This year has been the most traveled year for me, ever. I have loved every second of chasing my dreams of seeing the world, meeting new people, exploring new cities, eating foods popular in other countries, and getting out of my comfort zone. I left my full time career to pursue this dream and it was worth every second.
Here are some of my stats for 2016:
Beds slept in: 44
Passport Stamps: 9
Boats & Ferries: 7
and countless new friends and memories.
Every new place I experienced was amazing. Was it always perfect? No. Travel comes with a lot of ups and downs – so don’t let the pretty photos fool you into thinking there was never a bad day. I traveled solo most of the year, and it was amazing. I never thought I could do that and now I don’t know how I could live without it.
I have flown around the globe this year and picked my top 11 places that I went to this year. 2017 is going to be completely different – but I cannot share just yet 😉
If you want to follow more of my adventures, you can follow me here on Instagram.
Here are my favorite memories of 2016:
- Michigan – Taking my mom on a trip in our home state. I don’t go home a lot to Michigan, but this year I wanted to go home and take my mom to a place that I grew to love as an adult, Mackinac Island.
- Iceland – this was my very first solo trip abroad. I was nervous, but at that point I had already been to 17 countries and felt confident in my ability to navigate and have a great time. I only got to stay for 2 days but it was amazing. I am going back in January to explore more of the country and taking my best friend.
- Singapore – I fell hard for Singapore. I visited in December right around Christmas and I was starting to get homesick. Everything was beautifully decorate for the holidays, everyone I met was so nice and the food was incredible. I hope I get to go back soon and explore more of this vibrant city.
- Lake Tahoe – this was an unexpected wellness retreat that kind of changed my life. I discovered that I love yoga and am very flexible, I fell in love with the landscapes and how beautiful the area is – and I think I convinced myself that someday it may be home.
- Bali – A long time dream of mine was to visit and I was so fortunate to get to spend 2 weeks there. This trip was near perfect, from hotels, villas, food, Balinese hospitality, massages, cultural experiences – everything. I even finished my MBA while I was here and celebrated my 33rd birthday!
- Paris – A little unknown fact: I hated Paris on my first visit in 2014. I gave it a second chance this year and loved it. It was a completely different experience and even though I fell down a set of stairs, bruised my bum and hurt my ankle – it was still fabulous.
- Dubai – This was the most surprising trip I took this year. Everyone told me not to go, they were afraid of terrorist activity, etc. I actually have never felt safer than when I was there. So thank you Dubai for not being the negative things that people kept circulating. Dubai is very luxurious and known for having either the biggest or top biggest things in the world. On my trip up to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, I almost had a panic attack from my fear of heights. But I made it and I conquered those fears!
- Philippines – I was fortunate enough to spend almost a month here exploring some of the 7,000+ islands. I will never have enough time to see all the wonders of the Philippines but if there is only one place you go next year – I think this should be it. Its affordable, the Filipino hospitality is incredible, the landscapes change often, and you will never run out of things to do.
- Germany – I went to two cities in Germany: Dusseldorf and Dortmund. I loved both cities and cannot wait to explore more of this country. The food is phenomenal and so is the beer!
- Virginia – I reside in Northern Virginia and spent some time exploring my own state this year. My state really offers it all: cities, countryside, beaches, and mountains. We even have over 250+ wineries. If that is not enough reason to visit, I don’t know what is.
- Amsterdam – This city is so photogenic. All the canals and the row houses are perfect. A lot of people ride bikes in the city to get around, but the city is easily walk-able. There is also a lot of opportunities for gelato!