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An Exciting New Concept in Photography and Travel Blogging

Posted on February 11th, by Peter Parkorr in Everywhere, Travel Tales. 4 comments

Today I am very pleased to reveal to you, exclusively, an exciting new concept in travel blogging, photography, and indeed the internet.

Without further ado,
proudly introducing!
*drum roll please*
the year 2012!

Yes, you may have heard of it, but you’ve almost certainly seen nothing of it from me. Just over a year ago I started my first blog, but I didn’t write much about travel or publish many photo’s, as I was too occupied with the act of travelling itself. So for the start of this year, I’ll be sharing the best photo’s and stories I collected during 2012 with you on Travel Unmasked.

To get this cutting edge initiative started with a bang, I’ve put together some previously unpublished photographs from the year, to give you a taster of what you can expect.

This time last year I was in the middle of living four glorious months in Sicily, arriving to this magical isle by ferry from nearby Malta and Gozo.

Sicily - Land of Eternal Orange Harvests

Sicily – Land of Eternal Orange Harvests

Valletta, Malta, surrounded by the Mediterranean

Valletta, Malta, surrounded by the Mediterranean

I spent two months WWOOFing with at a couple of hosts, the first one in the very centre of Sicily (where you can also find…  nothing else whatsoever!), and the second one near Mt Etna, on the coast. After enjoying the healthy outdoors lifestyle, I decided to discover more of the island, and promptly ended up working at the first hostel I came to in Catania for the next two months.

Laid back Hustle and not much Bustle, in Sunny Catania

Laid back Hustle and not much Bustle, in Sunny Catania

As I was piecing together the ever entertaining social media jigsaw puzzle, a strange phenomenon known as the travel blogging conference caught my attention. I went to investigate TBU Umbria and visit a few of Italy’s cities, before heading back to the UK in May to tie up a few loose ends. I spent most of my time in different parts of England, but popped over to Ireland, Wales, and up to Scotland as well.

Rome, Where All Life Feels Fleeting

Rome, Where All Life Feels Fleeting

Britain - Pre Olympic Excitement

Pre-Olympic Excitement on the streets of Britain

A few weeks with a base (sort of) was almost enough time to organise myself to blog while travelling – but not really. I left the UK in July on a wild seal chase, travelling from Berlin to Estonia over land, passing through Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, before bobbing over to Finland by boat, in search of endangered Saimaa ringed seals.

Berlin - A Pink Streak Runs Through It

Berlin – A Pink Streak Runs Through It

Berlin felt a lot more Eastern European than I was expecting, and the capital cities of the Balkan states were so much more akin to Western Europe.

Surprisingly Pious Poland

Surprisingly Pious Poland

Rebellion & Literature in Uzupis & Vilnius

Rebellion & Literature in Uzupis & Vilnius

Latvian Food & a Music Festival

Latvian Food & a Music Festival

Scenic Estonia Landscape Panorama

Estonia – Stonework and Scenery

In Finland, I’d heard you can camp anywhere, so that’s what I planned to do. Hiring a car and with only 10 days available, I had a 2000km adventure in the long summer light, and spent a couple of days exploring the Finnish lake district by kayak, trying to spot those seals, before returning to Helsinki.

Stunning Colours and Light at 3am in Rovaniemi, near the Arctic Circle

Stunning Hues and Light at 3am in Rovaniemi, near the Arctic Circle

Finland - Colourful Helsinki

Incredible views over Helsinki in the Summer Sunlight

My next stop was Israel, for a big family wedding, and I split my 5 weeks between catching up with family and seeing the country itself. If I could have stayed longer I would, but in September I excitedly set off towards more fun and frolicking on the conference circuit. I made a beeline for my second travel blogging conference of the year, via Geneva and some CouchSurfing in Lyon, before nearly dying of exhaustion from Too Much Fun in Porto. A few days alone through Portugal helped recharge my batteries before conference round 3 at TBEX Girona in Spain, which was even more fun. It’s a risky business.

Israel - Tel Aviv Tease

Tel Aviv Beach Life, Israel

Human Tower and Human Pyramid - Israel Girona

An impressive Human Pyramid in Girona (right), and the equally impressive drunk man on top of a drunk man, on top of a drunk man, on a stage at a wedding party in Israel (left)

Lyon - Lively Liqeurs

Lively Liqeurs spotted in Lyon

Geneva - Fountain and Moon

Geneva – a shock to the system after Israel

Chilli and Garlic Sellers, Porto, Portugal

Fresh and fiery ingredients in pretty Porto

Landing back in the UK again in late September, I was looking forward to knuckling down and getting stuff done. A week later I was back in Spain, working under the guise of shooting video and rock-climbing, and two weeks later there was yet another blog related event in the form of World Travel Market in London. So eventually, by mid November, I was back where I started in December 2011. Deciding what to do and when to do it, just as soon as I’d got some content on my blog.

El Chorro - Clam Friday

Clam Fridays courtesy of the team at the Olive Branch B&B, El Chorro

London Bubble Tea

The best thing about London – Bubble Tea Shops

All was quiet, exactly what the doctor ordered, until the best way to blow out the end of a year I know of. A sizeable blog trip to Bonnie Scotland for Hogmanay and beyond, starting 2013 as I meant to go on. That’s by travelling and enjoying the world for the record, not by being drunk and disorderly.

Scotland - Blogmanay Bloggers

A Bridge Full of Bloggers at #Blogmanay

Scotland - Malt Whisky Barrels at Tomatina Distillery

Whisky most certainly was present in Scotland though

So, in true punctual form, in 2013 I will be bringing you lots and lots of 2012, before heading off on more epic adventures. I’ve got a couple of exciting projects in the works, but they’re not quite ready to be unmasked yet. There will be a mixture of other content coming too, including photos, videos and posts from India in 2010, Japan in 2011, and whatever I get up to in 2013 (my Australian Working Holiday Visa has just been granted and a New Zealand one is in progress…)

I hope you enjoying reading what’s coming as much as I’m going to enjoy reminiscing over the highs and lows of last year.

Peter Parkorr Photo by Budget Traveller

2012 – almost as exciting as juicy steak and cocktail sticks, at Deseo restaurant, Gleneagles.

Peter Parkorr