Ok, so I’m about a day late and a dollar short with respect to this post. If I was a more organized individual, this post would have been scheduled for the 31st of December, properly timed for the beginning of 2016. Sigh. Next year, or should I say, this year. Nevertheless, I finally got it together and pieced together this photo reflection on my travels from 2015.
Started off the year with an absolute bang on the beautiful island of Roatan, located off the coast of Honduras. I went scuba diving in the ocean for the first time, saw sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, amongst many fish and corals. I made friendships that will last me a lifetime and I look forward to returning to Anthony’s Key Resort in Roatan this coming December!
Las Vegas, Nevada
I didn’t spend much time at the gambling tables or slot machines, but in Vegas we managed to see some of the massive dance clubs and walk the strip. It wasn’t exactly summer weather, but it was a nice break from the cold in Minnesota.
Daytona Beach & St. Augustine, Florida
Poor planning had led me to almost enduring senior year spring break with absolutely no plans. I narrowly escaped this would-be tragedy by throwing together a last minute road trip to Florida with friends.
Humboldt County, California
Almost immediately after I received my diploma on the stage at Northrup Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, I was off to Northern California to see my friend Molly for the first time at her college! We camped at Lake Shasta over Memorial Day, an experience I am sure I’ll never forget!
Nashville & Manchester, Tennessee
My first music festival experience ever – Bonnaroo 2015! It was a really awesome but sweltering hot experience.
More music festivals! It was a long drive around the south bend of Lake Michigan to Rothbury for Electric Forest 2015, but it was a really incredible four days of great concerts and new friendships.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
After exhausting myself at music festivals in June, it was up north to celebrate the 4th of July with my family. My whole family gathers at Ottertail Lake in Fergus Falls, and the it’s probably my favorite holiday and time of the entire year.
New York City
I’ve been really fortunate in my life to visit New York several times, and this past summer I was able to see four different friends while there, as well as experience things that are not on the typical tourist list AND get an infamous Coney Island hot dog!
In early September, I FINALLY heard back from Spain’s Ministry of Education, Language and Culture letting me know that I had a placement at a school in Madrid! I had to hurry to Chicago to the consulate to start the process of getting my visa, but along the way I stayed at my cousins place in Milwaukee for a few nights to break up the long journey.
Just a few weeks after receiving my visa, it was time to ship off to Spain! I landed in Madrid and immediately started working the next day, jet-lag and all. I’ve really fallen in love with this city, and I strive to explore more and more of it every week.
One of the first weekends after I arrived in Madrid, I signed up for a day/night trip to Zaragoza to celebrate the El Pilar festival. It was a really awesome but exhausting trip, thankfully with great weather.
An easy day trip from Madrid is one to Segovia. Just over an hour by bus. We saw the aqueduct and had a really awesome lunch in the city.
Two hours away from Madrid is the beautiful and romantic city of Cuenca. It was a beautiful place to hike around for a day.
Salamanca & Avila, Spain
Another organized day tour we took from Madrid was to Salamanca and Avila. I went with my roommate Hannah and our friend Adele. Salamanca was not my favorite city that I’ve been to in Spain, but it was a nice way to spend a day.
Brussels & Brugges, Belgium
A fun weekend getaway with my co-workers to drink beer, see the sights and eat lots of chocolate truffles, Belgian waffles and frites.
Only 45 minutes outside of Madrid is Aranjuez, a small city sprawling with fountains and gardens surrounding a palace and monastery. I am looking forward to returning in the spring, to see the gardens in full bloom.
December found me exploring the beautiful German city, eating schnitzel and drinking beer while walking through the sprawling expanse of Christmas markets. We also took a day trip to Fussen, the city with the famous Neuschwanstein Castle
I said goodbye to 2015 with a pint of Guinness and fun times spent at Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland with Katie Kemmitt. It was a really great way to bid farewell to a great year and welcome in a new one.
So what’s the lesson to be learned from all of this? What is the hidden message amongst the obnoxious display of carefully selected photos from my 2015 travels? The message is that travel opportunities surround us always, and the most important part of travel is having an open-minded attitude toward adventure. I had just as many laughs and good times on my shorter road trips that cost next to nothing as my trips to foreign countries. I hope that we all can find lots of adventure and travel in 2016!