You are (20)16 going on (20)17, baby it’s time to reflect.
The wonderful year of 2016 has come to an end. It was a big year, full of brand new adventures. I jumped into travel writing, I took my first solo trip and learned how to used my vacation days to travel. You could say it was the first year in a journey of a lifetime.
2016 took me to 9 cities, 6 countries on 3 continents. I spent 27 days travelling and collected 7 passport stamps, taking 14 flights, 4 boat trips and 6 train trips. (Can I just take a moment to high five myself because holy heck those numbers make me so happy.)
I took my dream vacation this year to the Galapagos Islands and took a whirlwind road trip to Central Europe. 2016 also offered opportunities to explore Canada itself.
Here are my top experiences of 2016:
Camping with new friends.
You know how some friends love camping and for others it’s not their thing? Well 2016 brought me some new friends for some crazy camping adventures. Always up for anything, super prepared and experienced, these ladies were a fun new addition for the two camping trips I took this year. I’m excited for more “friendship training” camping adventures for 2017. Here’s why camping should be a part of your Canadian summer.
Exploring the wondrous Quebec City.
There’s something magical about this historic city. It’s like Canada’s very own European city, and can be explored in any season. The food here is unreal, I couldn’t stop talking about it. This trip was a big moment for me, as it was the first trip I took solely for travel writing. You can read more about my adventure here.
Spotting wildlife in the Galapagos
While it wasn’t hard to spot wildlife on the Galapagos Islands – I mean everything is so close. But it was a dream come true. I never thought I would be able to take my dream vacation and see all the amazing animals that call the islands home. I felt a little bit like Darwin discovering all the new species Galapagos had to offer.
Feeling of wonder in Austria
On my whirlwind tour of Central Europe, I fell in love with Austria. Hallstatt, Innsbruck and Salzburg captured my heart not only in terms of the beautiful buildings and vistas bt also the sense of calmness. Each city and town had a comfortable vibe that radiated to its visitors. I just scratched the surface here, but I definitely want to return and explore more. Read more about my Central Europe road trip here.
Hands down, my Galapagos trip was the best part of my year. Not only was I able to save up and take my number one dream vacation, but it was everything I hoped for and more. It gave me some unforgettable experiences, unreal wildlife encounters and jaw-dropping vistas. Now that I’ve been, I am starting to count the days until I return. You can read about my highlights of the trip here, but stay tuned for more because I’m going to keep writing until someone complains.
Now that we are half a month into the new year, the holiday season is over and it’s back to reality means it is time to hit the drawing board for 2017 travel plans.
Canada is celebrating 150 years this year, which means you can go to the national parks and historic sites for free. That’s right free. (You can get your discovery pass here.) I’d really like to use this an excuse (as if I needed one) to explore my beautiful country. I also want to go on an adventure tour and do something a little out of the ordinary.
First off, in January I’ll be heading to a provincial park to go winter camping in a yurt.
Ottawa is going to be THE PLACE to be on July 1 – Canada Day – and this girls is going, or at least, that’s the plan.
For a girl who has travelled from Ontario to Alberta 11 times, I’ve never been out east. The wonderful Maritimes are calling my name this summer and I’m looking to explore by car for a camping road trip through Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. (I’m saving Newfoundland for another trip.)
And in the fall, a couple of girlfriends and I will be packing our bags and heading to Iceland for a radical road trip of the southern part of the island.
That’s where I hope 2017 is heading but you never know what will happen or what opportunities will come my way.
Cheers and a happy new (travel-filled) year to you.
What’s your number one destination for 2017?