For me 2013 was a pretty great travel year, especially since I further honed my meager photography skills. I don’t know what I’d do without my photos; they help me recall truly remarkable adventures and moments in time. I decided to take a look back at the last year and share with you all a few of my favorite photos from 2013 and why they mean so much to me.
Antarctica was a special trip for me. It was an adventure in every sense of the word and while it may have not been comfortable at all times, that was part of the fun. Of the thousands of pictures I took, I especially like this one because it shows the scale of the icy 7th continent. Pictured here are two shipmates of mine on top of a massive hill overlooking the bay below. Everything in Antarctica is massive in scale, it humbles you and makes you appreciate just how awesome (in the pure sense) it really is. The pink streaks pictured were left by penguins, they are penguin highways between the water and their nesting grounds.
Before visiting Dubrovnik, I just assumed it was another over-hyped destination. I quickly learned that every bit of hype was well earned. The ancient, walled Croatian city of Dubrovnik really is a magical place, and I hate using that word. As soon as you step inside, it feels more like a movie set than an actual place. I also understood why the Game of Thrones uses it for the show; the light, the buildings and everything has a fantastical, otherworldly quality. I only spent a couple of days there, but I would gladly return just to feel that special sensation again.
This picture of a lonely coastal cow in Ireland makes me smile every time I see it. Not only do I think it’s a nice photo, but it captures perfectly my time spent exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, a driving route along Ireland’s coast. It was my first time leaving Dublin and the beautiful country I met for the first time was extraordinary in every sense of the word. Ireland is incredibly green, with beautiful landscapes and warm-hearted people. It’s a country with which I fell madly in love and hope desperately to revisit one day.
I spent a lot of time in 2013 on or near the water, exploring coastal destinations and several Caribbean islands. This particular photo was taken while I was snorkeling in the Bahamas, but for me it exemplifies all of my tropical exploits in 2013. I had a great time not just diving into the warm waters, but exploring the cultures and traditions of many different islands, so similar yet so different at the same time. I gained a whole new respect for just how disparate these palm tree laden nations are and I loved every minute of that exploration.
I added this photo because I think it’s pretty. It also reminds me of an extraordinary week spent in Taiwan, meeting a new country for the first time. I was guilty of never really considering a visit to Taiwan before I was hired by AFAR Magazine to visit so I could write an advertorial promoting the island. While it was my job to write nice things about it, I found myself quickly falling for Taiwan so that every word I wrote absolutely mirrors my honest affection for this sometimes over-looked nation.
I was lucky to capture this photo in Båstad, Sweden. My partner and I had just sat down to eat dinner when I looked out the window and saw the most extraordinary sunset I think I’ve ever seen. The entire sky was an explosion of purple and I rushed out armed only with my iPhone and did the best I could. What resulted was this photo, one of my overall favorites and probably the best one I’ve ever taken with my phone.