It’s the end of the year and looking back on 2011 many of you were looking to get up from your desks to see the world while at the same time ensuring you got the most out of your travels. On the flip side however some destinations that interested you at certain times of the year didn’t at others. So while there’s a bit of an advantage for posts from earlier in the year, these are the ones you liked least and most from 2011.

The Least Popular foXnoMad Posts Of 2011

Least popular doesn’t mean “not good” and I think you’ll enjoy some of these articles on a second look.

erbil international airport10. A Digital Pocket Guide On Visiting Northern Iraq: Part 1

It is often said that northern Iraq is the gateway to the rest of the country and the areas under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are a relatively stable place to start for adventurous travelers. [Full Article]

Ironically Part 2 of this post was much more popular in terms of clicks throughout the year and I’m guessing that might have to do with the information about food in Iraq.

best city to visit tournament 20119. The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2011: First Round

The preliminary round of The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2011 ended yesterday and your votes helped to rank these 64 cities from number 1 all the way down. [Full Article]

As you’ll see shortly, the Best City To Visit contest heated up in the later rounds to make the most popular list below. The pattern repeats every year though, contestant typically neglect the first two rounds – which are usually the easiest to get through. (Keep that in mind this coming March.)

downtown vancouver8. Days Before Disaster, Hockey Joy In Vancouver, Canada

The ecstatic crowds on the streets of downtown Vancouver, Canada after the Canucks won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals is the craziest scene I have ever experienced. [Full Article]

I wish I had gotten more video from these moments after the Canucks game to really highlight the mayhem. I was so caught up in the moment though I got a bit slow with my camera. I was able, however, to get this not-so-Boston-friendly clip. (NSFW – language)

the ultimate tech guide for travelers7. 5 People Who Purchase My eBook In March Will Receive A $100 Apple Gift Card

When I first was coming up with the idea of The Ultimate Tech Guide For Travelers, early on I knew I wanted it to be an ebook that gives back. Both with updates, my promise of 6 months free tech support, and the occasional gift for you readers. [Full Article]

I hope to run similar promotions coming up in 2012. It’s been a bit quiet on the contest front over here on foXnoMad so expect it to come back with enthusiasm in the coming year.

porto bridge overlook6. 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Porto’s Bridges That Are More Interesting Than You May Have Guessed

Bridges aren’t the most interesting thing to read (or write) about for most people but Porto, Portugal‘s 6 famous structures are loaded with dignified drama that’s just as juicy today as it was decades prior. [Full Article]

This post is relatively new – only 8 days old and coming out in the midst of a busy holiday season for most of you. It’s not just architecture, the stories behind these bridges host some large egos, ambitions, and aesthetics.

girne harbor north cyprus5. Recognizing The Tensions In The Unrecognized Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus

By and large invisible on many maps and unknown to many travelers, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) sits in political limbo on the island wholly refereed to as “Cyprus”. You won’t find many travel guides to this de facto nation; unrecognized by every country in the world except Turkey, 50 kilometers off the island’s coast. [Full Article]

The northern part of Cyprus isn’t a common stop on many travel lists but it’s one of my 4 picks of unexpected travel destinations you can visit before it becomes a hit.

doha qatar4. Getting A Feel (Or Not) Of The Middle East’s Fastest Growing Nation, Qatar

Qatar is a country I keep coming back to in my mind as one that I never could quite wrap my senses fully around. [Full Article]

Similar to North Cyprus, I think Qatar being a less-traveled destination – especially one I couldn’t quite describe – might have caused this one to get lost. That said though, I think Qatar is really pushing itself to be a travel-rival to Dubai in the region and this post has a bit about why it won’t work.

granada cathedral dome spain3. The Dome Of The Granada Cathedral In Spain

Geek Takeover Week 2017 On foXnoMad Begins Now

The Granada Cathedral (also known as Cathedral of the Incarnation), along with the Alhambra, is likely the most common place people in this southern Spanish city will tell you can’t be missed. Yet, I managed to miss this famous landmark that sits right in the middle of downtown Granada, next to one of its busiest bus stops on Gran Via, time after time. [Full Article]

A newer post that will gain steam in the coming weeks I’m guessing, but can make your screen shine with the golden glow of this famous Granada landmark now.

Sphinx giza egypt

2. History Waits For History To Unfold: The Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt

It never occurred to me how devoid of people this sight of Giza’s Great Sphinx is until reader Jeff mentioned it in one of the comments. [Full Article]

I’m hoping that this tale of Egypt’s struggles internally and externally with tourism takes a positive turn soon as it’s been a long year for that huge sector of their economy. Tourism income is desperately needed but many are worried about what things are like on the ground – safe enough to travel for sure and a great bargain right now too.

accumulate miles in one place1. How Do You Accumulate All Of Your Frequent Flyer Miles In One Place?

Last week I talked about how to earn more frequent flyer miles without getting more credit cards but another fundamental question was brought up in the comments by JoAnna – how do you actually get all of your airline miles in one place? [Full Article]

A follow up to…well, you’ll see. That said, this post addresses the most common mistake people make with their frequent flyer miles. Fortunately, this post also has the solution to that common problem that can get you flying for free more often.

The Most Popular foXnoMad Posts Of 2011

A countdown of your favorite posts from the last year.

alhambra granada spain10. The Last Paradise Of A Crumbling Empire: A Photo Essay From Granada, Spain’s Alhambra

The construction, slow rise, and quick fall of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain reflects grandiose illusions and delusions of its Moorish creators. [Full Article]

This famous landmark in Granada really made my job taking pictures quite easy the entire afternoon I was there. I’m glad I was able to capture some of the beauty of what turned out to be a city that both I and my camera connected with.

national park san francisco9. How To Use Thermodynamics And Light To Get What You Want When Traveling (And Everywhere Else)

Most of us are pretty far removed from nature, relying heavily on technology, chemicals, and anecdotal information to solve our most common problems when traveling. [Full Article]

You know I love science – and getting especially geeky around here – and I know you do too! Especially when these laws of nature can help keep flies away, cool you off on a hot day, and extend your laptop’s battery life…plus a few added goodies.

kings cross station london england8. How To Learn To Speak Tourist Before Your Next Vacation

When traveling to other countries where they speak a language you don’t, fluency isn’t typically required to get around. Yet the first few lessons of a language course may turn out not to be as useful as you would have hoped either. [Full Article]

Language hacking at its best, including the use of a very, very, very early version of the universal translator that’s likely in store for our futures.

pug on phone7. 3 Common Tech Mistakes That Will Screw Up Your Vacation And How To Avoid Them

There are several laws of the universe that are difficult to quantify (like those socks that disappear in the dryer) or the fact that your technology will fail you. [Full Article]

Whatever you do, the first item on that list is one mistake you don’t want to make. Doing so only sets you up for a major headache down the line and that backup drive you’re lugging around the world might not help either.

Angelina Eberly statue austin texas6. How To Get From Your Desk To All The Places You Want To Travel

Ask A Psychiatrist: Is My Constant Desire To Travel A Sign Of Mental Illness?

Sometimes the distance from your office desk to a place you’ve been dreaming about, like Spain, can seem further than the moon. [Full Article]

If I’ve got one motivation for writing this blog, it’s to get you to travel more and see different parts of the world. This post can be a boost for you to get from the computer screen you’re looking at now to that places you’ve always wanted to visit. 2012 New Year resolution perhaps?

best city to visit sweet 165. The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2011: Sweet 16

There were a blend of close finishes and strong victories in the second round of The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2011 that have left quite a few underdogs in the Sweet 16. [Full Article]

I told you the tournament would heat up and it did round after round. The Sweet 16 this year had some incredibly close races between Jerusalem and Edinburgh, Chiang Mai and Cuzco, and finally Budapest and Paris. We all know who finally won though, don’t we?

hamelin pool australia4. 5 Ways To Take Better Sunset Photos When Traveling

Although every sunset is unique, it can be a real challenge to capture them in a unique way. [Full Article]

I don’t often accept many guest posts but this one by photographer Darin Rogers captured my attention and yours too. For good reason – it’s loaded with very helpful advice to add some creativity to any sunset photo. Plus it features Darin’s impressive sunset pictures as well.

sandikli turkey3. The Top 10 Best Things To Do (Pretty Much) Anywhere

I’ve talked about travel lists in the past, like the kind that won’t do you much good and how to make the most out of generic ones. [Full Article]

Who doesn’t like a general travel list that can be used around the world? Chances are you’re doing a few of these things already but if you’re not, you might want to try them out on your next trip in 2012.

tahrir square cairo egypt2. Is It Safe To Visit Egypt Right Now?

What now makes Egypt one of the best travel deals in the world at the moment might also be keeping you from visiting the Middle East’s most popular travel destination. Months after Egypt’s January 25th revolution, the country’s travel slate has been wiped clean and at the surface has begun to return to normal. [Full Article]

A question you may still be asking now nearly a full year after Egypt’s January 25th revolution. Many of you might be planning a trip to Egypt in 2012 – and this posts addresses your security concerns.

model toy airplane1. How To Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Without Getting More Credit Cards

Although opening up various credit cards tied to airline miles deals are great ways to rack up points quickly, they tend to be limited to residents of the US. [Full Article]

This post was about hacking frequent flyer mileage accounts without resorting to opening a bunch of new credit cards and entering into the risk that method presents. It was handy hacking that earned it a spot in Lifehacker and hopefully will double or triple your mileage earning in the coming year.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look back on 2011 – the best and well, not-as-popular-but-we-still-love-you posts from this past year. Feel free to add any posts in the comments that were your favorites from the last 12 months which might not have been listed. I want to thank you again for another year of your support, encouragement, and continuing to follow my ongoing adventure. Have a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2012.

Travel smarter,