2018 - A Travel Year in Review
2018 was my busiest travel year yet, and I couldn't be more grateful for it. Thanks to a handful of work trips, I have really grown as a solo traveler this year. Solo travel was (and still is a little) hard for me. It's intimidating. But I wasn't going to let being the only one going to a conference keep me from experiencing the cities I was getting to visit, so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and am all the better for it.
Doing more solo travel also helped me realize how truly wonderful it was to travel with others and share those experiences. Whether it was trips with my family or with my friends, I appreciated them all the more getting to have the people I love right by my side, rather than on the other end of my phone screen.
Here's a look back at the trips I was lucky enough to take this year:
March - SXSW in Austin
My first trip of the year was to Austin for #SXSW. I was down at the interactive portion of the conference for work, and spent almost as much time exploring the city as I did sitting in conference sessions (which were also pretty cool). From taco trucks to paint parks, and wildflowers to bridge bats, Austin had so many amazing things for me to go and experience solo. SXSW is also pretty well set up to help you network and meet people, so I got to make new friends to offset my alone time, too.
May - Myrtle Beach, SC
In May I got to head down to Myrtle Beach for family vacation. We all packed into the minivan for a 16 hour drive full of family bonding, and couldn't be happier to see the beach when we got there. This is the third time my family has visited Myrtle Beach, so we got a little creative and picked "excursions" out of a hat. A pirate show, escape room, and giant ferris wheel made for some great family memories.
June - Wine Tour in San Francisco
As soon as I got back from Myrtle Beach, I jumped on a plane to head out to the Code for America Summit in San Francisco and Oakland. A minor medical emergency kept me from exploring quite as much as I would have liked (and let me tell you, that was a semi-terrifying solo travel experience), but I did still manage to get in a top priority: Sonoma Valley wine tour. The tour with Edge of the World Tours was amazing, small, and personal. It was perfect for a solo traveler joining a small group, and we hit up three really delicious, beautiful, and unique wineries along the way.
June - Day Trip to Boston
A little later in June I got to cash in on my birthday present and take a day trip up to Boston with my sister. We spent the day shopping at Quincy Market, eating ice cream by the water, and exploring the North End, in search of delicious pasta and cannolis (both of which we successfully found).
August - Philadelphia & the Jersey Shore
In August I got a spur of the moment opportunity to spend a weekend with some college friends. We spent one night in Philly and two days/one night on Brigantine Beach at the Jersey Shore. It was quick, but relaxing, and amazing to catch up with a few of my favorite people.
October - Madrid, Castellón, & Valencia
My biggest trip of the year was to Spain in October and November. My three college roommates and I all converged for a long overdue reunion. Bouncing between these three different cities, all with their own culture and charm, gave us a very fun and varied look at Spain. More posts on this coming very soon, but oh do I miss these babes <3 And the café con leche...
Summer & Fall - Camping & Day Trips
Throughout the summer and fall, I also had various camping weekends in the Fingerlakes and Adirondacks, as well as day trips to places around Upstate New York. These are some of my favorite kinds of trips, because they are easy, relaxing, close to nature, and allow me to explore more of my own backyard. You can be sure there will be more hiking, kayaking, wine tasting, and sleeping outdoors in 2019.
I can't wait to see all that 2019 brings!
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