Ah, 2015. 5 trips. 3 continents. 15 flights. 5 islands. 23 vacation days taken. Too many photos. 2 road trips, 1 cruise, 12 hotels, a bit of luxury, a whole lot of planning, great itineraries and no mishaps. Have I finally gotten the hang out of all this traveling?!
2015 was a great travel year for me, with trips taken around the globe and a short one in my own country. Though I didn’t tick a lot of new countries off my list (6 on a total of 8), I did fulfill a major travel dream of mine by going to Egypt! It also seems that I fell in love with every destination I visited this year, so that is always a lovely conclusion to get to when it comes to rounding up the year: my 2015 travels were awesome, in destinations that were eclectic but all truly amazing. Here’s my year in review:
My traveling started late in March with a quiet trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast that turned out to be an absolutely wonderful week of traveling leisurely through quaint towns, while stepping foot on some of the most beautiful beaches of the entire United States. Flying direct from Montreal to Fort Myers, we rented a car and road-tripped to Clearwater, St. Pete, Tampa, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Sanibel and Captiva Island, where we stayed for 4 nights of total bliss at one of the most exquisite hotels I’ve stayed at, the South Seas Island Resort. We did not plan on falling so hard for this Florida locale, or enjoying ourselves so much. I cannot wait to go back!
Best moment of the trip? Making friends with a dolphin living right under our balcony at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island
In May, we flew to Trieste, Italy and boarded a cruise ship bound for the Adriatic Sea. You all know how much the sea is a major player in all my travel decisions, and this cruise’s ports of call included Trieste and Venice (Italy), Kotor (Montenegro), Split and Dubrovnik (Croatia), as well as Corfu and Argostoli (Greece). We were blown away by each and every one of these destinations. The itinerary was just superb and though Costa Cruises is certainly not the best cruise line out there, we’ll at least have to give them that. We cannot wait to do part 2 of this trip: explore more of the Adriatic and the Balkans by land, and more of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
Best moment: sailing through the majestic Bay of Kotor
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We'llll be back to Croatia in a few days but for now we're cruising to Montenegro for a day-trip in beautiful Kotor. We got up at the wee hours to see the ship's entrance in the Bay of Kotor. As you can see, when I say that #Kotor is beautiful, it's quite an understatement.
In July, we road-tripped to Quebec’s Bas St-Laurent region, one of my favorite places in the whole world. We’ve started making a habit of this annual road trip and each time are rewarded with breathtaking scenery and a sense of calm, quiet and plain and simple happiness. We stayed in a great hotel, went whale-watching, and took long walks on the beach looking at the sea, our absolute favorite activity.
Best moment: breathing in the sea air
Then in September, with a much-needed break after a professional low, I went crazy and booked us a romantic 6-day/5-night getaway in Bermuda, at the Fairmont Southampton, to celebrate our 13-year anniversary. We came back refreshed, beaming, and in awe of this beautiful destination, which we are aching to go back to. We did not think such pretty beaches were possible! Every Bermudian we met was kindness –incarnate; they were just the friendliest folks we’ve ever met in our travels, and that made the trip particularly special.
Best moment: hiding between the huge boulders on Horseshoe Bay Beach during blue hour, alone in the world
In November, we decided to make one of our travel dreams come true and head to Egypt for 10 days of exploration: seeing all the temples, pyramids and monuments we could cram in our itinerary from North to South. Against all odds – the recent November Paris attacks and the Russian plane crash made our friends and family particularly worried-, we met with a people desperate for things to get better in a country so historically unique we made it our personal blogger’s goal to convince each and every one of you to go to Egypt.
Best moment: having a pyramid to ourselves pretty much beats everything else
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Le temple d'Isis sur l'île de Philae n'est accessible que par bateau. En 1902, après la construction du barrage d'Aswan, le temple était partiellement submergé 6 mois par an, avec seulement ses colonnes visibles hors de l'eau. Éventuellement, dans les années 1970, l'UNESCO empêcha que le temple soit submergé à jamais à la construction du nouveau barrage, en le déplaçant pierre par pierre vers son emplacement actuel.
So that pretty much rounds up my year in travel. Not too bad for someone who works full-time! Still, if I could fit one or two trips more in 2016, I would be ecstatic. My severe case of wanderlust doesn’t seem to be diminishing… Traveling brings me so much joy and I’m a better person when I come back from each trip I take… We’ll see what 2016 has in store for me! Though I wish for more discoveries, more adventures, more destinations, I feel that I want to approach this new travel year with less hurry, and aim for a more experiential, slow and meaningful way of traveling.
Stay tuned for many, many posts of the incredible destinations I’ve traveled to this year. I have plenty of stories to share and a gazillion photos too. As you do.
I wish every one of you a wonderful, fantastic New Year.