[Those big, gorgeous photos have been removed because my photo host went away.]
Well, rather than some mushy, tear-jerking rant about how 2007 was a good year, but 2008 is going to be an even better one…yada..yada… I have decided to just make a photo history of the year’s adventure highlights. It’s not complete, but its enough eye porn to make you want to travel anyway. 🙂
There are a lot of photos so I pity your soul if you have a slow connection.
…and Happy New Year!!
The adventure began in March, when I was hired by American Eagle to go blog, photograph, and video nearly 1 month of Spring Break madness. Of all the first-time paid assignments, this was a wild one.
For instance, I was given complex projects such as speaking to every one of these women and convincing them to line up for a picture.
Wow – I love my job
Next stop, Jamaica…thanks to a cheap deal I got through one of my StartBackpacking.com partners. There was cliff diving, reggae dancing, and scuba diving galore.
After an extended time at home, waiting on the rare opportunity to travel with my dad, we set off for my second trip to Alaska. The mission: Catch fish, see Denali, camp in the back country, spot a bear – and then live to tell about it!
We crossed the Denali highway, fished all over the state, camped in God’s country on Skilak lake, float fished the Kenai River, and spotted Bald Eagles, Brown and Black Bears, Dall Sheep, Moose, and assorted other creatures.
After one week at home, I set off with Lyndsey to England. There we explored Lincoln, Yorkshire, and London, ate at pubs older than my country, and visited family and friends. We even managed to spot a real life hobbit!
I finally got to see the famous Stonehenge!! This is a place with some very strange chi indeed.
I left from England and flew to China — one of the most fascinating and obnoxious places I have ever been. It deserves a special section all to itself so here goes:
My primary mission in China was to study Shaolin Kung Fu near the famous Shaolin temple. It turned out to be pretty tough, but I lived to tell the tale.
Clones at an assembly for my school. There were 4000 Chinese students and 12 of us foreigners!
After Kung Fu, I returned to Beijing for the National Day holiday and to recover from my injuries. Beijing is dirty, loud, and disgusting but I love it.
I even managed to eat a dog(don’t hate me because I’m carnivorous). 🙂 and try snake at the market:
Then it was time to get serious, I spent 1 month in the south and trekked through the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge of Yunnan. The government unbelievably plans to flood this natural wonder in 2008, so I might have been among some of the last to hike it. I spent several weeks in the mountains there (in various towns) near Tibet.
I rode a mountain bike around Erhai lake just outside of Dali and learned a lot about everyday life as I passed through local fishing villages.
Thailand (yes, my 5th month in this country)
After 3 amazing months in China, my visa was up so I headed home (Thailand) for a month in the islands before coming back to cold London. Other than scuba diving, freediving for the first time, and partying on the beach every night, I accomplished very little while on Ko Lanta and Ko Phi Phi. Here is some eye-porn anyway.
I reluctantly left paradise and spent a few days in freezing London saying hello and goodbye to friends. I did manage to catch a friend’s birthday party though which turned out to be fun.
…and finally home to Kentucky, USA. Which is where I sit now, wishing that I was back at any one of the places listed above. Well…the Shaolin school doesn’t count. 🙂