My Favorite Travel Experiences of 2016

Round-up posts: either you love them or you hate them, right? They’re kind of like that sitcom episode where everyone just sits on the couch and remembers the cool shit that happened in earlier episodes, but they don’t move the story forward, and if you’re up-to-date on the show, you’ve already seen everything. But…I’m gonna do a round-up post anyways. So here are my favorite travel experiences of the year by month.

January: Watching the sun set in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, and walking around the Old San Juan at sunset was one of the coolest experiences I had while I was there. Americans looking for a great tropical vacation (especially those sans passport) should head there asap.

Honorable Mention: Going to an Oklahoma City Thunder Game 

View from Loud City (aka the cheap seats). Go Thunder!!! #thundernation

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I grew up in Oklahoma City, but I moved away when I was 18 for college. Since then, the town has gotten a lot cooler, and most of that is because of the revitalization of Bricktown spurred on by the introduction of the Thunder when they moved here from Seattle. I try to go to a game when I’m in town during NBA season (although this trip I’m on now will probably be an exception). Going to the game with my little bro, Mom, and aunt in January was really awesome. Nick Collison forever.

February: Seeing The Winter’s Tale at the Globe

It wasn’t technically the Globe (they don’t do plays at the outdoor theater in winter), but it was the smaller Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in the Globe complex. But any chick who volunteered at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at age 13 needs to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe at least once.

March: Going to Stonehenge

Before going to London for work, I had no idea if I’d be able to fit in a side trip to Stonehenge. Luckily, I was able to go with a friend on my second to last day in England.

April: Organizing and Selling all My Stuff in Philadelphia

April was the only month where I didn’t take a trip, but the month ended up being travel-centric as I prepped to leave and got rid of the bulk of my stuff.

May: Stalking a Baby Sheep on the Side of the Road on the Way to Kylmore Abbey, Connemara, Ireland

Ireland is sooooooo pretty. And there are so many adorable baby animals. Right after I got back from Ireland, life got crazy with wrapping up my Philly life and then I started traveling full-time. As a result, I never went back and properly wrote up my trip. It’s on my list of topics to get to this year.

Honorable Mention: Stalking the set of Star Wars on the Dingle Peninsula

This was more for my friend than for me, but it was fun to drive around the outskirts of Dingle looking for signs of another planet. Planet found.

 

June: Listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack in New Jersey

Lucy misunderstood me when I told her we would be living out of suitcases for a while. #shihtzusofinstagram #digitalnomad

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I didn’t take any official-official trips, but I kept trekking across the bridge to New Jersey to see a cute boy. And trying to get him to get as into Hamilton as me. I failed on that front, but it was nice to spend some time in New Jersey, a state I never gave enough credit. Also, I get to see Hamilton in three weeks…yeeeeee!

July: Finally seeing Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was always on my East Coast bucket list, so I couldn’t leave without seeing it. My day at Niagara Falls was my first tourist-y thing I did after beginning to travel full-time.

Honorable Mention: Seeing friends and family all over the US

Drinking margaritas with friends on a Ferris Wheel in Minneapolis. Road tripping to Mustang Island with my sister to hangout on my uncle’s boat and play with baby dolphins. Get completely lost in Cahokia with my mom, brother, and other sister. I got to catch up with so many people this summer before leaving the country.

Went out in my uncle's boat this afternoon. Saw a baby dolphin playing off the side of the boat. 🐬🐬🐬#babyanimals

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August: Snorkeling in Belize

Dude, we almost didn’t go snorkeling. I’m so glad we did though! Hol Chan is gorgeous, and I saw a moray eel (and almost kicked it accidentally…)

Last day in Belize. A moray eel in Hol Chan this afternoon. Finding this guy was the only part of snorkeling that scared me. #morayeels #eelsallovertheworld

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Honorable Mention: Going to Secret Beach

Secret Beach has wifi and the best water. We had to go back for round 2.

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Besides snorkeling, almost everything about Belize is awesome (except for the mosquitos).

September: Swimming at Pétra tou Romioú, where Aphrodite Emerged from the Sea, in Cyprus

The place where Aphrodite emerged from the sea 🌊 #cyprus❤️

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Cyprus is Aphrodite’s Isle. And, aside from the pain of walking barefoot across those rocks, swimming here was magical.

October: Visiting Meteora in Greece

If you’ve never been to Europe, go to Italy. If you’ve only been to Italy, go to Greece. And if you’re in Greece, go to Meteora.

November: Touring Rila Monastery

I spent three months in the shadow of the Byzantine Empire and fell in love with Byzantine architecture. I haven’t edited it together yet, but I’ll be posting a video of my time in Rila soon.

Honorable Mention: Going on an adorably romantic date in Sofia and holding hands in the Christmas Market. #swoon 

Just Checking In #ig_streetphotography #peoplewatcher #street_photography

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(That is not a picture of my date, lol). I met a cute boy in Bulgaria (also NOT from Bulgaria), so even though I’d already been to the Christmas market, it was really fun going back as a date. And I’m excited to go back to Sofia at the beginning of February to see this adorable boy again.

December: Going to the Vienna State Opera 

If you go to Vienna, go to the opera. It’s good for your soul.

Honorable Mention: Catching Up with My Family

Sometimes Oklahoma looks like an oil painting.

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I spent the last two weeks catching up with my family in Oklahoma City. I’m here til Saturday, mostly eating tacos, watching my dad watch football while pretending that I, too, care what’s happening in the (fill in the blank) bowl, and getting mani-pedis with my mom and sisters. Oh, and I bought so many cute dresses I’m worried my suitcase might burst.

Lasts pic of 2016 #NewYearsEve with my high school bestie. On to 2017! Maybe in 2017 we can teach Ethan how to use social media.

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But like, how cute is this outfit, right?

 

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My Favorite Travel Experiences of 2016
My Favorite Travel Experiences of 2016

15 Comments

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  4. Some great images here! Looks like you have had a epic 2016. Happy New Year and all the best for 2017 🙂

  5. Wow! What a stellar travel year you had. Puerto Rico and Niagara Falls are two of my favorite places in the world. There’s something so incredible about Old San Juan and the Falls in Ontario- especially at night!!. I also snorkeled for the first time in Bonaire, which was a blast. Looks like Belize was amazing!!

  6. Got to say, you’ve done a lot of travelling there and definitely put me to shame! I would love to see all those places in Ireland, especially the Star Wars set, that would have been amazing!

  7. Looks like a great year! Seeing Stonehenge would be awesome. Also, I am about to purge my stuff too. I’m kind of dreading going through it all, but I know it will feel good in the end.

  8. This is great. I love being able to look back at all the memories and it looks like you’ve made a lot in 2016. Kylemore Abbey looks incredible!

    • Kylemore Abbey was incredible! Although it doesn’t have as much history as some other buildings in Ireland, it’s so iconic and gorgeous! If you go, I would defnitely make the visit.

  9. I’m a fan of year end review posts. Even if it’s an artificial division of time, I think it’s good to have fresh starts, and also to look back. And frankly, for me, when it’s been a rough year, it’s really good for me to look back and see how many good things actually did happen. Perspective is always a good thing. And sometimes it’s just fun to see your fav pretty pictures. Also a good reminder that the world has a lot of beauty in it even when bad stuff is going on. Happy new year to you and hope you have a lovely 2017!

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