(photo by me, first published in this post)
2016 was a pretty solid travel year for me. The year was filled with weekends in my favorite New England cities, visiting my family in New York City and going back again for my beloved New Yorker festival; but it also contained a lot of new experiences.
My first new trip of the year was to our nation’s capital in March to see the cherry blossoms. I had only spent one day in Washington D.C. before, so I loved the opportunity to embrace the food, architecture, and history of the city at such a beautiful time of year. My sister and I took a summer road trip to Saratoga Springs and spent some time at The Great Sacandaga Lake. I went to Texas for the first time with my best friend as we spent five days in Austin, then my mom and I went down to Philly to see my favorite songwriter (and also the Liberty Bell). At last I ended the year in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World with my four best friends in the entire world.
I feel so lucky to have been able to travel to all the places I have been. When I was younger, my dad was always traveling for work and coming back from around the globe with the most amazing stories. A postcard from Neuschwanstein, a Turkish eye, and Swiss chocolate stand out in my memory as triggers of places I wanted to see, cultures I was craving experience in, and food around the world I had to try. My parents blessed us with many vacations throughout our lifetime as well, taking us from the beaches of Hawaii to the museums of London, making sure we paid attention to the history lessons and absorbed the culture existing around us.
My early 20s were something of a mess as I stumbled my way through mistakes and learning what I wanted and what I needed to do. What I’m most grateful for during this time was the travel experiences I was fortunate enough to have. The time I spent in Europe, California, and Bermuda sticks out to me as places where I was staggeringly aware of myself and what I wanted, and that self-awareness gave me a lot of the confident direction I have today.
I know that in 2017, traveling will continue to be important to me. While I never know how many opportunities I will have, these are some of the feasible places I hope I’ll be able to make it to!
Pacific North West
Seattle and Portland have been very high on my list for quite a while now. If I have the opportunity to travel to a west coast place of my choice this year, I highly suspect it will be here. Everything from the cities to the mountains I am dying to explore.
A road trip up (or down) Big Sur is one of those things I just know I have to do. Whenever the opportunity arises, I will definitely say yes to it.
It’s been several years since I made it over the border and into Canada, but I have never made it to Toronto. Last year my mom was in Toronto with a group of friends and she told me I would absolutely love it. Sounds like a good enough reason to me!
Now that JetBlue is flying to Cuba and US Cuban relations are better than ever, Havana has been promptly bumped to the top of my travel list. This year would be ideal, before the flocks of tourists force the country to adapt and change some of its culture and purity to appease the masses. I would love to go experience the arts and culture of a place that has for so long been untrodden by tourism. And also the cars. Definitely the cars.
My ultimate travel bucket list has a lot more far fetched locations on it, but at this time in my life I know that shorter trips to more accessible locations is much more feasible and will also bring a maximum amount of joy into my life.
Do you have any travel plans or wishes for the new year? Sound off in the comments below!