Europe, North America, Photography, South America, Thoughts, Travel

2012: Our Year in Review

year in review
Last sunset of 2011!

It is weird to think that we left on our life changing trip 627 days ago. We are quickly approaching 2 years of a cubicle free life and I couldn’t be happier. Our year in review is INTENSE.

2012 has been crazy for us as we globetrotted at a breakneck speed. If you would have asked me back in 2011, I would have had no clue that we would have hit another continent so shortly after we returned.

But here we are – home for the holidays – and trying to get our planning on for the next year. It is exhilarating!

And without further ado…

Our year in review!



year in review

We found ourselves in Montanita, Ecuador bringing in the New Year with our very good buddies Steph and Mike of Twenty Something Travel and Art of Backpacking. We brought in the year burning a Barney effigy and dodging the thousands of fireworks while sipping on some awesome cocktails.

Canyoning in Banos, Ecuador

The rest of the month we participated in rafting, puenting, canyoning, and eating our way into oblivion.




Our month started high at our #1 bucket list item – Machu Picchu. As cliche as the locale is, we reveled in every moment.


Little did I know that we would find even more adventure as we headed into Bolivia. We enjoyed Carnaval, went down the World’s Most Dangerous Road, and spent time in the heavenly Amazon. This was quite the jam packed month of adventure!




We found ourselves in Bolivia for more than a month! We started with visiting the Uyuni Salt Flats and horseback riding through Tupiza before heading to Salta, Argentina.


We would spend the rest of our month with the guys from Cloudhead Art in relaxation bliss. I love Salta!




On April 1st we finally headed to the final destination of our Latin American adventure – Buenos Aires, Argentina. I finally got to experience a tango performance and stuff our faces with endless amounts of steak and wine. Shaun was in heaven in the capital of no vegetables and all sweets.


We headed back to the United States after a year on the road to visit our friends in Phoenix, Arizona before driving the 16 hours home to Austin, Texas.




May was spent at home in Austin, Texas reconnecting with friends and family and making sure to hit up the Revival Fest and celebrating Eeyore’s Birthday to welcome ourselves back to our home town.





We hit the road to drive from Austin, Texas to Keystone, Colorado for the yearly travel conference, TBEX. We got to network and connect with new and old friends while partying it up in the Rockies.


Shaun drove back home on his own as Diana of D Travels ‘Round and I hit the road on our Winos on the Road trip. We drove from Keystone, Colorado, through Omaha, Nebraska, into Chicago, Illinois, visited a friend in Louisville, Kentucky, and booked it to Washington DC, our final destination.




July is the month where Shaun and I gained quite a bit of weight as we indulged in Austin culture. We ate homemade donuts, TexMex tacos, and found a takoyaki food truck. We off set the eating a bit with a playful round of Chicken Sh*t Bingo at Ginny’s and tried to work the food off while getting a hula hooping lesson from my friend Kim.




We kicked off our autumn European tour with a couple of American stops in Anchorage, Alaska and New York City, New York. Anchorage was totally last minute and I couldn’t believe I was actually able to go! I got to check off “licking a glacier” from my bucket list.




By far one of our busiest months, we got the opportunity to spend two weeks in Iceland doing Super Jeep tours, SCUBA diving Silfra, driving around the ring road, seeing the northern lights, hot spring hopping, and nearly got snowed in.

We spent a week reconnecting with friends we had met at Spanish school in Guatemala back in 2011 in London while getting to know the city more intimately while on a budget.  We headed into Spain for another TBEX, a stay with HouseTrip in Barcelona, enjoyed cava on the Mediterranean coast, and biked 50 km down Vies Verdes.


I got super sick as we got a three day rest in Paris, France and got to spend some time in Freiburg, Germany with Ali and Andy of Ali’s Adventures and Grounded Traveler.





Most of October was spent in Italy pretending to be a gladiator in the Colosseum, being VIP at the Vatican, eating market food in Rome, getting lost in Pompeii, finding foodie Florence, and learning its history.


We also neared burn out so luckily we got to spend copious amounts of time with some of our best friends Beth and Randy of Beers & Beans while re-celebrating my 30th birthday.


As our EURail pass was coming to an end, we made sure to hit up Berlin as Sebastian from Off The Path gave us the skinny on what to do and then sped over the Amsterdam to take a much needed vacation.




World Travel Market

We ended our Europe trip at our home away from home (London) where we got to spend Guy Fawkes Day (post pending), and making our way through the massive travel convention known as World Travel Market. Shaun got to pose with a falcon and I got some awesome henna done at the Abu Dhabi booth.

Washington DC

We flew back into New York where we promptly Megabussed to Washington DC to spend more time with Stephanie (Twenty Something Travel) and show Shaun around since it was his first time. We also made sure to spend some time with Shaun’s family in Delaware where we learned that there are more mattress stores per capita than I’ve ever seen before due to the tax-free shopping.


We arrived back in Austin just time time for my niece’s first birthday. For those of you who have been following us for a while, she was born while I was in Colombia and got to visit her via Skype.

We ended up the month with a really awesome pyrotechnics workshop where we got to blow stuff up with Cloud 9!



December brought us another surprise as we were flown out to New York City to work with Hilton HHonors as we stayed at the Hilton Times Square. There is nothing quite like visiting NYC during the Christmas season. It was magical!


Shaun and I also go to have fun at our yearly Austin Christmas ritual: SantaCon!

…and our new announcement:

We are heading to Cedar Key, Florida to spend some time with Maria and Brian of The Roaming Pint along with connecting with some of our awesome Burner friends from Burning Man as we take on the New RV scene!

Looking back I can’t believe we accomplished so much within the span of a year… which makes me incredibly excited.

What will 2013 bring? We will let you know as soon as we do!

34 thoughts on “2012: Our Year in Review”

  1. Wow amazing experience you had seriously. I learn too many things from this post. Thanks for it. I can’t control on my laugh when I saw that Machu Picchu I don’t know what to call that animal but the way you captured that picture just made my day.

  2. Looks lika a pretty sweet year! Glad we got to kick it off with you guys (and that I got to see you 6 out of 12 months this year. Where shall we meet up next?

  3. Buenos Aires sounds awesome when described as land of no vegetables and lots of sweets. I could definitely enjoy that.

    Glad to have met you guys as you came through. Sorry you were sick, but happy we got to spend some time hanging out.

  4. That Machu Picchu photo is great! And I love the ones from May. How lucky you are to be able to spend time in Austin when you want to go home for a while!

  5. That llama photo is insane–and also priceless. I hope if I ever make it to MP, a llama pops out in front of my lens!

  6. What a fantastic year! I haven’t been reading as many blogs as I would have liked recently, so look forward to going back over your adventures from 2012! 🙂

Leave a Reply