Best of the Blog 2012: The Top 10 Faves

j & Camel

This past year has been fantastic for us. We completed another eye-opening Round-the-World Trip, bought a little condo and embarked on some challenging renovation projects, spent a month in the Baltic States, visited with friends and family … and made some great new friends.

One of our big joys has been all the wonderful feedback we’ve received from you. So we’ve rounded up your Top 10 Favorites from 2012, with a little backstory on each for your weekend pleasure.



1. Those Bodacious Baltic Beasties

While visiting the Baltic States this past Fall we were intrigued by all the animals imbedded in the architecture. What gives! So we researched and discovered some interesting answers.



2. Savannah’s Tiny Cottages: Total Charm in 300 Square Feet

Our love of the Southeastern USA took us to Savannah … and our passion for unique, small homes lead us to these fascinating cottages. The popularity of this post seems to be fueled by a growing trend toward simpler lives and smaller homes.


3.  The Tuk-Tuk Lesson

What if you lived in a country where you were not allowed to drive? As Americans we find this hard to believe, but as world nomads we know that there are places this is the reality. But “where there’s a will” … there’s a tuk-tuk and a teacher.

Sorrowful spirit

4. The Watchers in the Hammock

Most of the views on this post are tourists, past and present, who stumble into the Tree Spirits of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Everyone is amazed that such beautiful art is carved into an oak tree, and the word spreads. It also helped that the artist Keith Jennings gave us a plug on his Facebook page.

5. Scenes From a Buddhist Wedding.

Have you ever been to a wedding where the main attraction was an elephant getting a bath? Truly memorable. But I contend it was the photo of the gorgeous bride and groom that got everyone’s attention.


6. Byzantine Church Supplies: Another World

While meandering the back streets of Athens, we stumbled into a fascinating merchant street – elite shops devoted to meeting the needs of the Greek Orthodox Churches and Clergy.

red door

7. “Dengue Fever! … I’ll be an RTW Rockstar!”

I must say, without a doubt, I worked harder for this post than any other. I didn’t work ON the post (Terri wrote it), but struggling through Dengue Fever takes some energy. But the scary truth is that millions of people contract Dengue each year, and these are the folks that made this, and my other Dengue posts so popular.

8. The Fascinating Thai Spirit Houses

Everyone knows that Bangkok rocks, but few know about the mysterious world of the spirits that roam family compounds and reside in the Thai Spirit Houses.

9. Gangaramaya: Colombo’s Buddhist Temple

Experiences like the Gangaramaya Temple are what every international traveler dreams of. Essentially everything we experienced at the temple was exotic with an upper-case E. A buddhist wedding, elephants, and drums and horns in the temple … nothing was missing.

10. Donkey Tales from Santorini

And then there are posts that always bring a smile to our faces. It’s a perennial favorite we’ve brought back from 2011. We loved our experience in Santorini, and the hilarious donkey encounter is a memory that will never leave us.

We received the following comment from Terri’s sister Ellen, and her family (husband: Keith, daughters; Annalee, Noelle, Arianna, et al species).

“Please accept this as a formal petition from all of the species comprising Team Lasher (human, teenager, canine, amphibian and feline) to have the photo of “Terri’s Donkey” included in the best of 2012. Come on! We are, if nothing else, all suckers for a pair of beautiful eyes. Please reconsider. Signed by the 3 humans, 2 teenagers, 3 dogs, 1 cat and 3 fish of the Team Lasher realm.”

* * *

The Gallivance Blog started life as a journal of our travels, and a communication tool for our family and friends. It definitely has achieved both of these goals. However, along the way, we’ve picked up an audience, literally, in every corner of the world. We have fun blogging, and are flattered that people from over 125 countries drop by to see what we’re up to. Thanks everyone.

Peaceful Trails,
Terri and James


We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

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