My New Year’s resolution last year was to start a travel blog. I’ve never been good at following through with hobbies, but this project has been the perfect blend of travel, writing, and photography to keep me interested and challenged. However, the best part is that it pushes me to prioritize traveling when I might otherwise get sucked into the daily grind. It has also encouraged me to travel local (how had I not been to the mustard museum before this year?) and try to view familiar places with fresh eyes. I feel super lucky to have had these adventures in 2017:
Partying at the San Sebastián festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Everyone I came across in Puerto Rico was so kind and glad to have visitors for this huge cultural event. I hate to think of all the damage that happened later in 2017, both to the communities and to the natural beauty of the area. I need to plan a trip back to support their economy and see the parts of the island I didn’t have time to explore before.
Visiting my sister and brother-in-law in San Francisco
There’s something to be said about having visited a city enough times that you’ve already checked all the touristy places off the list. My 7th trip to the San Francisco Bay Area was all about spending time with my sis, visiting some off-the-beaten path places, and getting a taste of what it’s like to live there.
Going to Bend, Oregon for a good friend’s wedding reception
Even though I lived close to Bend growing up and I’m pretty sure I went as a kid, this was the first time I visited in my adult life. Not only did I have a great time at the reception and catching up with friends at our Airbnb, but I managed to squeeze in a brewery, vegan fare, and some scenic views.
Taking an epic road trip to Niagara Falls
This road trip took my husband and I to Cleveland, Erie, Niagara, Toronto, and a ton of places in between. Highlights included the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, seeing three of the Great Lakes, camping in upstate New York, exploring diverse enclaves in Toronto, and of course – the Falls.
Solo traveling in Ireland
2017 was the year of my first solo trip abroad. While I do prefer traveling with others, this trip felt really special. It was a confidence booster, an exercise in independence, and an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Though it often felt like fellow travelers were ships passing in the night (them arriving at a place as I was leaving, or vice versa), I really valued the many brief but meaningful interactions I had with others.
Conferencing in Denver
I love it when I have a work conference in a city I’ve never been to, especially when it helps me cross another state off my list. Though my days were busy with conference sessions, I got up early to wander outside for the beautiful Denver sunrises, took a half day to explore Red Rocks, and went searching for some of the city’s many murals.
Holidays in Portland
I ended the year by traveling to a familiar place for quality family time. I enjoyed my mom’s amazing cooking, playing cheesy Christmas movie bingo while watching the Hallmark channel, and going to some of my favorite vegan-friendly restaurants when I wasn’t already full.
Travel goals for 2018
Since I often base my travel plans around whatever destinations are affordable at the time, I don’t have many concrete travel plans for the new year. However, I will be traveling, hopefully including at least one place I’d never expect to have visited. Any recommendations? Post them in the comments below!
Here’s to safe & happy travels in 2018! 🌎 ✈️