A Year In Review

As 2018 draws to a close, I’ve taken a little bit of time to reflect back on this year.  Like every year, this year has had its ups and downs. It’s also had a lot of travel, which I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do.

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

When I started this blog earlier this year, I wanted to have an outlet for sharing my stories of places I’ve visited as well as share some tips. I started out with some travel resolutions:

1)      Try something out of my comfort zone.  COMPLETE. I went on a cruise.

2)      Visit somewhere with fabulous fall foliage.  COMPLETE. I visited Idaho

3)      Euro Disney and a Christmas Market in December. SORT OF.  We scraped the idea of France and Euro Disney in December, but did visit three Christmas markets.  Wroclaw, Dresden and Prague.

4)      Visit a bucket list destination. COMPETE. I visited Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

At the Zwinger in Dresden.
Enjoy the travel journey.

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to visit:

1.       Long Beach/Ensenada Cruise

2.       Denver/Colorado Springs

3.       Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island

4.       Turks & Caicos

5.       Tucson

6.       Vegas

7.       Sedona

8.       Idaho – Boise and Ketchum/Sun Valley

9.       Ottawa

10.   Wroclaw

11.   Dresden

12.   Prague

 

What was my favorite trip?

Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island.  We went in off-season, but there was still a lot to see there and a lot to do. The trip was made even better by the extreme friendliness of the locals. I’ve never had a trip where everyone was so friendly. It was a quick trip, with a lot of ground covered, but I definitely felt like we were able to see a lot. The coastline of Nova Scotia was breathtaking, and the lobster was a hit too. I definitely want to make it back to Nova Scotia someday.

 Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia was breathtakingly beautiful.

Where do I wish I could have stayed longer?

Turks and Caicos. I’m not one that loves sitting by the beach for days and days, but Grace Bay in Provo, Turks and Caicos was the best beach I’ve ever been to. The sand was so soft, the water so clear. I could have been content sitting in the beach chair for at least another few days, perhaps another week.

Grace Bay beach.
The sand was so soft and the water was so clear at the beach at Grace Bay.

What was the biggest surprise?

Idaho was by far the biggest surprise in the bunch. Maybe I had too low of expectations, but I can honestly say that Boise is quite a gem and Ketchum and the Sun Valley area is gorgeous. I walked away from that trip thinking of all of the fun off-the-beaten path, simple things we did and having an urge to go back.

 At the dog park in Ketchum.

Idaho surprised me in many ways.

What was the biggest disappointment?

Hands down, Prague. I hate to say it, but while the city has beautiful architecture and many sites to see, there are just too many tourists. It made it really unenjoyable.  And, while the Christmas Market was visually beautiful, there wasn’t much there to do or buy.

 Old Town Prague.

Prague has beautiful architecture.

Biggest Piece of Advice for Travelers

Make a list of where you want to go and what you want to see.  Realize when you get there, it might be different than you imagine, and this is OK. Don’t plan out every minute, have an idea of what you want to see, but let your time there guide you. Some of the most enjoyable things on my trips this year, have been ones that have been completely unexpected – a picnic on a hike in Idaho, a little guided tour of a historic site in New Brunswick, trivia night in Prince Edward Island, etc.  And also realize, that even if a place or a trip doesn’t meet your expectations, it can still be enjoyable and it can be a learning opportunity. Case in point here – I went on a cruise, I wouldn’t do it again, but I had fun.  And, while Prague was overrun with tourists, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the city – its architecture, food, etc.  It left me longing though to plan travel to places more off-the-beaten-path.

 

What’s in store for 2019?

Well, 2019 will have a lot less big trips because … I got engaged. Of course, I can’t give up traveling completely, so I know there will be some trips here and there.  

Engagement photo
We got engaged on Christmas.

Looking further out into 2020, I think there are some trips I want to add to my list. I’m intrigued by the country of Georgia – it’s landscape, it’s culture, what it has to offer. I’d like to get back up to Quebec and see fall foliage. I hear Club Med is opening a new resort in Quebec, and this might be something of interest down the road. But really who knows. I’m a dreamer, and it’s exciting to think about future possibilities. 

What future trips do you most look forward to or dream about?

Thank you for coming along with me on my journey. I look forward to 2019. Happy New Year!

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