2016 was a year to remember. I road-tripped across the country, lived in southern California, cruised my way through Alaska, hiked to Machu Picchu and so much more. I hope you enjoy reading my highlights from each month this year! I would love to hear about your own highlights from 2016–so please comment below! I believe it is very important to look back and remember the best moments from the past year to appreciate all you’ve done.
((You can read last year’s review here!))
January: New Year’s in New Jersey // Blue Knob Ski Resort // Massive Snowstorm
I spent the first days of 2016 celebrating the New Year with one of my best friends–Lauren! (You can check out her blog here.) We celebrated at a Trump resort near her home in New Jersey, in addition to spending some time exploring Philadelphia. January brought with it a massive snowstorm called Jonas. We were trapped in our house for over one week which turned out to be very fun! My dad and I also traveled to visit friends in Pennsylvania to go skiing at Blue Knob ski resort.
Read more: Ski Trip to Blue Knob
February: California // Las Vegas, NV
February was filled with some much needed sunshine after that intense blizzard in January. I traveled to California to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday with friends. We took a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and had an absolute blast! After returning from Vegas, we spent the rest of our time together exploring California, driving the Pacific Coast highway, eating fish tacos, and exploring hidden coves along the way.
March: Asheville, NC + 1st Tourism Dept Collaboration
When my family and I traveled to Asheville, NC in March, I decided to see if I could collaborate with their tourism department to review local businesses and I was elated to receive a response! It was a huge step in developing the blog. I had the opportunity to partner with two restaurants in Asheville and write an honest review for them in exchange for a free meal. I am so happy to say both meals were absolutely delectable, so it made writing the review a piece of cake (no pun intended.) I was so grateful to also receive a beautiful gift from the Asheville Tourism Department pictured below.
April/May: Camping Trip in PA // Sold our House // Birthday Celebrations
In May I went on my first camping trip with my friend Kayla. Little did I know, this would be a great practice run for hiking the Inca Trail later this year. We made s’mores, hiked a boulder field, and chatted around the warm fire. This was the month my family also sold our house! We downsized which was a challenging but exciting step. And lastly, this was my birthday month and I had an amazing time celebrating with friends and family.
Read more: Go Wherever the Wind Takes You
June: Adventures in Southern California
June was so much fun! I flew to California to live with my boyfriend for the first half of the summer. We explored all of southern California together. We hiked in canyons, relaxed on beaches, explored coves, toured Hollywood, celebrated our anniversary on Santa Catalina Island, and so much more! It was an incredible chance to live in and explore such a beautiful part of our country together.
July: Cruise to Alaska, Seattle, Victoria
In July, my cousins and I took a celebrity solstice cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back through Victoria, B.C. before returning to Seattle. We visited the Alaskan towns of Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. I had the chance to go hiking, see glaciers, go whale watching, and explore the quaint towns. It was a surreal vacation, and I believe Alaska is a place everyone should visit if they have the desire to! I felt like I was in a National Geographic T.V. show.
- What I Love and Don’t Love About Cruising
- What to Do in Skagway, AK
- Whale Watching in Juneau, AK
- Sailing Alaska’s Tracy Arm Fjord
- A Charming Evening in Victoria, B.C.
August: Road Trip across the country // CA → AZ→ NM → TX→ TN → VA
From late July to early August I had the opportunity to check off a big item on my bucket list: driving across the country. My boyfriend and I drove from southern California to Northern Virginia over the course of one week. We saw the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Blue Hole, Cadillac Ranch, Nashville and so much more! It was a hot, beautiful, adventure-filled week. (And the best part was he moved back home to Virginia!)
- 12 Hours in the Grand Canyon
- Captured Moments in the American Southwest
- Preparing for a Cross-Country Road Trip
- Itinerary for a Cross-Country Road Trip
September: Camping + Whitewater Rafting in PA // Reunion with Eva!
In September I returned to Jim Thorpe, PA to go whitewater rafting. This was another first for me and it was SO much fun! I didn’t realize how tough it would be to whitewater raft, my body was sore for days, but it was such an adventure. Later in the month darling Eva came to visit me. We had such a fun weekend working on the blog, going hiking at Great Falls, and enjoying an evening river cruise in Washington, D.C. I also had a delightful surprise when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding – I can’t wait to celebrate in July!
October: Family Reunions + Halloween
October was filled with family reunions, fall days, and Halloween festivities!
November: Released an eBook! // Japan Trip
November witnessed a big milestone for Wonderlost. Eva and I decided to produce our very first eBook together! I am so grateful to Eva for all the hard work she dedicated in producing the eBook. We spent countless hours pulling together as much useful information we could about planning a trip to London. London is a place that will always be near and dear to our hearts, and over the years we have been asked by countless people for advice on what to do there. We were so proud to produce our free eBook, and we encourage you to please pass this along to anyone who might have a need for it!
I was also elated to discover I was accepted into the Global Citizenship Project through my Master’s program with Shenandoah. I learned that I am being sent on a trip to Japan in March! I can’t wait to share my experiences with you from that trip.
December: Peru! + Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
December proved to be the highlight of 2016. I experienced an incredible, spiritual journey hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I will never forget these most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding days spent hiking with my cousin and a group of strangers (turned friends) to one of the wonders of the world. I have never felt stronger physically, emotionally, or spiritually in my life as I did on this trip, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you over the next few weeks to hopefully convince you to take on an adventure like this for yourself. 🙂
- What I Learned on the Inca Trail
- Packing List for the Inca Trail
- Worldly Wonders: Machu Picchu
- Exploring Cusco, Peru
And that’s a wrap! I enjoy reliving these highlights from this past year, and I hope by reading this post you are encouraged to do the same for yourself.
Your turn! What were some of your favorite moments from 2016? Please share below!