Top 10 Travel Photos – 2014 #2

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end of the year holidays and all along these crazy adventures my camera followed me.  Tens of thousands of pictures were narrowed down to roughly 30 finalists before I selected my top 10 travel photos of 2014!

#2 shows the picturesque sunsets of Boracay in the Philippines.  Boracay is a magical island full of tuktuks & tourists.  Its where Filipinos go on vacation and I was fortunate enough to meet some locals through my good friends Josh & Christine.  We had a blast relaxing on White Beach with some of the most elaborate natural colors on Earth and I was lucky enough to capture this moment in the first days of 2014.  I love this photo so much that I commissioned my artist friend & future roommate, Brian, to paint it for me and can’t wait to hang it in the new apartment!  As an aside I enjoyed watching my watermark evolve throughout the year and am looking at this old one has inspired me to come up with another new one for 2015.

I think its time I add to my travel bucket list. Where is your favorite sunset?

Stay tuned for #1!

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Check out #1 here!
Check out #3 here!

 

Top 10 Favorite Travel Photos of 2013 #2

2013 took me to 5 National Parks in 2 different countries coupled with a few state parks and a handful of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  I visited palaces and fortresses, hiked mountains, summited 6 peaks, backpacked along ridge lines and through canyons.  The extraordinary views on my adventures provided a plethora of pictures to choose from.  Out of thousands of shots I took in 2013 it was tough to narrow it down to just 19 contestants for my Top 10 Favorite Travel Photos of 2013.  Come back tomorrow to see my favorite picture from all of 2013!

#2 is a brilliant shot of the sea crashing into wave breakers during a storm in Sokcho, South Korea.  I had no idea what I was in for when I went to Sokcho and thought it would merely be the rest stop before hiking in Seoraksan.  You can read more about it in Sokcho, the city beneath Seoraksan.

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What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen by the ocean?  What is your favorite part about being at the ocean?

Check out #1 here!
Check out #3 here!

Sokcho: the city beneath Seoraksan

I kept hearing about how beautiful the foliage is this time of year at Seoraksan National Park. After a little research with my Korean coworkers I found out that it was a 3 hour bus to Sokcho where I booked a cheap hotel at the base of the park.

Blaine wanted to join me and I was happy to split some of the costs.  We met in the subway Saturday morning before heading to the Express Bus Station. All week I had been worried that we waited too long to go and would miss the full spectrum of colors that Seoraksan boasted with the changing seasons. Regardless of the leaves I realized the trip would be a blast when Blaine and I ran into the only other waygookin (white people) on the bus; a group of 4 beautiful Russian girls: Катя (Katya), Нина (Nina), Маша (Masha), & Варя(Varya).

We sat together and found out they were all students at Korea University originating from St. Petersburg. They were impressed when Blaine and I surprised them with the results of our minimal Russian studies. A few more jokes, some colorful views which gave me hope for tomorrow, and a nap later we found ourselves in Sokcho looking for a taxi to explore the lighthouse & shoreline in this seaside city.

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We got to the coast just before dusk and climbed a lighthouse for a view of the city. The Seorak mountain range provided a shadowy backdrop flanking the city with the East Sea. Along the shoreline were creatively designed wave-breakers which quickly drew my eye.

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