2015 has been an exciting year for me. I started this blog, and have since traveled more than I ever have in a single year. I became friends with some amazing bloggers who I continue to consult with for travel and blogging advice. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and at times pushed myself past my comfort zone. I’ve already started planning trips for 2016, but for now here are a few highlights of my past year.
This past April I had the chance to go to one of the most coveted music festivals of all time, Coachella. It’s a three day music and arts festival that takes place in Indio, California during two weekends in April. I love music and was so happy to see some bands I’ve listened to for awhile, as well as discover new ones. A few celebrity sightings happened (Emma Roberts opened the bathroom door for me, and Vanessa Hudgens and posse walked right past me on their way to the VIP area.), and I even got to see Madonna, as she was Drake’s surprise guest for the last night.
Lake Como in Italy is the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. I spent five relaxing days there in July, and never wanted to leave. I splurged on a room facing the lake with a balcony, which was worth every penny. Its location makes it easy to get to Switzerland or Italy by train. The people are lovely and the food is delicious. I even had a chance to go kayaking, and rent a boat to go down the lake. I would love to go back again.
Paris is the one city I’ve always wanted to go to, even before I got the travel bug. Although my time there was way too short (only 24 hours!), I saw so much and absolutely loved everything about the city. I practiced my French, ate at outdoor cafes, and walked by many landmarks (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and the old Pont des Arts to name a few). I know I will be back and stay longer next time to explore more of the city. I’d love to do a day trip to Versailles as well.
I have yet to write about my trip to Ireland that happened in August (it’s coming!), but this was one of the most special countries I’ve ever been to. My grandfather was from a small town in the Northwestern part of Ireland, and I got to stay in his town and see the houses he lived in. I also drove around Ireland, stopping in Dublin, Belfast, and Limerick. I loved seeing the countryside and hanging out with locals. Going to a bar filled with locals instead of a touristy pub made the experience much more personal.
First press trip
I was selected to go on a press trip to Palm Beach, Florida in December to promote the area through social media and articles. I’ll be writing a post about the behind the scenes of this later, but it was an experience I’m very grateful for. The schedule was tight, and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open while uploading my pictures and writing my notes at night before falling asleep. The sleep deprivation was worth it to have the chance to explore so many different cities in the Palm Beach area and talk to locals trying to help the area be a better place. I hope to go on another one next year if I could be so lucky!
Being featured on the Travel Channel’s Instagram
This just happened the other day, but was pretty exciting. I use the Travel Channel’s hashtag #livetravelchannel as a means of getting more engagement and exposure, and it finally worked. They saw my picture from my recent trip to Tahoe, asked if they could use it, and a few days later it was up on their feed. It got me a lot of exposure for my own Instagram, plus I can say I was now featured on the Travel Channel (technically, anyways!).
I have had a very full year of new experiences that I am so grateful for, and can’t wait to see what next year holds. I wish you all a great New Year, and never stop dreaming of those plans you have for the future!
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