As many of you know, I had been a city traveler my entire life – until, that is, I went to the Lake District of England in 2009. It was a turning point in my life. I didn't turn my back on city travel entirely but, from that point on, I turned my attention to what nature has to offer as I had never done before.
In 2011, I had a fantastic year discovering natural beauty in six countries. From Chile to Jordan to Canada, Austria, Wales and Mexico, I traveled and hiked to take in the sights, sounds and smells of each place.
While I always traveled solo to my destination, I didn't always explore alone. In Chile I met a new friend, Naomie, in Wales I met up with an old friend, Ffion. Whether alone or not, exploring the natural wonders that this world has to offer has been a treat in 2011.
Here are just a few highlights of the year.
(Wednesday I'll offer you a slide show of some of the wonderful people I met in 2011.)