This year had been the year for some major life changes for me outside of travel. I completed my final year of graduate school, my college boyfriend of five years proposed to me, and we bought our first home together. With all the chaos of trying to find an internship to graduate on time, balancing a full-time job with going to school full-time, and fighting with sellers and mortgage lenders, it’s a wonder I could find the time to travel this year. But alas, I was fortunate enough to have experienced many travel opportunities, both local and abroad. Here are some of the highlights of my travel experiences for 2017:
10. Exploring old forts in Southern Maine and New Hampshire
When I’m experiencing a “travel hiatus” from international travel, I use that as an opportunity to explore unique and historical sites locally. This past winter and spring, I spent some time exploring some of the historical military forts along the coast of New Hampshire and Southern Maine. My favorite fort to explore was Fort Constitution located in Newcastle, New Hampshire. The fort was first established in 1631 and was originally named Fort William and Mary, after the king and queen of England.
9. Revisiting and exploring Montreal
Prior to visiting Montreal this year, I had only been to Canada twice, both experiences having occurred during the winter. When me and my fiance found out that one of our favorite bands, Tool was coming to Montreal, we used that as an opportunity to revisit the city (this time during the spring with no snow to drive through!).
8. Visiting family and exploring the beaches and piers of Orange County, California
My family is scattered all throughout the US, which can make it very difficult to have family reunions. However this year, my family decided to surprise one another with a surprise visit and reuniting in Orange County, California, where a good portion of my family lives. Even though it was a short trip out to California (or long weekend), the days were mostly spent participating in family festivities. However, I was able to visit some of the local beaches and piers Orange County has to offer, including San Clemente Pier and Dana Point State Beach.
7. Seeing a Broadway show (Wicked!)
A trip to NYC would not be complete without seeing a Broadway theater production! While there were plenty of amazing shows on Broadway during the time of our visit (School of Rock, Aladdin, to name a few!), it has been my dream to see Wicked live!
6. Exploring ancient Incan ruins in the Sacred Valley, Peru
From Cusco to Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley is a wide region of ancient Incan history and mystery. Some of my favorite sites within the Sacred Valley included Moray and Salineras de Maras (Salt Mines). Visiting the highlights of the Sacred Valley is a multi-day excursion but one not to miss during a trip to Peru.
5. Celebrating the New Year in Quebec City
To ring in 2017, my fiance and I decided to spend the long weekend up in Quebec City! Even though we found ourselves driving through several snowstorms, the city’s old European charm and New Year’s festivities made the road trip up there worth every minute of it!
4. Ferry boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty
No trip to NYC would be complete without a visit to see Lady Liberty! We took an hour long ferry tour out to see the statue in all its glory (next time I’ll actually walk on Liberty Island).
3. Island hopping and getting to know the locals in Lake Titicaca
My favorite days during my Peru trip were the two days I spent on Lake Titicaca. The main islands I visited during my stay were the Uros islands (made completely out of reeds), Amantani island (where I spent a night with a local family), and Taquille island.
2. Exploring Machu Picchu
As touristy as it may have become, Machu Picchu has been a top destination on my bucket list for several years. It was of course the one day out of my entire trip to Peru that it rained, but it ended up clearing up to see this amazing archaeological site.
1. Wandering Times Square (and getting proposed to!)
On the night of our five year anniversary exploring Times Square, my boyfriend surprised me with his proposal! I cannot wait to continue spending my life with him and all of our future adventures we will have together!