Standing on top of the mountain, I look at the water below me and the 360 degree view of the mountains and trees. The sun is shining and the air is crisp. Even my shoes give their approval. Is this moment my best of travel in 2012?
Of all the places I visited in 2012, I find it very difficult to pick my best travel experience of the past year.
I’ve gone hiking in Tahoe and watched the sun set in a fishing village in Ireland. I fell in love with the Irish people. I wrote a travel series for one of the biggest travel companies in the world.
I enjoyed some of the best tailgating with football friends all over the country. I hung out with big burly men in kilts and sat down for an interview with my shoes. I met a Hall of Fame basketball coach and posed for a picture with a beaver.
Here’s a look back at the roller coaster ride that was my best of travel 2012.
Best of Travel in 2012
Without a doubt, 2012 was the best travel year of my life. From a travel series on Expedia to the California hiking trails, I’ve traveled coast to coast to experience the best travel has to offer.
Here’s a look back at the best of travel in 2012 with crazy stories and travel photos from the year that was.
Best of Travel 2012 – Best dressed
Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt? In May, I was reunited with old friends as I hung out with the Scottish Highlands Games athletes.
This year, I tossed my haggis in the 136th Sacramento Scottish Highlands Games and Festival. I examined the personal lives of Scottish Games professional athletes. And what did I learn from this experience? I may look good as a Scotsman but we all put on our kilts one leg at a time.
Best of Travel 2012 – Best travel experience
Many people dream of writing a travel series for one of the biggest companies in the world. In 2012, that dream came true for me.
In June, Expedia VP Joe Megibow announced that I would be writing a travel series for Expedia as part of my College Football Travel Tour – 8 games, 2 continents, 6 different time zones, 7 different conferences. From Oregon to Ireland, I traveled thousands of miles in search of college football games and memorable travel experiences.
There’s no way I could share all of my stories and memories from this season. I’ve met some fantastic people, watched some of the best college football teams in the country, and made friends all over the world.
If you want more of the best of travel for the Expedia College Football Travel Tour, read my Expedia travel guides for the cities that I visited and check out my personal travel stories on my College Football Travel Tour page.
Stay tuned for a lot more stories in 2013 from the College Football Travel Tour.
Best of Travel 2012 – My favorite people
While traveling in 2012, I met some amazing people. On the College Football Travel Tour, I tailgated Cajun style in Baton Rouge. I made new friends and formed some great connections with Christian, Josh, Rachel, and Katie tailgating in Corvallis.
However, nothing beats my time with the Irish people. To Nicola, Orlaith, Fiona, Colm, Sean, Eamonn, Kevin, Marina, and the countless others that I met – thank you. Irish people and the craic made these my favorite people in 2012.
Best of Travel 2012 – Most unusual travel encounter (tie)
A Buckeye, a beaver, a squirrel, and my shoe all tie for first in this category.
Buckeye hospitality welcomed me to Ohio State where I met Brutus Buckeye. My favorite college football trip of the year was in Oregon State where I met Benny the Beaver. The Occupy Colorado Squirrel greeted me at the Colorado State House.
Best of Travel 2012 – Celebrity encounters
For the sports fans out there, I was giddy about meeting former Notre Dame and Philadelphia Eagles football player turned ESPN personality Mike Golic In Ireland and Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bobby Knight at Ohio State.
A special thanks to Mike Golic for sharing his travel experiences in Ireland for Expedia and the College Football Travel Tour.
Best of Travel 2012 – Best travel video blooper
Honestly, I am not a video guy. I’m working on it. As you can see from these interviews at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, I’m now an expert on how to make a travel video.
Best of Travel 2012 – Favorite California Adventure
When I am not traveling the country for college football games or off to some international destination, I love exploring California. Hiking is one of my passions and I discovered a gem with this waterfall at Horsetail Falls.
Best of travel 2012 – Worst travel moment
There isn’t a best of travel without some bad travel experiences. We all have them. Kate shared her worst travel experiences of 2012. Mine happened to occur at one of the most popular beaches in the US. I spent an entire day in my hotel as a result. However, life in Miami wasn’t all bad but I did learn some travel lessons as a result.
Best of Travel 2012 – Favorite travel photo
Without a doubt, this was the most difficult category for my best of travel in 2012. Out of thousands of photos, this won the award for my favorite travel photo of the year. I am not a sports photographer so I take a lot of pride in this shot from the Ohio State – Cal football game.
Best of Travel 2012 – Favorite travel destination (tie)
My best travel experiences are never a destination. They are always about the people. The first and last stops on the College Football Travel Tour in 2012 share the award for my favorite travel destination in 2012.
I started my trip to Ireland with a walk in the rain through Dublin Castle. I ended my Irish trip with two hours in the fishing village of Howth. In Oregon, I connected with Corvallis and fell in love with the town and the people.
However, these places were special because of the people.
My 2012 travels – 2 continents, numerous cities, 50 days of traveling, 32,691 miles on an airplane (many more on the road)
As we look ahead to 2013, what are your favorite travel memories from your best of travel in 2012?
A joyous holiday season, Happy New Year, and safe travels in 2013!
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