2010 WAS A MONSTER YEAR for Trips and the Matador tribe. Here’s some of the content that did it for us, in no particular order:
* Travel Guide to Hvar Island, Croatia
Chelsea Rudman put this tiny Croatian island on my map. There’s no pretension of “expertise” here; she got hooked up with Hvar by a Couchsurfing host, and now she’s hooking it up for the rest of us. And I wanna go.
I also really enjoyed the format we came up with for this one — first-person narrative interspersed with sidebar-esque “travel tips” relevant to what she’s relating. It works, and I’m going to push for more at Trips 2011.
* 94 Days of Summer: What to Do in San Diego
The title says it all. Sarah’s a San Diego native, and it shows. The piece has the perfect mix of general-interest info, personal knowledge, and profanity.
* Photo Essay: Portraits of Light from Mexico’s “Happy Coast”
We publish a lot of photo essays at Trips, and I could easily have padded this list with them. But Mathieu Young’s captures from small-town coastal Mexico stuck in my mind more than all the others.
Check out the way he uses light, the way he snags moments. Aspiring travel photographers, here’s a textbook.
* 3 Road Trips out of Halifax, Nova Scotia
This one’s a cinch. I love Carlo, I love his writing, and I love Nova Scotia. I’ve biked two of the three. Now I want to go back and do them all by car.
* Walking into Ladonia
Dark horse pick? Maybe. I can’t identify what touches me about this piece. Ladonia seems magical, a fairy tale. It’s not so much that I want to go there now — more that it’s changed my conceptions of “nation” and “place.”
* How to Travel to Antarctica
How gauche to include my own content, I know. But this piece was damn fun to research and has inspired a semi-serious desire to apply to NSF for a sponsored visit next season. We’ll see.
* Creativity Found: Hicksville Trailer Palace
JoAnna Haugen’s trip to Hicksville makes me want to unfold a lawn chair, mix up some Tang, and sit out on the grass next to my plastic flamingo. Exploring this bizarrely alluring place through this piece has inspired me to start a band — I play the tambourine — just to have a good excuse to rent their recording studio.
* Paris by Rollerblade
What can I say? I’m a sucker for Paris — even more so when I’m being taken through the city by a very unsteady Matt Scott on wheels. This piece was an adventure in itself.
* Photo Essay: 18 Natural Wonders of the USA
I can’t compose a list of favorites without including at least one of Hal Amen’s infamous photo essays. There are several to choose from, but this one reminded me that you don’t need to leave the country to see some serious eye-candy.
* 99 Ways to Use the Web to Travel Like a Ninja
One-stop shopping here: this is probably the most useful piece I’ve ever seen on Trips. I immediately bookmarked it, and know I’ll be referring back to it often — if nothing else but to admire that rad laser-eyed ninja at the top of the page.
* Is Juneau, AK, Really Just a Little Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem?
Alaska has always been high on my list to check out. Matador co-founder Ross Borden’s trip to Juneau has me thinking that the tourist-less wintertime just might be the best time to visit.
What was YOUR favorite content of the year? If you don’t tell us, we can’t make sure you get more of it. Feliz 2011!