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20 adventures from 2016 that made me go “is that this actual life?”

2016 travel blog highlights

Why is everybody whining that 2016 was the worst ever and it wants to finish?

I imply, yeah I get it, bits of it sucked the large one. But in addition some nice issues occurred! Not less than talking from private expertise, 2016 was really not a nasty yr for me. Now 2011, that was not an awesome yr, however 2016? Nicely, it actually didn’t suck.

And I’m betting it was a reasonably good yr for a few of you guys too, in the event you actually give it some thought.

I began musing about this right this moment on my Instagram tales, which it is best to take a look at by the way in which, in the event you haven’t already. I used to be began to get a bit panicky, both from being again at dwelling at my mother and father’ home in Virginia, which may convey forth all kinds of emotions and basic unpleasantness in and of itself, but additionally as a result of I used to be completely NOT prepared for 2016 to be over but.

I imply, hell, I’ve bought a lot left that I wish to do, that I didn’t get round to ending. Story of my friggin’ life, guys. Then I noticed, I really DID do lots this yr and I have to cease being unfavourable and concentrate on being pleased with what I completed and get excited for what’s subsequent. I believe it is a lesson all of us want to listen to again and again, particularly at the present time of by no means being adequate/by no means doing sufficient/by no means being the very best.

Can we make that not a factor for 2017? I’d be cool with that.

Anyhow, in an effort to not dwell on what I didn’t do, I assumed I’d return and share 20 of my finest experiences from 2016 that made me pinch myself and go “is that this actual life?” As a result of generally we have to remind ourselves of that, proper?

2016 travel blog highlights

1. Visiting the winter wonderland that’s Alberta, Canada

I lastly went on a correct go to to our nice white neighbor to the north – large stunning CANADA – and it knocked my socks off.

Simply kidding, my socks stayed on as one doesn’t have naked ft in Canada in January. Not if you wish to preserve your toes.

I spent virtually two weeks exploring magical Alberta, and all I might give it some thought once I can come again and do it once more. And once more. And once more. I cherished Canada.

Strolling out on frozen Lake Louise at dawn after sleeping on the Fairmont Chateau, will not be one thing I’ll overlook ever.

2016 travel blog highlights

2. Gone glamping in Wanaka underneath the celebrities

Final summer time a buddy of mine began up her personal glamping enterprise in Wanaka known as Discover Life Tenting, which I used to be so past stoked about. I really like glamping (fancy tenting) when touring and was all too eager to take a look at her spot in Dublin Bay on the lake.

It was a wonderful scorching summer time day once I headed as much as the positioning, sat studying by the lake because the sundown and went for walks all night time underneath a full moon. It was so magical and made me fall in love with my dwelling in Wanaka once more.

2016 travel blog highlights

three. Probably the most excellent powder day in Switzerland

I’ve been snowboarding now for about 2 years, and I nonetheless suck. Although I get higher. I’m an enormous bundle of concern on the mountain, one thing I’m decided to beat one in all nowadays.

Fortunately for me, I used to be over in Switzerland in March this yr and after per week of the shittiest climate ever, the gods listened and I ended up getting a meter bluebird powder day within the Alps round Interlaken. Can I get a HOLY CRAP?

It was one in all my finest day snowboarding to this point. Appears like nothing can go fallacious when the snow is that mushy. And using in entrance of the Eiger North Face? Discuss pinch me!

2016 travel blog highlights

four. Nearly seeing the northern lights in Finland

Guys, I’ve actually been in locations the place you possibly can see the Northern Lights a number of occasions and NOT SEEN THEM! What offers?

I used to be in Finnish Lapland in March for per week which is primo aurora territory and it was overcast each single night time, apart from this night time when the Northern Lights teased me on the horizon for a number of hours.

In the future, sooner or later. And oh, Finland was ridiculously superior in any other case.

2016 travel blog highlights

5. Mountaineering the Kepler monitor in New Zealand 

If I needed to decide a favourite multi-day hike in New Zealand, it must be the Kepler Observe. Arms-down, my favourite.

I bought a name final minute from a buddy at DOC who was planning to return down for it, and I used to be all like, I’m completely coming too! A 60 kilometer stroll over a mountain move in Fiordland, it’s not for the faint of coronary heart, although as a Nice Stroll, it’s not as difficult as most hikes in New Zealand both.

In the event you get to selected a hike in New Zealand, go for the Kepler in the event you can!

2016 travel blog highlights

6. Celebrating three years in New Zealand and two years in Wanaka

I can’t consider it, man does time fly. It looks as if solely yesterday I used to be saying on right here that I used to be transferring down underneath, and increase, three years later and so they haven’t kicked me out but.

I celebrated by strolling out to Rob Roy Glacier, a wonderful day stroll in Wanaka, and it was the primary stroll I ever did once I moved there and it’s kinda one of many causes I fell in love with Wanaka.

Right here’s to a different superb three years in New Zealand…a minimum of!

2016 travel blog highlights

7. Sleeping in a glass home underneath the Milky Manner in Canterbury

Over time, Canterbury has shortly change into one in all my favourite areas in New Zealand. It packs a punch. I preserve going again and again as a result of it’s so near Wanaka, and with enjoyable cities, large mountains and epic coastlines, I’m by no means bored.

However in all probability my favourite non-mountain Canterbury expertise in 2016 was attending to sleep in a PurePod in Little River on the Banks Peninsula. A strong glass cabin in the course of the wilderness, it’s such a particular little spot!

2016 travel blog highlights

eight. In a single day mountaineering on Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier is by far one in all my favourite locations on the South Island, and one of many solely locations the place you possibly can simply entry and go on guided adventures on a glacier. Since I really like being within the mountains however am not a mountaineer, that is one in all my pleased locations.

This yr I bought the prospect to check out the brand new Excessive Heli Hike on Fox with pals, and it was a lot enjoyable! We spent two days within the hills, first flying as much as Chancellor Hut and doing the Half Dome trek, my first guided mountain climb earlier than overnighting within the historic hut after which doing the ice hike the following day.

So cool!

2016 travel blog highlights

9. Assembly the 2016 kākāpō chicks

You guys know that I’m an enormous fowl nerd after transferring to New Zealand, and my absolute favorites are the kākāpō. These native flightless nocturnal parrots are on the point of extinction, however fortunately with lots of assist from teams like Kākāpō Restoration, DOC, Forest and Hen and now Meridian Vitality, they’re slowly however absolutely coming again.

And 2016 was a bumper breeding season with a lot of new chicks mentioning the inhabitants to 154 birds! And I used to be fortunate sufficient to go and meet a few of them down in Invercargill, not one thing I’ll doubtless quickly overlook. They simply began naming all the brand new ones this yr over on Fb.

Aren’t they cute?

2016 travel blog highlights

10. Frolicking in Arrowtown in autumn

I all the time make some extent to be in New Zealand for autumn, particularly April when the leaves change. My absolute favourite time of yr! If solely we had pumpkin spice lattes.

I’m fundamental, sue me.

2016 travel blog highlights

11. Hanging out within the Maldives

Okay, just about the entire time I used to be there, I used to be like “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” “HOW IS THIS MY LIFE?”

Sufficient mentioned.

2016 travel blog highlights

12. Monitoring leopards in Sri Lanka

I’ve gotten so into wildlife pictures and animal conservation these days, so I knew I needed to go attempt to see leopards in Sri Lanka, particularly as this was my second journey over.

I spent a number of days on safari in Yala Nationwide Park monitoring leopards and elephants based mostly at Cinnamon Wild Yala, and it blew me away!

That’s till I bought dengue. FML occasions one million.

2016 travel blog highlights

13. Participating in an AirNZ shoot at Mt. Hutt

So this one time, Air New Zealand requested me to be in one in all their industrial movies snowboarding at Mt. Hutt and consuming ice lotions. Didn’t must ask me twice!

2016 travel blog highlights

14. Engaged on my snowboarding all season at Treble Cone in Wanaka

I’ve been working my butt off the previous few years attempting to change into a greater snowboarder, and at last am getting there. I spent lots of days up the hill in Wanaka at my native skifield, Treble Cone, incomes my turns and attempting to not faceplant off the chairlift.

Little by little, I’m getting there!

2016 travel blog highlights

15. FINALLY visiting the polar bears in Svalbard

I had been dying, DYING to go to Svalbard for about 10 years a minimum of, and at last had the chance to go this yr on an expedition ship with Eclipse Journey. Svalbard is a really distant group of glaciated islands north of Norway within the Arctic Circle, and we spent virtually two weeks circumnavigating it this yr. And monitoring polar bears on the ocean ice.

Cue all of the tears.

2016 travel blog highlights

16. Roadtripping across the Lofoten Islands in Norway

Since I used to be already in Norway, I needed to take the prospect and head across the fjords in Northern Norway, particularly to see the magical, mystical Lofoten Islands.

And holy crap have been they simply as superb as you may need imagined!

2016 travel blog highlights

17. Lastly attending to know Rotorua

This spring I spent a while attending to know extra of my very own yard in New Zealand, with a 4 day journey as much as Rotorua on the North Island. A geothermal wonderland, I skipped out on extra of the touristic spots in favor of exploring extra of the hidden forests and lakes.

And I’m completely already planning a visit again.

2016 travel blog highlights

18. Consuming my method via Dunedin

This spring I additionally frolicked hanging out in close by Dunedin, a tremendous metropolis by the ocean on the South Island, which by the way in which, has essentially the most superb new foodie scene.

I haven’t written a lot about my time there but, however keep tuned, I’ve bought some thrilling new tasks arising round it I can’t wait to share!

2016 travel blog highlights

19. Celebrating our Journey Bootcamps in Sydney and the Gold Coast

Hey do not forget that one time in Might the place I casually talked about that I used to be co-launching my very own journey convention? Yeah that occurred. Twice!

My companions and I wished to launch our personal journey convention the place taught the particular ins-and-outs of getting paid to journey and work within the writing, running a blog and pictures fields, no bullshit, straight info.

Our first Journey Bootcamp was in Sydney in June and was an awesome success, after which we launched our second convention on the Gold Coast in November, additionally an awesome success. We now have lots of thrilling, secret plans round this within the works, and have quietly simply launched tickets to our subsequent Bootcamp in Melbourne on April 29th, so in the event you’re eager to discover ways to receives a commission to journey like I do, join!

2016 travel blog highlights

20. Roadtripping to Fiordland in an Aston Martin

Lastly, I needed to exit with a bang in 2016 on my final week in New Zealand for the yr earlier than flying dwelling to the US for the vacations, by road-tripping to Fiordland.

My buddy Sarah came visiting, and I wished to shock by organizing a rental for us in an Aston Martin with Ignition Self Drive in Queenstown so we might road-trip in type to Milford Sound and dwell out our James Bond fantasies.

2016, what a yr! What’s my life? Holy shit!

How did your 2016 form up? Share one superior constructive expertise you had within the feedback or an awesome place you traveled to this yr and what you’re wanting ahead to for 2017!

2016 travel blog highlights

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