My goodness, this year has gone by quickly! I have gotten some great opportunities to fit travel into my schedule, had some amazing (and not so amazing) experiences, ate a lot of great food and learned so much more about the world. To summarize this years’ great travel memories, I thought I’d get into the holiday spirit and present you with:
The Twelve Days of Christmas: My 2016 Travel Summary
…feel free to sing along
On the twelfth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
12 Wander Woman Poses
I flaunted my “signature pose” in at least twelve different places this year. This pose represents the empowering feeling you get as a woman that travels. If you have any great #wanderwoman pics, feel free to tag me in them on instagram @archivesofadv!
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
11 Bakeries Nom’d In
Mmmm…those cannolis in New York City. The guava tartlets in El Salvador. The bakery in Australia that introduced me to the wonder of Cheese & Bacon rolls. The world holds some seriously awesome treats.
On the tenth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
10 Airplanes Ridden
I’ve done a fair amount of flying in 2016. I got the sweet experience of flying over the North Pole on my flight from Chicago to Hong Kong. Taking off from Cairns, Australia, I got to see some amazing coastline views. I also got to figure out some good ways to survive those long airport security lines, and tried out some obscure things to do on a plane to help pass the time.
On the ninth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
9 Waterfalls Chased
Something about hiking through the woods to find a waterfall is just so rewarding. I got to see the amazing and picturesque Los Chorros de la Calera in Juayua, El Salvador. A roughly two-hour trek led me to the less-than-picturesque Kondalilla Falls in Queensland, Australia. I even got to witness a crazy kayaker take on the world’s most commercially rafted falls in Rotorua, New Zealand!
On the eighth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
8 Ocean Mishaps
Of course the day we swam at the surf-friendly beach in El Tunco, El Salvador was the day I forgot to put the strap back onto my strapless bikini top. As a result? What I am delicately calling, “ocean mishaps.” Lesson learned.
On the seventh day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
7 Beaches Bummed At
I got some serious beach time this year! Between exploring Coney Island Beach, braving the hot rocks of Playa El Tunco, and playing in the squeaky sands of Mooloolaba, my love for the ocean was sufficiently satisfied in 2016.
On the sixth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
6 Pupusas Eaten
Pupusas are a classic Salvadorian food.They are essentially tortillas stuffed with different things like cheese, beans, and meats. I tried a few different kinds of pupusas, but my absolute favorites came from Pupuseria Estelita in Juayua, El Salvador. The chicken and cheese pupusa was incredible and tasted just like a flat little pot pie. Not to mention, pupusas make an extremely affordable meal- Ususally less than $1.50 each!
On the fifth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
5 Countries Visited
I am so blessed to have been able to explore five other countries this year! I got to add four new ones to my list (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and New Zealand), and got the incredible opportunity to travel back to the country that holds my heart: Australia.
On the fourth day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
4 Border Crossings
I have read some seriously terrifying border-crossing stories from other travelers. When it came to my Central America trip, I was all prepared for whatever scams they were going to try and pull. Even though I completed four total border crossings, I never had any problems!
On the third day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
3 Tuk-Tuk Rides
I got my first experience riding in the notorious tuk tuk. We took a few in Copan, Honduras to help combat the heat and hilliness of the town. At one point, my friend and I were in the back seat of a tuk tuk, and it stopped to also pick up a local woman and her son. All four of us were crammed into this tiny seat, and I notice the woman sneakily trying to take a selfie with me. Obviously, I flashed my biggest, cheesiest smile for her.
On the second day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
2 Rental Cars
This year, I had my first experience renting and driving rental cars! Thanks to my darling husband losing his wallet, and subsequently, his driver’s license, I got the unique experience of learning to drive on the other side of the road as well! I also fell in love with my snazzy little Suzuki Swift while in Brisbane, and have vowed to get one for myself some day.
On the first day of Christmas, the world revealed to me…
1 Infectious Tropical Disease
Yeah….if you hadn’t heard yet, I totally picked up Zika virus while traveling in Central America. It turns out, since I’m not preggo, Zika isn’t really that big of a deal and SHOULD NOT stop you from traveling!
So that was my year of travel. Tell me about yours!