While I look forward to travels in 2017, I can’t help but think about all the great travels I had in 2016 – and there were a lot of them! In 2016 I was in England, Turkey, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Israel, Morocco, USA, and of course India.
Turkey and Israel were surprise invitations for work (travel blogging) so I was totally stoked to go there and they weren’t on my radar at all which is kind of the most fun part.
Here are 5 travel memories that really stand out from 2016
1) The blue town of Chefchaouen
Morocco was a dream place when it came to photography, and the all blue town of Chefchaouen was the prettiest place I’ve been. I just got a new camera (will be sharing information on the camera and some photography tips in another post) and had so much fun taking pictures in this town, exploring, shopping, and being on a non-work trip with a friend.
Other than reviewing hotels for the blog after the trip, I didn’t do work there and really got to relax. I haven’t had a real vacation so to speak in a while- although I’m sure some would say my life is a vacation to which I wouldn’t really argue. At the same time, when you are on a press trip you really don’t have a minute of downtime and it can get very tiring especially since it’s not always activities you want to do. I only write about the stuff I like when I travel, but there are often many other activities that I did on press trips that don’t get blog coverage.
So, overall 10 days in Morocco just having a girls’ trip was very relaxing. My biggest concerns were how I was going to get 5 sequin baskets back to India!
Read some articles on my time in this perfect blue town:
2) Spending time alone in Istanbul
Istanbul was a very last-minute trip for me. I went as a guest of the World Tourism Forum which was a 4-day conference. I decided to extend the trip a week so I could explore after. I hadn’t traveled alone in a while. I was either with other bloggers, friends, or Ben so it was really nice to do solo travel, which is how I always used to travel.
It’s kind of selfish thing but it’s nice to do what you want when you want. If I want to nap or go to McDonald’s no one is judging me, ha ha. But I actually staying crazy busy. I did so much research before this trip that I had a list a mile long of places I wanted to check out and food I wanted to try. There are a LOT of tourist attractions in Istanbul and they’re all pretty spectacular something I don’t normally say.
Right before I went there was a terrorist bombing in the main square. A few weeks later when I was there, you could still see the debris and extra police. I thought it was a one-time thing and that it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately, after leaving, Istanbul and Turkey, in general, were attacked again and again, with horrible terrorist attacks. The whole country then was in turmoil as a military coup took over. I watched the news there this year with such sadness and can only hope things get better from here in Turkey.
Read some articles on my time exploring Istanbul
3) A trip with Ben in Jordan
Ben and I have traveled in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mexico, and well basically all beach paradise places. So going to Jordan with Ben was totally different!
We rode camels and donkeys, slept in the desert, hiked around Petra, floated in the Dead Sea, explored ancient ruins, and so much more. It was different that my other trips with him and both of our first times to the Middle East.
Read more about Ben and I’s trip in Jordan
4) Actually Traveling around the USA: Vegas, Florida, Nashville
For the last 3 years, I have gone home each summer to Ohio to see family but don’t really have time to go travel around the US (and really don’t want to since I just want to be home).
This time, I got an invite from Visit Florida to spend 8 days with them in Orlando, the Palm Beaches, and Space Coast so I changed my flight ticket to go back sooner. Not surprisingly my favorite memory is Disney when I got to do a VIP tour (OMG BEST THING EVER!)
I also went to Vegas for my BFF’s bachelorette party and hung out in Vegas for a week before. Then, my family including Ben went to Nashville for a long weekend. It’s nice to see the USA and there’s actually a lot I want to do there in California and the West Coast. I’m thinking I might try to do something next year too.
A few more articles about my time in the USA
5) Feeling those Tel Aviv vibes
Tel Aviv was hands down my favorite city I’ve traveled to not just this year, but maybe even ever. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. From the graffiti tours and art scene to the nightlife, surf culture, and of course the food – there was so much I loved about Tel Aviv. I enjoyed Israel in general and cannot recommend it enough as a place for you to visit next year.
One of the coolest things in Tel Aviv was going to the black out restaurant where the food is cooked and served by people who are blind or severely visually impaired. There are only 10 restaurants like this in the world and it’s something very interesting to check out. We met with the people behind Na Laga’at who also put together shows with actors who are blind/deaf to learn more about their company. I highly recommend it and will share about it more in an upcoming post.
Articles about my time in Israel
- 20 photos to inspire you to visit Israel
- Article I wrote for Bravo on why I loved Israel & Tel Aviv
- 9 experiences you don’t want to miss in Tel Aviv (coming soon)
So, what were your best memories of 2016? Even if they aren’t about travel, I would love to hear about them.
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