2017 was a pretty great year for me and I honestly didn’t think that I’d be able to beat it in terms of travel. I’m still working full-time and still married so travelling full-time isn’t a possibility for me. Despite that, we somehow made it to 8 different countries while still doing some exploring within Canada (4 different provinces!). We crossed off some fantastic bucket list items like seeing Petra, the Pyramids and Machu Picchu in person. My husband finally got to visit New Orleans and eat his heart out and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the city! We got to road trip the Rockies in the winter which provided a nice contrast to our Rockies Road trip last August. We also finally got to visit Quebec City which I’ve been dying to do for years! I love end of year roundups so I’ve of course put together one of my own. This is a list of my favorite travel moments of 2018 ranked in no particular order because I could not pick just one!
Floating in the Dead Sea, Jordan
I almost labelled this one swimming in the Dead Sea but if anybody has been to the Dead Sea they’re well aware that you’re most certainly not swimming – no matter how hard you try. It was super cool to lay back and put no effort into just drifting around. However, it was incredibly difficult to get back up! I struggled hard and totally got a mouthful of salt water which I recommend avoiding at all costs. It was absolutely awful. I’m glad we stayed at a hotel with private access to the beach and went down right in the morning because my ego would 100% not have survived that humiliation haha.
Taking my husband to New Orleans
I have my own giant bucketlist of places I wish to visit but not everyone in my life has the same one. New Orleans has never really been on my radar because flights are typically expensive from Toronto and because I have a much longer list of places I’d like to see in the United States. It has however been on my husbands’ bucketlist because of the food and the jazz of which he is a fan and I most definitely am not so when I found super cheap flights I decided that his first birthday as a married couple needed to be celebrated in style so why not a surprise visit to one of his bucketlist cities? We had a great time eating our way through the city during our 5 days and I can’t wait to get some posts up to show you what we did!
Camping in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan
This was an experience I was pretty unsure of. We only had 4 days in Jordan so we packed them pretty tightly and I thought the easiest way to see the desert was to sleep in it and then explore it the entire day after. Plus I’d been super keen on trying glamping so this seemed like a good way to combine them – I just wasn’t sure on what the outcome would be. What if it was awful and we had no sleep for the next few busy days? Luckily that wasn’t the case. Our camp was fantastic and we had such a great time in super comfortable beds with amazing food!
Finally visiting Quebec City
This was a big one for me. I had wanted to visit Quebec City for a really long time but it just hadn’t worked out for a number of reasons. I couldn’t justify the flight prices and at 8 hours each way it was hard to do the drive in a regular weekend because how much exploring would we really be getting to do? Long weekend was ideal of course and splitting the drive with multiple people was even more ideal. Luckily I seriously have the best friends ever because the moment I brought up doing a road trip to Quebec City they were super on board so I got to visit a city I’d been dying to visit with people I loved! I absolutely fell in love with Quebec City. It was beautiful and so charming and I absolutely can’t wait to go back!
Exploring the Amazon Rain Forest in Peru
Even just saying that we stayed in the Amazon rain forest in Peru is such a surreal experience. It wasn’t something that was huge on my radar but during a group trip to Peru some of my friends wanted to do it and despite being sick, getting drenched in the rain and sweating my ass off in the humidity it was still a super cool experience. It was quite unique and I’m so glad it was part of our Peru experience!
Road Tripping Ontario
Despite how much we traveled this year we got to spend a fair bit of the summer months in Ontario which meant lots of summer road trips! During Canada Day weekend we headed as far up north as Pukwaska National Park which is about 12 hours north from Toronto! We also did some easier road trips like Sudbury, Prince Edward’s County, 1000 Islands, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Tobermory and so much more!
Hiking our way to the Treasury Viewing Point in Petra
I’m not fit – like what so ever. I used to be way more into hiking but some weight gain and general age has kind of killed that desire in me. I still manage 2-3 hours of continuous hiking but incline always has been and probably always will be a huge problem for me. When we planned our Petra visit we knew that we really only had one day to explore it in so we had to pick and choose what to see and what to do. Obviously it’s one way in and one way out so therefore you can’t really circumvent the 2-3 km just through the park. We ended up deciding to do the viewing point anyways and getting to the top was such an accomplishment that even in February (when we went to Jordan) I knew it would be one of my favorite moments of the year!
Seeing Machu Picchu in person
If you’ve seen Machu Picchu in person you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s something about seeing that site in person that just kind of does you in doesn’t it? We’ve done a lot of the big must dos now like Machu Picchu, Petra, the Pyramids, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower etc. and I for some reason had the least expectations for Machu Picchu and maybe that’s why it was just that spectacular?
Taking a day trip to Alexandria, Egypt
We had been in the Middle East for close to 2.5 weeks and were getting a little bit tired of the dust and the haggling and the constant being sold to so while in Cairo we decided to take a day trip to Alexandria which ended up being such a breath of fresh air. The ocean and coast line were stunning and we had such a great time just walking around, eating ice cream and taking in the sights!
Photo shoot with the Frozen Gas Bubbles at Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada
So this is one of those things I never thought would actually happened. I originally saw a picture of the frozen gas bubbles in Abraham Lake probably 3-4 years ago. At that point I hadn’t even been to Alberta in the summer so I thought the odds of me being able to see this scenery in winter was slim to none. Fast forward to this year and one of my best friends moves to Edmonton which gave me another reason to head out there to visit her which of course also had to include a Rockies Road Trip where one of the stops was Abraham Lake! It was about -20 degrees Celsius and so so so cold but still we spent a decent amount of time on the ice taking so many pictures!
What was your favorite travel moment of 2018? Was it something you had planned? Let me know in the comments and check out my top Instagram posts of the year for some more awesome end of the year round up!