Between January 1st and the end of the year, I took 9,700 photos – it’s amazing how many photos we take each year, isn’t it?
As I’ve spent almost the entirety of 2016 on the road… it’s truly been a year of travel, and I have the photos to prove it. While Instagram likes are one way to measure how great my photos are, it’s not the only way. I decided to pull 16 of the photos I think are the best I took – you may see patterns in what I find beautiful about them, and I hope you like them too!
Since Mr. Valise and I started dating in 2014, we’ve spent each New Years Day the same way: we head down to the beach in Seattle and watch the sunset. This photo was my first one of the year, and by far one of my favorites – for obvious reasons!
I shared this photo after I wrote my recent post about taking a winter hike near Mt. Rainier. This is the second time I’ve shared the photo, and it’s still one of my favorite, most PNW-perfect photos.
I took this photo in the Spring of 2016, on a walk from here to there in Seattle. I absolutely love the perspective and the tulips – and the blue skies! (Yes, we have them!)
I took this photo on a stop during my DUMBO Citibike tour with Local Expeditions in New York. I love the colors and framing, especially of the Empire State Building in between the legs of the bridge.
I love the colors and framing in this picture, taken down a dark archway while exploring the ruins of Jerash in Jordan. It’s funny because just beyond the archway is a bunch of trash – but it goes to show how a photo can show what you want it to show (not necessarily reality).
While in Minnesota for TBEX in June, I greatly enjoyed the final night party in St. Paul. With food trucks, craft beer, and a stunning sunset over the Mississippi river, I captured a perfect Midwest summer moment. I also enjoyed St. Paul so much that I went back again a few weeks ago!
This is possibly one of my favorite photos of all time – not just 2016! Taken after a run along the river Dambovita that cuts through the heart of Bucharest, I can’t get over the perfect reflection and colors. It’s a perfect portrait of one of my favorite destinations this year.
We all know London is my favorite city – and of course I have a favorite pub in my favorite city! The Clerk & Well was my local watering hole during my MBA, home to many priceless memories, and has gotten quite fixed-up and posh since I graduated. They even don flowers for the summer season.
Croatia is the “home” I didn’t know, a country of my ancestors that called out to me even when I didn’t really listen. Mr. Valise and I spent a month in Dubrovnik, and fell in love with the wild and rocky coastline. Just look at that blue sea!
One of my earliest popular photos on Instagram, this ‘goodbye sunset’ from Dubrovnik was one of my best memories of the time there. Especially when the galleon sailed by!
Inspired by other bloggers I had seen visit earlier in the year, I made Colmar a must-see stop on our European itinerary. This is one of the most picturesque views in town, Le Petit Venise.
One of my favorite parts of Paris is its dark history – including the catacombs and one-of-a-kind cemeteries. I made sure to wander the leaf-strewn avenues of a few different cemeteries while there in October.
On Halloween I shared this photo of the Eiffel Tower at sunset, with autumn colors all around. It was obviously timely, and the golden reds of the whole photo perfectly capture the wind-swept week we spent there.
This was a photo I almost didn’t take – Mr. Valise noticed another person taking a photo here and we waited for a few minutes before taking it. It turned out to be my most popular photo on Instagram this year (1,300 likes!).
Turns out weather in Prague in November is a lot like Seattle: cold and rainy! This night shot is one of my favorite I’ve taken in Prague, with reflections and umbrellas that remind me of home.
I took this picture on the day of the US election, when I woke up and spent the morning in deep stages of grief. As Mr. Valise and I were walking to our new Airbnb that day, I looked up into the grey skies that dominated my mindset for the next few weeks, and still saw beauty.
That pretty accurately sums up my optimism for 2017. I’m ready for a new year – how about you?