Top 13 Posts of 2013

As 2013 winds down, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my most popular posts in the past year. Interestingly enough, a few of them weren’t even posts I wrote this year, but they continue to be popular with all of you. Here they are – my top posts of 2013:
 

1. Travel in the Caucasus: Comparing Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

 
Tbilisi, Georgia

This was one of my most popular posts last year, too, likely because there just isn’t much written about this area. I also seemed to experience a surge in hits after I wrote a similar version of the post for the Huffington Post Travel Blog. I also got some new comments from readers in the Caucasus who had some good, but sometimes controversial, insight to add.
 

2. How to Get a Russian Visa

 
Russian visa application

This has always been one of my most popular posts – ever since I first published it in the summer of 2011. I updated it this year to reflect recent changes to laws and procedures.
 

3. No, It’s Not Stupid to Travel Solo

 
Beket Ata

I wrote this last winter in response to an online uproar over an American woman who was found murdered in Istanbul. She was traveling solo and many online commenters questioned why a woman would be traveling along in such a “scary” country. I was one of dozens of female travel bloggers who spoke out in support of traveling solo.
 

4. Lonely Planet: Don’t Leave Home Without It

 
LP guides

It certainly didn’t hurt that Lonely Planet retweeted one of my shares of this post. Not necessarily about only Lonely Planet, this was my ode to guidebooks and why I will never travel without one.
 

5. Why I Turned Down My Dream Job

 
I wrote this after I finally accepted a job and started working last January. I had been offered what I thought was my dream job in October 2012 but, for a variety of reasons, didn’t feel right taking it. I think this post resonated with a lot of people.
 

6. My Health Insurance Headache

 
I wrote this in August 2011 after my experience trying to obtain private health insurance before my career break trip. I shared it often this year as people debated Obamacare – even though the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, I hoped my experience would serve as one example of why our health insurance system needs fixing.
 

7. How Travel Didn’t Solve Anything

 
One of my most personal posts, which also got a great response from all of you, with some of the most comments of any post this year. In it, I looked back at some of the issues I struggled with prior to my trip and how those same issues remained (or were even exacerbated) after I returned.
 

8. Why Capital One Isn’t So Great for Travelers

 
Even the folks at Capital One read this one – they even called me to chat about it afterwards (true story). In short, I explain why I switched from Capital One to Charles Schwab after returning home from overseas.
 

9. Busing Around Turkey

 
Istanbul, Turkey

Um, yeah, I don’t really know why this one was so popular. I didn’t even realize that many people were reading it until I pulled this list. I guess a lot of people were looking for advice on traveling by bus in Turkey in 2013.
 

10. Myths About Americans Traveling Abroad

 
As close as I come to a controversial post, I looked at some stereotypes about Americans traveling abroad and how they did not hold true in my experience.
 

11. Why My TBEX Days May Be Over

 
Men of TBEX Party

This post garnered a much larger response than I ever expected. And a much more positive one, as most people seemed to agree with my sentiments that TBEX had gotten too large and that it was too hard to connect with the people with whom I really wanted to connect. Of course, as I write this, I’m already wondering where TBEX ’13 will be held and if I can swing going…
 

12. How I Got My Visa to Belarus

 
Belarus visa

Another practical post that I wrote during my career break trip that continues to get a lot of hits. And a lot of emails from people in Africa asking me to obtain visas to Belarus for them. Seriously.
 

13. Thoughts on Life 2 Years After Quitting My Job to Travel

 
Finally, another post that seemed to hit a nerve with people as I looked back on my how my life had changed in the two years since I first quit my job to travel.
 

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1 thought on “Top 13 Posts of 2013”

  1. I love the emails you get on the Belarus post, that’s hilarious! I’m so glad you have so much info about Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union on your site. Andy and I keep talking about doing the Trans Siberian (or the Trans Mongolian really) at some point in the distant future, and you will be the first person we talk to in the planning stages.

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