Do I get off the plane or do I stay?
That’s the question I had to ask myself as the flight attendant was making a head count and getting ready to close the doors. All the planning and packing for this trip and now I have flight delays. Somehow, nothing about this trip feels right.
Sometimes trips don’t go as planned. However, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t have some great travel memories this year. I rarely get to go to as many places as I would like. With a job, family, and my travel blog and projects, I do the best I can to maintain a balanced life.
Everyone can look back on the past year and remember the good times, bad times, and lessons learned. In looking back at my year in travel, it’s good to remember both the ups and downs because they taught me a lot about myself.
So let’s come together and and look back on 2011 as I kick off a series called “Best of Travel 2011″. I encourage everyone to participate including bloggers, writers, passionate travelers, and those who travel just once a year. Check out the “Best of Travel 2011″ rules and join in the fun on recapping a year in travel!
Best of travel 2011
As I share my travel moments for 2011, what are your favorite travel memories from this past year?
I want to hear from you so I am going to tag a few people to share their favorite 2011 travel memories. Feel free to share yours in the comments, on Facebook, Google +, or on Twitter (hashtag #besttravel2011).
So go ahead – brag about your best travel memories for 2011. Shed some tears again over your worst experiences. And reflect on what travel has taught you in 2011.
Best travel destination 2011
This is a difficult one to pick just one location. I’ve had so many fantastic experiences as numerous doors were opened for me this year. However, I will have to go with Annapolis, Maryland.
This isn’t a place many people put on their must see travel lists or best places for travel 2012 but there is something amazing about this place – the people and the community. I will have a lot more to say about Annapolis in 2012 but you can understand why this place meant so much to me as Annapolis welcomes me home.
Best travel experience 2011
While destinations can be fantastic, there are some experiences that really stand out. For me, I will have to say it was the idea to start the College Football Travel Tour and my experiences at the University of Washington, University of South Carolina, the Naval Academy and the time I spent in Seattle, Columbia, and Annapolis.
The College Football Travel Tour is a series I put together where I visit college football games and campuses all over the country. I share my experiences, stories, tailgating, and other features from the game. However, I also feature the towns, campuses, things to do, places to eat, and places to stay.
Whether you like football, travel, or both, this series will have something for everyone as it combines my two favorite passions and gives people a taste of local culture and unique towns and cities all over the US.
See the entire series on my College Football Travel Tour. It’s the most exciting, rewarding, and hardest thing I’ve done in travel. Without a doubt, it’s my best experience and I can’t wait for 2012 (stay tuned for a lot more from my CFB travel stops in 2011).
Best international destination 2011
I didn’t get to go overseas this year due to my travels with the College Football Travel Tour. However, Canada does count as international and I was able to spend a few days in Vancouver as part of TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange – an annual travel writer/blogger/PR conference).
I got a chance to meet a lot of people there and learn a lot about travel writing. I had a great time there and will actually focus on some of the people I met through travel this year next week. However, I learned a little about myself from that week – I am not as young as I used to be and I always need a little time to myself when I travel.
The Vancouver Canucks also taught me about passion and sports when traveling – despite the Vancouver riots. A number of people experienced tear gassing and the riots first hand including Kim Mance, Lorna MacMillan, and Gareth Leonard to name a few.
Worst travel experience 2011
For me, this is a trip I didn’t take. However, that ended up being a good thing. So my worst travel experience of 2011 goes to the trip I would have taken – but didn’t.
The destination was fine and I can’t wait until I get to go to Boulder, Colorado. However, everything about this trip was wrong and I knew I wasn’t supposed to go. Sometimes travel doesn’t go as planned and you have to make the tough choice to get off the plane.
Most embarrassing travel moment 2011
As much as I plan and try to avoid making a fool of myself (which I do pretty well – I stay out of trouble), my most embarrassing moment has to be the Men of TBEX calendar photo shoot. Leslie Koch of Downtown Traveler even said I won the award for “slickest” travel blogger because of my photo shoot. That’s not a good sign.
Sure, I did the nude beach thing in Portugal a few years back but this was different. First of all, the camera really does add 10 pounds. Secondly, I did this in front of well over 200 people that I actually knew. Third, I used baby oil. And fourth, I really had no business taking my shirt off since I was the month of January.
Best local destination 2011
I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to travel far to travel well. For a long time, I believed you had to travel far to create great travel memories. I was wrong.
Ever year, I make my annual visit to Apple Hill as it is one of my favorite places to go here in northern California. This year, I also got to hike in the Redwoods on a hike that lasted much longer than I expected.
However, my favorite trip in northern California is one I take every year to look at the Fall colors. I discovered a town I had never visited before – Markleeville. The town was so beautiful and peaceful, I even had a little fun looking at homes and contemplating a summer home I could never afford.
While I will feature more on this place next year, here is a look at Fall Colors in Markleeville.
Best travel lesson from 2011
My best travel experiences are due to the people that I met and not the places that I visited.
Share your best travel moments and memories from 2011! Where did you go? What was your favorite moment? Do you have a funny story to tell?
I want to find out what some other travelers think about the “Best of Travel” for 2011. So here are a few more people that I am asking to share their 2011 travel memories (remember to use the hash tag #besttravel2011).
Happy travels in 2012! And share your thoughts on the “Best of Travel 2011″!