2019 was an epic year of travel. I traveled to 8 countries, 2.5 of them for the first time. From the Himalayas to Angkor Wat to Yellowstone and Arches National Park to Machu Pichu, Rainbow Mountain, and Chichen Itza, it’s truly been a stunning year.
Not since 2013/2014 have I even gotten close to so much great travel. As with all travel years, I’m indebted to the selfless people who let me crash in the guest room or showed me around their city. Traveling is ultimately a very humbling experience!
The rules are, as always, one photo per month, but you’ll see this year I had to cheat a little bit.
January – New year, new camera, and a new trip to the beach. The moon was full and the ocean was cold and even goold old Seaside, OR was as good as ever. Great start to the year!
February – A road trip to Seattle saw views across the bay, a trip to Pike Street Market, Capital Hill wanderings, and my first visit MPOP, featuring exhibits on Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Hendrix, plus Fantasy, SF, and Horror too!
March – My mom and I traveled to Thailand, her first time there since 1999! We got street food on Khao San road, took the train up the country to Chiang Mai, wandered through the most pleasant town of Pai. But it was our visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia that was truly unforgettable.
April – I wandered KL and took Zulia to Batu Caves but quickly we landed in Kathmandu. The first time in Kathmandu is unreal and like nowhere else. We didn’t stick around long though, first bussing up to Pokhara to prepare for our hike, then walking into the mountains. This picture is from Annapurna Base Camp, a slog of a walk up from the valley floor.
May – Things were going to be very different. I was going to teach for a month in Malaysia and then volunteer in India for a few months. But a lost wallet caused a change of plans and before I knew it, I was back in Oregon. This trip to see my Grandma had some nice beach time and the Astoria farmer’s market.
June – A spontaneous trip to Central Oregon! I’d come back for longer in July but this first glimpse was so exciting. Something about the air there or the ground there or everything there makes me very happy.
July – As a kid, we drove to the Oregon Country Fair every summer. The Country Fair was so formative, it has become the ur-fair/ur-market in my head, by which all others are judged. For the first time since 1988 I was able to return and it was striking how little it had changed.
August– This is a cheater entry but several weeks of August were spent camping in US National Parks. From the Grand Tetons to the Craters of the Moon, from Yellowstone to Devils Tower, the National Parks were truly deserving of their fame.
September – The roadtrip continued, heading into the SW to see Arches and Canyonlands and Yosemite. But this lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park, a couple of hours hike up, was perhaps the highlight of the second half of the road trip.
October – Halloween was super cool this year as we dressed up like a wizard family and meandered through a corn maze on Sauvie Island. I was a steampunk wizard, my mom was a faery wizard, my brother was a Skull Wizard, and my sister was an away-at-work wizard.
November – My first time to a new country in several years. Zulia was already studying Spanish pretty hard-core in Colombia when my mom and I went to visit her. Colombia was stunning: friendly people, beautiful small towns, fresh fruit everywhere. We had an amazing time bopping around the cities and taking busses around.
December – I did a lot this month–visited two Wonders of the World, hiked up to Rainbow Mountain, which is almost 1500 meters / 5000 feet higher than the top of Mt. Fuji. For the first time, I went swimming in the Caribbean and wandered through Incan ruins. But when there’s a month that you go to Machu Pichu, that’s pretty much what you gotta highlight.
I’m now dead broke (in debt, even, thanks Zulia) and heading back to the ESL world to replenish the coffers. Totally worth it though, for a year of new vistas and awesome experiences. It will be a while before I will be able to equal this one. Bring it in, 2020’s!