Which travel memories give you that jolt of electricity in your chest that makes your face compulsively light up? (I’ll assume this happens to everyone..) Did you visit a wonder of the world, cry at a surreally beautiful landscape, or meet someone you wound up having epic adventures with?
Sometimes the tiniest, seemingly silliest moments are the ones that retain the most oomph in my mind (technical neuroscience term for one’s favorite memories). But I’ll let my top 5 travel moments of 2016 speak for themselves. Hope they can inspire your 2017 travel plans as well:
5. Thessaloniki, Greece
I can’t readily distinguish between how much I loved a place and how much I adored the people – or person – I met there.
But I feel confident Thessaloniki was a solid balance between the two. I did meet an awesome human, but, we also had an incredible day exploring the simplicities and complexities and histories that intertwine perfectly to carve Thessaloniki into the unique metropolis it is… The kind of place where you venture under early 4th-century arches that couldn’t be more casual in their existence as a part of a modern city. And then you wind up drinking on a pirate ship sailing around the harbor.And then there was the incredible Greek sunset over the bay. I eventually glanced over at my new homie- our feet dangling near the city wall’s edge- and had a beautiful moment of realization that I had only met him earlier that day… and those are always my favorite travel moments because they pretty much sum it up, don’t they?
4. Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica
Costa Rica felt unreal as a whole. Like, I could’ve climbed down a steaming manhole in New York City and emerged into a fantasyland that Peter Pan would’ve been proud to summer at. Except I didn’t magically emerge there… I took a plane and a rental car and
spent a lazy day driving towards a towering volcano, mingling with unearthly luminous clouds that felt like an illusion. And then I got to the tiny town of La Fortuna at the base of the Volcano and life felt perfect in a way only those certain magical spots on Earth can make it feel. Hot Springs, perfect frequencies, and volcanic hikes through lush green calmness.
full disclaimer: again, this day/trip was spent with one of my favorite travel buddies so I might be slightly biased. (I’m sensing a pattern.)
3. Keukenhof, Holland
I’m not a girly girl. Well… I love Disney Movies. And can massively get down to a 2000’s boy band-throwback dance party. But seriously. I’m not that girly. Until you throw me inside Tulip Heaven aka Keukenhof in Holland and then.. well. Holy. Fucking. Flowers.
And spending this day with a girlfriend I met in Thailand last Fall was the tulip-piped-icing on the cake. Keukenhof makes you feel like you need to be pinched every so often, so an extra set of fingers can come in handy (pun intended). But seriously.. what a dream.
2. Bridge Jumping in Norway
I cling to this memory. Mainly because the ice cold water of the fjord is still stinging my skin in the best way possible, and reminding me that Norway did, indeed, happen. The entire country was by far the prettiest place I’ve ever been (I’m pretty sure I somehow teleported to Naboo,) so it was worthy of this high spot on my very official and important list.
And when my cousin and I stumbled upon the ricketiest old suspension bridge, in the middle of absolute nowhere, we spent all of 2 minutes debating the dangers before we carefully climbed up the decaying wood, over the wire edge, and plunged into the ice cold river below.
Exhilaration and purity redefined. ‘Nuff said.
1. Seeing the Northern Lights
Be right back, can’t see the keyboard through my tears.
K, still crying but I’ll push through. The Northern Lights were twofold. They had been the #1 thing (and the only thing honestly) on my bucket list since I can remember. So the sheer amazement that it was actually happening was one of the coolest fucking moments of my life. They were exactly what I imagined them to be, and then so much more I don’t even have words.
If I ever needed a reminder that life is magical I couldn’t have asked for a better one.
But seriously, I’m currently on the hunt for travel inspo for the new year… And, come to think of it- since I checked off the only item on my bucket list- I should probably update it, lest the Universe think I’m ready to kick the bucket…
So please share your favorite moments below!