2017 is finally here! At the end of every year I tend to get a little nostalgic, looking back on what I’ve done in the past year. So I decided to do a travel round-up of 2016! But then I realized I’d never done one for 2015, which was actually my biggest travel year, so I thought, why not combine the two? Here’s a quick summary of what happened these two years…
To start off the travel year, I went to Italy with a school group for a week, visiting Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, and Capri! This was my second time in Italy, and I found that I loved it even more than the first time! Revisiting Rome made me fall back in love with the city – there’s something about the thousand year old remains just hanging out among the city that makes me wonderstruck.
However, I had never been to Sorrento or Capri, and seeing them for the first time was so exciting! Sorrento is the cutest little town perched on the edge of a cliff and Capri is located on even taller cliffs. It was also here that I fell in love with travel in the first place!
In April I went for a week long exchange with a rural Chinese school. There wasn’t so much sightseeing as there was cultural exchange, but culture is also an immensely important part of travel! I’d been to China about seven times before but it was always fun to go again.
June: London, Paris
We planned to go to China for a month during the summer so because Europe is smack dab in the middle of our journey, we thought, why not stop and visit before heading off to China? That’s exactly what we did, and the week we spent there I will never forget. It was my first time in these two iconic European cities, and I fell in love with both of them. I have no doubt that I will be coming back soon.
I got a week in Britain, and as it was my first time, I had to hit all the touristy spots #notsorry. There’s a lot to be said about being a traveler not a tourist but if you’re going to be in London, you just have to see the Big Ben. It’s a necessity.
I only got a meager three days in Paris, which was a major shame because I loved it there. The only downside to our visit there was that at the time it was over 40 degrees (100 degrees Fahrenheit) which made exploring extremely difficult to enjoy. Nevertheless, I still fell in love with the city and hope to go back soon!
July: China (again)
As an American girl of Chinese descent, I am no stranger to China. But this year, I wasn’t here only to visit family, I spent a month interning at a Chinese company. My first language is English, and although I am bilingual, I’m near illiterate in Chinese so it was a challenging time. But I am thankful for it in so many ways. For one, it made my social skills a lot stronger (try conversing with someone from a different continent and then see how easy it is to talk to people back at home) and for another, this is when I first established my blog!
August: Japan, LA
Using the same logic that got us to stop in Europe, we realized that on our way back from China we might as well stop to see some sights along the way too. Hence my first trip to Japan, and my first to Los Angeles! Again, I loved both of these countries.
Japan was such a delight. There’s really no other place like it. Tokyo is ultra-modern, but still has ancient elements within it, and the culture is amazing. Never before have I seen so many stores dedicated to anime in my life. While in Japan we took a day trip to Kyoto, a historic city that is extremely peaceful.
Los Angeles was about the opposite of peaceful. Although it’s more laid back than cities like New York, it was still full of life. It’s also a very trendy city, which I am a huge fan of. I actually loved it so much that I’m going back mid-February this year!
This trip had started over the holidays and went into the new year, so I celebrated the dawn of 2016 in a tropical paradise. I visited three islands on this journey, Oahu, the Big Island, and Maui.
Oahu was, there’s no other way to put it, paradise. On Oahu you could get the comforts of a city in Honolulu but also the wildness of nature everywhere else. The water was beautiful and the perfect temperature to swim in, the hikes offered amazing views, and the weather was perfect. Oahu may actually be my favorite place in the world.
As much as I loved Oahu, I actually spent most of my time on the Big Island. It’s highly underrated, and full of natural wonders.
In Maui we treated ourselves to a stay at a resort, so I didn’t get out much. However, I really want to come back soon to explore more of this island!
April: NYC, Philly, and DC
For a birthday treat, I got to go on a road trip through the Northeast of America. The first stop was the illustrious NYC. It’s got a fabulous reputation that I am happy to say it lives up to! It’s got practically everything that anyone could ever ask for.
I only stayed for a few hours in both Philly and DC but what I did see there made me eager to go back. Hopefully I will be able to soon.
July and August: Cape Cod
Although for me the summer was mostly spent working, I did find time to make two separate trips to the beautiful Cape Cod. While it’s mostly just a summer getaway for those living in New England, I do recommend it to everyone I know. The Cape is so quaint and pretty, there’s just no reason to not go!
December: Yucatan, Mexico
I have yet to blog about this location but just you wait! I had so much fun in Mexico! The Yucatan is, of course, gorgeous, but it’s the people of Mexico that make this destination a must visit.
I have yet to make any solid travel plans for 2017 other than my trip to LA this month, however, I do plan to travel as much as possible, so stay tuned! I’m so excited to share 2017 with all of you!
Where’d you travel to in 2016? Let me know in the comments below!