Photo Tour: My Favorite Travel Photos 2012

I did a lot of traveling this year.  When I broke it all down; it turns out in 2012 I was living out of a suitcase 7 out of the 12 months.  Which is better (or worse, depending on your perspective) than 2011 where I lived out of a suitcase for 9 months.

My trajectory this year started in January with me leaving Saudi Arabia and hitting up the following:

DMM > AMS > SEA > LAX > SAN > ATL > SAN > SEA >  SAN > LAS > Road Trip > SAN > SEA > AMS > DMM. All this, with a few day trips to LA and Portland, Oregon thrown in.

I rested up for  2 months then I was at it again:  JED > DMM > AMS > SEA > SAN > JFK > Amtrak to DC > SAN > SEA > AMS > DMM; with a few trips to Bahrain thrown in.  Whew!!  I’m exhausted just trying to remember it all…and the thing is, I’m about to hit the road again in a couple of weeks.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite photos before the year is out.

Each photo is a favorite for its own reason, which is typically related to how I felt when I took the photo or when I reminisced over that event.  And, some are my favorites because I liked the look once I got it out of the camera. 🙂

Following are my favorite photos from my travel adventures in 2012:

*To enlarge the image, click on it; then click again.


The following photo is my all time favorite from 2012.  It’s not the best from a technical standpoint.  However, its become my favorite because these guys are the coolest guys I’ve ever met in Saudi Arabia.  I was in Jeddah, taking tourist photos, and these guys invited me over to take a photo.  This just does not happen in Saudi Arabia, most people don’t want to you get them in your photos so for these guys to be so open, was just awesome.  I felt so grateful, and thankful that every time I see this photo and think of the encounter, I smile.  People this is how you live forever, by touching peoples lives.

Guys Playing Dominoes next to the Upper Jadeed Gate Al-Balad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Though I didn’t take the following photos they made the list because it captures the pure exhilaration that I felt after I did my first skydive.  I say my first because I loved it so much, that I plan to do it again.  This really was a milestone.  I’ve always thought I was brave, but now I know it.  And, when I find myself fearful over little things I remember, “Girl, please!  You’ve jumped out of a plane and loved it.” 🙂

Skydiving The Most Exhilarating Feeling Ever

My First Skydiving – Soaring Like An Eagle

I took a few photography workshops this year.  One of them was a workshop on Night Photography.  It was the best $75 I could have spent.  It improved my skills in this area so much that two of those photos made my Best of 2012 cut:

The San Diego Skyline from Coronado

Seattle Skyline from Beacon Hill At the merge of Interstate 5 & Interstate 90

Seeing the Grand Canyon truly is an awesome experience, and I took a ton of photos.  However the best photos are the ones you capture right when the sun is rising.  Yes…that means getting up early.  In our case,we I had to get up at 4:30AM to make it to the park in time.  It was painfully cold and windy, but totally worth it.

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

Seattle always makes the cut when it comes to great photos.  Why?  Simply put, this city is beautiful.  I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again, I love Seattle.  Though I’m from San Diego, I’ve adopted Seattle as my hometown.  Yes, it rains a lot.  But, the plants need to eat and the payoff is those spring and summer months when it’s just gorgeous.

Seattle from Lower Queen Anne Kerry Park

I spent four days in Amsterdam while the Gay Pride Festival was in full swing.  OMG!!  The best daytime outdoor party I think I’ve ever been to.  The whole city gets involved in this event; gays, straights, young, old, public service personnel, the whole nine.  The lanes along the canals were packed with people watching the Naughty Boat Parade.  The people watching itself was spectacular; locals were hanging out their windows or chilling on the roof tops with drinks in hand.  This photo, though not the best, when I saw it later I smiled because it captures the fabulous vibe of the that afternoon.

Fabulous Queen On Her Boat Cruising The Canal Along Prinsengracht.

I’ve been to San Francisco more times than I can remember but when I went in August it was probably one of my favorites.  I was staying with friends, who are awesome and showed me a good time.  And, the fog was just the right amount of perfect for me to get this great photo of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

Last by not least is this Black and White at the Lincoln Memorial.  I don’t know what was going on with me on this trip.  This was a double city tour.  We went to NYC then took the train to DC.  I LOVE DC!!  However, I don’t really like any of the photos.  When in NYC I took a ton of photos in Harlem that promised to be grand, but I accidentally deleted them (Argh!!!!!!!).  Then I got to DC and the photos I took during the day weren’t as vibrant as the could have been do to the filter I had on my lens.  And, I didn’t notice it until it was pretty much too late.  So, I’m not thoroughly satisfied with any of the photos I took on this trip.  But…the quick fix was making some of them Black & White, which lead to my Washington DC Black and White Series.

The Lincoln Memorial in Black & White – Washington DC

So…there you have it, the best I have to offer of 2012.  2013 is around the corner with promises of more favorite photos from my travel adventures.

Wishing you Health, Happiness, and Prosperity in the New Year.  Happy New Year!!



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About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 30 countries, and counting.


  1. Hi Terri. I have been reading BCOT for a while now and aleays wondered what qas your rhing with the Emerld city :-D. I too love it but havent lives there foramy years. Heading home in january . What are your top five favorite eating spots there and in Vancouver? Didnt mean to change the post topic: you have inspired me to do a year in photographs. And you are brave!

    • Hello Patricia, I know. I lot of people ask me, “what is it with you and Seattle?” Sometimes you go (in this case I lived there for 8 years) to a city and you vibe with it so well. You just can’t question that, I just go with the energy whenever I can. 🙂

      Wow…top five eating spots in Seattle. Now you got me having to think. 🙂 LOL

      #1 – Bahama Breeze. It’s a chain restaurant, which I typically do not do, but their happy hour is great, the vibe is good, the staff is nice and the price is right. I ate here a lot for lunch because it was near my office building and they grill my Salmon to perfection. When I land in Seattle next month, I will meet a friend here for lunch before I do anything else. It’s what I do every time I touch down in Seattle. And, whenever my Mom would come up to visit me from San Diego, this was her favorite spot as well.

      #2 – Chaco Canyon. This is a combination Raw Food and Vegetarian restaurant located in the U District; and they have a new location in West Seattle. Their food is amazing and consistently wins for the best Vegetarian Restaurant in Seattle. Overall, I will eat at this spot more than any other restaurant while in Seattle.

      #3 – Shamiana: OMG!! This award winning restaurant serves up a fusion of flavors from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Kenya, Burma and Bangladesh and is by far the BEST Indian type food I’ve ever eaten. I’m talking melt in your mouth goodness. For a while we were dining here 2 – 4 times a week. Dang! Just writing this is making my mouth water. I must hit it up when I get there next month for sure

      #4 – Toulouse Petit: I just discovered this restaurant about a year ago. The cuisine is like a cross between French and down home Louisiana. The food is phenomenal and they have a great happy hour. It’s located in lower Queen Anne

      #5 – Serafina: Italian food at it’s best. I’ve only eaten here a few times but I’ve never been disappointed. And, reservations are a must.

      Unfortunately I do not have any recommendations for you in Vancouver. It’s been a long time (years) since I’ve been there.

      I hope this help. And, trust me on this, I’m a total food snob, so I just gave you some GREAT recommendations, if I must say so myself. *patting myself on the back* LOL

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. It’s great to know someone is out there following my adventures. Happy New Year!!

  2. This was a nice recap of your travels. Keep inspiring 🙂

  3. Hi Terri. I just came across your fabulous Youtube videos tonight while I was looking for information about working for Saudi Aramco. I am a teacher and was looking specifically at teachers’ videos. When I came across yours I had to view them all. You are really gifted at writing and good in front of a camera. Now I am searching out your blogs to read. It is a good thing I don’t have to work tomorrow! Anyway, is there a possibility that you may know a teacher that would be willing to correspond with me about working for SA? Right now I teach for the Dept. of Defense in Japan but have always been very interested in the Middle East. I truly appreciate it if you could hook me up with a “pen pal”. Again, congratulations on your success as a travel writer. You really have the gift.

    • Hello Bev,

      Thanks for your nice words. I have a group on Facebook called Black Chick In Saudi – Cross Cultural Training. Join this group. This is the forum in which I give you advice. One of our moderators is the CEO for a education/school services company in Saudi Arabia and she may be able to help.