This week’s guest is Spud Hilton, travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
2012 was a busy travel year for me. I visited all seven continents, 18 countries and flew over 150,000 miles. I was exhausted for much of the year, but on the upside, I came away with some amazing photos. I made some great strides as a photographer in 2012. I improved my mastery of Lightroom and have worked on going out of my way to get better shots. My gear didn’t change much during the year. I purchased a new carbon fiber tripod in March and replaced the 18-200mm lens I had been using since 2007. I also celebrated my 5-year anniversary of publishing my daily photo and released my iPhone Travel Photography app.
It was a good year for photography and I plan on making 2013 even better!
As 2012 comes to a close, I thought I would give an overview of my last year of travel. Rather than giving a month-by-month summary of everything, the math major in me thought it would be interesting to look at the numbers I racked up this year.
This was an especially intensive year of traveling for me. So much so that I have no desire to do it again. It has fundamentally changed how I’m going to go about traveling in the future. I have put on more miles in 2012 than I have in several of the previous 5 years combined.
Without further ado, here is the numerical summary of my 2012!
6-year-old Claire asks: Why haven’t you gone to the North Pole? Then you could see Santa.
For the second year in a row, I’m posting the list of my most memorable hotels of the past year.
As before, this list isn’t necessarily a list of the “best” hotels. I don’t go out of my way to find hotels to review and I’m not a hotel reviewer. I don’t have a checklist that I go through in each location. My list ranges from luxury hotels to youth hostels. I would recommend all of the properties listed, but often for very different reasons. I stayed at least one night in every one of the locations listed. Simply visiting a hotel is not sufficient to get put on the list no matter how cool the hotel might be.
My choices when I look for accommodations are almost always pragmatic. I don’t really care about luxury rooms and usually just want something clean with good internet. Some of these were paid for by myself and some of them were comped. The vast majority of comped rooms I got did not make this list.
Without further ado, here are my most memorable hotesl of 2012!
UPDATE: I have posted an update listing which bag I purchased and how it has held up after 9 months of travel.
Whether it is a suitcase, a backpack, a duffle-bag or a rollaway, the bag is probably the quintessential item for travel. No matter where you go or how you travel, you have stuff and that stuff has to go in something if you want to be able to transport it. Even hobos would use a bindlestiff when tramping from town to town.
That being said, after almost 6-years of traveling, I have never been satisfied with any bag I have used. You would think that I’ve settled on the perfect bag after all this time, but I haven’t and it is an endless source of frustration for me.
I promised my grandmother before I went to Alaska’s Kodiak Island that I wouldn’t go near the bears. Unlike most tourists to the area, the bears weren’t really my thing. There were so many other reasons I wanted to head to Kodiak, the impressive Kodiak bears just weren’t part of the equation I assured her. …