My Top 5 Travel Highlights of 2017

As we hurtle toward 2018, a lot of people are taking the opportunity to reflect on the year we are leaving. I’m not gonna lie, for a lot of people 2017 was a rough year. Is it just me, or does it seem like there is something new and terrible happening every day, so quickly that we can hardly keep up or catch our breaths?

Still, in my personal life 2017 was a pretty good year. I traveled, started dating my boyfriend, and moved out of my parents’ place. There were some tough times too, though. My grandfather passed away in March, which hit me hard. I also suffered from an extreme lack of motivation this year—things that I usually like to do (reading and writing, mostly) became a lot harder, and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling aimless and unsure about what I want to do next in life.

Truth be told, right now I am still feeling a little aimless. I’m at a bit of a crossroads, career-wise, and I’m having a little trouble finding my focus. But this is a travel reflection post, not a therapy session. So in the spirit of year-end reflection, here are my top travel highlight of 2017

1. SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN

By far the biggest thing I did in terms of travel was my nearly three-week backpacking trip through Spain that I did earlier this year. I had so many great experiences in Spain, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I went on a tapas tour in Madrid, wandered the white hill towns of Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda, took in some amazing views, and met a ton of interesting people.

Perhaps most importantly, my trip to Spain solidified my wanderlust and helped me overcome some of my travel anxiety. I’m feeling more inspired to continue traveling on my own in the future and have more confidence that I can do it.

2. Ziplining in Whistler

In May I went on a last-minute trip to Whistler, British Columbia, with one of my friends. She’s a snowboarder and I am decidedly not coordinated enough for such activities, so I had a lot of time to entertain myself in other ways.

My favorite thing that I did while I was there was go ziplining. This was my second time ever ziplining, and I think it may have even been better than the first! I loved the adrenaline rush of it and soaring over views that you can’t really get any other way. I hope to go ziplining again in the future, and maybe incorporate more adventurous activities like this into my future travels as well.

3. Seeing Bison in Yellowstone

 

Like I wrote in my last post, I went to Yellowstone National Park over the summer. Overall, it was not the best trip for a variety of reasons. I realized that I really can’t stand camping, and I felt pretty cranky the whole time. I’m sure I wasn’t pleasant to be around.

That said, I did see some pretty amazing sites while I was there. One of my favorites had to be the herd of bison that my friend and I came across while driving around the park. It was incredible seeing so many bison spread out below us, and definitely entertaining when a few of them decided to wander up onto the road.

 

A view from the car of the bison on the road.

4. Driving to Idaho

Back in June I drove from my home near Seattle to southeast Idaho to visit one of my best friends and her newborn baby. The trip was pretty calm, and I had a great time catching up with my friend and spending time with her adorable baby. My drive over took about fourteen hours, and I did it in a single day. I drove through eastern Washington, western Montana, and Idaho, and while the drive got a little tedious and lonely at times, I saw a lot of lovely scenery. I’ve driven through western Montana before, and once again I fell in love with how beautiful it is.

I also liked all the time that I got to myself. Generally speaking, I like driving and being alone, and having an extended period of time with just myself and the road gave me the opportunity to think about some important things. While my trip to Idaho may not have been the most exciting thing I did this year, it definitely was still a highlight

5. Spending time with my family in Ocean Shores

In August, I went with my parents and two younger brothers to Ocean Shores, Washington. We went to spread my grandfather’s ashes, as well as to spend some time together as a family. Honestly, the trip overall was pretty uneventful, and that’s what I liked about it. Traveling with my family is often stressful, and while there were for sure times when we got on each other’s nerves, it was actually a pretty relaxed trip. The weather was nice most of the time, too, which is a plus because Ocean Shores in late summer can be pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to the weather.

I’m grateful for the time we had there… as well as the fact that I was able to go back home to my own apartment after the trip was done. 🙂

 

So that does it for my 2017 travel highlights. What were some of your best moments from 2017, travel-related or otherwise?

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