So here it is folks, the top 11 of 11. Some of the top highlights of this year and indeed it was a good year. So without further adieu…
#11. Montana in the Winter
Had a wonderful time exploring Western Montana in February, seeing Buffalo, Elk and snowboarding. Yellowstone was beautiful and Livingston is a great little historical town. Thanks Harmony for the great time!
#10. Greenwich, Connecticut.
I went to Greenwich, CT for work and it was a wonderful East Coast, New England of a town. Throughout the week I met some wonderful people who have big hearts, saw world class musician Rob Mathes play some amazing gospel music and witnessed the live poetry of Maya Angelou. Phenomenal week. Thank you Greenwich community for a wonderful time.
#9. Schweitzer, Idaho.
Amazing day of snowboarding. This resort in Sandpoint, ID reminded me of the slopes in Switzerland with long ridge runs, plenty of back country and many opportunities to bomb hills. Had a blast with my good buddy Aaron Kuhn, a guy I had not seen in over 10 years! We both volunteered building a school in the Caribbean. Funny how impactful experiences like that bring people back together.
#8. Seafair, Seattle, Washington.
So picture thousands of boats on Lake Washington, all partying and playing, with high speed boats racing not too far away and the US Navy’s flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels doing an airshow a couple hundred feet above your head! Yeah this is Seafair! My sailboat was dead on in the center and the perfect place for viewing. Did I have as many friends come to my private marina? Oh yeah!
#7. Dumpling House, Xian, China.
So Xi’An, China is home of the Terra Cotta Warriors archaeological site and also a famous dumpling restaurant. My sister and fellow travelers which included, an Israeli, two Brits, a Finnish man, Chinese Beijinger and a guy from California all came together to enjoy the feast of the town. All sorts of plate of dumplings, soups and the famous Dragon Tea. It was all wonderful and a meal to remember for years to come. My #7.
#6. Jjimjilbang, Seoul, South Korea.
A Jjimjilbang is a Korean bath house/spa for the family. The men have their bathes, the women have theirs and there is a large communal area to relax, steam, sauna, cool down, watch movies, eat, bask in salt rooms or yellow charcoal rooms and just let your body have some rejuvenation. Great time! Read one of my previous posts about it to learn more.
#5. Meeting Freddy Gaughana and couchsurfing in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
So I came to Chiang Mai without an agenda, and an agenda was brought forth to me immediately. I loved it. I met a couchsurfer that instantly became my brother. Freddy Gaughana was an Indonesian with a big heart. He served in Banda Aceh for five years right after the Tsunami hit and witnessed horrible atrocities for the weeks, months to come. He was working for the Indonesian government managing the logistics of the aid coming in. Then after his five years, he decided to join the VSO (British Peace corps) and serve in Thailand assisting Burmese whose human rights are violated everyday under a hostile government. We clicked instantly and we had a wonderful time. We went to an Anti-Trafficking concert sponsored by MTV/USAID/Australia AID and he introduced me to his friends in Indonesia when I went there. Such a good friend.
#4. Secret Waterfalls, Bogor, Indonesia.
I came to visit Bogor, Indonesia and came to a wonderful waterfall that was only accessible by moto-bike and hiking a good distance. My couchsurfing host Yudha, took me a this place I felt like I was back in time, primal and extremely free. I thanked God for being there. Thank you Yudha and Brother for bringing me here. 🙂
#3. Bandung, Indonesia.
Bandung was the former home of my family. My Dutch-Indo history was taught to me as a kid and being able to see the history and make friends there was amazing. My Oma, who is 100 years old, lived the first 40 years of her life there until WWII and I had seen many photos from the 20’s. I had a wonderful time exploring places such as where my Grandparents met and had their first dances, where my Oma had played as a kid and going all over the place with couchsurfer’s who were the most active I had ever met in my life. Motorcycling all over, volcanos, foods, sweets, candy shops my relatives ate at. Yes, it was wonderful.
#2. Angkor Temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Angkor Temples of Cambodia are majestic, rugged and just amazing. It was adventurous, awe-inspiring, spirit-filling and I loved every minute of it. I hired a Tuk tuk for the day and explored a vast wilderness. Read my former post here.
#1. Meeting Romi at Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada.
Meeting Romi has been a wonderful and serendipitous adventure that has shocked, shaken and lifted me all at the same time. We met the first day I arrived at Burning Man and had never left each other’s side. We danced, explored, did acro-yoga, ate foods, met wonderful people, participated in huge art structures, and just enjoyed life. The environment provided at the playa was one big playground with 50,000 creative, expressive and fascinating individuals. It was a great place to come together and we haven’t stopped adventuring. Burning Man was a phenomenal experience and I look forward to going back. Nothing like anywhere on this planet.
That’s it folks, thanks for reading and looking! Happy New Year to All! May 2012 be even more wonderful for you!