2010: My Year in Pictures

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

2010 has been one of the best years of my life to date – a year of  dramatic changes, learning opportunities and of course, amazing travel experiences . 2010 has also  seen my travel writing career take off and blossom – I’ve since been published in Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, Women Adventure Magazine, Wend and many more international publications. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel on assignments, explore more of my passion for writing and meet plenty of inspiring people. I have so many people to thank especially you, my readers, who have helped made my dream come true.

In 2010 alone, I traveled to over 20 countries on 13 different media trips. Life as a travel writer is definitely not easy – but I’m relishing every single minute of it and trying to learn as much as I can along the way. Let’s take a look back at 2010 and the places that have carved a mark in my memories.


At the start of 2010, we rang in the new year in Munich, Germany: one of my favorite cities in Western Europe. Alberto and I had spent Christmas in Dresden, East Germany with our best friend before deciding to travel to the west and on to Salzburg and Prague to get reacquainted with Europe. After being away for a year and a half, it was good to see what we’d missed.

Fireworks on NYE in Munich

Clock Tower Square at night


Turkey has always been one of my favorite places in the world, so I was thrilled to have an excuse for a revisit thanks to the ASTA Expo in Istanbul. It was my first foray into commercial tourism, and I met many travel industry experts and learnt a lot from their perspectives. After the expo, I took the opportunity to explore Cappadocia in Central Turkey. Staying in a unusual cave boutique hotel there was one of the highlights of 2010.

Tulips in Istanbul

fairy chimneys in Cappadocia

The Balkans

From Turkey, I made my way overland to the Balkans: a part of Europe I’d always been intrigued by. From admiring the understated architecture of Bulgaria to lounging by the gorgeous Lake Ohrid in Macedonia to digging up history in Albania, I unraveled the air of mystery clouded around the Balkans and instantly fell in love with the region. I met some interesting artists and photographers and inspired by them, I wrote an article on Plovdiv’s thriving art scene for Today daily papers.

An Orthodox Church standing over Lake Ohrid


By May, I was back in Spain – it was a month packed with short trips to the countryside in the Alpujarras, and Seville (where I hung out with close friend/writer Abigail King). A sponsored trip to Mallorca came just in time: Alberto and I were ready to kick back and enjoy the heat. Along with some of my favorite Europe-based travel bloggers, I went on a blog trip to Valencia, jam-packed with some impressive experiences such lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant, a jeep safari through Benidorm and pit tickets to the F1 Gran Prix.

Mallorca beach


June was the start of my intensive travels. Alberto and I jetted off on a media trip around Ireland, road-tripping from Dublin to the lavish Ashford Castle in Cong (one of the most luxurious hotels I’ve stayed in) to the charming beach town of Ardmore, Waterford. We also managed to sneak a short meeting with my favorite travel blogger Andy from 501places.

Ashford Castle


Our month-long India sojourn was the highlight of the year, as well as the only leisure (self-funded) trip we’d planned for 2010. I’d dreamt about India for the longest time, so we squeezed out a month this summer to travel from the financial capital, Mumbai, to the northern region of Rajasthan – beautifully packed with colors, traditions and distinctive landscapes – before heading to the Indian Himalayas and back to Delhi.

Peering out of a window at Amber Fort

The Taj Mahal


Moscow, Russia

Enroute back to Spain, we stopped over and spent a day in Moscow. 12 hours in Moscow in summer meant a mad dash in the Kremlin under the extreme heat. The quirky architecture in the Kremlin area far exceeded my expectations, but there was too little time. I definitely hope to return to Russia in the near future.

Kremlin, Moscow


In September, we packed our beanies and winter coats for a 2-week trip in Norway. Alberto was there for work so I tagged along. Besides meeting fellow travel blogger Renny BA in Oslo, we road-tripped over to the western part of the country, exploring Briksdal Glacier in Stryn, weaving through winding mountain roads and visiting the famous fjrods in Geiranger.



Wales, UK

By autumn, I had press trips scheduled back to back. My blogtrip to Wales, organized by Visit Britain, had a refreshing spin to it: In the form of a competition, the Welsh Showdown offered five different challenges in various corners of Wales – including making sheep poo paper and coasteering and cliff-jumping in Pembrokeshire. (Picture below shows me scaling a cliff).

Scaling the cliffs

Southeast Alaska

One week after Wales, I flew over to the U.S. for an ‘un-cruise’ experience onboard American Safari Cruises’ Safari Quest vessel to get a taste of its brand new InnerSea Discoveries voyage. The voyage through Alaska’s Inside Passage included hiking through lush temperate rainforests, sea kayaking in salmon streams, walking on giant glaciers, flying over mountains onboard a floatplane and iceberg tours. This was definitely one of the coolest junkets I’d been on and I have American Safari Cruises to thank.

Icebergs at Le Conte Fjord, Alaska

Northern Lights


On assignment for Running In Heels, I visited Amber Spa along Latvia’s Baltic coastline and had the opportunity to fly there on AirBaltic’s Business Class. While exploring the medieval capital, Riga, I met up with blogger/internet marketing extraordinaire Hjortur Smarason and his wife.

Latvia Baltic Sea

Jeju Island, South Korea

Since I was planning to head back to Asia for the festive season, I was stoked when Jeju Olle Foundation offered me a chance to participate in the World Trail Conference 2010Hiking on Jeju Island was quite an experience, even more so participating in the Jeju Walking Festival. Before hopping over to Jeju, I had a wild time hanging out with fellow travel blogger RunawayJuno in Seoul – pigging out on street food and the lethal firewater, soju.


hanging out in Seoul with RunawayJuno 


It was an excellent way to end my year of travels: in the sunny tropics of Thailand. The private, gorgeous resort of Upni Duniya on Ko Samui was my base for the week, as I explored the island, indulged in good food and savored Thai culture in the company of fellow journalists. My second sojourn there was a Medical Tourism Blogtrip organized by Tourism Authority of Thailand, and my first night in Bangkok was already a blast as we participated in the annual Loy Krathong celebrations.

Bangkok Chao Praya River restaurant

Lamai beach, Ko Samui Thailand


Kuala Lumpur

Just a week ago, I hopped over to Kuala Lumpur for a whirlwind trip, to visit fellow travel bloggers whom I’ve become close friends with: Keith from velvetescape, David of MalaysiaAsia fame and Mei, writer of Cumidanciki.




What better way to welcome in the new year than back at home with friends and family? I’m now back in Singapore for the festive season. Thrilled to see the changes that Singapore has undergone in the last two years, I’m taking my time to explore new parts of the city and get reacquainted with old and new friends and make the most of my time here!

Singapore skyline

What’s Next?

For January, I already have a few travel plans in the pipeline: such as a Sarawak (Malaysia) trip for the official opening of the new Tune Hotel in Bintulu and a stay at the private Nikoi island in Indonesia.

I’ll be flying off to Europe come mid-January and I’ve got several trips planned right after: Nice, France in February, Manchester for Travel Bloggers Unite in March and a trip to Cologne for its carnival to hang out with Melvin from Traveldudes!

I’ll be writing more about my travels in the coming year, thank you so much for your support, hope to see you around in the new year!


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

25 Responses to “2010: My Year in Pictures”

  1. Stephanie December 31, 2010 4:48 pm #

    Sooo cool!! Really enjoyed reading it! =)

  2. Lisa E @chickybus December 31, 2010 4:57 pm #

    Wow….what a wonderful year you've had! You covered a lot of ground and saw many incredible places, including India, which truly really looks mind-blowing.

    I look forward to seeing what's ahead next year. Happy travels in 2011!

  3. JH December 31, 2010 5:58 pm #

    Reading through your entries and journeys for 2010, it’s superb & awesome ! Well done for 2010 & wish you all the best for 2011 !

    Looking forward to read more of your travel adventures and stories ! Great to meet up and have eating tweet ups here in SG !

    Happy New Year to u !


  4. David @MalaysiaAsia December 31, 2010 7:36 pm #

    Most awesome round up of your trips Nell! I am happy to know that just in 2010, you visited so many exciting places and most of all, it was a pleasure to have met you first in Chatuchak Market! (LOL, remember how we met there??) and then in Bangkok with the rest of the crew. After that, we had another fabulous meet up in KL, Malaysia with Keith, Mei, Nigel and Lilian and that put an indent in my memories of the 'SakeTini' Night! Look forward to meeting up with you again in the future and have a wonderful 2011! I know you will be busy with lots of stuff :)

    David & Lilian

  5. Simon December 31, 2010 10:03 pm #

    What a year full of discoveries! All wonderful places. The ones that awakened at most my imagination? The Balkans, Alaska and Jeju Island!

    Happy New Year! Wish lots of amazing adventures in 2011.

    Hugs, Simon

  6. Ayngelina December 31, 2010 10:33 pm #

    I was going to say the photo of the Balkans was my favourite but I love the photo of you and Juno! Feliz bueno año Nellie!

  7. Camels & Chocolate December 31, 2010 11:10 pm #

    What an awesome 2010 you had! Hope 2011 is even better!

  8. Abi January 1, 2011 3:21 am #

    Happy, Happy New Year Nellie – trusting that 2011 will be even better!

  9. Christine January 1, 2011 3:50 am #

    What an amazing year–and such gorgeous photos! Keep it up in 2011!!!

  10. Nellie January 1, 2011 2:19 pm #

    Thanks guys! I really don't know where I would be without you guys. Have an awesome year ahead! ;)

  11. Connie January 1, 2011 6:19 pm #

    What an exciting 2010 you had! Talk about being ALL over the place! I can't wait to hear what 2011 has in store for you! Happy new year!

  12. beth January 5, 2011 1:00 am #

    Good for you! I love hearing about people who have had such great years! I can't wait to write my own post like this :)

  13. Lash January 5, 2011 5:09 am #

    Hey Nellie!
    GREAT to see you're traveling SO MUCH and making amazing successes as travel writer/ blogger! Congrats!! I hope to catch up with you during this year! cheers, Lash

  14. Butterflydiary January 7, 2011 2:12 am #

    What an incredible year for you! I love the photos of you and Juno and Mei as well.

  15. Tijmen January 7, 2011 2:39 am #

    Wow, you have been to some incredible places this year. Must have been amazing to see the Northen Light in Alaska. Great photos!

  16. Bryan Haines January 7, 2011 4:48 am #

    What a great set of photos – and amazing places. Congrats on such a busy travel year!

    The beach in Spain is looking pretty inviting right now. . .

  17. Rebecca January 8, 2011 12:18 pm #

    Fabulous year! Love the pics. All the best for 2011!

  18. FabulousTerrah January 23, 2011 9:26 am #

    Wow, what a year full of fabulousness! Haha! Excited to see what 2011 will bring. Your newest blog crush ~ Terrah

  19. Erica February 2, 2011 6:41 pm #

    That is quite a year!

  20. Margo February 3, 2011 3:13 am #

    fabulous photos and very inspirational! *le sigh* – love them all, but think my favorite is the morning mist/Balkans shot :)

    • Nellie March 21, 2011 1:21 am #

      Thanks Margo. That spot at Lake Ohrid in the Balkans is definitely one of my favorite places that I visited in 2010 as well!

  21. Emily March 21, 2011 1:29 am #

    These are such beautiful photos! It looks like you had a pretty incredible year. I wish I was able to travel that frequently! I'm dying to go to the Balkans–that is probably one of my favorite pics in this post.

  22. Natalie T. March 21, 2011 11:03 am #

    Wow. I stumbled on your blog via Emily above and your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I've been re-configuring my travel plans and you're inspired me to get to Turkey as well as Russia. Thanks for re-igniting that spark!

  23. Trisde March 21, 2011 11:14 am #

    I like it… indeed.. awesome… this I plan to do in 2011.. :) thank you for nice posting… I think moving career from corporate accountant to be traveler heart writer will become something worthy to do..once again, thank you

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