Well, it’s the end of another year—and for me, the end of many more adventures around the world. I thought I would recap my year in travel, as well as blogging. What were some of my favorite travel moments, places and people? What were my most popular stories on this blog?
First, I’d like to share a short video montage I created of my 2012 Year in Travel:
This year, I traveled internationally to Nicaragua, Laos, Kenya, Tanzania and India. Within the USA, I traipsed around Wisconsin, Alabama and my home state of Texas. Some of my favorite experiences of the year included:
- One of my top travel experiences, not just of this year but of my life, was the African safari I was so fortunate to be able to take while in Tanzania. A bucket list item to be sure. And while there, I got to go on a hunt with a nomadic bush tribe that shuns society and is relatively little known. That story got picked up by Perceptive Travel and USA Today, and was one of my favorite stories to write this year.
- Volunteering in several countries, including a girls home in Kenya and an orphanage in India. This is one of my favorite ways to travel, which is why I like to highlight why volunteering is such an awesome travel experience.
- I also love learning new things when I travel. Some of the most fun this year included an introduction to scuba diving course in Nicaragua, and a cooking school in Laos.
- Meeting inspirational people is also a really cool thing to me when I travel. One of my most fun posts to write was the one introducing the Top Five inspirational folks I’ve met around the world.
- And before this year, I reminisced about my entire life of travel through a post on My Top 12 Lifetime Travel Experiences. Brought back a lot of good memories.
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals. In 2012, there were 42 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 46 posts. The busiest day of the year was January 11th with 1,558 views.
And some of the most popular stories on this blog?
Well, the most popular all-time story on the blog was 60 Minutes Up, 60 Seconds Down: Adventures in Volcano Boarding. This story from January, about my experience lava boarding down an active volcano in Nicaragua, received more than 3,700 views, with 83 comments.
But the top story in terms of numbers of likes and comments was Finding Home: Our Soul Cultures, my very latest post. With 92 comments so far, 200+ blogger likes and nearly 1,300 views since December 11, this story about finding the place in the world that resonates deep inside yourself touched a nerve with many people who feel the same way about their “soul culture” place.
Rounding out the top 3 most popular stories is Wildlife in Peril in Thailand, a story I did back in February about a wildlife sanctuary that had been raided by the government, confiscating dozens of animals in retaliation for the non-profit’s exposure of corruption and poaching in the parks department. This post received more than 1,400 views and garnered a lot of outrage—and thankfully, action taken by many readers on this issue.
And where did all my visitors come from? Well, most came from the USA—no surprise since that’s where I, and my blog, are based. But I also had a lot of visitors from Canada and the UK, along with some readers from India, Laos, Australia, Thailand, France, Malaysia and other countries.