Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Top Travels of 2015

December is always a great month to do some reflection on the last year. Personally, this last year was a big one- personally, professionally, and certainly in terms of travel! I only visited two new countries, but was able to explore a lot more around my home turf right here in the U.S. Without further ado, here are my top travel moments in 2015!
Our spectacular view in Riga, Latvia
The other evening at wine club, a question was posed to Nick and I of which our favorite travel destination within the past year. I think I surprised not only him, but myself as well, when I instantly responded Riga. I don't know exactly what it was that prompted me to instantly respond with Riga. Perhaps it is the fact that Riga was such a unique destination for us, unlike anywhere else we had been. Perhaps it is that Riga is not thought of as a tourist-y destination. Perhaps it is the fact that we had a terrific long (truthfully, short) weekend traveling to, exploring, and traveling from Riga. Whatever it is, I absolutely I adored my time there. For anybody that ever has the opportunity to take a similar trip that Nick and I did, I highly recommend it! We traveled on a 12-hour ferry to Riga, had a full day there, and then headed back to our original destination. What a great way to explore new places!

Cobblestone streets of Stockholm, Sweden
Some people might argue that traveling to Stockholm doesn't really count as travel, as I was living just an hour outside of the city. Truthfully, I don't care what others say- because Stockholm is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I traveled there frequently, it counts as one of my top travels of 2015. February was my last visit to the city, when I traveled and met one of my family members whom I hadn't seen in years there. I was able to show him the city from an insider's perspective, giving him little facts and tidbits about the city that only somebody with intimate knowledge of it might know. I will always treasure the time I spent with him (and previous family members in 2014!), showing him around one of my new home cities.

After the hockey season, Nick and I were able to spend two weeks relaxing in the Dominican Republic. From scuba diving to zip lining, we did it all! I think scuba diving was both of our favorite activity. When we weren't on the go, absolutely nothing could beat lounging on the beach, fruity cocktail in hand, and watching the ocean waves roll.

The High Trestle Trail Bridge in Madrid
This post absolutely wouldn't be complete without a brief mention of Iowa. Certainly, I had never anticipated moving to Iowa - and certainly not this year! Nonetheless, we have ended up in this state. While Iowa may not be at the peak of your travel list, there are certainly some worthwhile things to do. Check out my posts on Des Moines and Jasper Winery for some more of my travels while living here in Iowa!

Hiking in LA
The month of July brought me to California for my very first time! I spent several days visiting a friend in LA, touring the area and going on gorgeous hikes. Oh, what a trip it was! While LA was not my favorite place in the world, it was so terrific to visit old friends. After LA came several days in Napa Valley, which for any wine-lover like myself is an absolute must! I can't wait to continue exploring new wine regions and vineyards around the world.

Lake Coeur D'Alene in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
September took me to the beautiful city of Coeur D'Alene in Idaho. I've mentioned this before on here, but years ago I had heard that Coeur D'Alene was supposed to be stunning. When the opportunity came for Nick to take a work trip here, I tried to convince him to take me with. He didn't believe me on the gorgeousness of this city originally. Luckily for me, he did some research, discovered I was right (as always!), and just a few days before our anniversary that he revealed he was surprising me with a trip there. The rest, truthfully, is history as I quickly fell in love with this stunning city!

This year will wrap up with trips to Minneapolis and Northern Minnesota - Bemidji and Duluth, specifically. How was your year in travels, and what was your favorite destination?


  1. What a great year of travel! I love reflection posts like this :)

    1. Mar, I'm totally with you- the end of the year is the perfect time to reflect, too! So many congrats on your little one, by the way- you are almost there!!

  2. Fun post idea! I think I might need to do the same ;)

    1. You totally should! It's such a great post for the end of the year :)

  3. You had some great travels in 2015! I'm headed to Riga in May so I can't wait to stalk all your photos xo

    1. Thanks Jordan! Ohh, you will love Riga! We only had a day there but it was such a terrific city to explore!

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