Travel is an important theme in my life. I was lucky this year to be able to do it a lot, both for work and for pleasure, within the country and abroad. Here, in no particular order, is a list of some places that I really felt were definitely worth visiting this year! Obviously there were many more places that I went this year that I loved! It was hard to even narrow it down to these twelve!
Koh Rong, Cambodia: This little island was quiet and secluded, with beautiful calm beaches and stunning green water. The accommodation was a powerless hut on the beach, but it was a great way to relax, unwind, do a little diving and eat good fresh fish (from the one of two vendors). If you want to relax, this is the place to go.
The Great Wall, China: This did not disappoint. Some icons seem different when you get to them, but the Great Wall lived up to its name. It WAS great! Even Flat Stanley liked it.
Little Liking, China: This was a small town with an old world charm. The streets were all cobbled and definitely not big enough for a car; the people all sat out on their stoops and chatted and played cards; the buildings were all ancient and made of stone. It was a beautiful little nook to wander and discover. (the only problem with China is that they block all the good websites)
Ebbets Pass, CA: This mountain pass that we visited on our camping trip to Grover Hot Springs and Markleeville is around 8500 feet high and was used by the Miwok and Washoe Indians to cross the mountains.You can easily get carsick driving up to the pass, but once you get there, the view is totally worth it.
Home Sweet Home: Be it ever so humble, there really is no place like home. Isn't it pretty?
Rural Missouri: Who would have known that driving around the back roads in Missouri could be so fun? There are tons of barns and farms and tractors, and it has a certain charm. (je ne se quoi?)
Padangbai, Bali, Indonesia: This was the perfect place to spend a few days diving, swimming and snorkeling. The water was so clear and I saw a whole school of squid one day! I love the water and if you love beaches, this is a great place to go. Also the people are so laid back and nice. You will feel right at home (just try to avoid all the drunk Australians).
Busan, South Korea: The fish markets here were amazing. We were here when the cherry blossoms were in bloom, which was really nice. We also caught a Korean baseball game, which was a blast! Also good here: Korean BBQ, Kim Chi and Karaoke.
New Zealand: Hiking in New Zealand was one of the highlights of my travels. There are so many places to go; you just stop the car, get out and start walking! There are snowy mountains and green meadows. It really is one of my favorite countries.
San Francisco, CA: No matter how many other cities I see, San Francisco is still one of my favorites. It has it all, beaches and hills, Italians and Asians. All kinds of food, all kinds of weather. It is a beautiful city and I can't wait to go back there again!
New York City: No matter how many times I go, I always find something new to do, to see, to eat, in New York. I love wandering the streets with no plan. I always have a good time in this city.
Ninh Binh, Vietnam: I loved the hazy feel of the wet, green rice paddies. We biked around them and it was really neat to see all the locals out working in their fields. We even got asked if we wanted to help (I think that is what the old man gesturing to the mud wanted).
What is your favorite place that you went this year?