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2013 Was a Life Changing Year

Celebrating New Year’s, you never hear anyone say they would rather go back to the old year.  Most everyone is looking ahead, anticipating the brand new year to come.  It’s a blank slate and holds the promise of many milestones, new memories and the chance to exchange your bad habits for good.

For me, 2013 was a life-changing year with the birth of our twins, Elizabeth and Ellis.  Navigating the newness of parenthood has been an unbelievable journey but sometimes as foreign to me as a night market in China. This video represents a moment when things started to click more into a place of normalcy and well, nothing makes you feel like you’re finally succeeding as mom than when your babies start to laugh.  And, yes that’s me playing the part of the dog and pig.  Getting back to traveling was also a huge goal of mine, and I’m glad to say that I had a wonderful year doing what I love.

Here are my highlights from 2013:

My first job back from maternity leave was Disney World.  It’s a place my husband and I already refer to as code name “Detroit.”  We both know there will be times when I cannot bring them, so we might as well start the lying now.  When I arrived my shooting schedule had me starting the next day at noon, so I went to bed at 8pm and slept 14 hours.  I had in fact become Sleeping Beauty and when I woke the next morning, I felt like Cinderella.  I will always love Disney for giving me my first good night of sleep in 8 months.

In July and August I shot a new pilot for the Travel Channel called Cash Attack.  We began in gorgeous Montana (one of my favorite destinations in the world) to shoot just outside of Yellowstone.  I’ve never been! Unfortunately due to some red tape we were not allowed to shoot inside the park.  However, when we finished a few hours early one day Christina (my intrepid stylist) and I took one of the production vehicles and saw whatever we could in two hours.  Even in that short time we experienced the glory of Yellowstone.  Eagles in their nests, buffalo grazing, hot pots, a steaming geyser field and we even managed to wade into that gorgeous river.  The experience had two city girls, one from Brooklyn the other from Los Angeles, wishing they could stay the night and sleep out under the stars.


In October I was back working with Travel Channel.  I spent two days in the beautiful city of Seville and the seacoast of Spain shooting Travel Channel’s The Trip 2014.  It’s a contest show that will air sometime in late winter (I’ll keep you posted) and one you definitely want to watch because well, who wouldn’t want to win an awesome vacation?  One of the highlights of that trip was visiting a spa that gives you a fantasy experience of swimming through the rooms of a 16th century mansion.  How great is that?!

But the best moment was actually when all the shooting was finished.  After an exhausting 14-hour day of being on camera, followed by a three and a half hour drive back to Seville (to catch an early flight), I really needed a moment of peace and pampering.  Luckily, Christina and I checked into the hotel which happened to have a roof bar overlooking the Cathedral.  A big glass of Rioja was the perfect way to toast the end of a short, intense and wonderful trip.  I’ll never forget the view.


Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Taiwan to shoot a Discovery Asia show called Fun Taiwan with the beautiful host Janet Hsieh.  We started in Taipei and visited several small villages on the sea as well as in the mountains. It was a glorious trip and reminded me how much I love all parts of Asia and miss it so.


Needless to say, 2013 is a year I won’t soon forget.  It was a turning point for me and I’m looking forward to everything 2014 has to offer and sharing it with all of you.  I’m really excited to experience the next milestones with Elizabeth and Ellis, who are almost a year old. They are growing so fast!  And as always, I can’t wait for my next trip somewhere.

Have a Happy New Year!  Do you have travel plans?  Add them to the comments.

More from Samantha Brown:

5 Places to Spend a Peaceful New Years Eve

2013 Top Gifts for Travelers

#1 Most Important Place to Take Kids

How I Spent My Summer

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. So excited to hear of you having twins….gorgeous babies! My family have followed your shows for such a long-g-g time! My youngest son and I first watched you in a show where you showing luxurious hotel rooms in the USA. Then my husband and were avid fans of your travel shows. You have such a great sense of fun and humor that we couldn’t for your weekly shows…..of course my husband liked you because you liked to drink a pint or two in all your shows! Lol. We missed you for awhile, but then discovered you were with Disney and doing the Disney Vacation Club webinars which we are members of. Look forward to more of your interesting travels in 2014 and congratulations on your twins! Keep your travel reporting as much fun as you have in the past and good luck!

  2. Soo happy for you Samantha! I loved watching your shows!! Keep enjoying motherhood! It’s the most amazing adventure!

  3. First of all, congratulations! They are so adorable! That giggling always gets me. Reminds me of when my “babies” were little and now they are 26 and 18! Enjoy every minute as time really does fly by. My husband and I are so glad you’re back! Keep up the great work. 🙂

  4. Great seeing you on Disney Parade show 🙂 Disney misses you so much 🙂

    so is the Trip 2014 like a Passport to Europe show?

  5. Sam…you found a good audience…nothing sweeter than a baby giggle! So happy that you are able to be a new Mom, and enjoy your beautiful twins…..but…….please come back to the Travel channel soon, with a real travel show like the old ones!!! Love you, Sam…Pam

  6. I am so excited for you. Congratulations. They are so adorable and they look like you! So glad you are able to still travel and show us the world. You are living the dream…my dream anyway. Happy New Year!!!

  7. You have learned the value of baby laughter, one of God’s gifts to mankind. Enjoy it often, remember it often.

  8. Hi Samantha! Congratulations on your beautiful babies. You were the highlight of the travel channel to me. I always watched and saved your shows as references for any clients that wanted special things to see & do while in any of the destinations that you visited. I want to thank you for that, you are an awesome host with a great personality.

    I so hope you are coming back to the Travel Channel or any channel for that matter very soon!!! Please let me know and I will WATCH for SURE!!!

    Thank you!

  9. So glad you are back! The babies are adorable. Ellis looks like your husband and Elizabeth looks like you! Enjoy them!

  10. Just got back from the Chicago Travel show and want to say how happy we were to see you again! Welcome back! Love those twins! Our twin girls just turned 28!!!! They started traveling at the age of 3!!! Our family looks forward to your return to the Travel channel!

  11. Hey Samantha! First of all – I love your sense of humor!
    My 19 year old daughter and I watch your shows when she comes home from college.(sometimes, over and over the same show)

    Your babies are adorable! The video of the babies laughing is really funny!

  12. I’m glad you have more episodes coming.
    I’m going to simpler times land this year. I’m going to have two journals, one for dreams, the other for journal. I’m going to have very little electronics in my life. I’m going to commit all that I have electronically stored- to paper and photos. I will try to go analog, and have 5 or six basic things in my life: 1) A good subtle earthy fragrance. 2) A couple of notebooks. 3) Shelter. 4) Food and water. 5) A couple of clean outfits. 6) Hobby supplies. (instruments, art stuff, music) 🙂 I have some things already of the 5 or 6, but I just want to have the minimal things so I can walk around open and wide eyed, and every day opening itself up to me. That will make my permanent vacation easier, when I am completely on it. That’s 2014 for me! You still are great!

  13. Congrats on your beautiful twins! (You look as cute as ever BTW)
    FWIW, Disney has a similar effect on us. It’s takes us away like no other place can. In fact, your special on Disneyworld was the final straw that made us go.
    We’re looking forward to seeing more of you again on The Travel Channel.

  14. We’ve missed you on TV – Looking forward to seeing you travel with your little twosome some day!
    We are off to Greece, Italy and Malta. No one seems to travel to Malta, but it looks beautiful and certainly intrigues us.
    Best wishes

  15. Hi Sam,
    I just wanted to find out the hot spring hotel that was featured in Beitou Taiwan at All Star w/ Janet Hsieh

    Thanks much


  16. whoah this blog is fantastic i really like reading your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You understand, lots of individuals are hunting round for this info, you can help them greatly.

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