By my count (and knowing my record with math, I might be way off), I traveled over 25,000 miles in the first half of 2013.

From a snow-covered New England to white sand beaches of Oahu and Maui to Los Angeles, New York City, the Pacific Northwest, and Iceland, I’ve been humbled and extremely grateful to have had the opportunities that I’ve had in 2013 to experience a lot more of this world and the people within it than I ever have before.

As a writer, I tell stories to share what I’ve seen. But today, photos feel like enough.

With September quickly approaching (all of a sudden), I’m excited to share my world with you through the lens of 35 Instagram photos that I took along 25,000-miles of travels in my first seven months of 2013.

Meanwhile, there’s only four months left in 2013 — and although I don’t have a whole lot planned for travel from here on out, I’ll do my best to round out the year with just as much richness of experience as the first half of 2013 has given to me.


January 2013

Snow-capped rocks along the Atlantic Ocean at Narragansett Bay :: Rhode Island, USA



February 2013

Blizzard Nemo dumps 2 feet of snow and knocks out power for millions :: Rhode Island, USA





March 2013

A vivid sunrise ascends over the Pacific Ocean :: Waimanalo Beach, Oahu, Hawai’i


Endless turquoise and blue from the deck of our rented beach-side cabin in isolated Waimanalo.



The reverse view of our stilted beach cabin with mountainous backdrop. 



I took our rental car on hours of drives up the coast to the North Shore. Here’s one view.



Later in the trip, our Waikiki hostel featured a wall of messages from worldly travelers. Here’s mine.

"I dreamed a thousand paths; I woke and walked my own." Chinese proverb, and my contribution to the wall of travelers



There’s Jacob and me enjoying a last round of beers at our favorite bar in Waikiki beach.

Third to last night in Hawaii, with @jacobsokol.



April 2013

I visited my sister in LA. Here we bonded over our favorite pastime, the Upright Citizens Brigade :: Los Angeles, USA



I flew from Los Angeles to Boston on Marathon Monday — when two pipe bombs detonated, killing three and injuring more than 150. I found out abou the bombings on a cross-country flight into Boston on the very afternoon. Here is the quiet morning after the Boston Marathon bombings :: South Boston, Massachusetts, USA



The mood in South Station after the bombings was somber, tense, but determined. Marathon runners, wearing their blue and yellow issued track suits, stood quietly throughout.



After hours deep-sea fishing with friends for a bachelor party, we grabbed a lunch of cheeseburgers and beers on this island where there’s no bridge or roads. Here are tacked $1 dreams on the island restaurant’s wall :: Cabbage Key, Florida, USA



A beautiful spring morning at Washington Square Park :: New York City, USA



May 2013

I took an impromptu trip to Seattle and stayed with a friend who’s apartment is this view of Space Needle. It was my first visit to Seattle :: Seattle, Washington, USA


June 2013

In June, I took my first solo trip abroad to the mystical, awe-inspiring country of Iceland :: Reykjavik, Iceland



From the top of the church of Hallgrímskirkja, you can see the city of Reykjavik, bay, ocean and mountains.

Nice view from the top of Reykjavik. (I'm adding all these extra Iceland photos for a blog post, if you were curious)!


Te og Kaffi was my favorite coffee shop on Laugavegur. I posted in the window for people watching and writing. 

Postcard priorities.


I don’t know what this was advertising. But I liked it.




This martian landscape is seen at The Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa in Iceland.

Venturing into the blue lagoon this morning.



Metallic Viking ship art overlooking the bay and mountains in Reykjavik.

Walk by the bay.



I was lucky to visit Iceland during their national day of independence. It was a joy to watch a nation celebrate.

Happy June 17th! Iceland's day of independence.



Here’s my favorite meal at fish. in Rekyjavik: a mash of fish stew with vegetables.

One of my favorite meals of Iceland so far. Traditional fish stew, tons of veggies. The owner/cook tells me it is made with "Passion, lots of passion." Bonus points for it being filling!

July 2013

Per the routine for three years and counting, I ventured for 2 weeks into the Pacific Northwest, beginning with the weirdness of PDX :: Portland, Oregon, USA



Looking into the sunshine in downtown Portland with friends.



Pollen was falling so heavily that it looked like snow in this sunset moment.



I took the Amtrak train ride Portland to Seattle, en route to Vancouver, Canada :: Seattle, Washington, USA



This was my first visit to the city on the bay, on a beautiful day :: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



I was lucky to next explore the quaint island town of Victoria :: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada




Bidding adieu to the Pacific Northwest after two weeks of travel :: Seattle, Washington, USA



Back in the bustle :: Manhattan, New York City, USA



Finally, a wedding rehearsal dinner with a view for my best friend — a great way to close my travels :: Long Island, NY


When I travel, I’m forced out of my comfort zones but for the sake of experiencing more of life that I believe make life so worth living: sights and scenes, foods and flavors, faces and stories, challenges and rewards. 2013 has seen plenty of all of these — and these photos might shed some light on that :)

That’s what travel is all about, for me — is it the same for you?

Does travel reveal something to you about what you value the most in life — adventure, experience, nature, or something else? What motivates you to live every day?