As the new year approaches, I figured there was no better way to reflect than with a year-in-pictures post. This past 12 months has by far been the best 12 months I’ve ever had. Between studying abroad, traveling Europe and the US, meeting my sister for the first time, and moving into my own house for the first time, its been one heck of a ride. But as much as I love traveling and photographing, I enjoy sharing my experiences and photographs even more. Thanks to all of you who have showed interest in my life this past year. I’m thankful for every single one of you. Inspired by my all time favorite travel blogger (@tuulavintage), here are my top 12 experiences of 2015 in no particular order.
1. London, England. My new year started with a trip to London to visit my dad. I went into the city for the first time by myself and explored streets I never would have gone down if I had been with family. I remember this day specifically being the first time I felt like a traveler.
2. Étretat, France. One of the quaintest little towns in Europe, in my humble opinion. We spent three days on the beach, hiking hills around the town, and watching beautiful sunsets from the cliffs.
3. Fez, Morocco. I apologize for the low quality photo but I just had to include this night in my top 12. This photo (actually a screenshot from a video) was taken in a cafe in Morocco where our group was having tea one night. Right in the middle of tea, the workers came out and chose me and one other girl to come “backstage” and apparently be part of a performance they were going to give the cafe. They dressed us up in Moroccan outfits and used us as props for the performance. After the show we finished our tea and spent the rest of the night dancing to Moroccan music, making it a night I won’t ever forget.
4. Geneva, Switzerland. A few hours after this photo we discovered that we had accidentally hiked from Switzerland back into France. We spent the rest of the afternoon frantically trying to find Switzerland so we could catch our flight back to France. Ironic, huh?
5. Sahara Desert. First time on a camel. First time to the Sahara. First time sand boarding. First time falling while sand boarding and giving myself a tailbone bruise for the next four months.
6. Sedona, Arizona. I took a weekend trip to Arizona to see my friend Morgan who I met in Paris. It was our first time we’d hung out in the US! I’ll forever be grateful that I now have friends I can visit all over the country 😉
7. Plitvice National Park, Croatia. Those Croatian waterfalls though! We walked miles through Plitvice National Park on this day. My body was exhausted, but the best kind of exhausted.
8. Florence, Italy. Do you even know me if you don’t know how much I love ice cream? Naturally, Italy’s gelato made this list. My friends abroad can attest to the fact that I ate this at least twice a day.
9. Orlando, Florida. I met my sister Abbie (pictured above) for the first time, went to Universal Studios, went to Hogwarts, played on the beach. I missed eight days of school for this trip but trust me when I say I have zero regrets.
10. Point Reyes, California. Took a break from the San Fransisco city life and drove north to the beautiful town of Point Reyes. Driving up to this lighthouse legitimately felt like driving through Ireland with the lush green hills and cows dotting the grass. After walking back up those 350 steps you see pictured here, we enjoyed a warm meal at a cute bed and breakfast in the town. It was great food, great view, and even better company that made this one of my favorite days of 2015.
11. St. Malo, France. I’m convinced this is the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen. We played in the freezing cold water for a little bit and then headed up a hill to watch the sunset from above. Dinner that night was a seafood feast, all caught from the water we had just been playing in. Talk about local!
12. Normandy, France. This post is in no particular order, but this day might have just been my favorite of the year. We were on a trip to Normandy with ISA and stopped in a small town for lunch and a castle tour. My friends and I found a local farmers market where we bought wine and cheese for lunch. Our picnic spot by the river was so perfect that we decided to skip the castle tour and just bask in the sun. There’s just something about picnicking in the park in a small French town that gets to me and makes me feel all happy inside. It was such a simple day yet it stands out so vividly in my mind.