If you’re reading this today (December 19), then I’m currently in Mexico! As the year is coming to an end, I was reflecting on where we went this year, and what’s coming up next year. This year was a very fun and adventurous year for us. Since I “always have a trip planned” and my address is “out-of-town” it’s easy to go from one trip to the next quickly. Instead of doing that, I’m going to be thankful for all the wonderful traveling we did in 2016!
This isn’t my typical “how-to” post or anything, just a little travel reflection of the year 2016.
On New Years Eve 2016, we toasted our plastic cups at 35,000 feet in the air. We were on our way to Chile to do something we’d been planning all year to do: hike the W in Patagonia. The 37 hours it took to get there was well worth it. We did a 5-day camping and hiking adventure all on our own. We carried things we’d need on our back. We got lots of blisters, made some new friends and had a sense of accomplishment for having completed the trek. We also saw an island of penguins and a town filled with paintings on the exterior of all their buildings.
We spent the night near Malabar Farms (close to our home) and attended a Valentine’s Day dinner with a Frank Sinatra impersonator. The next day, we had a snowy walk up to Mt. Jeez (a small overlook compared to others, but still a pretty view), and then saw the Reformatory. It was a fun winter weekend getaway, and it’s important to do those in the dead of winter so you don’t go insane.
In March, we met some good friends in Puerto Rico for a little fun in the sun. We went snorkeling, kayaking in bio-luminescent bay, hiking in the rain forest and swimming on a beach with some seriously heavy waves. This beach vacation was more fun with friends, and wasn’t your typical “just lay in the sand.” We were on the move!
Since Jared had to go to Utah for a big work conference, we decided to make the most of that by going up early and doing some hiking. We visited three national parks, went horseback riding in an area where they used to film western movies and stayed on a ranch. As we were driving through the beautiful western landscapes, I thought to myself how much I love that area. I remembered my grandmother (who is no longer with us) who loved the west. I have a charcoal sketch in my living room she did of an American Indian. We also stayed in Salt Lake City, where I got to visit some of the Mormon museums in the city while he worked. This trip is where I had the best date of my life. We ate dinner in a national forest, and all we did was talk about the things we loved about each other. We realized how easy it is to criticize, instead of taking the time to appreciate all you love about the person. Even after 8 years of marriage, we can still have great dates… that’s something to be thankful for.
We went camping in Nordhouse Dunes with some great friends and family… beach camping. We swam in the lake, ate food cooked over the fire and slept in the woods.
We ended the summer with a trip to Michigan with my family. We stayed in a lake house and celebrated my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary in style: with the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen and a touristy boat ride through the Au Sable River. We walked along the beach, enjoyed the pristine waters, and the sunken ship that my brother-in-law found on his Kayak.
A couple day-trips sprinkled throughout the year: my sister and I went to Western Pennsylvania and had the most delicious piece of pie at a berry farm…. Jared and I hiked in a gorgeous area of Ohio when the leaves were turning… and we went back to Malabar Farms in the summer to enjoy the blooming flowers.
This year’s traveling ends with a trip to Baja California, Mexico. Can you believe this is my first time in Mexico? 2016 was a beautiful year for traveling… glaciers, lakes, penguins, deserts, hikes and more. Thank you, 2016!
So, what’s next? 2017 is shaping up to be a great year of adventure as well. We don’t have everything planned, but what we do have includes some fun in the sun with a good friend, a European adventure and some hiking in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Sounds like a pretty good start, don’t you think?
What are your travel plans for 2017?