To say this year flew by would be a complete understatement. I felt like it was just yesterday I told my husband I wanted to be a travel blogger full time. For those of you who didn't know, I had made a big decision this time last year in December to close down a business as a travel advisor and pursue the blog. I really can't believe it's been one year of writing the blog full time. I had been blogging for about two years, and realized it was my true passion to write and create, and took a leap.
It's been a humbling year. It's been wild. It's been adventurous, and everything in between. There's been travel delays, and travel delights. But all together, this year, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for following along, thank you for traveling with me.
Thank you for the encouragement, thank you for the support.
Thank you for the emails, thank you for all of the comments, I truly read every single one of them and it means the world.
I am so thankful for this year of adventure I got to share with each and every one of you. 2016 has some big things in store for the blog, some new additions, and of course new adventures. But first, I'd love reflect on some of my favorite adventures of 2015.
In 2015 I was thankful to..........
Ride a ridiculous snowcat in Sun Valley, Idaho.
It's one of my favorite hidden destinations in all of the US, I seem to return back every winter for some of the best snow around.
See one of the new 7 Wonders of the World: Petra, Jordan.
I always go back to Jordan when asked where has been one of my favorite destinations. The culture, the vibrance in hospitality, the history — every bit of Jordan is inspiring. It touches you in ways you didn't know it could.
Float in the Dead Sea at sunset.
There is no way to describe the feeling other than weightless. Taking the trip to Jordan with five other bloggers from around the world was a trip I'll never forget.
Take a spontaneous road trip to Big Sur, with someone I had just met.
It was this moment I realized this is what travel blogging is all about. I connected with Stephanie of Travel Break through our mutual friend Nastasia of Dame Traveler, and received a call from her as she was in the city. She asked if I wanted to go to Big Sur for the day, and the next morning I picked her up, and ended up on an incredible day down the coast.
Sleep overnight at a chateau winery in Sonoma.
My friend Sarah and I took a quick drive up to the town of Healdsburg for one of the most incredible places, Jordan Winery. This winery has three exclusive rooms that overlook the vineyards, a room a French girl can only dream about.
Travel solo to Nicaragua with El Camino Travel for a trip to remember.
There were 12 travelers, I knew no one and little did I know would it be the best decision I had made all year. Getting to travel on a curated guided trip with a photographer equaled lots of time to just enjoy the ride.
Kick off summer in Palm Springs, California.
It's one of those places that just makes sense to go to when it's time for some R&R. I loved getting to explore the destination, and see how much there is to do. See a full guide here.
Experience the untouched nature that is Yellowstone National Park.
I can see why it's my husband's favorite place in the world. It should be at the top of everyone's bucket list for a road trip. The animals, the scenery, and everything in between keeps you on your toes at all times in wonder.
Be invited by the White House for the opening day of allowing photography inside!
I couldn't believe it when the email came in, this was truly an honor and so humbling. I even got to meet up with my friend Nastasia from Dame Traveler, and explore Washington D.C.
Discover how wonderful of a destination Mendocino is..
I really never knew how much there was to do here, it has many gems to experience, and the loveliest of towns. See a full guide here.
Sleep under the stars in a safari tent in the middle of Moab.
I could never forget the glamping experience at Moab Under Canvas. We slept under the stars in a picturesque backdrop of Moab. My only wish is that I had stayed one more night!
Be pushed by the hardest hike to alpine lakes in Telluride, Colorado.
If you're looking for adventure, Telluride is one a place with no shortage. I saw photos of these turquoise alpine lakes that would require a 10-mile hike up to 14,000 feet and I couldn't resist. I fell in love with the outdoors, and Telluride worked it's charm on me.
Cruise the Danube River with my mother.
It's always about who you travel with, and getting to spend two weeks with my mom on board a Viking River Cruise is something I'll never forget. The destinations along the Danube were so much fun to discover, and I loved getting to do it with my mom.
Float the waters of Ha Long Bay
(stay tuned for the blog posts!)
Experience the love and welcome of Chai Lai Orchid.
Being with the elephants, sleeping in an Airbnb camp, and everything in between was a highlight. There's something special going on at Chai Lai and I can't wait to share more (stay tuned).
Meet our friends from Australia for a week of relaxation in Southern Thailand.
No work, no campaigns, just close friends, a few cocktails and time to kick back. Lots of laughs, island hopping, and sun.
And the last but certainly not least, Jackson Hole in the winter.
My childhood dreams of dogsledding in a winter wonderland, snowmobiling through Yellowstone National Park, and the cutest towns was the ultimate way to end the year.
I'd love to hear your travel highlights from this year, and where you'd like to see Bon Traveler go in 2016, leave in the comments below!
Merry Christmas, Xx