Do you ever pinch yourselves and wonder if you’re just living in a dream world?
— One of our Facebook fans sounds off, lending us a little perspective on the world around us and the lives we lead
The end of the year is near. A time for reflection. A time to take stock of one year’s passing before moving onto the next.
I know, I know. Everyone is up to their ears in 2013 year-in-review posts at this point. We hadn’t really planned one.
Then I began taking stock, going through Dan’s Instagram photos from the year. I’d like to think that Dan’s eye observes moments and captures scenes that some people might overlook, and increasingly he captures them only with an iPhone. I was moved by the beauty and diversity of our world shown through these images.
I couldn’t help but want to share what I thought were the best, the most representative of these.
Selecting only thirteen images out of almost 500 from over a dozen countries proved challenging. It also reaffirmed something: no matter how much we travel and how much we see of the world, we are still in awe of it — from its unlikely moments of enormity to its twinkles of deceptive insignificance.
To have had the opportunity to see and experience such a disproportionately large slice of our world, we are truly grateful.
So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Our 13 Best Instagram Photos of the Year
1. Up in the Air
Up in the Air runner up: Greenland, up in the air. En route to New Zealand.
More Up in the Air photos: Photos from the Airplane Window
Scotland runner up: Eilean Donan Castle, Scottish highland loveliness.
More Scotland photos: Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh, Scotland: A City of Stone, History and Ales, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay: Celebrating the New Year
3. New Zealand
New Zealand runner up: Sailboat carves our ferry wake in Queen Charlotte Sound
More New Zealand photos: New Zealand South Island Photos, New Zealand North Island Photos, Tongariro Crossing Trek
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague runner up: Around the bend: A glimpse of Prague’s frosted cake Old Town.
More Prague photos: All Around Prague
5. South Africa
South Africa runner up: Next up in Cape Town: Abseiling down Table Mountain with a view of Lion’s Head
More South Africa photos: South Africa, Best of Our Trip, Johannesburg and Soweto, Northern Cape, the Land out Far, Cape Town, Masiphumelele Township Tour, Cape Town
6. Mumbai, India
Mumbai runner up: Wee little paan palace, where betel leaf and betel nut parcels are made.
More Mumbai photos: Markets and People of Mumbai
Kashmir runner up: Kashmir to Ladakh roadtrip. Bus got stuck in a traffic jam overlooking this jaw-dropper.
More Kashmir photos: Srinagar Photos, Kashmir to Ladakh Bus Journey
Ladakh runner up: Stepping off Kongmaru La pass, 5130 meters overlooking layers of the Zanskar range. Markha Valley trek, Ladakh.
More Ladakh photos:Ladakh Photos, Best Of, Markha Valley Trek, Leh, the Capital of Ladakh
9. Costa Rica
Costa Rica runner up: Mixed sky, late afternoon at Playa Manuel Antonio. Taking a break after the G Project Summit in the Jungle.
More Costa Rica photos: Costa Rica Photos, Best Of, Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Ireland runner up: Medieval monastic staircase. Skellig Michael in the blazing sun, off the coast of County Kerry
More Ireland photos: Ireland Road Trip Photos, Ring of Kerry, Ireland, Skellig Michael
Namibia runner up: Late afternoon drive through petrified dunes. On the road, Namibia style. Namib-Naukluft Park.
More Namibia photos: Best of Namibia, Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Spitzkoppe, Bushman Paradise, and Namibian School
Berin runner up: Wrinkles of the City, street art in Berlin from JR.
More Berlin photos:Berlin Photos, Berlin Cheap Eats, Berlin Street Art
13. Food Porn
Food Porn runner up: Today’s lunch in the sky, en route Tokyo to Mumbai. Japanese food as art.
More Food Porn photos: Indian Food Photos, Oaxaca Food Photos, Japanese Food Photos, Iranian Food Photos
Where will 2014 take you? Share your travel dreams and plans below!