaun and Erica from OverYonderlust happily joined us for the bonfire celebration that was half tourists, half locals and total insanity.

Feeling at Home in Buenos Aires

After a super hectic 2011 Mike and I really needed a place to recoup, regroup and feel like normal people instead of nomads for awhile. We found this in our cozy 9th floor apartment in the Monserat neighborhood of Buenos Aires. For three monthsI took Spanish lessons (still hopeless), practiced my cooking skills and wrote a whole lot. One evening as I dished out our chicken lettuce wraps I caught this sunset over our balcony. I felt home.

Eating the Most Amazing Meat of my LIFE in Uruguay

Have you ever had steak so good that it was life-changing? I did a couple of times in South America- American steak will never be the same again. The hands down best asado was at a family-run hostel in Punta del Este. For what seemed like hours the man of the house tinkered with his backyard brick grill before producing plate after plate of different cuts of steak, chorizo and grilled parmesan cheese in the dusky evening light. I could have died happy.

Flying Out of South America

I started my South America trip in the Andes in Bogota and I ended it in the Andes in Santiago. In between I saw this incredible mountain range from quite a few angles (I even went over them a few times on some windy buses), but the best was the very last view. As we flew out of Santiago, on our way back to the states we rose higher and higher until the city was obscured by clouds and still these massive mountains reached up into the sky. We didn’t get to spend much time in Chile but I was glad to at least spot some of the most epic peaks in all of South America.

Riding in a Tiny Plane over Fiji

I never wrote about this, but one of my favorite luxuries in a week of absurd luxuries in Fiji (link), was this ride above the islands in an 8 seater plane. As we peeled away from the mountains of the mainland we were treated to hundreds of tiny islands and coral reefs dotting the ultramarine sea. It was a breathtaking perspective of this gorgeous country.

Climbing the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska

If there’s one thing I’ve been blown away by this year it’s the sheer beauty right here in the United States. Alaska was particularly stunning, and the highlight was the Matanuska Glacier. There’s something quite humbling and perspective changing about walking on a giant thread of ice.

Cooking Lessons in Tuscany

This was the year I discovered I love to cook! Trust me nobody was more surprised than me. I did a lot of culinary experimentation this year, and the culminating moment was this expert cooking lesson under the bright Tuscan sun.

And my #1 Biggest Travel Moment of 2012:

Getting Engaged in the Rocky Mountains

Yeah, of course this would top the list! When Michael proposed on a chilly Rocky mountain-top in Breckinridge, Colorado, it wasn’t just a perfect memory, it was the start of a whole life of new adventures. It’s also probably my most popular blog post now!

A big part of my life is uncertainty. Last year in Montanita I couldn’t have guessed I’d be celebrating New Years here at home with friends. Likewise I have no idea where I’ll be next year or where I’ll go in between. I do know that no matter what happens, I will be an adventure!

All I can say is bring it on 2013!

22 thoughts on “My Most Awesome Travel Moments of 2012”

  1. WONDERFUL TRAVELS… I TOO PLAN ON A TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA. DO YOU KNOWOF ANY GOOD DANCE CLASSES OR EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THERE. I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN SOME DANCE THERE.

  2. Just stumbled across your blog–I’m now obsessed! As a new college grad and travel addict, I recently had to face the decision of ending a two year relationship to pursue a more adventurous and (hopefully!) fulfilling life. I was hesitant about my decision at first, but after reading about your experiences I feel confident I made the right decision! I leave for my first solo trip to Thailand right after Christmas and can’t wait to make as many exciting memories as you have! Also–just bought your book! Can’t wait to get home to my kindle and start reading! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  3. Sounds like an amazing year. I’ll be going to South America next year (and flying into colombia), just wondering if you had any troubles entering colombia by plane as I’m assuming you caught a bus onto the next country? I read somewhere that you may need an onward ticket, but that bus tickets weren’t counted?

    1. We didn’t need to show onward travel proof at the airport in the US or Colombia, so no issues there. We DID when we flew into Argntina though.

  4. Holy impressive travel list for 2012! You were here, there and everywhere it seems….and taking some amazing photos all along the way. All the best in 2013!

  5. Great list, Steph! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to this year and hopefully meeting up with you in DC – and if not there, then TBEX Toronto!

    Of course the engagement would top your list, but that steak has to be a close second, right?

  6. Doesn’t seem like a slow year at all! I love the incredible range of things that made the top of your list: from really good food to adventure hiking!! Way to go! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to this year!

  7. You’ve had such an amazing year!!! I’ve loved following all of yor adventures this year! You’re an amazing writer and photographer and a huge inspiration to me, a beginner travel blogger and aspiring world advenurer 🙂

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