A 2017 History in Pictures: My Favorite 14 Experiences

A look back at some of my favorite moments of 2017—an eclectic mix of people, places, and events I loved at home and abroad.

The Polar Bear Plunge

Jan 1, 2017 started on a prophetic note: the famous Polar Bear Plunge. (I had no idea what that would mean 11 months later.) I watched, as hundreds of people ran into the freezing surf of the North Atlantic off Coney Island, and what a hoot. I’d heard about it for years, but never captured it until 2017.  While I can’t relate to the desire to play in near-freezing water, it was a fun, irreverent, over-the-top way to begin 2017. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

I was thrilled to travel to D.C. to join my sister in the Women’s March, along with millions of other people who, in solidarity, participated around the world. It was wonderful to take part in something so powerful, historic, peaceful, and coursing with positive determination.

Island Hopping in Florida

Some days just stick in your mind. Days that soothe the soul and make you feel good to be alive.  Case in point, a gorgeous winter afternoon spent island hopping from Captiva Island to Cabbage Key to Cayo Costa and back again in southwest Florida.

The New York City Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival 

There are a zillion (make that a zillion and a half) parades in New York City in any given year, but few are as joyous and fun to watch as the world-renowned Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet festival. It’s one of my favorites, and a yearly tradition if I’m in town.

Triple Creek Branding Day

Each year, Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, MO invites guests to partake in its yearly Spring branding event. A western tradition, branding days have been held for generations, and while I had mixed feelings about it, I couldn’t deny the sense of community and purpose the day afforded.

Peter Turnley Workshop 

I love photography (I know that’s no surprise), and at least once a year I try to take a workshop from a photographer whose work I admire. It’s a wonderful way to learn from their awesomeness and improve my own skills. This year, I took part in a week-long class in New York City with renowned photojournalist and street photographer, Peter Turnley.

The Pit in Dawson City 

I’m a big fan of great after hours dive bars, and The Pit, within the Westminster Hotel in Dawson City,  is one of the best I’ve come across. Whether it was the beloved building that sits slightly askew, the strategically placed Christmas lights in the dead of summer, the eclectic crowd, the amazing band, or the back room pool table, that captured my heart, I couldn’t tell you. But I loved it. (P.S. Don’t let the photos fool you. I went extra early to take photos. By midnight it was too packed for pictures and there was a line out the door.)

Flying over Kluane National Park 

Majestic mountains, spectacular vistas, a helluva lot of snow. Flight-seeing over the Kaskawulsh glacier and the ice-fields of Kluane National Park was one of my favorite excursions all year.

Wendy Sloboda Paleontologist | Insatiable Traveler Year -end review 2017-Badlands-542001

The Dinosaur Hunter

Sure, travel is about exploring new destinations, but places are given weight, texture and meaning by the wonderful people you meet along the way. Wendy Sloboda was one of my favorite “meets” of the year, you could say. A bad-ass dinosaur hunter born and raised in the Canadian Badlands.

Exploring Writing on Stone

A wonderland of history and natural beauty. Writing on Stone Provincial Park introduced me to historic First Nation petroglyphs and pictographs and the world of sandstone coulees.

Behind the Scenes of the Bucking and Barrels Rodeo at the Whoop Up Days in Lethbridge.  

I love learning how people do what they do, and hanging *backstage* with the cowboys at the Lethbridge rodeo in Alberta, was one of the best nights of the summer.

My First Northern Lights

I’ve seen countless photos of the Northern Lights on every platform one can imagine. In fact, photos of the Aurora borealis are as common as selfies it seems. But no matter how many times they’ve popped up on my screens, nothing did them justice like looking up into the heavens and seeing them vibrant and real, first hand. Amazing.

Dogsledding | Insatiable Traveler Year -end review 2017-Yukon -949601

My First Time Dogsledding

I’ve wanted to go dog-sledding for years, so when I stepped on a sled for the first time in the Yukon, I was in heaven. Haven’t written about it yet, but I will.

Polar Bear | Canada’s Walking Polar Bear Photo Safari -Seal River Heritage Lodge-Manitoba

My Own Polar Bear Plunge

Who knew that when I saw so many people throwing themselves into the cold ocean on January 1st, that my last trip of the year would be my own very kind of polar bear plunge, in the wilds of northern Manitoba. It was a spectacular adventure. Check back here next week for the story!

Here’s wishing you a very healthy and happy New Year!

Categories: Photography

51 replies »

  1. the pictures are breathtaking! i must say! i just loved your spirit . do you also have a passion for travelling ? now im not even an adult to start travelling the world on my own… but definitely i am going to, and your article was so inspiring. it even motivated me more than before.. thank you very much! keep on writing these kind of travel and photography articles

    • I’m thrilled you loved it! Yes, I’m a bit of a travel addict, really. When you’re old enough, you should definitely travel when you can. 🙂

  2. Truly magical to look through your photos! You have inspired me to travel more and not affraid to do it solo! Your trips are amazing! 👍👏🏻 All the best in the New Year!

    • Molly, I couldn’t ask for a nicer compliment. I am so happy that my work has inspired you. Thank you very very much for letting me know. It means a lot.

    • Thank you!

      Hmmmm… favorite event… I’m tend to be most enamored of the last thing I’ve done, whenever that is, so I have to say the polar bear safari was pretty spectacular. Looking forward to posting it next week. I hope you have a chance to check it out. 🙂

  3. What an amazing year you have had, full of incredible experiences, and wonderful photographs. I look forward to the post about seeing polar bear and to what you get up to and capture with your camera in 2018.

    • How kind of you to say, Lina! I look forward to catching up with you guys too. What a year you two have had. Seemed you never stopped. 🙂

    • Thanks, Susan! I really find that the rigors of a workshop–the pressure, the daily assignments etc.–are tough but unbelievably helpful. Plus, they’re a lot of fun too. 🙂 Just do your research. Check out the link above to the Peter Turnley story.. It may help too.

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