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I planned on reeling out a list of the top ten most-liked photos from my Instagram account, but then I changed my mind. So here are my favourites instead.

No more explanation necessary.

1. Bruny Island Seal Colony, Tasmania

My youngest brother and I visited Tasmania for a couple of weeks and spent a few days on Bruny Island. It was so beautiful. Dirt roads, penguins and wildlife everywhere, two beaches meeting in the long, thin “Neck”, and a whale watching tour. I snapped this picture of the seals lazing about during that tour. Gosh they stank, so I guess it perfectly illustrated my post about recreating an Aussie Christmas Overseas.

2. Deer, San Mateo

I’m a sucker for wildlife and we seem to be surrounded by it at the office. There are tiny bunnies, kittens and cats, squirrels and, of course, deer. They spook so easily though so I never manage to get a proper photo that’s not blurry. Enter Mr M: The Deer Whisperer. He managed to coax one out of the wooded area – don’t ask me how because I still don’t get it. This isn’t the best shot, but I blame the Samsung Galaxy 5 camera… it’s not great.

3. Te Au Mona Luau, Wailea

We spent a week in Maui earlier this year and Mr M’s parents got us tickets to the Te Au Mona Luau at the Wailea Beach Resort (a total plug because it was fantastic). This is just one of those photos where everything seems to align. The sun was in the right spot and it captured the spirit of Maui so perfectly.

4. The Ramp, San Francisco

When I first arrived in San Francisco, it all seemed a bit large and overwhelming. So I signed up for the Walk SF fundraising event called the Peak 2 Peak. The 13-mile urban trek took us across 10 peaks and The Ramp was our start and finish line.

5. Street Art, San Francisco

For the life of me, I can’t remember where I took this. I know it was on a walk from The Mission District to Powell Street BART, on this day. Even though I don’t dress like one, I’m a total hipster at heart. I love street art and this one was a particularly good backdrop for a car park.
This photo was taken by Mr M. Check out his Flickr

6. Portola Valley State Park Redwood, Bay Area

What a total poser! I just HAD to have a photo of me in here. We snatched the last of the warm weather in September for a camping trip to the Portola Valley. This is the oldest tree in the park at about 1,200-years-old. It stratches 90 metres up and three metres wide. Mr M had his work cut out for him getting this shot.

7. Mount Rainier, Seattle

Let it snow! I took a Thanksgiving jaunt to Seattle last year (Strictly not 2016 but I posted it to Instagram in 2016 so it counts). I made it out to Mount Rainer on a crisp sunny day for some snowshoeing and general shenanigans. But before that could happen I needed to traipse through the snow a bit. Mission accomplished.

8. The American Museum of Natural History, New York

There are quite a few iconic scenes that you can capture in New York. But this was, by far, my favourite. It’s iconic and it reminds me how small we are as humans, in the “grand scheme” I suppose. Plus the architectural details in this room are superb.

9. Lands End Labyrinth, San Francisco

I think it’s the journey to get to Lands End that makes me like this picture so much. I got lost a few times, found a few landmarks and cool spots that I wasn’t looking for and didn’t even know about. And then I happened upon Lands End. Where someone asked me what a labyrinth was.
This photo was taken by Mr M. Check out his Flickr

10. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver

To round out the year, we have the Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights event. Mr M managed to get this fabulous photo, while my poor, sad little camera struggled not to blur every single shot. The park strings hundreds of thousands of lights across bridges, in trees and over ponds to create a spectacular holiday light show that’s well worth your while.

And there you have it, my expat year in Instagram photos. Here’s to a fantastic 2017!