The 12 Best Stories of 2012
The year 2012 was a big one for me. It was a year full of losses, yes, but a lot of travel breakthroughs as well. I’ve rounded up the best posts I’ve written (most popular or most commented). Take a look and check out any that you might have missed.
Date a Girl Who Travels. This is by far my most popular post, with over 360,000 page views. It has been shared 36,000+ times in Facebook, tweeted almost 2,000 times, and pinned 90 times. It has been printed in Mabuhay, the inflight magazine of Philippine Airlines, and translated to at least two languages (that I know of), Chinese and Portuguese. I’ve also met a lot of really cool people through this post, too.
Best of Travel Photos–My 7 Super Shots. Last year was also a year for me of joining online “contests” with travel bloggers worldwide. This is one of my personal favorites because I got to use some of favorite travel photos taken in Europe, from Pisa and Santorini, to Rome, Bruges, and Czech Republic.
Bittersweet Memories of my Solo Backpacking Trip in Europe. Serving as a year-ender, this post tells of stories of heartbreak and redemption, of meeting people and seeing places I’ve only dreamed about before.
I Was Interviewed by Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor. Peter Greenberg is a very well known and well established persona in the travel industry. Just to learn that he has read (and liked!) my blog is already an honor, much less to be interviewed by him live over the radio! This post is the transcript of that interview.
Tips and How To’s
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa in Manila. This post details the application process for a Schengen visa, focusing specifically on the purpose of visiting a friend. It has become one of my most commented posts, with readers asking me (and asking each other!) for information about their visa application.
How to Travel Cheaply in Europe. I’m really proud of this post. I have used all the tips I put in here to travel in Europe for less than 3,000 euros (including the return ticket!) for almost three months.
How to Prepare for Your First Euro Trip. Thinking (dreaming??) of going to Europe soon? I have outlined eight (8) tips on preparing for it, from building your credit, to networking with other travelers even this early.
How to Build Your Travel Fund. Want to learn what you can do to beef up your travel fund? I have shared 5 tips on funding your wanderlust, from cutting your monthly expenses, to investing your extra income.
5 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone. Is it safe to travel by yourself if you’re a woman? I have always been asked this, not only by my friends and relatives, but by my readers, too. I wrote this post partially to share my strategies on keeping safe on the road, as well as to elicit answers from other solo female travelers too.
Things to Do in Bruges, the Most Romantic City in Belgium. I was very surprised about the popularity of this post. The link must have been shared somewhere popular, because I don’t see it being shared much on Facebook or Twitter. I love this post; it reminds me of the time I spent in Bruges, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen in Europe.
7 Beautiful Fountains You Must See in Rome. Rome, Italy is a very beautiful city with a long history. In my 4 days’ stay there, I just went around and tried not to get carried away by all the things that I could see. In this post, I shared some of the beautiful fountains of the eternal city.
Yee Peng/Loy Krathong, the Floating Lantern Festival of Chiang Mai, Thailand. A fairly recent post, this has nevertheless captured the fancy of readers. Who doesn’t like floating lanterns? They look magical, especially if there are thousands of them floating in the night sky. I was lucky enough to get sponsored to witness the festival in Chiang Mai, and this is my account of it.
My Personal Favorites
The following don’t count among the top 12, but they are some of my favorite posts for the year.
The Cats of Europe. Obviously, I love cats. Missing the company of these furry creatures was one of my concerns before I left for Europe. It was a good thing a lot of the cities I’ve been to were friendly to these cuties, and my post is a collection of photos and tales about my encounters with them in my travel.
The Loneliness of the Long-Term Solo Traveler. Do solo travelers get lonely? Of course we do. I shared in this post how I deal with loneliness.
I Was a Pilot for One Day in Malaysia. While backpacking solo in Europe is one item in my bucket list that I’ve successfully ticked off (though it will always remain in that list!), flying a plane is also another item. With the generosity of a Singaporean friend I met through my blog, I was able to fulfill this wish.
Which of these posts do you like best?
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!