What. A. Year. I know people say that every year, but can we all agree that 2017 was really a year? I certainly felt it personally, and I think the world felt it, too. In the chaos of it all, I launched this little blog back in February and it has been my pride and joy since then. In honor of that, I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of my top ten most popular blog posts of the year. I had a chance to travel more this year that I ever dreamed possible – certainly far more than I would have guessed back in January – and I am so happy to have had you all along for the journey. Thank you for the likes, follows, shares, and most importantly, simply taking time out of your busy day to read my blog. In the words of Jay-Z, “You could’ve been anywhere [on the Internet] but you’re here with me. I appreciate that.”
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year! I’ll see you in 2018 with more travel inspiration!
Not only was this post nearly tied with #10, but also I proceeded to get food poisoning almost immediately upon arriving to Cambodia, soon after writing this! I smugly ignored my own rule #3, namely the part about being careful with ice made from tap water. The irony does not escape me.
Although most of this list is focused on Cambodia, I was happy to see that Top 5: Busan, South Korea cracked the top 10! It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and so underrated as a vacation destination. If you’re looking for a unique beach getaway, consider Busan!
This post focused on why I chose to pack my bags and randomly go live in another country, specifically Cambodia, for a few months. I wasn’t actually even going to write this post, but everyone kept asking me so there it is!
One of my very first travel adventures of the year was to visit some friends out in Colorado. My friend Justin took me to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and it was unlike anywhere I’d ever been before. The scenery was completely surreal, and we had the best time climbing around the dunes.
I don’t know that this post necessarily added anything revelatory to the conversation, but it was very important to me that I visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum while I was in Cambodia. One of the main reasons I traveled there was to better understand their very recent, very awful history. It was a heavy day, but I am so glad I was able to see it for myself.
It turns out that one of the two posts I wrote about the USA is also centered around Asia! Coming in at #6 is a round-up of my favorite spots to get Asian food in Queens. I got a strong assist from my boyfriend on this one, who introduced me to all the restaurants on the list. Expect more food posts and restaurant reviews in 2018, as they’re some of my favorite ones to write.
Good news: I still love my tattoo! Although I had planned on getting a tattoo at this shop sometime during my stay in Siem Reap, I ended up getting it done during my first week there after somewhat randomly stumbling upon it. If you want ink in Southeast Asia, I highly recommend Ink Lab.
4. Kampot & Kep
One of my favorite trips of the year was this little jaunt to Kampot and Kep. Kampot is a little riverside city that was a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap, while Kep is about 30 km away on the beach. I visited them both toward the end of my time in Cambodia, but honestly wish I had more time to explore this region.
Alternate title: Another Day in Asia in Which Tara Makes an Idiot Out of Herself, Volume 352. No surprise this was one of the more popular ones!
In case you haven’t flipped on the news or the Internet recently, 2017 was kind of a tense year politically. This post was a reflection about the kinds of questions I received and conversations I had about the United States’ role in the world, and how it related to me on a more personal level. A lot of it was about politics, but some of it was just good old-fashioned fat American jokes.
My wrap-up post about my time in Cambodia was far and away my most popular post of the year, and I’m really happy it was. I traveled a lot this year, but my solo trip to Cambodia was the most life changing trip of all.