While I am considerably behind most other bloggers in posting my goals and trips for 2016, I have been spending the beginning of January winding down from the holidays, getting organized for 2016 and booking some trips for the remainder of the year!
2015 has also taken some significant time to reflect on. It was without a doubt one of the best years yet – more on a personal level than in a travel sense. Our September wedding was the highlight of the year and allowed us to take one of our dream trips to Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Mauritius for our honeymoon. It was a new continent for both of us and allowed us to experience a city break, adventurous safari and relaxing beach escape all in one. While many people say a safari is a “once in a lifetime trip,” I am already contemplating how I can get back to the beautiful African continent soon!
Most of the rest of the year was spent in wedding appointments, going to friends’ weddings and partaking in all the festivities that go with these exciting events! While it was a fun-filled year, 2015 did not allow for as much traveling as years past. There were a couple of highlights though, and I feel like I spaced my traveling out to make the shorter trips last me until the next one.
Austin, Texas was the start of my 2015 travels, and as I have wrote about before, is a place I want to return to again and again! Warm weather, an artsy community and a budding foodie scene make it hard not to fall in love with the Texas capital. I was there for my college roommate’s bachelorette party, which was a great excuse to get everyone together in a fun place!
Most of the spring and early summer was spent travelling for weddings and the activities that go with them, and while this is a different type of travel than seeing a new place, it is also the best kind of travel in that it allows you to reunite with friends and experience such momentous occasions.
In the midst of all the weddings, Max and I did sneak away for a long weekend in May to celebrate a milestone birthday for him in Chicago! While this was my third trip to the city, it was my first one as an adult and my first one in the spring, and allowed me to fall in love with Chicago in a whole new way.
In July, I got to return to one of my favorite islands, Martha’s Vineyard, for my own bachelorette party and a weekend filled with sun, beach and festivities.
My mom and I also chose to go low-key this year for our mother-daughter trip and retreated to the quiet of Connecticut, and specifically to the Norwich Spa, for a weekend of relaxing.
And while the rest of the summer was pretty low-key finishing up wedding tasks, it was also a great excuse to take advantage of the beach which is right in our backyard and make the time leading up to our wedding as relaxing as possible.
Post-wedding we were free to spread our “travel wings” a little more broadly and a month after returning from the honeymoon I was off to New York City to visit my girlfriends and a month after that we were off to one of my favorite places (and now Max’s), Charleston. More on America’s Favorite City and our wonderful week there coming soon!
The last trip of the year was back to one of my other favorite places of Washington, D.C. where I went to school and was able to reconnect with friends and watch my alma matter beat Syracuse :). Our last day there was spent wandering around my favorite place, the National Mall and the monuments, and I even got to see one of the newer monuments, the Martin Luther King Memorial, for the first time.
Traveling to a new continent and going on a safari were definitely the highlights of my travel year, but returning back to some of my favorite places was exciting too! I had not been to most of these places in a while and it allowed me to see the city through a different perspective.
In 2016, I see more return trips in my future. While I love to visit new places, there is something satisfying about visiting a return destination and seeing new things. I already have New Orleans and Ireland on my radar, places I have been before and loved.
Additionally, as a commitment to a new year (and a year with less commitments), I am reinstating my goal from 2014 to #take12trips and explore domestic and international locations, as well as those places right in my backyard. I’m looking forward to a year of “unlimited travel” as I was promised in a Christmas present and having much more to share on the blog this year!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016 and looking forward to seeing where your travels take you!