This year was one for the records. On a personal level, I married the love of my life in early January and that was undoubtedly the highlight of 2013. I then traveled to Sarasota, San Francisco, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Québec City, Maui, Croatia, Japan, Nashville and Argentina. A main goal for me this past year was to explore more of the United States and I definitely would say that I accomplished that one. I also made it to Asia and I can’t think of a better introduction to the continent than Japan.
Here are a few Instagram highlights from this year. I didn’t include every destination because I neglected my Instagram account for close to a year. Now I’m trying to catch up! For more photos, check out my summer in Instagram photos.
Seeing the infamous Indy 500 with Diego
The VisitIndy team invited Diego and I to attend the Indy 500. I was actually there to test out their new cultural bike trail and view the city’s vibrant street art scene but my travel dates just so happened to coincide with a pretty amazing car race. Oh, and everyone there kept saying how Diego and one of the most popular racers, Dario Franchitti, are doppelgängers.
Discovering old and new influences in Québec City
I spent a few days in Québec City over the Fourth of July weekend and had a blast exploring the old city and drinking beer in the trendy St. Roch neighborhood. After catching a few shows at the annual Summer Festival, I spent most of my time experiencing the local culture through food, wine and museums.
Feeling like a Superhero on Maui
I wrote an entire post about how Maui made me feel utterly superhuman and I can’t wait to go back there, hopefully this time with Diego because this island is ideal for couples. I really tested my limits here by learning to surf and testing my fear of heights with a morning of paragliding but of course, I also spent time simply enjoying the view.
Learning the Lingo on Maui
My surfing lesson started with a little crash course in Hawaiian. This is one of the first words I learned before hitting the waves.
Cascading Waterfalls and Landscape in Croatia
Despite it raining nearly every day of my Croatia trip, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this country. The people were so friendly and the lifestyle was very laid back. The great thing about rain is that when it’s over you get to see flowers in full bloom.
When the Lights Go Down
Zagreb also has a very lively nightlife scene, with bars lined up one after another.
Jumping for Joy in Japan
Everything in Japan amazed me, especially visiting the lesser known areas like the Nihon-ji Temple at Nokogiriyama. I was so impressed by the architecture, the culture and the people in Japan that I found it hard to leave.
Tokyo Before Sunset
I didn’t have too much time in Tokyo. In fact, I took this photo from our bus during a brief stop at a red light. The city has so much to offer in terms of history, culture and art.
Kyoto in all its Glory
I can’t say enough good things about Kyoto. The city is a perfect blend of tradition and modernity and it balances the two very well. My favorite thing about Kyoto are the distinct neighborhoods that give the city a unique personality.
Lost in Bamboo
Until visiting Kyoto, I had never been in a bamboo forest and I found this the most charming thing about Arashiyama.
Nashville and Johnny Cash
While I’m not a serious country music fan, I find the whole culture quite interesting. Nashville, aka Music City, has an entire museum dedicated to the country music star, not to mention graffiti like the one pictured below.
Stepping into the Void
While I expected to learn a lot about country music in Music City, I didn’t realize how much creativity there is here. On my last night in town, I took advantage of their evening gallery walk and stumbled upon this beauty.
Appreciating the Details
I’ve never been shy about my adoration for chandeliers and this one was particularly stunning. Moments before watching a performance of the Irish Tenors and the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, I spent a few moments escaping into the ornate simplicity of these spheres.
Home Sweet Home
I did travel a lot this year but the majority of my time was spent at home in New York City. Even though I’ve lived here nearly five years, there’s always something new to see and do. From the pedestrian path of the Manhattan Bridge, you can see the contrast of graffiti and skyscrapers.
Taking a Real Vacation
I feel sort of bad saying this because in all honesty, my life often feels like one long vacation, but I did “officially” go on holiday for the holidays. Diego and I went to Argentina to spend time with his family and friends.
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