A Look Back at 2013

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

A year ago, Ligeia was battling dengue fever while getting vaccinated for rabies after a monkey bit her in Lopburi. Thankfully, that wasn’t an omen for the 12 months to follow. Let’s take a look back at 2013, a year full of wonderful and exciting events!

It was in January when we officially launched Bounding Over Our Steps. Of course, we had been actively blogging for 7 years prior, but 2013 was the year when we took the leap into the world of official travel bloggers. We’re thrilled to have a supportive and growing base of “Bounders” on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as our blog subscribers!

In March, we celebrated Ligeia’s 40th birthday (actually in January) with a 3-week vacation in the Philippines, after Mindy had been planning the surprise trip for over 8 months. It was a perfect surprise, and thankfully, all caught on video:

We were back in Chiang Mai, Thailand in time for Songkran, the traditional New Year’s festival. Famous in the world of backpackers, Chiang Mai’s celebration of this holiday extends into a 5-day water fight. We participated for all of 2 hours, which was about 90 minutes too long for us, but it’s clearly a major tourist attraction and something everyone should experience at least once.

Super soaker water guns ready for use during Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Near the end of the hot season in May, about a month before the relief-bringing monsoon rains were scheduled to arrive, we decided to volunteer for a week at the Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia. The heat was extremely close to unbearable, but the jungle walk with Kham Lin made the week’s worth of sweat worthwhile.

Kham Lin on her elephant walk enjoying young palm trees in the jungle

Kham Lin enjoying young palm trees

A major highlight for Mindy came in July, when she represented Canada on the women’s softball team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. It was an amazing experience, and winning the silver medal made it all the more special.

Silver Medal at Maccabiah Games

Silver Medal at Maccabiah Games

On that same trip to Israel, we traveled all across the country, somewhat tracing the footsteps of Jesus. We also ventured into Palestine for a day, visiting Bethlehem and the supposed birthplace of Christ. And to wind up the vacation, we crossed off a major bucket list item when we explored the jaw-dropping ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

A dramatic view of the Monastery at Petra

A dramatic view of the Monastery

In September, we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with a luxurious overnight in traditional Lanna style. And, as it has become an annual tradition, we renewed our vows in the tranquil surroundings of Wat Umong, our favorite Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai.

Dressed up in traditional Lanna clothing for our anniversary

All dressed up!

Winding down our year, Ligeia spent the entire month of October in the United States. She saw New England wear its colorful Autumn wardrobe, relaxed by the pool in Florida and traveled all around Puerto Rico, making sure to visit the town where her grandparents volunteered during World War II.

Climbed to the peak of El Yunque, Puerto Rico

Ligeia at the peak of El Yunque

Late in November, we once again celebrated Loy Krathong and the northern Thai festival of Yi Peng, a breathtakingly beautiful ceremony where 10,000 sky lanterns are simultaneously released as they carry wishes to the heavens.

In December, we celebrated Mindy’s birthday with an overnight stay at Elephant Nature Park. Spending time with her two favorite ladies – Ligeia and Dani, the 55-year-old elephant – was spectacular.

Birthday at Elephant Nature Park

An amazing birthday!

As 2013 goes into the history books, and a new page is turned to begin the chapter of 2014, we wonder what this new year will bring. Our travel plans are unknown, but we hear Indonesia, Bhutan and Myanmar calling our names. We hope you stay tuned and follow along on our adventure this year!

What were your highlights of 2013?

10 thoughts on “A Look Back at 2013

  1. Jon Brown

    Oh my goodness…. love the birthday video.

    A friend of ours back home (California) had made it his goal to visit all 50 states by 50, and saved Hawaii (our newer home), for his 50th state and 50th birthday bash. It was a blast. I missed 40 countries by 40 myself by a long shot, but maybe I can kick things into high gear and reach 50 by 50.

    1. Mindy & Ligeia

      Hi Jon,
      What a great idea to visit all 50 states by 50 and the perfect plan was leaving Hawaii for last. What a great place to celebrate a big birthday! 50 countries by 50 sounds like a great plan. How many new countries per year would you need to visit to realize this goal? My new goal is 100 at 50! I figure even if we don’t make it, we’ll still have a great decade trying! 🙂

  2. Tyler

    Fantastico! Great video, good times. We’re averaging about 10 countries a year, the last two years, but have a long way to go to catch up to you two (and Jon Brown). See you soon!

  3. Abby

    An amazing year full of so many meaningful moments! Cheers to a repeat in 2014! My last big trip of the year was also Thailand, where I visited the park. A gift, for sure!

  4. Giselle and Cody

    What a great 2013! Your 7th wedding anniversary photo is so cute. How lucky we all are to have the opportunity to travel as much as we do. We hope you both have an even better 2014, and we’ll see you in February!!

    1. Mindy & Ligeia

      Hi Giselle and Cody,
      We completely agree about how lucky we are. Not a day goes by that we don’t take stock of the wonderful opportunities we have been afforded. Looking forward to seeing you in February and we can’t wait to hear all about Myanmar. 🙂 We hope to get there this year as well.

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