Looking back on this year, I’m beyond grateful for the travel opportunities I had to venture to new and familiar places on my own, and with people I love.
Thinking back to the first time I planned a solo international trip in 2015, it seems crazy to think that’s now the norm. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person in the past year, I can’t wait to see what kind of experiences moving to another country brings.
The rule to live by for this upcoming year? Have passport, will travel.
2017, come blow my mind.
The Top 10 Places I Traveled to in 2016
Orlando: Spending a week at Disney and soaking up Florida sunshine with my family was a nice reprieve from city life. I’ll never complain about the chance to take a trip somewhere warm in the middle of winter.
Copenhagen: While wandering Copenhagen during a visit over Labor Day weekend, I kept thinking, “This place is so great.” Before my trip, I read the Danes have achieved a quality and vibrancy of life that’s often missing in America. And, I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed- colorful houses, cobblestone streets, great food and cocktails, incredible ice cream, wonderful people, and Scandinavian functionalism at every turn. If you haven’t been to Copenhagen, please go.
Munich for Oktoberfest: Energy in Munich during Oktoberfest is palpable, everyone seems to be buzzing with excitement. Known to most Americans as a fun drinking festival, Oktoberfest is so much more than getting your drink on with hundreds of strangers. It’s unlike any other festival I’ve been to, in large part, because attendees really embrace the celebration’s traditions.
London: Every time I visit London, I find it more beautiful and interesting. Full of iconic buildings and historic landmarks, there’s a timeless, yet energetic vibe. Can’t wait to live in this wonderful city and explore even more of it.
Charleston: Charleston is the epitome of Southern charm. Quaint streets lined with sprawling, pastel homes and palm trees. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. And, seriously good eats. After spending a long weekend in downtown Charleston, I realized nothing is truer than this statement: north is a direction, south is a lifestyle.
Paris: My first time in Paris, I liked the city, but didn’t love it. This trip, I stayed in Le Marais and spent the majority of my time just wandering, stopping at cute wine bars and gardens as I went. There wasn’t much of an agenda, which I think helped shift my perception of Paris, giving me time to appreciate the city for what it is.
Amsterdam: A city on canals, Amsterdam is easy explore by foot, boat or bike. After my second stay in this magical city, I found myself Googling ‘how to move to Amsterdam’. With delicious eateries, charming boutiques, and incredible museums, there’s no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam.
Tulum: Just a few years ago, Tulum wasn’t even on the radar of many travelers. South of Cancún on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Tulum is far enough away from the Cancún craziness to be a haven for relaxation with fewer crowds and locally run hotels and restaurants. After spending a week in this beach meets jungle locale, I get why people are obsessed with this place.
Cape Cod: Since moving to New York City a few years ago, Cape Cod, and by extension Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, have been on my to-travel list. When I received an invite to a friend’s wedding on the Cape for the end of April, I was excited to finally have a reason to check out the area. If you’ve never been to Cape Cod, you’re in for a treat- white sandy beaches, local restaurants with fresh seafood, and plenty of coastal activities, like whale watching, to keep you busy when you’re not on the beach. The quintessential New England getaway spot is just that – timeless.
Pittsburgh: I’m never surprised when Pittsburgh makes headlines for being a great place to live or visit. But, I do feel a surge of pride every time I see Pittsburgh listed on an “up and coming” list of US travel destinations. This year, I was excited to make it home for my sister’s 21st birthday, a relaxing summer weekend, and a surprise visit to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Where did you travel to this year? If you’re planning any trips for next year, where are you most excited to visit?