2016, oh what a year. It had some ups and a lot of downs. That being said, there were a few really great moments that mostly made up for the bad. This year was full of a lot of new destinations and some golden oldies; I got to go on an amazing solo trip and joined my family for a wonderful week in Tennessee. Though so many great things happened, there were a few bouts of hardship that cast an unfortunate shadow. I guess the best we can do is focus on the good things and try to learn something from the bad things.
Part of what made this year so frustrating is that I’ve been with a lot of anxiety in regards to my career, and what I want to do with my life. Real original, I know. This situation has perhaps caused me to overextend my travel plans beyond my budget to get away from the stress, which means my 2017 travel plans will be on a tighter budget. BUT! The good… let’s talk about that.
Another slow travel month due to cancelled plans. I got to interview one of my best friends about her time travelling with a brilliant Chicago band through the American South. And, I started planning my big solo trip to Europe.
April was full of Midwest exploring. First, we went on a fun day trip to Lake Geneva, WI, then we enjoyed an amazing weekend in Grand Rapids, MI. I loved Grand Rapids so much that we are planning another trip there in the Spring.
Despite having no travel plans this month for myself, I did feature some fantastic blogs about Jordan, written by the beautiful and Talented Gracie Barrie. And I, personally, wrote some posts about hotel upgrades, bookstores, and travel lessons I learned from my mom in honor of Mother’s Day.
June was all about Tennessee. Mike and I went with my family to Chattanooga and then to Gatlinburg, TN to visit our Tennessee family and to enjoy the Smoky Mountains. It was a wonderful, restorative trip and I hope we make a habit of these family vacations.
We kept tradition alive and went on our annual trip to the cabin in Wisconsin for the 4th, which I celebrated with a photo blog. I also wrote about finding unique souvenirs, hiking in the Smoky Mountains, and exploring your own city.
August was all about the Great Outdoors. We hiked in Matthiessen State Park and then camped nearby in Utica, IL. I also crossed an item off of my goal list for the year after going on a sunset cruise on Lake Michigan in Chicago.
September & October & November:
Each of these months were dominated by blogs of all my adventures in both Iceland and Copenhagen. This trip was a huge part of my travel plans for the year and I’m so happy with how it all turned out. We also had a nice weekend at the end of September in Milwaukee to see one of Mike’s favorite bands: Thrice.
The highlight of last month, besides the holidays with family of course, was being invited to enjoy Galena for their Luminaria Festival and enjoying a wonderful stay at The Lamberson Guest House there. We had such a relaxing weekend there, which was very much needed.
That does it. Good, Bad, Ugly, it was an interesting year to say the least. Here’s to hoping 2017 brings grand adventures and good vibes all around.
Tell me all about your year in the comments!