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Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Andalusia, Blog, Portugal, Pueblos Blancos, Spain, United States, World Travels | 29 comments

2012: My Year in Travel

2012: My Year in Travel

This year was all about staying local. I ventured out of Spain a few times; once to make my yearly trans-atlantic trip home, and once to explore Lisbon, Portugal. In between those trips, I explored more of my adopted country, and consequently fell more in love with it. Though I have a long way to go before seeing the whole world, it’s hard to imagine many countries with the same diversity as Spain. I’m always impressed by how much there is to see and do–and I still have so much left!

Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucía, Spain

Jimena de la Frontera, Spain

Jimena de la Frontera, Spain

This year I really got into hiking and took advantage of the mild Andalusian winter to fit some in. In doing so, I took the train to Jimena de la Frontera and explored this pueblo blanco, as well as some of the surrounding trails. The white towns of Andalusia are something I will miss while being up north!

Madrid, Spain

Rooftop view of Madrid

Rooftop view of Madrid

I made a few different stops in the Spanish capital this year; to see the Copy Del Rey Final, to take care of some bureaucratic headaches and as a pit stop while passing through. It’s sprawling, bustling and has that big-city energy that I love.

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Andalucía is the place to be in the summer. Blazing heat, countless beaches and that famous Spanish nightlife we’ve all heard of. Conil de la Frontera offers the perfect formula of sun, sand and fiesta and is a town I’d go back to in a heartbeat in the summer months.

Lisbon, Portugal

A street-car in Lisbon, Portugal

A street-car in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon was my travel let-down of the year. After I fell for the pristine coastlines and laid-back feel of Portugal’s Algarve, Lisbon  and I just didn’t connect. Maybe it was because I had high hopes for a city everyone seemed to love, or maybe it just lacked that special something, but it definitely wasn’t for me.

Leavenworth, WA, U.S.A.

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

There’s really nothing like doing a bit of globe-trotting to make you see your home with new eyes. While I was back visiting, I went to the Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth in the Cascade Mountains. Fall has never looked prettier!

Mt. Rainier, WA, U.S.A.

Mt. Rainier, WA

Mt. Rainier, WA

With my new-found love of hiking, I knew I had to hit some trails in my gorgeous home of Washington State. A trip to Mt. Rainier more than sufficed.

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

I recently went to a medieval town I’ve been dreaming of visiting: Santillana del Mar in Cantabria. Stay tuned for a post recapping my visit!

Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Santander, Cantabria

Santander, Cantabria

Santander was another recent trip. Think rolling, green hills, an elegant downtown and more parks than time to explore them! Coming soon to the blog!

Where did you go in 2012?



  1. Have a post half-written for my travel highlights from the second half of 2012. I did tons of Spain travel – Galicia twice, Murcia, Alicante, La Rioja, Madrid – and will be in Valladolid a week from tomorrow and Barcelona the following Monday. Spain has no shortage of great places to go!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted…Tapa Thursday: Eating (and drinking) La RiojaMy Profile

    • Sounds like it’s been a wonderful year for you! Hopefully one day I’ll visit all of the regions like you!
      Christine recently posted…2012: My Year in TravelMy Profile

  2. I completely agree with you, Christine. Spain has so many fantastic landscapes. I take it as a personal goal to convince everyone to go to Spain. 2012 was a great travel year for me. Madrid, Córdoba, Toledo, Sevilla, Barcelona, Paris, everything from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Burgos, and Ireland! I feel very lucky. Goal is to out do myself in 2013!
    Kara of Standby to Somewhere recently posted…My Second Date with ParisMy Profile

    • Our blogs are definitely testaments to our goal of convincing everyone! Your year in travel sounds amazing!
      Christine recently posted…2012: My Year in TravelMy Profile

  3. Wow, Mt. Rainier! I just checked out your post on the Washington hike and am awed by those gorgeous mountains.

    I’m looking forward to Santillana del Mar and Santander pics–I’m a sucker for Northern Spain.
    Cassandra recently posted…Twilight ToledoMy Profile

    • Thank you–I have a new appreciation for the beauty back home! I’ll be posting this week, isn’t N. Spain awesome?
      Christine recently posted…2012: My Year in TravelMy Profile

  4. Those are seriously stunning photos that are making me want to travel Spain even more! I’m planning to do a 2012 travel review post soon, and I can’t wait for all the exciting stuff I’ll do in 2013!

    • Just checked out your new website and it looks so good! Looking forward to reading your year in review!
      Christine recently posted…2012: My Year in TravelMy Profile

  5. I’m writing my travel highlights as well…
    Interesting you didn’t care for Lisbon- It was Lisbon that made me want to return to Portugal to see more but it’s all perspective, people we met, when we go, how we’re feeling that can influence what we think about a place. And some places, we just don’t connect with.

    • I was surprised I didn’t connect with Lisbon either, but oh well, there’s no shortage of places I have fallen for!

  6. you saw some very beautiful places this year! i hope to make it back to spain at some point and see other sides of it…so far i have really only seen the big touristy cities. like you mention above…it is so diverse!

    hope you have a great holiday!
    Megan recently posted…Riga, Latvia: Take TwoMy Profile

    • I hope you’ll be able to make it back for a visit in 2013!

  7. My best trip this year was 2 weeks in San Sebastian during the summer, which gave me plenty of time for eating, relaxing at the beach, as well as seeing a lot of the great cities nearby, Bilbao, Biarritz, Pamplona, Hondaribbia… :)
    I already want to go back next summer!

  8. great places.

    i was lucky enough to start the year in Melbourne. Then did my Erasmus in Finland. Went to Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Cannes, Sofia, Istanbul, Thessaloniki and Athens. And revisited London, Paris, Antwerp and Aachen.

    I hope 2013 will be half was good.
    t recently posted…Christmas Is All Around …My Profile

    • What an amazing year of travel! Sounds like you got a bit off the beaten path too. :)

  9. WOW Christine, one this one page alone there are some of my favorite shots of this year. Can’t believe it took me this long to find your blog.

    Please forgive me & keep it up!

    • Thank you so much! It’s been a long time coming :)

  10. It’s amazing that you have been able to travel so much! Have you ever hiked any part of the trail to Santiago de Compostella? If so what was your experience like? Im hoping to make the pilgrimage someday and would love to hear more about it!

    • No, I haven’t! The Camino is definitely an experience I’d love to have someday however!

    • Thanks, Jessica! Hope you’ll get to come to Spain soon too! Looking forward to checking out your blog. :)

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