As we start a brand new year, we thought we would look back at the previous year and take a moment to reflect on where we have been. First of all, this was the first year in a couple of years where we were living in the United States for the full year. What is obvious to anyone who has lived in Europe as well as in the States is that international travel is not as easy and much more expensive from the US compared to being in Europe where a different country is often as close as a few hour train ride away. That being said, we did have a couple of big trips outside of the country that will be some of our favorite memories for years. It did force us to spend a little bit more time traveling domestically, which is certainly just as worthwhile as going to different states within the country can be as unique as going to a completely different country. If our trips didn’t keep us busy enough on their own, it was a hectic year from a work perspective and we moved into a new home in September. We had a total of ten trips throughout the year and enjoyed meeting new people, eating a variety of food, and having some very unique experiences. Here is a brief recap of our year:
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – We had driven through Pittsburgh in the past, but never actually spent time there. We were able to spend a few days in this city that is definitely in the process of growing quite dramatically. It is the type of city that we would consider to be a mid-sized city with very friendly people and a unique food scene.
- Austin, Texas – We actually had a couple of opportunities to visit Austin during the year and it is a city with a reputation for music as well as barbeque. It is certainly a place where you will find yourself slowing down to relax and find the people who live there to be very laid back and easy going.
- Northern Virginia – Work sent us to the area and we didn’t get to spend too much time exploring, but it is still a place that has special memories for us as we lived in the area many years ago.
- Egypt – Probably the highlight of the year as we spent time in Cairo as well as taking a river cruise on the Nile from Luxor down to Aswan. The memories of this trip will certainly last a lifetime as it was not only a favorite of the year, but one of the best trips that we’ve ever taken. We would highly recommend that people put their fears aside and take time to visit this historic country with a fascinating culture.
- Alamosa, Colorado – We decided to revisit the Great Sand Dunes in southwest Colorado and it was truly a wonderful experiences. Travel doesn’t always have to be to the far corners of the planet to be interesting and provide an interesting view of the world we live in.
- Sante Fe, New Mexico – With a reputation for art, food, and a healthy lifestyle, visiting Sante Fe was a perfect getaway destination for us. It is also a city with a very rich history including some of the oldest buildings in the United States.
- Carlsbad, California – As the weather started turning colder here in Colorado, we decided to head to the beach. Just north of San Diego, this resort town is a perfect place to go and do some surfing, fishing, or just relax on the beach. We enjoyed watching sunsets over the ocean while enjoying wonderful seafood.
- Panama – The second of our “big” trips this year was to go to Central America and get into the jungle once again. We are certain that this country will be on a lot of people’s destination list this year, but we are glad that we took the time to visit at the birth of their embrace of ecotourism. It was certainly a wonderful experience.
- New Orleans, Louisiana – For our final trip of the year, we visited the “Crescent City” on the Gulf of Mexico. With its historic French Quarter that has survived hundreds of years, fires, and even catastrophic flooding, it is certainly an American classic. It was certainly a wonderful place for us to spend our holidays.
With so many wonderful memories, 2018 was certainly a very good year. We haven’t begun to plan our trips for 2019, but hopefully it will be as full of adventures as the previous year. We wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope it that provides you with all of the happiness that you are hoping for.