Rachel’s Ultimate 2017 Travel Moments
Wooooow, I can’t believe the year is already winding to a close. Time flies, my friends! But I won’t ramble about how we need more hours in a day. Lord knows I complain too much about that on this poor little blog.
Anyway 2017 certainly brought some cool travel memories that’ll last me a lifetime. I didn’t travel alone as much as I did in 2016, but nonetheless, I still spread my wings and did plenty of exploring. I learned this year that there are benefits to traveling with other people. Fancy that.
I’m hoping 2018 offers even more travel delights for me. I guess I’m never stopping, huh? It’s a good thing I renewed my passport. Now I just need to stop fearing planes and I’m good to go.
1. Ringing in New Year’s in Budapest, Hungary.
Budapest is one of my favorite cities in the world. I could visit Hungary’s capital a million times and still never tire of it. Just something about the atmosphere gets under my skin. Who knows? Maybe the International School of Budapest will recognize my incredible teaching talents, haha. Anyway, Budapest was the perfect place to chime in the New Year. I went to Gellert Spa and Baths, as I thought about my New Year’s Resolutions and whether or not I’d actually keep them. What more could a girl want?
2. Reconnecting with Marco Island.
Marco Island is a destination that I have been visiting for over 20 years. It’s our family’s not-so hidden gem. My parents adore this place, and without a doubt, Marco is certainly the home of many beautiful family memories. In February 2017, I took my first trip to Marco in years and bonded again with this special place. This trip taught me that visiting old favorites isn’t repetitive or boring. Now I want to go to Florida’s Paradise Coast at least once a year to see everything this small island has to offer tourists and locals. I appreciate Marco Island even more after Hurricane Irma struck in September. I’m glad it’s still thriving.
3. Zipping through Everglades National Park.
I’ve wanted to go to Everglades National Park for a long time! Too long! In 2017, I finally got to see the Everglades up close and personal. I gotta say that the alligators were really cool, haha, and the stupid part of me wanted to keep a baby gator as a pet. I’m sure my apartment complex would love the idea. I’ve never been afraid of scaly reptiles, although I do respect them and their space. On my visit to the Everglades, I also realized how important it is to cherish and protect our national parks. They’re special and essential to this country’s beauty.
4. Eating til my stomach burst in Austin, Texas.
For Spring Break, I took a short trip to Austin! It was my first time visiting Texas, and I had no idea what to expect given how much everyone raves about this city. Austin is definitely a quirky and fun city, and at the end of my stay, I think everyone should spend a few days there. I especially loved, loved, loved Austin’s many food trucks. Oh my god, my stomach was in heaven. Let’s not even touch the calorie count, shall we? I devoured breakfast tacos, bean burgers, and donuts covered in peanut butter and bacon (yes, that’s a thing).
5. Exploring Staffa, one of Scotland’s coolest islands.
I always wanted to go to Staffa ever since I visited Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The boat ride to this unique rocky island was, uh, wild (helloooo wind and waves), but everything about the trip was worth it! I got to explore the cave and see puffins up close. And I don’t know about you, but there’s something relaxing about being in the middle of the sea. No one can bother you! I also realized that I’m one tough chick when it comes to beating sea sickness.
6. Enjoying a sunny afternoon on the Isle of Skye.
On my first trip to Scotland in 2013, I spent a quick and rather rainy afternoon on Skye. I loved my visit, but regardless, I still felt like I needed more time (and better weather) to appreciate one of Scotland’s most scenic and lovely islands. My wish was granted. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. You literally cannot beat Scotland’s natural beauty.
7. Eating breakfast at The Elephant House.
Okay, I know a lot of people who say The Elephant House is a tourist trap and that J.K. Rowling may not have written much there. We’re not here to discuss that topic, haha. For me personally, breakfast at The Elephant House was incredibly special. I loved reading all the notes to J.K. Rowling written on the bathroom’s stalls. They were so inspiring, small scribbles talking about dreams, friendship, and the future, and by reading these thankful notes, I felt the urge to become an even more creative and resilient person. I would eat at The Elephant House again. No doubt.
Read More: Edinburgh is a Literature Lover’s Paradise
8. Just Scotland in general (it’s the best).
Scotland will always be one of the most special places that I have ever visited on my travels. I have so much to say about this incredible country that I don’t even know where to begin. The castles, the lochs, the Highlands, the islands, the greenery, the salmon, the warm people. Scotland is the true definition of “perfection.” Sigh.
Read More: GREAT NEWS: I’m Returning to Scotland
What about 2018 Travel Moments?
Marco Island for New Year’s (I’m here now, yahoo!!). Spain for Spring Break. Deeply exploring all corners of New York City. And who knows what the summer will bring? Hopefully plenty of magic. All I know is that my travels show zero sign of slowing down. Wanderlust wins again.
Share your most amazing 2017 travel moments in the comments. You can also share your 2018 travel plans. I would love to hear from you!