Bucket List

2013 in Review: What an Epic Year

Las Vegas Boulevard

It’s funny how much plans can change throughout a year from what you originally had in mind. Although 2013 was a busy travel year for me, there were a lot of unexpected trips and adventures. So without further ado, here is my review of 2013!

North American International Auto Show

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Every year I begin with one of my favorite events, the North American International Auto Show in my hometown of Detroit. I’m kind of a car geek, so I love seeing all the new vehicles that might be coming out soon and others that are only concepts and won’t ever see the light of day. Some of my favorites this year were the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray.

 

My First Trip to Las Vegas!

Fountain Show at Bellagio

In February, I went to Sin City for the first time for my good friend’s birthday. There was a lot of travel hacking, copious amounts of alcohol, and more debauchery than should have been allowed in one weekend. I saw Paris and wrote about the coolest casinos on the strip. I will definitely be back to Las Vegas soon!

Visiting the Forbidden Land

Classic Cars in Havana

In March, I took a trip down to the forbidden land of Cuba. Although I have a lot more stories to tell from that trip, I went horseback riding through tobacco fields, saw some classic cars, and strolled down the Malecón in Havana.

TBEX in Toronto

Toronto Skyline

In June, I attended my 2nd TBEX travel blogger event, this time in downtown Toronto. With over 1,200 attendees, this was almost double the size of my first TBEX in Keystone.

Hanging Off the CN Tower!

Hanging off the CN Tower

One of the coolest adventures of the year was doing the EdgeWalk at the top of the CN Tower after TBEX, hanging 1,168 feet above Toronto.

West Coast Craft Beer Tour

Nick Craft Beer Tour

After the mayhem of TBEX, I flew out to San Francisco to begin the first edition of my West Coast Craft Beer Tour. The tour began with a week in San Francisco, followed by a road trip up to Portland, and finally a (very) brief stint in Seattle, sampling some of the best brews the West Coast has to offer. You can check out some of my favorites by following me on Untappd.

San Francisco

Standing on Top of San Francisco

This was my first time to San Francisco and, to be honest, I loved it. There are so many excellent restaurants and street food vendors, spectacular craft breweries, classy cocktail bars and speakeasys in the city. I went hiking along the Pacific coast, saw one of the world’s windiest roads, explored Fisherman’s Wharf, and saw a lot of great street art. One week was definitely not enough to cover everything. I guess I’ll just have to make another trip!

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz BoardwalkSanta Cruz is a cool little beach town about an hour south of San Jose. I spent an afternoon there walking down the beach boardwalk with my friends from Ever in Transit.

World Domination Summit in Portland

The World Float 2013
Photo courtesy of advancedriskology.com

I had heard of a lot of good things about Portland and it definitely lives up to the hype. World Domination Summit was definitely one of the highlights of my year. So many great people gathering together to brainstorm and motivate each other to live extraordinary lives. I even got to be part of setting a Guinness World Record for the longest floating human chain at the World Float! I already have my ticket for WDS 2014 in July and I highly recommend you get one as well.

Seattle

Seattle Skyline at Night

I only got to spend about 12 hours in Seattle, but we packed a lot into that time, visiting the Space Needle, seeing the magnificent skyline, and hitting up a couple of breweries along the way.

Weapons of Mass Creation

WMC Draw-Off

I attended a lot of conferences in 2013 and in August I went to Weapons of Mass Creation in Cleveland. This one was different from the others as it was focused on artists and graphic designers, who are an interesting crowd to hang out with. There were a bunch of great speakers, a lot of art, and a final ink wars battle (above) to see who would be crowned the best artist of WMC.

Riding a Dune Buggy

Dune Buggy Ride Saugatuck

Something I hadn’t done before was ride a dune buggy through the sand dunes on Michigan’s west coast. You’d think growing up only a few hours away, that would have happened at some point. It’s a lot of fun and I’d definitely go and do it again.

Under the Lights at Michigan Stadium

Under the Lights - U-M vs Notre Dame

As you probably know, I’m a huge University of Michigan football fanatic. I’ve been to most of the games since I started college in 2004. This year’s game against Notre Dame was special, however. It was the final time that Michigan would play Notre Dame at the Big House, ending a rivalry that dates back to 1887.

TBEX in Dublin

Pints of Guinness

My third TBEX conference was in Dublin, Ireland in October. This was probably the most epic of the TBEX events I’ve been to, renting out the Guinness Storehouse for the opening party, alcohol freely flowing every night, and bloggers dancing on tables.

Wild Atlantic West Trip

Bloggers on a Boat
Bloggers on a Boat!

After TBEX, a group of other bloggers and I got to tour Galway and the Connemara region of western Ireland in style. This included eating at some amazing restaurants, Irish whiskey tastings, sailing on a Galway hooker, and a bunch of other adventures.

The Blues Brothers

Blues Brothers Halloween

For the 3 weeks I was home after my Ireland trip, my buddy and I reincarnated The Blues Brothers for Halloween. I think we pulled it off.

WTM House Party

WTM House Party

Have you ever known someone who would prepare a 9 or 10 course meal for 60+ people at their apartment? Well this is exactly what the amazing Travelling Editor did in preparation for WTM for the second year in a row. It was one of the most impressive things I’d seen in a long time and he did a great job.

World Travel Market in London

WTM Bloggers Fiji

A friend of mine told me that World Travel Market was going to be the most ridiculous thing I ever experience. After TBEX Dublin, I wondered how that could possibly happen. Well at WTM, there are over 200 countries represented and the free drinks start a lot earlier in the day. I networked my arse off and had a great time in London.

Relaxing in Salzburg

Mountains in Austria

After the chaos that was WTM, I flew to Salzburg, Austria for a weekend of chilling out in the mountains.

My First Time to Thailand

Lantern Festival Chiang Mai

Finally in November I made it to Thailand for the first time. My thoughts? It was an incredible, inexpensive, tropical paradise. I celebrated Yi Peng (lantern festival) in Chiang Mai, which was one of the most stunning things I’ve ever seen. I had a proper Thanksgiving dinner, took a Thai cooking class, saw a lot of temples, played with elephants, saw fire dancers, and drank too much Thai whiskey.

Getting Scuba Certified

Nick Diving

While on the Thai island of Koh Tao, I got my scuba diving certification with Big Blue Diving and it turns out that it’s my new favorite sport. Under water is a whole new world to explore.

Well, that was 2013 and why it was one of the most epic years that I’ve ever had. As you can see, I still have a lot of stories to tell (and they’ll be coming soon).

What do you think? What were some of your highlights from 2013?

Have a great New Year everyone!

Nick Huggins
written by: Nick Huggins
Follow me on Twitter: @MrNickHuggins or at https://www.Facebook.com/AdventurousPursuits!

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