43 In Travel

Best Travel Moments of 2013

Hello, 2014!  2013 has been a big year for me.  I graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology two weeks ago, I grew a lot as a person, and, well, I spent a crazy amount of time traveling!  So, I thought I would do my annual wrap-up from the year before with my best travel moments of 2013… Hold on to your seats because there are twenty-eight of them!

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Memphis, Tennessee: 

Beale Street is a pretty magical place.  Even though there are so many ‘tourist traps’, it’s still fun to stroll down the street, eat BBQ and hear people singing the blues.  Always a great time!

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Havasu Canyon, Arizona:

My dad and I took another road trip to the Southwest, and it was absolutely amazing!  The highlight for me was Havasu Falls.  It was totally worth the 10 mile hike into the canyon!

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona:

This is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited.  This canyon is absolutely stunning, and as you stroll between its walls it’s really incredible to watch how the changing light shifts the colors from yellow to red to orange.

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Horseshoe Bend Overlook, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend Overlook is right outside Page, Arizona, and it is where the Colorado River bends into a horseshoe shape.  It looks beautiful against the glorious red-rock backdrop.  Be sure to time it right to avoid shadows like the ones I got in this picture.  It’s only a half mile “hike” from the parking area right off the highway, so be sure not to miss it!

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The La Sal Mountains in Moab, Utah:

One of my favorite things about taking road trips is all of the absolutely amazing views you get to see- especially in the Southwest!  This was one of my favorite views from the road this year- the snow-covered La Sal Mountains sticking out beautifully over the red Moab formations.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah:

In the summer of 2012 my dad and I made a trip through the Moab region and we immediately fell in love.  So, while we were in the area we decided we wanted to do some 4-wheel-driving in Canyonlands National Park.  We didn’t quite get the experience that we wanted, but we still had an absolutely amazing time!  Lesson learned: look up the closings and other details on the National Parks website before visiting!

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Chicago, Illinois:

I finally made my first trip to Chicago in April and it was incredible!  This was my first time really walking through a “big city” downtown area, being dwarfed by these massive buildings!  It was a great trip filled with pizza, artwork and observation decks!  I even had my first Couchsurfing experience!

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MoMA- New York, New York

Seeing Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ was definitely a highlight of my year.  I was in New York City for a few days in May and exploring the MoMA was even more incredible than I expected.  ‘Starry Night’ is one of my all-time-favorite paintings (a bit cliché, I know but that’s because it is such an incredible and moving work of art).  I almost cried when I saw it, and I even had to go back for another left before I left the museum.

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Top of the Rock- New York City, New York:

You can’t go to New York City and not fall in love with its iconic skyline.  My favorite skyline-moment was taking in the view from the Top of the Rockefeller Center.  I loved being up there and being able to see the Empire State Building, Central Park and so much more!

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Central Park- New York City, New York:

Central Park was a must-see for me.  It is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city.  It’s surprisingly peaceful and quiet considering it’s in the middle of the busiest city in the United States.  It’s totally worth seeing!

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Vermont

Although we didn’t do anything in these serene mountains, we did spend an afternoon and early evening in the United State’s smallest capital, the quaint Montpelier, and it left me with the hunger to go back and visit these beautiful, green mountains.

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Montreal, Canada:

Montreal is a city that took me by surprise in many ways.  It was like a little France in North America!  One of my favorite things was going to the Jean-Talon Market in the mornings and sampling the delicious, fresh fruits.  I even got to practice my shaky French (the market was one of the only places I could actually use it).

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Acadia National Park, Maine:

Acadia National Park is one of those parks that you aren’t all that blown away by by simply driving through, but once you start hiking, it’s pretty incredible.  There are hikes along the beaches, through the woods and up cliffs for some remarkable views and surprises.  Stumbling upon this gorgeous lake, The Bowl, was my favorite surprise that Acadia National Park had for me.

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Boston, Massachusetts: 

One of my favorite parts of my over-20-day road trip was spending the day in Boston with this amazing woman!  I met Izzy on a trip to Italy in 2011, and I instantly felt a connection with this incredibly sweet, fellow-student-of-anthropology.  Izzy showed us everything we needed to see and eat.  She was the perfect tour guide, giving all kinds of fun-facts about Boston and its monuments.  I hadn’t seen this girl in two years and she was still so amazing and welcoming!  Izzy definitely made my time in Boston.

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The U.S.S. Constitution- Boston, Massachusetts:

Boston is, of course, one of the most historical cities in the United States, and my favorite historical site we visited was touring the U.S.S. Constitution.  We actually got there about an hour after it closed, and I asked if we could just step out on the dock to take a photo, and instead, we ended up getting a private, after-hours tour of the ship!  So cool!

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Seaside Park, New Jersey:

There were dozens of things that I loved about New Jersey: Italian ice, the accents, buttered rolls in the morning, black and white cookies, the view of the New York City skyline, spending time with great people, the pizza and so much more! However, the afternoon I spent on the Jersey Shore Boardwalk definitely sticks out in my memory.  It was such a fun day filled with pizza, laughs, ice cream, sunbathing and saltwater taffy!

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Washington, D.C. :

Well, it only took me 23 years, but I finally made it to the United States Capital!  I had a great time walking everywhere (even though it was super hot and muggy).  I loved seeing the monuments, memorials and museums.  The view from the Lincoln Memorial was especially stunning.

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Independence Hall- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

I was actually surprised at just how much I enjoyed Philadelphia.  We took the day to explore the city on foot.  The highlight for me was Independence Hall.  Definitely take the tour because it was filled with information, and it was so interesting to see where my country began!  Plus, everything we did that day, including the tour, was free!

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Sequoia National Park, California:

I loved Sequoia National Park!  I actually had no plans to visit Sequoia, it just so happened that we had to pass through it to get to Kings Canyon National Park, and I’m so glad that we had to go through it!  It was so awe-inspiring hiking (and even drivingthrough a 2,000-year-old forest!  We even got to see the largest tree (by volume) on the face of this planet!  Definitely take the time to visit this park if you are in this part of California!

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Kings Canyon National Park, California:

I had never even heard of Kings Canyon National Park until it was mentioned on an NPR story about lesser-known parks within the National Park Services, and I am so glad that I heard about it because it was beautiful!  This was my favorite view that I saw- it was from my hike on the way to Mist Falls.  Mist Falls was beautiful, but this view was my favorite thing on the 10-mile roundtrip hike!

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Joshua Tree National Park, California:

My main intention in going to Joshua Tree was to do some rock-climbing, and even though we didn’t get to do any climbing, it was still a great time!  Michael and I got to the park around sunset, setup camp, made a fire, toasted to the camping trip and spent the evening and part of the night hanging out and talking.  We also took a night hike and Michael taught me how to take pictures of stars and lights.  It was a great family reunion!

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Venice Beach, California:

I’m not usually a beach person, but I really loved Venice Beach.  Granted my idea of “going to the beach” was sitting in a cafe, eating, and drinking sangria looking out at this glorious view and watching the crazy performers lining the sidewalks.  One evening we rode bikes from Venice to Santa Monica, and I really enjoyed that beach experience as well.

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Busiek State Forest, Missouri:

Busiek State Forest is one of my favorite places to go if I just need a little nature-fix.  It’s only about 25-30 minutes away from Springfield, and it’s just so great to be able to walk through this forest, wade through the river, and pick flowers from the fields.

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Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls- Ponca Wilderness Area, Arkansas:

My brother and I took a day trip down to Arkansas this summer to hike down to the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians… Unfortunately, as you can see, it was a dry summer, and the falls were more than a bit weak, but it was still a fun day spent with my big brother!

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Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Missouri:

Stacey and I try to meet each other at least a couple times a year to go hiking, and this hiking trip was my favorite of the two we took in 2013!  Lake of the Ozarks State Park was really peaceful, and there were so many different aspects to it.  We went on a few hikes, took the tour of the Cave (which was actually really cool) and there’s also a lake for anyone interested in swimming or fishing.

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Kansas City, Missouri:

I spent a weekend in Kansas City in October, and it was an absolute blast!  I got to see a bunch of my friends that I don’t get to see very often, I went to my first Major League Baseball game and so much more!  It was a such great time spent with so many of my favorite people!

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Home- Mansfield, Missouri:

Being a childhood fan of the Little House on the Prairie books, revisiting this museum and the two houses that Laura lived in was a really great time.  It was so cool to go as an adult, and look back at something I loved so much when I was a little girl.

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Crystal Bridges Art Museum- Bentonville, Arkansas:

On a weekend trip to Arkansas I got to visit this impeccably designed Art Museum.  There were several interesting works of art, but I think that the building itself was my favorite work of art.

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I hope everyone else had a year filled with amazing moments.  What were the moments that helped define this year for you?  Cheers to 2014!

For more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    mvaden1948
    December 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Wow, Lady! What a year! And congratulations on your degree.
    Buon Natale from Venice, Italy where I’m currently spending a month (34 days actually).
    Ciao, ciao,
    Michelle

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you so much, Michelle! I’m very envious that you’re spending Christmas in Venice! I can’t even imagine how beautiful that is! Looking forward to reading about it!

  • Reply
    Passion On Board
    December 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Incredible journey!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      It has been, and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Little Fingers
    December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Loved the recap and it has been a beautiful year isn’t it other than some lows you went through. I have been reading you over two years. Congratulation on the graduation!!

    Wishing you the best in 2014 both on travel and personal front.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you! You’re right it was a really beautiful year- even with the lows. Thanks for supporting and following for the last two years! It’s been fun following you and your family and watching Chucky grow up into such a beautiful girl! Sending love and warm wishes to you and your family for the next year too! 🙂

  • Reply
    carissainquito
    December 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Congrats on graduation! Loved looking through the pictures!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you so much! It was a pretty great year! Happy Holidays and New Year!

  • Reply
    sueslaght
    December 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    What a fabulous year you have had. Congratulations on your graduation as well!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you! It was a great year! I hope you have many great adventures and memories over the holidays and next year! Thanks for following along, Sue!

  • Reply
    Suze
    December 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Love the pictures.especially the national parks! 🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks, Suze! I loved getting out and exploring the beauty of the US!

  • Reply
    mrkhar83
    December 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Fantastic!

  • Reply
    Audrey Bourget
    December 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Love the mention of my hometown, Montréal. Happy you loved it 🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      December 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      We loved Montreal! I would love to go back, and spend even more time getting to know your hometown! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Jade Alexandra Spadina
    December 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Great images!

    • Reply
      raulconde001
      December 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks for liking my post! 🙂

      • Reply
        PaigeBrown
        January 30, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        Thanks for returning the favor!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  • Reply
    Deepak Acharya
    December 24, 2013 at 2:50 am

    You have visited so many places…IOMG 🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      I was VERY lucky this year! Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading!

  • Reply
    RDoug
    December 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Congratulations on earning your B.A. It appears that you’ve had quite a year of adventurous travel.

    Good job on most of the photography, as well.

    Merry Christmas and and have Wondrous and Prosperous New Year.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks, RDoug! I was a really great year for me! Thanks for the compliment as well! Cheers to you!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Cardenas
    December 26, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Congratulations on your degree! Love the pictures of all the places you’ve visited this year. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I had a really exciting year, for sure, and I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes me! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Richard Cussen
    December 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Great post. Amazing snaps. You have made me really regret putting off ‘our great American road’ trip this year…Enjoy 2014!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Richard! I hope you get to do the Great American Road Trip soon! Are you wanting to do Route 66 or just cross-country? I hope you have a great 2014!

  • Reply
    Been There, Seen That, Got the Postcard
    December 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Wow…what a year! Congratulations on your degree! Your pictures are stunning…looks like you had a great time!
    Hope you don’t mind me asking…what camera do you use?

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you so much! It was a great year! I don’t mind at all! These are split pretty much half and half between my Canon t1i and an iPhone 4. Haha! I used to always use my Canon, but having that iPhone in my pocket is so easy!

  • Reply
    noodlesoodles
    December 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Hello fellow (ex)-student of Anthropology! Congratulations on getting your degree! What’s next for you? May 2014 bring many more adventures! 🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      What is your emphasis in Anthro?! Don’t you just love it? I want to pursue blogging full time, working in culturally sustainable tourism, I’m not sure… That’s the big question, I guess! Thank you so much! Good luck to you too!

  • Reply
    RareBirdsFly
    December 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Some truly beautiful pictures you’ve got their! What a year you’ve had and congratulations on your degree 🙂 I love looking back over my travel memories – it’s amazing how much we can do in just one year! Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you so much! It really is amazing to see what all people can accomplish, and I love being able to look back and see how these “small things” can be life-changing and become one of the big things! Hope you’re having a great start to your year!

  • Reply
    liz
    December 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Awesome photos Paige, and such an exciting year for you! Not too bad that you’ll be starting 2014 with a trip as well. 🙂 And WOO HOO on the degree!! See you soon !!!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Hey, doll! This comment is a bit delayed, but holy cow! I can’t believe how much that trip has potentially changed my life! I cannot wait to be back there NEXT WEEK! I love you all and miss you!

  • Reply
    David Dubas-Fisher
    December 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    That looks amazing. I’ve always wanted to travel America. Congrats on the degree

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks, David! I hope you get to travel all across America! It’s a pretty incredible country!

  • Reply
    Els Collins
    December 30, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Very impressive! Love your photos as well. Hope 2014 is as exciting for you and congrats on your recent degree!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 30, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks, Els! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    Wanderlust Wednesday- Travel Goals 2013: End of the Year Update! | For the Love of Wanderlust
    January 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

    […] really excited for 2014 and all that it’s going to bring! My official 2013 wrap-up of my Best Travel Moments can be found here, but this post is all about the travel-related goals that I set for myself for 2013. I did a lot of […]

  • Reply
    LeanneM
    January 13, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Just cam across your blog, I will have to keep reading. I’m from New Zealand and am planning to go to the states to do a road trip in the next couple of years or so. Now I have lots of potential places to go.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks, Leanne! What’s on your list so far for the US? I would love to make it to New Zealand- it looks so incredible!

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