From Washington, D.C., to Spain, readers made sure to pack their copies of the Observer wherever they traveled this year.
Even though we focus on our local communities, we love to travel.
So, thankfully, our readers remember to pack us in their bags.
This year, we ventured far and wide. Together, we met new animals, such as a turtle in the Galapagos Islands and an elephant in Okavango Delta in Botswana. We celebrated the original home of the Komodo dragon on Komodo Island in Indonesia and met a giraffe on a South African safari.
Our readers took us everywhere, from snorkeling in the Florida Keys to La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. One couple took us on their honeymoon to Bali.
Each year, we ask readers to send us these photos for our “It’s Read Everywhere” contest, and this year was anything but a disappointment. So much so, that we awarded two winners $500 travel vouchers and $250 gift cards to Shelly’s Gifts & Christmas Boutique.
One winner was chosen by our loyal readers, while the other was an editor’s choice.
This year’s winner picked by readers was Susan DeVictor, who brought her East County Observer with her and her family on their trip to Coffins Patch Reef in the Florida Keys.
Carol Staitman was the editor’s choice. Staitman brought her Longboat Observer on her trip to the Canadian Rockies.
DeVictor said she and her family visit the Keys every few years and rent a boat in the area. Now, she said her kids are old enough to snorkel alongside her. In the photo she submitted, DeVictor is reading her Observer underwater.
DeVictor isn’t sure what she’ll do with her travel voucher yet. The family has a cruise planned for a family reunion, but DeVictor said maybe they’ll use the travel voucher to visit a domestic destination.
“(We’ll) see if we could go to other parts of the country, maybe one of the national parks or Maine,” she said. “Those are some ideas.”
Staitman took her Observer with her as she walked on a glacier in the Canadian Rockies. She encourages everyone to put the spot on their travel bucket lists.
“It’s majestic. It’s beautiful,” she said. “The lakes are amazing.”
Staitman had been to Canada before, but only to Toronto and other eastern parts. She, like DeVictor, isn’t sure what she’ll do with her travel voucher. She’s currently traveling domestically to visit her new twin grandchildren.
When she does use her travel voucher, she knows one item she won’t forget to pack.
“I’m inspired,” she said. “I’m going to make sure my Observer comes with me for sure.”