The Tourist In Residence

Embrace meaningful experiences.

My top 5 travel moments from 2016.

My top 5 travel moments from 2016.

Let’s face it, this year was not easy. The brightest light was the time I spent travelling - and I have some incredible moments to share with you.

5. The Blue Ridge Mountains, United States

Admittedly, I make a trek to the southern Virginian stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains almost annually. And it’s worth it every time. There’s hiking for nature lovers of all levels, antiquing / local crafts, and high end spas for the more discerning traveller. I love the Roanoke Valley area, which is also near Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and is an easy drive from the DC metro area. And if you’re there while Swannanoa is giving tours… drop everything and go.

4. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, United States

A sale on Amtrak (who I love, and I will talk your ear off about my passion for trains) led to a spur of the moment trip to Virginia’s capital Richmond. One of the many quirky spots in this town was the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Literary fans will enjoy the history and artifacts (and potentially the fan art). Appropriately enough, the grounds are patrolled by two black cats, who presumably keep away chatty ravens.

3. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Oh Thingvellir. I spent a half hour there, it was rainy and windy and cold, and yet the place is etched into my heart. The combination of history (ancient Icelandic Parliament was held at Þingvellir for hundreds of years) and the raw force of the earth with the continental divide really made this place something special.  Someday I’ll go back to hike the whole thing. Look at how crazy and windswept I look. It was the time of my life.

2. The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States

I’m not really eloquent enough to describe the Grand Canyon. You cannot understand the scale or scope of this place until you are there. Another spot on my ‘return and hike more’ list.

1. Skaftafell Glacier, Iceland

It’s a rare day when the Grand Canyon doesn’t make it to the number 1 slot on your ‘most memorable’ list. The awe inspiring glacier Skaftafell earned that honor. It was truly a place where nature was alive - and we got chased off by a bout of thunder snow. That’s another story for another time.

So there you have it! My favorite moments from this year. Here’s to the adventures 2017 will bring. Where were your favorite travel moments in 2016?

5 things I learned from my first solo trip.

5 things I learned from my first solo trip.

Buy the real thing: knit wool in Iceland.

Buy the real thing: knit wool in Iceland.