Another great year: 2012 in review

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller

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Last year was the one in which I finally finished my five-year stint living, working and studying in Asia and returned to the United States. The year has been a good one filled with lots of weekend trips, camping and hiking. It has been one of beautiful places, high mountains, beaches and deserts.

The first few months of the year were also the end of my time in South Korea. I spent them working much more than full time in an effort to save up money for my return to the United States, trying to stay warm in the frigid Seoul winter and enjoying the little remaining time with my friends there.

January

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Shopping in Seoul
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Ice fishing in Korea

February

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Street food in Seoul
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Deok Su Palace, Seoul

March

In March, I returned to the United States and settled in Los Angeles to begin the next stage of my life. Continuing to teach Koreans here has made for an easy transition back to life in America. The superb weather and enormous variety in natural scenery and outdoor activities in the area have helped!

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Hollywood walk of fame
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Grauman’s Chinese Theater

April

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A hike behind the Hollywood sign
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Hiking outside Los Angeles

May

In May, I traveled to Michigan to visit my friend Laura, whom I had met in Korea. She had returned to the United States a few months before me and was itching for a little road trip, so I joined her. We spent a week traveling around the Great Lakes of Michigan, camping, hiking and catching up.

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A beach on Lake Superior, Michigan
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A magnificent lakeside hike in Michigan

June

In June, I settled back in Los Angeles and began to explore the city and surrounding area. The city itself appears to be nothing special at first and has a notable negative reputation for sprawl, traffic and strip malls. All of these things are true, but as time passes, the charms of the city come out. There is of course the marvelous weather as well as the slow pace of life and of course, the abundant nature from mountains to desert to beaches.

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A beautiful day in Los Angeles
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California Coast near Del Mar

July

For my birthday, we ventured to San Francisco for a few days. It is one of those cities I had always wanted to see and it didn’t disappoint. The weather, the natural setting and the history all come together to form a nearly perfect setting. The architecture, food, vibe, sea, hiking and opportunities for taking photos abound!

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The Golden Gate
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San Francisco street scene

August

August meant heat and weekends at the beach. Santa Monica, Malibu and locales south of Los Angeles make for the perfect getaway from the sometimes overheated Los Angeles Basin during this dry month.

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Santa Monica pier
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Hiking in the Angeles National Forest

September

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October

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California coast near San Clemente
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San Clemente

November

November was a month full of weekend camping trips and a road trip to Death Valley, Las Vegas and Hoover Dam. The desert landscape of Death Valley is truly amazing and Las Vegas was a fun adventure for a day trip.

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Sunset in Death Valley
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Hoover Dam

December

December brought winter hiking in the mountains surrounding Los Angeles as well as nice cool beach walks and chilly night weather at home with a fire. The Angeles Crest Highway, the Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verdes are all locations nearby, which provide breathtaking scenery perfect for winter.

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Angeles Crest Highway
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Winter in the San Gabriel Mountains

12 thoughts on “Another great year: 2012 in review

  1. DANG! *jaw drops* You really went on an adventure last year. It looks like you had a lot of fun, too. Gorgeous pictures, by the way! I wish I could take pictures as well as you do!

  2. Look as if you had a wonderful trip and your photos are amazing . thanks for sharing , everything was well done and most importantly it seems you had a great time and that is what life is all about .

      1. A great round up and certainly sounds like a year you’ll remember. Followed in your footsteps down to Palos Verdes earlier this week. Is indeed gorgeous. Hope to get some of my shots up soon. Will certainly give you some credit in the writing.

  3. Your photographs are simply stunning. I particularly love the ones of lake Superior and the Angeles National Forest. Looks like you had a pretty incredible year too. I love posts like this because they make me enthusiastic about the new year all over again. Here’s to hoping we all make 2013 as exciting as it can be.

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