My travel year in review, via Instagram pics

This year was one of my biggest travel years yet, with seven big trips across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. My Instagram feed tends to be even quirkier than this blog – see that strange photo above from Texas – so rather than re-hashing what I’ve already written over the past 12 months, I’ve decided to relive the year via Instagram pics.

I learned two things while putting together this post: I had a really amazing year, and I need a new phone with more vivid contrast and better editing apps.

Check out my adventures via this chronological recap, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Los Angeles

The year began with Felip and I taking a week-long ultra-budget vacation in L.A., during which we got around town exclusively by public transportation. The cool sights of L.A. ranged from elderly faces in street art to an image of Liz Taylor composed of bits of junk mail to oranges at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market.

Missouri / Kansas

A weekend visit to KC provided enough time to enjoy some barbecue chicken (which made my list of the 10 best things I ate in 2013), enjoy some jazz music, and see an Alice Cooper-autographed baby doll at The Science of Rock & Roll exhibit at Union Station. Then I headed into Kansas, where I spotted the rainbow house across the street from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.


Sights from my home city included the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day, the Leaning Tower of Niles (a mini replica of the Pisa landmark), and a giant Connect Four game at a street fair.


Oklahoma was full of quirky and unusual sights, from the American Banjo Museum to bizarre soda flavors at Pops on Route 66 to the abandoned toxic ghost town of Picher.


My week in Ohio was one of my favorite trips of 2013. Besides seeing items like Run DMC’s classic Adidas shoes at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and hanging with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Columbus, I had some awesome Amish experiences in Berlin. I met some long-lost Amish relatives, watched an Amish broommaker at work, and got to ride in a real Amish buggy.


I loved visiting Toronto again, hanging out with other travel bloggers at the TBEX conference, cooking dinner with bloggers as part of a Top Chef-style competition, taking a ferry ride to the Toronto Islands, visiting the quirky Shoe Museum, and seeing the Stanley Cup in person.


I spent a week in the great north of Yukon, Canada, visiting Whitehorse and the amazing town of Dawson City. My Yukon highlights included encountering black bears on the side of the road, seeing glaciers from above while flightseeing, viewing First Nations art, finding real gold while gold panning, and becoming a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.


What is there to do in Indiana? Lots, like kissing the bricks at the Indy 500, seeing cute little stuffed Vonneguts at the Vonnegut Library, watching elephants create a painting, hanging with Orville Redenbacher, and visiting Michael Jackson’s birth house.

San Antonio

Shenanigans in Texas included feeding zebras up close at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, seeing Darth Vader on the San Antonio riverwalk, and buying snow cones at the Alamo.


I finally got to visit small-town Mexico in the state of Coahuila.


I ended the year with a ride on the Chicago Christmas subway train. Hey there, Santa!

What was your personal travel highlight of 2013?


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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who puts a quirky spin on travel adventures around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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