Travel Bloggers Best Dozen Project

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I love chain letters as much as the next guy (which is to say pretty much not at all) but when the lovely Lash of Lash World Tour asked if I’d be a part of the Travel Bloggers Best Dozen Project, how could I refuse. Besides, I’ve been neglecting this blog quite a lot recently, and a nice round-up of what I did in 2012 is sure to be the impetus I need to get those creative juices flowing.

The 12 Categories

1. Most popular: 12 Mildly Disturbing Scenes at Legoland, Florida

Waiter saves choking man with Heimlich maneuver Miniland USA Legoland Florida Aeroplan Welcome A1

This is the post that (thankfully) just wouldn’t quit. It did well when I first ran it back in April, but then things died off a bit. In September, CNNGo (now merged into CNN Travel) asked if they could run it to coincide with the opening of Legoland Malaysia. Then Mashable asked. Then Yahoo News picked it up. It was even in print in Denmark’s Politken newspaper. Mighty grateful to all!

2. Most helpful travel tip: Shysters, Shams, & Bangkok Scams

The tale of how I eluded one of Bangkok’s most notorious scams, and tips on how others can avoid it and others too. Includes info on the tuk-tuk scam and the Thai gem scam as well.

3. A post that was surprisingly successful: 5 Quirky Things to Do in Cancun

My “5 Quirky Things to Do in…” series has drawn steady traffic, but this one has done steadily well in Google search results. I think maybe because of that awesome looking JetPack Adventure.

4. A post I thought was under-rated: The Pompous Porpoise & The Wallflower Whale: A SeaWorld Saga

Dophin in Dolphin pool at SeaWorld Orlando Florida Aeroplan Welcome Aboard Event 023 thumb

I was proud of my writing style on this one. I’m not a huge fan of SeaWorld or zoos or animal enclosures of any kind, but since I was given a ticket as part of a press trip, and I had set myself the expectation that I would write about it. I thought the end result was pretty darn good.

5. Most controversial: The Most Graphic Toilet Sign Ever

When I first saw this sign at a pool hall in Manado, Indonesia I wasn’t really sure what it was. It’s one of those ones where you have to take a closer look to see what’s going on (or at least I did). Once you do though, it hits you like a sack of bricks. It’s gross, it’s disturbing, and it’s sad all at the same time. I don’t think I will ever get the image out of my head. Nor will a lot of folks judging by the comments here and on Reddit. 

6. Most amusing: 44 Dioramas of Dead Gophers

Gopher reverend priest in Lutheran church at Gopher Hole Museum Torrington Alberta thumb

I thought the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta was just hilarious. I still smile when I see some of the photos. 

7. The post I’m most proud of: The Holy Grail of Hokey — Inside The Holy Land Experience Part One and Part Two

Jesus and disciples at the Last Supper Christus Wax figures Holy Land Experience Orlando Florida1

Surprisingly to some, I was quite religious in my younger days, and although I’ve been a lapsed Catholic for years, I was dying to get a gander at The Holy Land Experience in Orlando. The place did not disappoint — it’s as cheesy as it sounds, and I loved every second of it. Not because of any religious connection mind you, but because the place is so over-the-top in-your-face come-on-down to Christian Town! “Mary Magdalene let loose with a bedazzler” is how I describe it at one point, and that pretty much sums it up.

8. Best travel story or travel perspective:  Putting the Grrr Back in Green

I attended the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manado, Indonesia in January of 2012 where the theme of conference was “ASEAN Goes Green,” and although I didn’t see much green along many of the beaches in Asia during my time there (the amount of garbage was appalling), it was interesting to see that only one country — Thailand, had some sort of green initiative for its tourism sector.

9. Best travel adventure: The Other Rat Race: Rat Hunting (and rat-eating) in Indonesia

Rat Hunting in Tomohon North Sulawesi Indonesia travel bloggers best dozen project

Hands-down the best (and strangest) adventure that I experienced this past year. So grateful to Mario at Flowers Lane Vacations for taking on this wild (and slightly icky) excursion hunting and eating jungle rats.

10. Best cultural perspectives or insights: Travel Photo (and Poll) of the Week: Child on a Leash

I picked this one because of the comments that came from readers. In the past, I found myself judging parents who had their kids on a leash. The comments made me think twice, and although I still don’t think I could ever harness a child, I kinda get where they’re coming from. Kinda.

11. Most beautiful: 52 Awesome Origami Art Creations

Japan Origami Museum Tokyo Japan 52 thumb

Some of these origami creations were absolutely amazing, and the time and effort that went into them made them even more beautiful in my mind.

12. Best photo or photo gallery: The Creepily Peculiar White Temple of Chiang Rai

Probably the most visually interesting place I visited in 2012, Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple certainly did not disappoint. 

2012 was one hell of a year. Here’s hoping 2013 will be just as good.

My Nominations:

I nominate the following five travel bloggers, in no particular order, to help keep the Travel Bloggers Best Dozen Project going…

Michael from Strux Travel

Leif from Runaway Guide

Dani & Jess from The Globetrotter Girls

Ian from Where Sidewalks End

Sebastian from Off The Path 

I am a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. I left behind my cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. Now I inspire others to shake the shackles and escape through travel. This is my blog.

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