At the end of each year, I find myself not really making resolutions, but trying to look back on the past year and figuring out what I need to do differently...2017 was a pretty decent year for me in some ways, but also a REALLY bad year for me in other ways. I had struggles with work, I got a major case of writer's block, my daughter moved out, moved back in, then moved back out again...I was sitting on a flight coming home from a work trip to San Francisco recently and I was too tired to really do "work," but I was feeling a little inspired to take a look back at what I'd really accomplished in 2017. I want 2018 to be a great year, and the only sure fire way to make that happen is to reflect what I did right and wrong in 2017. I did A LOT in 2017...the travel alone? It was a pretty crazy, hectic year for me...and I loved every moment of it! Here are the 17 Places I Traveled to in 2017 - I think you may agree, and I hope that this inspires you to travel more in 2018!
This was such a long post that I've broken it down into 3 parts: Spring, Summer and Fall. You can click here to read about the 17 Places I traveled to in 2017 in the Spring .
17 Places I Traveled to in 2017
Early in April, I was presented with the opportunity to take Angeline with me on a work trip to Bucharest in May, as I was invited to a conference with hotels and daily tours included, but they weren't paying for my flights...as a blogger, I get invited to conferences all over the world but they don't usually offer to pay my airfare, so I decline. Since a guest would be of no extra cost to them, I asked if I could bring my daughter and they said YES!
I Spent Mother's Day In Romania With Angeline
Romania is an interesting country, and the effects of their former Communist rule are a little more blatantly obvious than I expected. I love world history, military history and Communism are - I know, it's weird - some of my favorites topics to discuss. You can read about my experience in Bucharest in this 5 Reasons Why You Should Experience Bucharest post.
Honestly, the highlight of my trip to Romania was spending my time with Angeline. It was our first trip together since we took my mom to Disney World the prior year, and it really meant a lot to me to have her there with me - I actually wouldn't even have gone if she didn't accompany me. We attended parties together, she attended a social media seminar with me, and we did a few tours of the city of Bucharest.
Of course we also did a little shopping, a little sight seeing, and my favorite...taking stupid photos of my feet with sewer grates. Ha!
Towards the end of the trip, we had a free day, and I booked a private excursion to Transylvania, where we visited "Dracula's Castle" and stuffed our face with delicious Irish food in Brasov.
Since we were already in Europe, I booked flights to Athens after we finished our time in Bucharest. They were only about $50 each through Ryan Air...you really can't beat that! It seemed pretty pointless to travel all the way to Romania and spend $700-$800 on those flights when I could just add in an extra $50 each and also see Greece. Angeline was able to take 10 days off work and we made the most of every single second!
I Took Angeline to Athens, Greece
I went to Greece for the first time in 2016, while on a Mediterranean cruise. We did a few ports of call, but that trip inspired me so much that I actually Got a Tattoo of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Angeline and I booked a small hotel for $50 a night down the street from the Acropolis, we ate gyros, we drank wine and wandered the streets feeding the cats of Athens. What can I say, we really like cats!
Thanks to a sponsorship through TripAdvisor, we also went to the Temple of Poseidon - her favorite Greek god. I'd always wanted to see it too, I mean, really, who doesn't love Poseidon, so I was happy that she chose that temple to visit!
Our location was so centralized that we easily walked to everything - including the Acropolis! We could actually see the Acropolis from the street in front of our hotel, that's how close we were! I'd recommend the hotel, but...it wasn't so great. We had a shared bathroom, which I knew, but there wasn't even an elevator and while I would definitely stay there again, I am not sure I'd recommend it. It was about 2 steps up from a hostel.
Greek mythology is a very serious love of mine, and I had an amazing time taking Angeline around and explaining different gods to her. I was SO excited when I found a statue of Aphrodite!
That was a magical trip...and I am pretty sure it's because my baby girl was there with me. At one point she told me, she forgot how much she loves to travel and she really missed going away with me and seeing the world.
Man, I love that kid.
I went home for a bit, but of course, there are always weekend trips thrown in here and there...
I Took a Girl's Trip to Key West
Key West is one of my favorite destinations in the world. The fact that I can DRIVE there? YES. All of the yeses!
We danced, we shopped, we had cocktails by the pool....we made friends with iguanas...
I actually went to Key West twice in 2017, but I will keep it short and sweet because I've written about Key West so often that you've probably heard it all before!
Those sunsets at Mallory Square, though...
So, while in Karneval in Germany in February, my friend talked me into planning a trip to Iceland, England and Ireland in June. That's where I set off to next!
I Saw the Midnight Sun in Iceland
Iceland was...it was both beautiful and terrifyingly expensive. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and such a strange experience that I have yet to actually write about it. We went to these counties to celebrate my friend's daugther's 13th birthday - and it was a total surprise!
I guess I should get around to writing about it one of these days, as we did spend three days there and drove through the entire Golden Circle.
I think the Geysers were my favorite part...I'd never seen anything like that before!
Next we hopped on a flight to London and spend just under two days running around, seeing the sights, drinking in pubs and trying the local English food.
I Went to England
I've always wanted to go to England, to drink the beer...as it happened, I ended up drinking a ton of craft beer as well as Cider. Who knew that I loved Cider? I developed a love for Cider on that trip and I blame it for some of the 18 pounds I gained in 2017. Ha!
Totally worth it.
We did quite a bit of sight seeing together, as well as apart. I finally saw Big Ben in person, after years of catching glimpses on various television shows and movies.
My favorite part of this trip was going to Stonehenge, something I've wanted to do for a really long time! I booked a tour through TripAdvisor and it was really amazing!
After our two days in London, we jumped on a ferry and headed to one of the places that I have dreamt of visiting for a really, really long time.
I went to Ireland
I love Germany, very, very much...but I think that Ireland may actually be my favorite country after that trip. I don't know...it's a really close call.
I loved Ireland so much that I've written several blog posts about it!
I began in Dublin with my friends, then left for a Ring of Kerry tour the next day. I ultimately wound up back in Dublin for two days, but I met someone there on that first night and spent my time with him until I had to leave to head home to Miami.
You can read these to get an idea of everything that happened in Ireland...
And then...because I had a huge moment of self realization while in Ireland, go ahead and read this post I wrote about being at the bar alone.
That wasn't even the last trip of the year...stay tuned for my next post about the 17 Places I Traveled to in 2017...in the fall!