Best Dozen Posts of 2012

My friend Ali from Ali’s Adventures nominated me to be part of this travel meme/game of post-tag going around the travel blogopsphere right now. It gives me a chance to reflect on the many posts I did from last year. Going in to this, I expect it to be a bit New Zealand heavy, since I spent the second half of last year trying to write all of the daily summary posts from that trip.

1. Most Popular Post- So, Yeah, I’m Going to New Zealand


 I wrote this one just days after purchasing my plane flight to New Zealand. I was surprised by how many people read and commented on this one- it would seem that travelers do like to hear about other traveler’s upcoming plans. I really thought it would only be ready by my regular followers, but it got comments from some of the biggies in the travel blog industry  too. I’m sure the photos lent to me (since I didn’t yet have any of my own) by the uber-talented New Zealand devotee Amanda Williams of A Dangerous Business helped matters.

2. Most Helpful Travel Trip- Often, HDR Isn’t Better

I’m certainly not a professional photographer, but I learned this lesson about HDR photography on my own. I spent a great deal of time taking HDR photos in New Zealand, only to find myself using one of the original bracket photos in posts instead of the HDR image. I don’t regret taking the bracket photos for the HDR, or the time it took to merge the bracketed photos together, just my false impression that the HDR image would ALWAYS be better. They aren’t better usually, just different.

3. A Post That Was Surprisingly Successful- Capture the Seasons in Photos


This was another one of those travel memes (like this one) that I was nominated to participate in by Leigh over at the exceptional blog Hike Bike Travel. The numbers of views for this one really took off after used the above photo of the pumpkins on the contest home page, which was quite an honor.

4. A Post I Thought Was Underrated- Photo Essay- Glacier Scenic Flight


My photo essays from New Zealand haven’t done as well as the written articles about each day, and this often surprises me since I’m a better photographer than I am a writer (admittedly I’m not gifted at either), but these were some of my best images of the whole trip and despite trying to share them over and over again, this post never really took off.

5. Most Controversial Post- Planning for New Zealand- 5 Preconceived Notions about New Zealand

I normally avoid controversy on the blog, and this post could hardly be considered ‘controversial’ but I did have some people take offense to some of these. The only one who left a direct comment about it was a nice Kiwi who disputed my notion that the internet there was slow and expensive (it ended up being both, by the way…)

6. Most Amusing Post- The Time My Dad & I Raided The Department of the Interior


 In 2005, on a trip to Washington D.C., my dad and I went in to the National Park Service Office and left with a brochure from almost every National Park. We still chuckle every time I retell the story 🙂

7. The Post I’m Most Proud Of- New Zealand 2012 by the Numbers


I’m not going to say this is my most beautifully written post (I’d probably never say that about any of my posts), but I am really proud at how diligently I kept these numbers. I had an idea of what this post would look like when I started out and was really pleased that it turned out much the way I wanted it to.

8. Best Travel Story or Travel Perspective- A Perfect May Evening Walk Along The National Mall


This post is a recap of one of my favorite travel evenings ever, the perfect May evening in 2011 my dad and I walked around the National Mall in Washington D.C.

9. Best Travel Adventure- An Adventure at Slope Point, New Zealand


One of the few actual posts I wrote while in New Zealand. I guess when you wind up soaking wet, cold, & covered in sheep s**t (all for the sake of a single picture), it’s worth writing about right away….

10. Best Cultural Perspective or Insights- Sacred Smoking- Pipestone National Monument


 I wrote a profile of the little visited National Park Site from my 2007 trip Out West, and I tried to capture the importance of pipe smoking as a ritual among the Native Americans of the plains states and upper Midwest. Pipestone saw visitors from hundreds of miles away and the stone taken from here was found to have been traded even further away.

11. Most Beautiful- Finding Beauty in Life & Travel


 I wrote this post as a dedication to my beautiful wife on the eve of my trip to New Zealand. I tried very hard to explain how my nature as a traveler compels me to go wander, but how part of me remains with her, even while I’m halfway across the world.

12. Best Photo or Photo Gallery- Photo Essay- Sunrise outside Christchurch, New Zealand


 The pictures really speak for themselves here. This was my first full morning in New Zealand- it set the bar high for the trip, and it absolutely lived up to it.


Now it’s my pleasure to nominate some of my good friends and favorite bloggers to offer up their Best of 2012.





8 Responses to “Best Dozen Posts of 2012”

  1. This is awesome, Erik! I’m quite a fan of your photography, and enjoy your writing as well – there’s a few in here from before I started following you, so will have to get into those!

    Thanks heaps for the tag!

    • Erik says:

      Glad you enjoyed them, Kate. I was surprised at how much work it was to assemble this post.

      Thanks also for the kind words about my photography. I’m still learning, but I really enjoy doing it.

  2. fotoeins says:

    Nods to your photos of Slope Point, of the sunrise outside of Christchurch, and of your lovely wife. Excellent summary, Erik – I know I’m going to through your posts (again)!

  3. snowbird says:

    Plenty of reading material there for me….I’ll pop off and get a cuppa then settle down to a marvelous read!xxxxx

  4. Ali says:

    Now I get to go read some posts I missed along the way! Great sunset pic, by the way!

    • Erik says:

      Thanks- hope you found some good ones you missed. I figured the one about traveling without my wife would strike a chord with you 🙂

Leave a Reply