2014 wasn’t supposed to be the epic travel year for me like 2013. It was a transition year- I started off almost immediately going back to work on a temporary basis that turned into full-time.
My goals for 2014 were to check of one bucket list trip and see more of the United States- something I was neglecting on my sabbatical. I did quite well at visiting some great places. Here are the highlights from my year of travel 2014:
1) Galapagos, Ecuador– April 2014
This trip was amazing! The Galapagos have been on my bucket list since it was formed but got pushed way down because of the costs. This year I had a gap between work in April- a time with low airfare and deals on cruises in the Galapagos, so I went for it.
My Galapagos vacation photos were some of my favorites that I’ve ever taken.
The landscape and animals are so different.
And the sea lions are very cute!
2) Driving the Oregon Coast– September 2014
One of my long-term travel goals is to get to all 50 states. This year I only checked off one more- Oregon. Mom and I drove the coast before heading inland to Crater Lake National Park.
Crater Lake is one of my favorite nature sites I’ve seen, and definitely in the top 3 National Parks in the United States.
Manzanita, a tiny coastal town, was Mom’s favorite stop.
I did a lot of little trips this year in an attempt to get out into the US a bit more. Nashville was magical at Christmas-time. The live music, food, and great nightlife made for a fun trip!
New to me this year was Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I enjoyed it a lot. We went for the Pitt/Iowa football game but Pittsburgh has great museums, fun restaurants, and great views in addition to a lot of sports.
4) Napa/Sonoma Wine Tour Birthday Trip- March 2014
Things that make wine tasting more fun: doing it with your silly friends and getting the best weather the region has seen in a long time.
Sunny, gorgeous, and tasty fermented grapes.
5) RAGBRAI– July 2014
A year without an athletic/adventure trip would just not be possible for me. My crazy adventure trip this year was to the great state of Iowa. My home state puts on a bike ride called RAGBRAI from one side of Iowa to the other, lasting a week.
I participated for the first time with tens of thousands of other bike riders for a few days with a friend from high school and her family. Read more about it here.
Pork Tenderloin as big as my face:
This is one of my favorite experiences in 2014. If you truly want to see what the US has to offer, getting out of the big cities and doing a ride like this gives a better idea of the sites and people of a country.
Plus, is was a heck of a good workout. My butt was sore for a week, despite the padding. Biking 50-70 miles per day is no joke!
Caye Caulker, Belize:
New States visited: (1) Oregon
Even though I went back to work full-time, travel is still a big part of my life. Here is to 2015 being a fantastic travel year too! Time to get planning.