This year, I traversed America and visited its greatest cities. It was exciting to see such a kaleidoscope of cultures, all in one country. Of course, the biggest thing this year was probably starting this blog: a tool that has only enhanced my travel experiences (and helped me create some new ones right at home). This post is just a look back at where I went this year, as well as a sneak peek at my plans for “As Far Away As Possible” next year.
March: Washington D.C.
My first time in our nation’s capital was an exploration of American history and culture. I saw snow for the first time in years, walked the National Mall, and ate Dim Sum. I perused arcane newspaper front pages at the Newseum, walked among the hipsters in Georgetown, and watched planes landing at Dulles Airport from the observation tower at the Udvar-Hazy center. And it was all a lot less “‘MURICA” than I had expected.
July: San Francisco and the Pacific Coast
I flew out west to the City by the Bay for my summer adventure. I ate breakfast at the Ferry Building, explored the Palace of Fine Arts, and climbed Coit Tower and Lombard Street. I took a ferry to Sausalito, went into a tiny fortune cookie factory, and walked along the Embarcadero. The colors, tastes, and vibrant people of San Francisco catapulted it to the top of my list of favorite cities. There was barely any fog, too.
Then I headed up the Shoreline Highway to Mendocino County, passing small beach towns, prairie hills, and tree-covered lanes. I went canoeing along the Big River, hiking in the Mendocino Headlands, and kayaking in Van Damne State Park. I took some artsy black and white photos of MacKerricher State Park, Sea Ranch, and Fort Bragg (among others) and winded along mountain parkways to Humboldt Redwoods State Park to see the tallest trees on Earth. Though the fog was ubiquitous, the area’s rugged and quirky spirit painted a vivid picture of color.
October: New York City
I returned this year to take another bite out of the Big Apple. I had salted-caramel chicken just a block from NYU, rode the subway to and fro, and stared up at the almost-open One World Trade Center right outside my hotel room window. I laughed nonstop at “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and at the Upright Citizens Brigade improv show, navigated the serpentine streets of Downtown Manhattan, and visited Brooklyn for the first time. It was all absolutely delicious.
I touched down in the Windy City ready to sample all it had to offer (in below-freezing temperatures, of course). I compared Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s Chicago-style pizza to their New York equivalents, stood out in the cold, dark night to watch the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and walked along sparkling Michigan Avenue. I strolled along the sand at Oak Street Beach, had a majestic Apple Pancake at the Original Pancake House, and took numerous distorted selfies at ‘The Bean.’ Chi-town offered me unexpected surprises around every corner, and has become one of my favorite places.
So, what’s next?
The world, that’s what. Well actually, at the moment, the only trip I have planned for next year is Providence and Boston. But I’ve got my fingers crossed for someplace really exciting!
I’m also planning some changes for this blog. I learned a lot in the almost-year I’ve been posting: mainly to take more pictures. I realize that pictures are incredibly important to getting a message across- they really are worth 1,000 words. So, you can expect me to be taking (hopefully) better photos on my adventures and posting more of them so that my massive chunks of text don’t make you cringe with fear. I’ll also be looking into a new design for the website that will be more visually motivated, to showcase my pictures as well as my writing. I will also attempt to use my GoPro to take some cool videos of my more rugged pursuits.
Finally, I think it’s time to get an original URL for this blog (though it doesn’t look like “asfarawayaspossible.com” is available at the moment) in order to increase web traffic.
Now doesn’t that all sound exciting? It does for me, at least. So be prepared for a snappier, more visual year when the clocks strike midnight tonight.
It’s been a great 2014, and I can’t wait to explore more of the world in 2015. Happy New Year!