First off: Happy new Year everyone! May 2017 bring you a whole lotta love and laughter.
For the sake of tradition, I thought I should reflect on the past year and write about my travel highlights. Though 2016 was a very forgettable year for me on a personal level, it doesn’t mean I should pretend it never happened. After all, I traveled to a lot of amazing destinations and it’d be a shame not to acknowledge how wonderful it was to get to discover these places.
Here are my 2016 travel highlights:
Curaçao & Bonaire
2016 started with a bang with a wonderful trip to the Caribbean at the end of January, right after my 31st birthday. We headed to the Dutch island of Curaçao for a week-long of fun in the sun. We rented a car to explore the island from top to bottom, discovered crazy pretty architecture and to-die for beaches, and met some fantastic people along the ride.
It was such a highlight to have our very own villa with private pool, the kind that is perfect for morning swims or midnight skinny dips. The whole experience of spending a blissful week at the Acoya Hotel was pure joy.
We visited Klein Curaçao, an inhabited island located 15 miles off Curaçao’s coast, and spent the day hunting for photo opps, swimming in the gorgeous sea and playing Robinson Crusoé amidst crabs and iguanas. It was an absolutely fantastic experience!
Adding to this, we flew to the neighboring island of Bonaire, which we absolutely fell in love with. We had the great privilege to discover the area with Hans, a German expat who generously showed us around in his fleet of Twizy electric cars, and we had such a blast. We spent a great part of the day looking for the island’s best beaches, and discovered so many that it is clear I need to go back to explore more of this spectacular island.
A few months later, in May, we headed to Nice to begin an epic trip that would cross many items off my bucket list. Based in the wonderful French Riviera city, we were able to explore the Côte d’Azur from Cannes (during the Film Festival, OMG!) to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Antibes, Menton, Monaco and St. Tropez. For the film buff that I am, it was mesmerizing to finally set foot in so many legendary cities from some of my favorite films, and to experience the Cannes Film Festival, a dream come true!
We then took the train to Marseille to embark on a week-long cruise aboard the MSC Armonia, which would take us to some incredible ports of call: Sicily, Malta, Menorca, Sardinia and the Italian cities of Roma, Genoa and Portofino.
Aboard our luxurious balcony cabin, we sailed on the Mediterranean like true voyagers, passing by the mythic island of Stromboli, eating gelato by the bucket and indulging in the best the ship had to offer in terms of food and places to nap in the sun 😉
After disembarking, we had a few days left to visit Marseille and its neighborhoods, and we also rented a car to explore the city’s surroundings, from the Calanques to Cassis. It was a really great end to an already pretty epic trip.
Well, my trip to the Seychelles never actually happened, as I went through a difficult break-up at the beginning of September. I lost my travel companion and with this ordeal, my fall travel plans to the Indian Ocean went down the toilet. I’m taking a raincheck on this one and promise myself that I’ll be visiting these islands sooner than later!
This pretty much sums up my 2016 travels. 6 flights in total, 3 new countries, and a lot of new islands!
I didn’t get to post as much on Instagram as previous years. I intend to begin posting more regularly in 2017, but in the meantime, here are my #2016bestnine:
So, what’s in the plans for 2017? Well, I’m kicking the year off with a trip to my beloved Caribbean! I’ll be traveling to the island of Barbados in about a week and simply cannot wait to be traveling again.
Apart from this first trip, I don’t know where I’ll go this year. But I know that I want to make this new year amazing, full of love and laughter and travel and self-discoveries. Here’s to traveling more, fearlessly and on my own or with loved ones.
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -Neil Gaiman
Happy 2017 everyone! ♡