Kyle the Vagabond’s Top Ten Travel Moments of 2012

Milford Sound, New Zealand

I’ll be the first one to admit I get to write about some pretty cool stuff (researching strip clubs in Portland, hunting down obscure languages, climbing remote mountains on Molokai), but this is always my favorite post of the year. It’s the post in which I get to look back on the year that was and realize that intertwined among the copious amounts of jet lag, lengthy sessions in front of a computer, and deadlines that seem to fall down like rain, are opportunities where I get to do some pretty amazing stuff.

So, in the same format as my Top Ten Travel Moments of 2011, I give you the 2nd annual “Top Ten Annual Travel Moments” of a rogue freelance travel writer.

In sum, 2011 was comprised of:

Only 3 countries (New Zealand, United States, Mexico), although I expanded my knowledge of all three considerably. This is my lowest annual country total since I began traveling in 2004, but there is something to be said for really digging in learning a place versus just breezing through and ticking it off of a list. In all three countries I was able to visit a number of places I had never traveled to before, and despite the low number it was still a year packed full of enlightening travel experiences.

15 US states (Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon)

43,000 miles flown

75 published articles

While there were many fantastic travel moments in 2012 that didn’t make this list (Visiting the honkytonks of Nashville, exploring the apple orchards of Placerville, Hiking New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninusla), here is a list of some of my favorite travel moments of 2012. Thank you all for your dedicated readership, and here’s to an adventurous and travel filled 2013!

1. Swimming with whale sharks in La Paz, Mexico


2. Taking a Helicopter Ride Over the Southern Alps, New Zealand

3. Hiking in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

4. Hiking the Moloka’i Forest Reserve, Hawaii

5. Surfing in La Saladita, Mexico

6. Food Tours and Summerfest in Milwaukee, USA

7. Touring the Vineyards of the Baja Wine Country, Mexico

8. Exploring New Zealand by Campervan and Hiking the Routeburn Track, Stand Up Paddling With Stingrays, and Sipping Wine on the Beaches of Waiheke Island

9. Country Music Concerts at the 100th Annual Wyoming State Fair

10. Failing at Taking a Regular Road Trip Without Writing About It

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