A Look Back at 2014
2014 was a great year in many ways, but especially in the travel sense! January started with a return back to the slopes in Vermont for my first ski weekend since the 90s. A beautiful snowy weekend up north was the perfect way to make the most of the New England winter.
The snow followed us to Washington, D.C. in February where we had a great time catching up with college friends, returning to some of my favorite places and exploring some new ones. That is the great thing about D.C. – you never run out of things to do and explore!
March was the perfect time to escape the cold and head on my first warm weather destination of the year (and long-time wish list destination), Austin, Texas. A girls weekend with my high school friends, great tacos and some sunshine made it easy to fall in love with Austin.
Boston was the place to be this April with the Boston Marathon having signficant importance one year following the previous year’s bombing. My fiancé Max had been unable to complete to marathon due to the sad events the year before, and there was nowhere I would rather be in April than at the Finish Line! We took in all the events of the weekend and attended the “Dear Boston” exhibit at the Boston Public Library, steps away from the Finish Line.
Audrey Hepburn said that “Paris is always a good idea,” but it was especially a good idea this May! The ultimate Mother-Daughter trip for my grandmother’s belated birthday celebration was one of the year’s highlights. Renting an apartment for an entire week made the trip more relaxed and the experience more authentic. I had a great time showing my mom and grandmother around the city and got to experience many different sides of the city than I had in 2008 as a study abroad student. One of the highlights was our day trip to Normandy – a solemn and moving experience on one of our sunniest days in France.
I knew it would take a lot to top Paris, but Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine made it look easy. A picture perfect four days in June could not have been better spent. This was my top wishlist item in the US (despite being only four hours away), and is one that I plan to return to often. We got to see the earliest sunrise in the continental US on Cadillac Mountain, lunch on Jordan Pond (inclusive of popovers) and kayak through Frenchman Bay. The hard part now is deciding which US National Park to replace Acadia with on my wishlist!
July was filled with beach trips to Cape Cod and after surviving Hurricane Arthur on 4th of July weekend, we were rewarded with some nicer weather later in the month. The first weekend of August was supposed to be a boat weekend on the islands off the Massachusetts coast, but the weather had other plans. Torrential rains may have ruined our plans on Saturday, but on Sunday we braved the elements to make it over to Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard for the best lobster rolls.
The most jaw-dropping trip of the year kicked off in the end of August and stretched into September as Max and I cashed in our Christmas presents for flights to Iceland. The land of Fire and Ice was one of the most spectacular places I have been with waterfalls, black sand beaches, glacier-walks, and finally an elusive glimpse of the Northern Lights. Renting a car and driving around the island was the best decision we made and gave us a chance to experience the less crowded, strikingly beautiful parts of the country.
October took us to both Philadelphia and Cape Cod for wedding season and both destinations were beautiful and exciting in their own right. I had forgotten how much I still had not seen of Philadelphia and the Cape never disappoints in the fall.
November was the annual birthday trip and this time the destination was Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the seaside city which won me over with its charm.
The year could not have ended better than finally checking off a top international destination while visiting good friends in their new home of London. December proved to be a great time to visit with Christmas decorations filling the streets. Six days in the city was enough for us to have a traditional Sunday Roast, ice skate at the National History Museum, visit the Churchill War Museum, walk Abbey Road and even take a day trip to stunning Cambridge. There is still so much to see and do in London and we cannot wait to return!
In terms of the travel goals I made for myself in 2014, I was happy to complete all but one. I was proud to complete the #take12trips challenge, which seemed hard at the beginning of the year and became easier and easier as the year went on. It helped me to keep travel constantly on my mind and look into more local ways to incorporate travel into my routine. I realized I still have a lot to explore in Boston and hope to prioritize a lot of this exploration in 2015.
Exploring one new state and one new country was completed (and doubled!) with trips to Wisconsin, Texas, Iceland and England and I like to think that my travel photography improved while traveling to these new places (though I still have a ways to go!).
Traveling with friends was a success as I had both a high school reunion weekend in Austin and college reunion weekend in DC – both are trips I hope to continue in the future! The only goal I did not accomplish was taking a spontaneous trip. It is a hard one to do, especially with vacation days allocated pretty precisely. We will see if 2015 is the year this happens!
I knew that 2014 would be a good year, but I had no idea just how good! Returning to destinations after a handful of years and exploring new destinations that I have been trying to get to for years was very rewarding. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!
Where did you go in 2014? What was your favorite trip?