Anyone else think that 2015 has gone by at the speed of light? It feels like just yesterday I was figuring out what to do for New Year's Eve 2014 and how to ring in 2015. And now, here we are, about to start a new year again after what feels like 12 weeks rather than 12 months.
It's been a very interesting year, to say the least. For starters, I entered a new decade, which was a tad bit scary but ultimately amazing. I also started The Globe Getter and officially became a travel blogger. And, I started a new job, all while continuing my mission to travel the world without leaving my career. So, yes, a very interesting year for sure.
Throughout 2015, I have had some amazing adventures that have now been added to my ever-growing list of favorite travel moments. As we end this year and enter the next, I decided to reflect on my travels and share my favorite moments from 2015:
Eating Doubles in Trinidad
I fully admit that 90% of my travel decisions are based on food. I LOVE trying new foods when I travel, so I was more than ready for some delicious Trinidadian food, especially doubles. This popular street snack is sold all over the island and can be eaten pretty much any time of the day. My introduction to doubles happened in Arima. My friend had asked our driver to bring us to the best doubles spot in the area. Upon arriving at Sauce, I knew it was the real deal. This place was extremely packed, which is always a good sign. After my friend bought the doubles and handed me my share, we moved over to the side of the road and inhaled our food. And, man, was it good. Incredibly good. Luckily I have a doubles spot that I like to visit in New York but nothing can top that first gloriously messy experience on the side of the road in Trinidad.
Visiting Chichen Itza in the Yucatan
Chichen Itza had long been on my travel bucket list, so when I finally made my way to Mexico, I knew I had to see this wonder of the world. The only thing is that I was by myself and had no desire to drive. So, I booked a day trip from Cancun through Viator. During that day, I realized two things: 1. I need to make my way back to the Yucatan for a much longer trip and 2. Mayan architecture is seriously impressive. I have seen some really great places in my travels, but it's not often that I'm so unbelievably amazed and fascinated by architecture. This was one of those times. Those Mayans were some talented and inventive people, and I hope to make the return to Mexico soon to discover more of their intricate and beautiful work.
Turning 30 in Tulum
I knew that when I entered a new decade, I wanted to do it in a way I would always remember. Perhaps selfishly, I wanted to do whatever my heart desired, without the need to compromise or change my plans. And so I went to Mexico by myself. Not exactly the first place that comes to mind for solo female travelers, but for me, it was what I was looking for. On the day of my birthday, I woke up and watched the sun rise on the beach. I then went swimming in one of the area's gorgeous cenotes and had the best shrimp tacos of my life. Seriously, they were magical. And then I hopped on a flight and ended my birthday with family in Florida. Straightforward. Uncomplicated. And exactly what I wanted.
Seeing Joss Stone Perform in Montreal
I've written a few times before about how much I love the International Jazz Festival in Montreal. That's because it's so love-worthy! It's a great place to hear talented up and coming artists or see old favorites. My last trip to the Jazz Festival was a little of both. I got to hear this amazing duo who played a mix of bluegrass and Indian sitar. Yes, bluegrass and sitar. And it was amazing. I also got to see one of my all-time favorite artists, Joss Stone, perform live. The reason I loved this performance so much is because I had never seen her perform before, and she is phenomenal! Also, the venue was a more intimate one, which I loved. I'm not a big concert venue person, so I found this to be the perfect size. I sang my heart out, danced on my feet until they hurt and had a wonderful time.
Spending the Day in Lake Como
Oh, Lago di Como, you beautiful, gorgeous place. Lake Como had been on my bucket list for quite awhile, so when I knew I was going to be spending a few days in Milan, I decided to add in a day trip to Como. Getting there was really simple: my family and I bought roundtrip train tickets from Milano Centrale to Varenna. The journey only took an hour and included beautiful views along the way. Once we arrived in Varenna, we spent some time in the area before taking the ferry to the seaside village of Bellagio. With the beautiful weather, great food, shimmering water and majestic mountains rising up all around us, the day was perfection.
Cruising Around Sydney
One of the great things about being a travel blogger is the community of people you meet who love travel as much as you. One of those communities is Travel Massive, a network that connects thousands of travelers and travel insiders through fun and collaborative events. I have been to a few Travel Massive meetups in New York and knew I would love to attend one elsewhere. That opportunity came when I saw the Travel Massive chapter in Sydney was having a Christmas yacht cruise the exact time of my visit. I quickly emailed my friend who I was visiting in Sydney and we booked our spots in advance. The result: one of the best evenings ever with an amazing group of people and a stunning city as the backdrop.
Island Hopping in the Philippines
Another place that's always been on my travel bucket list is the gorgeous island of Palawan in the Philippines. So when a dear Filipina friend of mine decided to get married in Boracay in the Philippines, I knew this was my chance to end the year in an unforgettable way. I saved my miles and money to spend the last two weeks of 2015 in the Philippines, where a friend and I got to island hop around El Nido, Palawan and I got to cross another big item off of my travel bucket list. Palawan was everything I imagined and more. It was one of those adventures that I know will stay imprinted in my mind and my heart for years to come. And being in the Philippines with friends has been an amazing way to end the year.
I am incredibly grateful to have had so many wonderful adventures in 2015 and cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store.
What are your favorite travel moments from 2015?