2017 was by far my most fun year of traveling. I traveled to some bucket list destinations that I never would’ve even dreamed of being able to visit, and found new ways to explore my own country and marvel at how fortunate I am to live in such an incredible place.
I’m currently polishing off this post at 30,000 feet, as Logan and I head on our first adventure of 2018. (I know, talk about procrastinating this post right?)
Something about airplanes always puts me in a reflective, thinking mood and I’m glad that I waited until the last minute to finish this post. Being in the sky and watching the sunset over foreign places has filled me with an immense sense of gratitude and looking back on these incredible places and memories I made there, I’m realizing just how fortunate I am.
Before I get too sappy, I’ll wrap this up and get into the good stuff, but I wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you who stops by to read my posts, watch my videos, or comment on any of my content. I truly wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your support.
Now, before this flight lands and the clock strikes midnight, pushing us into a new chapter, let’s take a moment to look back on this incredible rollercoaster of a year.
January – Ottawa, Canada
2017 kicked off with a staycation in Ottawa with the love of my life. After living in Ottawa for just under a year previously, it was fun to explore the city as a tourist again, marveling at the museums and political monuments in the area. Though it was a frigid trip, with temperatures well below negative thirty degrees Celsius, it started the new year off with a bang.
January – Nashville, USA
Shortly after, I headed to Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate my birthday country style. It was easily my most fun birthday to date. I had a blast at the Predators hockey game, touring the Grand Old Opry, and getting to experience some of Nashville’s liveliest honky tonks. The trip was such as blast that I’ve vowed to return with my girlfriends for my bachelorette party.
March – West Palm Beach, USA
My first trip to West Palm Beach, Florida began as a casual journey to meet up with some friends that I had been introduced to through Instagram but ended up being one of my most influential trips to date. I ended up making lasting friendships on this trip, falling in love with South Florida and its incredible shark diving, and have been unable to stay away ever since. This trip has led me to book several move return trips every month and made me even more passionate about ocean and marine conservation.
April – Milwaukee, USA
I’ll be honest in saying that I had never really dreamed of traveling to Wisconsin, but when I was asked to speak at the Women in Travel Summit about the importance of ecotourism and sustainable travel, I soon found myself eagerly booking my flights for the cheese crazed town. This was my first time both attending and speaking at a blogging conference and I loved every second of it. It really opened my eyes to the amazing community that travel blogging has and allowed me to explore a place I would never have otherwise thought to visit.
May – The Maldives
One of my most adventurous, stressful, and breathtaking trips of the year was to the Maldives. I’ve said previously that the Maldives was never on my radar, mostly because I never dreamed that I would have the means to get to such a beautiful, fantasized honeymoon destination. Actually getting to the islands was the stressful part of this trip, with day-long layovers in both Beijing and Singapore testing both mine and Logan’s patience, as well as our relationship at times. Nonetheless, arriving in paradise was well worth the tired journey. In the Maldives, we had the once in a lifetime chance to swim with whale sharks and a unique opportunity to learn about Maldivian culture from the incredibly friendly locals.
June – Muskoka, Canada
For most people, growing up in Southern Ontario means having a cottage, or having a friend with a cottage, up north in the Muskokas, where flat-as-glass lakes stretch out for miles and simple summer living is embraced. 2017 marked my first visit to the town and I understood why it was such a popular vacation spot for so many of my friends. Being able to uncover this beauty so close to me was a nice reminder of the incredible beauty that I’m sitting on right here in my hometown.
July – Lisbon and Lagos, Portugal
Our trip to Portugal was one of the biggest highlights of the year for me. Being of Portuguese descent, I’ve dreamed of making more regular visits back to bask in my culture and stuff my face with all the Portuguese food that I can. This trip gave me the opportunity to travel back to my roots as well as work with a great group at a large airline – a huge milestone for A&A. Being in the heart of Lisbon with the hustle and bustle of the city, and escaping to a more laid back Lagos was a nice reminder of how diverse this culture is and how much it has to offer. I’ve been back for five months now and still haven’t stopped dreaming of the fresh bread, the flaky pastries, and the unique fish dishes we ate their daily. I promise Portugal will be returning to the blog in the very near future.
August – West Palm Beach, USA
Like I said, that first trip to Florida was impactful and I can’t stay away. (In fact, that’s where I’m headed right now and I write this post!) In August, I was able to return to West Palm Beach, this time bringing along Logan and showing him why I had fallen in love with this place. This trip brought more shark diving, more friendships, and an even greater desire to keep coming back.
August – The Bahamas
My final trip of the year was a short stint in the Bahamas with my family where I put aside work for a bit and had the opportunity to just enjoy the sunshine and being in each other’s company. It was a nice reminder of how work can easily take away from those precious moments in life and has made me more mindful to better balance work and play in the new year.