2013: My Year in Review

Dec
12

This past year has been so busy I’ve not really had the chance to post any development blog posts, which means this is the first post I’ve done to this blog since my last yearly review. However I have moved my travel blogging to Wordpress - this is only a temporary measure and will eventually be put somewhere that I can have a little more control over it’s features.

For the first several months of the year I tried having a go at Project 365 - a project where you take a photo every day for an entire year. By the mid-way point however I found it was getting difficult to stay on top of it and eventually decided to stop. I think it has helped me as a photographer though through having to look for more interesting shots in what I normally wouldn’t think of photographing.

The year started with a trip to Norway (via Finland) to see the Northern Lights up in the Arctic Circle. During this time away from civilisation we got to experience what life is like for those that live in such cold and harsh environments. There were elk and reindeer to eat as the major part of most meals, and there was an attempt at ice fishing however due to thickness of the ice extending down to the silt it was less than successful.

Aurora Borealis 04

We got to learn how to drive snow scooters and to then use them to drive around the area near the cabin (though this couldn’t be too far as the snow had gotten too deep), and I got to have a go at chopping firewood with an axe. On one night there was also a sauna which involved running outside into the incredibly freezing temperatures and diving into the snow in only swimming trunks. So far from civilisation there were practically no facilities and the only warmth came from log burners that would gradually go out over night.

Just a couple of weeks later I was back traveling again, this time to the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Whilst there we got to see what the Samburu and Masai tribe cultures were like, but our main focus was a safari. We managed to see so many different species of animal during this time and also experienced some incredible storms whilst in Tanzania. One of the more memorable parts of the trip was getting to fly over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon whilst the sun rose over the savannah below.

Lion (Panthera leo): Roooawr

As this year I turned 30, I had a short break around my birthday to go down to Dorset for the Bank Holiday weekend followed by a couple of days sightseeing in London. Whilst there I also got to see “We Will Rock You” a musical theatre performance using songs from one of my favourite groups, Queen.

Trafalgar Square

After that it was fairly quiet travel-wise until July when I had a day out taking photographs of local castles and Bosworth Battlefield before going to the airport to fly out to San Diego. The purpose of this trip was to attend San Diego Comic Con - one of the biggest (and in my opinion best) conventions a fan of science fiction and fantasy could go to. It was an absolutely amazing time getting to see so much there, but also got to catch up with some friends that had been travelling around the US for the previous few months.

San Diego Comic Con International

Back in May we also booked a trip to Antarctica, one which would start before 2013 was over but will also continue on into the middle of January 2014. I expect to be somewhere out at sea when the New Year arrives.

In addition to travelling I also went to see a proper band play a concert for the first time ever - this was Alter Bridge and Shinedown at the Birmingham NIA. Another first was also visiting a nightclub with friends one evening - I’d never been in one before this year.

I also took up running which I gradually worked into using the “Couch to 5K” program. The reasoning behind this was it was suggested I could have a go at a Zombie run even, though this was later postponed and have yet to take part in an actual event. On the positive side though I’ve been able to work up to a reasonable pace and have now begun working on improving distance.

Photos: Norway

Photos: East Africa

Photos: London

Photos: San Diego Comic Con

If you want to find out more about the adventures I've had this year you can read them on my travel blog: Wandering the World