1 year. 365 days. 52 weeks. Ummm…8760 hours?

You get the idea. It’s been a long time since I first created Brave New Traveler.

During that time I’ve met some amazing people, celebrated small milestones, and continued to plug away.

Some realizations: creating a sustainable blog model is much harder than it looks. It’s not like you can slap up some content (along with a strip or two of Google ads) and expect the money to roll in.

Also, there’s no way I could have done this alone. For the first 4 months I was writing 90% of the content and driving myself insane.

Today, I’m able to focus more on editing other brilliant writers, and collaborate with my amazing staff – Tim and Laura.

When we’ve come so far, it’s always nice to look back at our favourite picks from the year. This is just a small sample of the excellent content found in our full archives.

Tim’s Picks

1) “The Journey Begins With a Single Step” by Greg Rodgers

A heart-felt and deeply inspiring account of one man’s escape from a soul-crushing job and the burden of knee-jerk American consumerism.

“In December, I gave myself the ultimate Christmas gift, I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok and turned in my letter of resignation…”

2) “The Crisis Of Too Much Energy” by Josh Kearns

Josh Kearns serves up a healthy dollop of common sense in this sweeping condemnation of conventional wisdom about the energy crisis. Josh’s essay is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if plastic toys and big SUVs are really the ingredients of happiness.

3) “5 Reasons The Lost Girls Can Afford To Travel The World” by Amanda Pressner

Amanda Pressner and her 20 something friends “The Lost Girls” traveled around the world for a whole year.

How did they do it?

“The short answer is that it’s actually much cheaper to travel for a year than it is to maintain our cost of living back in the United States. Seriously!”

This is a great article. Seriously.

4) “50+ Travel Magazines The Want To Publish Your Travel Writing” by Ian MacKenzie

Ian’s comprehensive list of travel magazines is an indispensable resource for all writers who aspire to publish their travel stories. Simply awesome.

Ian’s Picks

5) “The Art of Spiritual Travel” by Cameron Karsten

Travel is more than alcoholic binges and sandy beaches. It’s more than bland tourist attractions and plastic souvenirs. Travel at its purest is an inner journey, navigated by the outer self, as Cam poetically reveals in his first article for BNT.

6) “5 Steps To Save Money Like the Buddha” by Lucia Byttebier

If there’s one thing Buddha wasn’t worried about, it was bling. (After all, he did forfeit his palace for robes and the open road). Lucia applies the Buddha’s lessons towards the traveler’s budget, with enlightening results.

7) “Are You Afraid of Flying?” by Ian MacKenzie

I know, it’s probably bad form to showcase my own article. But I do feel this was one of my favourite to write – the article was biting at the back of my mind for months. I felt I had to get it down on paper. And thankfully, I feel I was able to articulate the real problem: irrational fear.

8 ) “Top 10 Things I Miss About Traveling (But Hated At The Time)” by Sarah Lane

In this entertaining and thoughtful article, Sarah put in perspective all the things that get under your skin while traveling. Most of us don’t realize (until we get home) how much these trying moments push our awareness of what it means to be alive.

9) “The Truth About Carbon Offsets” by Doug Dosdall

Flying is bad for the environment. Carbon offsetting is the way to balance out the damage. But how effective, really, is carbon offsetting? And is it the end-all solution or just a temporary bandaid? Doug answers these questions and more in this great piece.

10) “Why We Need Micro-Loans Instead of Slum Tourism” by Trip Sweeney & Scott Zimmerman

“We would like to present a new concept in tourism; a travel experience that celebrates the individuals in developing countries looking hopefully into the future with an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Trip and Scott of StepUp Travel present their powerful argument for empowering poverty-stricken populations with the tools to thrive.

What are some of your favourite articles from the past year of Brave New Traveler? Please share in the comments!