musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Top 14 from the Last 365

Around this time last year, Lauren and I quit our jobs. She was accepted into the graduate program of her dreams so we would need to be back stateside in August anyways. But why not quit early and travel for a few months? After that's over, why stop traveling? There's long weekends... winter vacation... spring break... remember them?

Needless to say, the last year has been ______________ (insert synonym for 'amazing' here)! This post is as much an open invitation for you to seek tips and suggestions/offer your own experiences and thoughts/etc as it is a selfish exercise in nostalgia.

Here are my top (3+6+5=) 14 highlights:

14. Pretending I know how to play frisbee with great Juba friends on Tiwi beach in Kenya.
13. Holiday shenanigans with Lauren's family on the Texas coast.
12. Chillin' with some elephants in Jaipur before melting at the Taj Mahal.
11. Trying to photo bomb crasians at Angkor Wat.
10. Coming home to this mug after playing soccer with village kids while dodging dogs and cows in South Sudan.
9. Planning where we want to live while jogging through the streets of Sydney.
8. Completing the (not-really-a-real-thing) Luang Prabang Mekong Triathlon(g).
7. Helicoptering over the outer reef in NE Australia.
6. Practically everything (the viewglaciersTe Papa museumwhale watching in Kaikurawine tastingdouble rainbowsbaby seals, good times with old/new friends, night runs through parks, etc etc etc...) about New Zealand. Yes, including jumping off a bridge for the first time.
5. Trying desperately not to wreck a motorcycle in Vietnam while a man half my size maneuvers us through mountain passes along the stunning (and curvy) coastal road to Hoi An. Ha Long Bay and the limestone caves were pretty sweet too.
4. Waking up in the rain at 3am on the last day of arduous/awesome trekking along the Inca Trail... then hiking a few hours before dawn just in time to catch our first majestic glimpse of Machu Picchu before the clouds take over.
3. Stepping back to a simpler time at Inle Lake and lazily biking through the moonscape of deserted Bagan temples in fascinating Myanmar/Burma.
2. Penguins (all things Antarctica for that matter...).
1. Conquering the Tiger's Nest in Bhutan... and hearing that one word response to my question that changed my life...

On the wish list for the next 365: Turkey, Nigeria, China, Ecuador, Israel/Palestine, and ..........?