This year has flown by. Looking ahead I see the same thing happening again. I both love and hate it. It is exhilarating to have so much to look forward to but also makes you want to be able to reach out and hold onto something.
I know it’s incredibly popular to do “year in review” posts but I love them so I am going to do one as well.
First off I traveled more this year then any other in my life. Which is amazing. I went on 8 trips, visited new states and new countries, returned to favorites and everything in between.
I began the year in England and Scotland. My only trip to Europe this year. I climbed Arthur’s Seat, drank way too much and worked with a few new companies.
Favorite moment : one of the highlights from this year was the bike tour I did with Tally Ho! In London.
Least favorite: Underestimating how hard climbing Arthur’s Seat was going to be and falling.
In March I returned to Vietnam and fell in love all over again. Vietnam is one of my favorite countries and I cant wait to go back for the third time. If I could see myself living anywhere in Asia it would be Vietnam.
Favorite moment: Hiking thru Sapa and my street food tour with Hanoi Street Food Tours! Some of the best food I have ever eaten.
Least favorite: Hiking thru Sapa. Yes it is both one of my favorite and least favorite moments. It was an incredible experience but also really hard for me. I have a love hate relationship with hiking. I want to do it but with my bum leg it is often a burden.
May was a return to Mexico. I have already been to Cancun but it was a well needed vacation with more relaxing then exploring. I have a love hate relationship with places like Cancun. Sure it is gorgeous and the food is great but it is touristy and destroys the culture that is trying so hard to continue.
Favorite moment : Snorkeling with sea turtles!
Least favorite: my hangover after a night at Coco Bongos.
Deciding I don’t spend enough time in the US I booked a trip to visit my cousin in Portland, Oregon. I fell in love with Portland. It is quirky and the food scene is amazing. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest and reminded how diverse and interesting America can be.
Favorite moment: Honestly there were too many ! Coffee! Brunch! Food carts! I was in heaven.
Least favorite: Hiking in the Columbia Gorge ( I know why keep doing it if its always my least favorite). The forest and the waterfall were gorgeous but I lost my balance, fell on a rock halfway thru the hike and bled ALOT. I ended up with a hole in my knee and a very visible scare.
Lesson learned : Hiking is hard, brunch is not.
In August I ventured back home to Panama City, Florida for a week. I spent it with my best friend and her family. I had great weather, food and company. They say you can never go home but that’s a lie. Every time I go back it feel like I never left.
Favorite moment: Spending time with my friends family and getting to know her kids.
Least favorite: I had come down with tonsillitis the week prior to heading down there and it was the sickest I have ever been. I mostly felt awful the whole trip and was still running a bit of a fever. Flying while sick just amplifies all your symptoms.
I headed to Thailand in October for a few weeks. It was my first TBEX and I really loved it. What a great way to experience the city of Bangkok. Lots of fellow travelers and tons of organized events. After a week of the big city I headed to Surin for a few days on a press trip and then down to Phuket to enjoy the beach.
Favorite moment: Spending two weeks with my friend Stefania of Everysteph.com who I don’t get to see often enough. Also it was my first official press trip. It was exciting to get accepted into the trip to Surin and I will have a post up about it soon.
Least favorite: Phuket. I really did not like it. We stayed at a gorgeous resort but the island itself is overcrowded with tourists, pushy vendors and out of control sex tourism. Hard pass on going back.
My final trip of the year was a week in Puerto Rico. A tropical paradise, we had perfect weather all week, got to explore a rain forest for the first time and a bio luminescent bay.
Favorite moment: of course it was the food tour I did with Flavors of San Juan. When is eating not a favorite moment of any of my trips?
Least favorite: THE PRICES! Geez was it expensive or maybe I am just spoiled by my time in Asia.
I already have so many exciting things I am planning for next year. I will be starting out with a weekend trip to Washington, DC as my friend from the UK visits me.
What’s to come?
A trip to Toronto
A potential one month long road trip thru the US
Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo in July for TBEX
Philippines for a few weeks to celebrate my birthday and explore some islands.
I am certain that there will be more to come. I am so grateful for the past year and so excited for what’s to come.
What are your travel plans for the year to come?