Hi everyone and happy 2016!!! It’s a new year and Travel Tuesday is back in full swing!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, wherever in the world you celebrated!
For those of you that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I’m Lauren and I blog over at Lauren on Location. I’ve been co-hosting the Travel Tuesday linkup for a few months now and will be guest posting this month here at A Compass Rose before passing the baton on to some other lovely hosts!
During my holiday vacation this past week, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how unbelievably amazing of a year 2015 was for me. It was a year full of learning, traveling, friends, family, love, fun, hard work and so much more! It’s hard for me to even process everything that has happened in the past 12 months!
So, before ringing in this new wonderful year and focusing on my upcoming travel plans, I thought I’d share and reflect on some of my favorite travel memories from 2015.
Skydiving in the Swiss Alps
Skydiving in Interlaken was a HUGE experience for me. I had wanted to conquer my fear of heights via skydiving for a long time, but could never get myself to commit. When my boyfriend Kevin decided to visit me in Europe, round two, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to give skydiving a try. He had also wanted to try skydiving for a while, so I hoped to use his positive, eager energy to counter my completely anxious, nervous energy. All I can say is IT. WAS. AMAZING. The rush was incredible and the view of the Alps from above, indescribable. I think I’d even do it again… well, maybe…
You can read more about my experience skydiving in Interlaken here.
Spring break in the Sahara Desert
In the summer of 2014, on my return flight to Spain from Marrakech, I met a retired traveling couple from South Africa. They had just spent a week in the Sahara desert and couldn’t stop raving about their experience, insisting it was their favorite trip of the year. I was instantly hooked on the idea. My weekend in Marrakech was simply an introduction to the wonderful world of Morocco and I knew this had to be next.
My friend Mandy and I decided to spend our 2015 spring break a little differently than our usual “crazy party-like” trips and take a guided tour of the Sahara. Well, the South African couple was right and the Sahara desert easily pushed its way to the top of my travel experiences for 2015. It was actually one of the most amazing experiences of my life and so different than anything I had done before. I’m sure the memory of laying under a clear blanket of sparkling stars while digging my toes into cool velvety sand will stay clear in my mind for the rest of my life.
Check out more of my Sahara Snapshots here.
Kayaking in Mykonos, Greece
This past summer I took a Mediterranean cruise with my family which started in Istanbul, made several stops in Greece and ended in Italy. I have so many great memories from these action-packed 9-days, but one that really sticks out in my mind was our kayaking excursion in Mykonos.
The water was extremely rough, the wind was fierce and my kayak even flipped over! Still, the family who ran the tours made each and every second enjoyable, safe and fun! They were so sweet and really treated us like a part of their family. It also didn’t hurt that the entire island was absolutely breathtaking.
Watching the sunrise [and set] at Horseshoe Bend
After my return home to the States from Spain this past fall, I luckily had some time to travel in my own enormous country. My parents recently retired, bought an RV and adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle driving all over the US, which I was pretty eager to get in on.
Well, my parents happily let me crash their party and even let me plan out my own itinerary. While we were staying for a quick stint in Arizona, I somehow even convinced them to wake up before the crack of dawn and hike up to Horseshoe Bend with me to watch the sunrise. It was chilly, windy, and we got there even a bit too early, but watching the sun slowly creep up over the canyon was more than worth the slightly uncomfortable wait. We all enjoyed it so much that we went back to watch the sunset!
Hiking into Bryce Canyon
Another stop on my cross-country road trip with my parents, and one my favorites of the trip, was Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon is located in Southern Utah and is famous for its unique geological structures, called hoodoos. We camped a few days in the remote park and I just couldn’t get over the extraordinary views. The red, orange and white colors of the bizarre rock formations were magnificent. One early morning, I hiked down into the canyon with my father and fell so in love that I went back later that day and did the very same trail with my mom. It’s far too easy to lose yourself in the stunning vistas of the hoodoos!
I’m so lucky to have so many amazing memories from this past year! Above are only a handful of the memorable moments that have made 2015 one for the books. Even though I already have a lot of exciting trips in the works for 2016, the coming year sure has got a lot to live up to!
For more of my favorite travel experiences of 2015- hop on over to Lauren on Location today. I’m sharing my 15 favorite travel photos of 2015! Also, look out this month for my 2015 video compilation- Lauren on Location, a year through video.
What are some of your favorite memories from 2015? What are you looking forward to this year?