Year in Pictures – Best of from our Travels

A picture says a thousand words. Nothing captures a moment in time quite like a photograph. You can describe your feelings and what you are seeing with words, but all it takes is a snapshot to instantly transform the reader to a time and place. We travelled to over 20 destinations on 5 continents this year, it’s amazing that Dave had the chance to even edit any of his photographs, let alone prepare them for articles and posts every day. And now he has compiled this beautiful round up of ThePlanetD’s year in pictures.

It is one of the highlights our travel blog, Dave’s photography. He was published in the Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine, Flight Centre Magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail this year. He was named one of Manfrotto’s favourite photographers, he has become a StaffPro at Fstop Gear, his photos will be featured in the Flying Kiwi’s  brochure and he’s run workshops and webinars about the art of photography. ThePlanetD has won a few best photography blogging awards and photography contests as well in 2011. All in all, it was a good year for photography here.

So enough of me gushing over his talent, enjoy ThePlanetD’s year in pictures, it was a good one.

2012 Year in Pictures


year in pictures penguins in antarctica

A special penguin moment in Antarctica

The stars of Antarctica are the penguins. They are the cutest most adorable creatures on earth and even though they smell like death warmed over, you can never get enough of their cuteness.

year in pictures quark expeditions

Antarctica Landscape

This is the photograph that was featured in Lonely Planet Traveller magazine featuring Quark Expeditions as a top cruise experience in the world. Antarctica was so outstanding, we felt that it deserved to be featured twice in our Year in Pictures round up.

Galapagos Islands

Year in Pictures sea lion

Sea Lion in the Galapagos Islands

The wildlife of the Galapagos Islands is like no other and nothing is as cute as the sealions sleeping anywhere they can. You’ll even see them catching a nap on a park bench downtown.

Year in pictures Galapagos Islands

The Marine Iguana of the Galapagos Islands

So the iguanas may not be as cuddly as the sea lions, but seriously, look at that face! The Galapagos Islands was one of those special destinations that was also so special, we had to feature it twice in our year in pictures review.


Year in pictures, roman forum

The Roman Forum in Italy

It was our first time to Rome. We didn’t know what to expect, but we weren’t prepared for the ancient monuments and ruins scattered throughout the entire city. Rome is one of the most unique urban areas on the planet.


year in pictures 2012

The Gondolas of Venice, Italy

Not to be outdone by Rome, Venice is another unique Italian destination. We were surprised with just how much walking one could do there. We had visions of all of Venice being only accessible by boat, but you can get lost walking through the maze of narrow streets. This however, is the iconic image of the city.


Year in Pictures, Florence

Florence, Italy at sunset

Nothing is as beautiful as a sunset over Florence. Standing by the statue of David, (there are three in Florence) we overlooked the city and watched the  fire in the sky.


Year in pictures sunset in croatia

Sunset on the Island of Rab, Croatia

Just before setting off on a 10-day paddling excursion with Sea Kayak Croatia, we spent a beautiful night in luxury on the island of Rab. This is the sunset from our balcony window.

year in pictures kayaking croatia

The beautiful landscape while Kayaking in Croatia

Ok, I lied. Croatia was one of those destinations that deserve more than one photograph. It was on beaches such as this that we camped each night with our guide Baffo.

Catalunya, Spain

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Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain

It may be it’s own country soon. Catalunya may lose the “Spain” and simply become Barcelona, Catalunya. Spain will be losing it’s most beautiful city if the country splits up, but either way, you can’t deny the splendour of the works of Gaudi.

year in pictures, the pyrenees

The view was magnificent in Catalonia, Spain

Catalunya has the best of all of Spain. It has spectacular coast lines, beautiful cities and breathtaking mountains. We weren’t prepared for this view as we hiked through the Pyrenees.


year in pictures maui sunset

Sunset in Maui, Hawaii

We highlighted some great adventures in Maui such as kite surfing, paddle boarding and outrigger canoeing, but it was the sunsets each evening that took our breath away on this Hawaiian island.


year in pictures lanai, hawaii

Horses graze at Koele Lodge in Lanai, Hawaii

A year ago, if you asked me where Lanai was, I’d say somewhere in Asia. I had never heard of it. It’s a hidden gem of Hawaii and staying at the Koele Lodge in the highlands of the island will transport you back in time.

Pamplona, Spain

year in pictures san fermin

Running of the Bulls Pamplona, Spain

We were sent to Spain by Expedia to run with the bulls. We haven’t shared a lot of that story yet, but will be revisiting it next year at the time of the San Fermin festival. We watched from the balcony before joining the crowd the next day to take our part and run in this age old tradition.

Yosemite, USA

year in pictures yosemite national park

Yosemite National Park, California

As part of Intrepid Travel’s innovative self drive adventure, we had the opportunity to stay at Yosemite National Park. There is a reason it was the first national park in the world. Nothing prepares you for the beauty you will see when you look out from glacier point. It is definitely one of the most memorable moments from our year in pictures.

Zion National Park, Utah

year in pictures zion national park

Zion National Park, Utah

We didn’t have enough time to explore this beautiful park. A person needs a week to truly explore and hike through its rugged landscape. We’ll be back and we have this picture to motivate us to make that goal happen.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

year in pictures antelope canyon

Antelope Canyon in Arizona

It’s a tour that lasts less than an hour, but it’s a memory that will last a lifetime. Witnessing the beams of light shine through the canyon for a short window of less than 10 minutes fills you with excitement. Being able to snap a photo and capture the moment, is priceless.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

year in pictures grand canyon

Grand Canyon Sunset in Arizona

Why is it one of the most iconic images in all of America? Because it is spectacular. We have seen the second larges canyon in the world – Fish River Canyon in Namibia, and it doesn’t even come close to the size and scope of the Grand Canyon.

Costa Brava, Spain

year in pictures, hot air balloon over pyrenees

Ballooning in Costa Brava, Spain

We may not have made it up in the air during out hot air balloon excursion in Spain, but we did get the chance to take beautiful photos of the one that did. Don’t feel bad for us though, we got our chance a few weeks later in South Africa.

year in pictures spain

Sunset in the spanish pyrenees

Sunsets are a big part of our year in pictures.

Bern, Switzerland

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The City of Bern, Switzerland

I hadn’t really thought of going to Bern before. The Swiss capital turned out to be the most beautiful city we visited in the country.

Interlaken, Switzerland

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Interlaken, Switzerland at night

It’s the adventure capital of Switzerland and you can understand why. Interlaken is surrounded by massive Swiss Alps, lakes, rivers and valleys. It’s got it all.

Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya

year in pictures masai man kenya

Masai Village in Kenya

Many people complain that the Masai in Kenya are aggressive and only want your money. But if you go to the Selenkay Conservancy and visit the Selenkay Masai Village, you’ll meet the real Masai People. A people who are proud, strong, friend and welcoming.

year in pictures leopard in Kenya

The Elusive leopard on safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya

We’ve only just arrived home from Kenya and have barely scratched the surface of sharing this incredible experience with everyone. As you can imagine, seeing the wildlife was the highlight of kenya. If you want to see more of the Big 5, check out our wallpaper giveaway. We’re keeping the free download open until the end of the year.

So there you have it, our year in pictures.

When I look back, I can’t believe that it has only been a year. It feels like a lifetime. We are very fortunate to be living our dream. We took a chance 4 years ago, left our jobs and followed our dream. With big risks come big payoffs. We never dreamed we’d have the opportunities that we’ve had when we first started travel blogging. Who knows where it will take us next, but for now, we’ll enjoy the holidays and think of the next big dream.

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