My 2016 Travel Year in Review

2016 was a year of twists and turns, yet the milestones were just as great. I had a lot of firsts this year: new states, new countries, and new bylines. I had some setbacks – changes in relationships, work scenarios, and just time beginning to creep up on me – but thankfully nothing major going wrong. Here is my three best moments from this year.

What I accomplished:

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Taking my first cruise. While I’m sad to learn that Fathom Travel will be ceasing its cruises, I’m also grateful that I was able to go on one of their social impact cruises to the Dominican Republic in May. I hung out with travel influencers and other passengers (who I still keep in touch with). Excursions brought us into communities where we got to learn about micro-businesses and help out with their projects. I also purchased products such as notecards made from re-purposed scrap paper and chocolate bars from a women-owned cooperative.

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Checking off new cities. I’ll probably still keep using this example, but it’s still a valid one. 2016 had me on the road a lot; I estimate on and off over 10 months. That’s a record. I’ve been lucky to visit five new states – Ohio, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Minnesota – and four new countries – Dominican Republic, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Also I got to revisit six states I’ve already been to (New Hampshire, Texas, Rhode Island, California, Virginia, and Pennsylvania) plus two countries (Mexico and Jamaica). In each location, I got to try new foods, witness amazing festivals and events, and just wander around different neighborhoods and attractions.

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Being exposed to new scenarios. At times, my work trips can schedule situations that either I do or don’t (want to) do. I’m not an athletic person, so I tend to shy away from choosing or having to participate in certain adventure activities (such as being a poor swimmer). However, my trip to Utah’s Red Rock Country put me in a situation where I had to do it. During our trip to Goblin Valley State Park, we were led by our guide Chris from Get In the Wild to go rappelling down a 90-foot high section called Goblins Lair. I was seriously freaking out – bawling like a baby and probably stalling my drop by 10 minutes – but with some encouragement (as in, you have to do this), I made it down just fine. I wasn’t my best self during the experience, but I’m glad to have done it.

Now here’s what need I work on:

Blogging more. I’ve been behind on posting here more, and I don’t like it. I had been putting a lot of energy toward getting publishing, but I want to commit more time to posting about work trips, topics that are on my mind. I kick myself a bit because there were a lot of good moments this year, but hopefully I can still post about them. So expect a lot of catching up.

Getting fit. I had some health concerns this year (nothing serious/crucial, thankfully) but my goal for 2017 is to build up my stamina. One thing, among many, that travel has taught me is that you have to adapt to your surroundings – particularly with getting around. Going up stairs, to walking many blocks, to hopping up and off subways or buses. My pace might be getting slower, but there are still places I want to get to. So more exercise for me.

I’m sure more “must dos” will come up. But tell me what’s your travel goal for 2017?

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