New Year resolutions are a great way to set goals for ourselves. You can challenge yourself to become a better you, or to do something you’ve been wanting to and just haven’t had time for. When the clock stroke midnight to bring in the year 2017, I made a resolution to travel once a month for the entire year. This was an attempt to see more of this world and to help cure my travel bug – I had been hit hard after my first backpacking trip in 2016. Now that 2017 has concluded, I can reflect back on all of my fantastic memories as I look at my 2017 in review.
January – The Cascade Mountains
The first trip of the year led to me rent a cabin in the woods with a group of my closest friends. I live near a Bavarian Mountain town in the Cascade Mountain Range called Leavenworth. The weekend was full of snow adventures and lots of wine tasting. It was a winter wonderland and a great way to get a bunch of us together from some quality play time in the mountains.
February – Boston
I ended up in Boston because a friend and I found a stellar flight from Seattle to Boston for less than $200. This is an amazing deal, so we booked it and took the plunge to visit this east coast city. Being from the west coast, I was excited to experience the opposite side of the country. I’ll tell you, Boston in February is absolutely freezing. We learned more about the country’s history and had some amazing sea food.
March – Denmark & Sweden
The only downside of having a roommate that loves to travel as much as you do is that you get drunk and book plane tickets on a random Tuesday night. But is this really a downside? We ended up flying into Copenhagen with a super cheap flight we found on Skyscanner. We were able to explore four cities total in this part of Scandinavia. Malmo was our starting point, and then we moved to spend some time in Copenhagen, followed by a train trip up to Helsingor to explore Hamlet’s Castle. We then took the ferry over to Helsingborg, Sweden for some midievil charm. There’s also a great story of a time I had a muffin in Copenhagen’s hippie town.
April – Phoenix
April took me to one of the most visited National Parks in the world: The Grand Canyon. I visited a friend who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and she took us up to visit the park. It was such a beautiful site to see, I could have stayed there for days just staring at the canyons. I had a great time exploring the desert in Arizona. There was lots of pool time, road tripping, and view gazing.
May – Lake Chelan
After being on a plane the last three months in a row, May brought a fun road trip. An old friend of mine from high school was getting married and had a wedding at a popular lake in our home state called Lake Chelan. It’s a lake that a lot people spend summers at for some hot sun, water sports, and winery exploring. It was a fun reunion with a few old friends from high school and a trip to bring the kayak out for.
June – New Orleans & Las Vegas
Since May was pretty low key in regards to traveling, I had to make up for lost time in June. This month lead me on a plane twice to hang out with some alligators in New Orleans and have some drinks on the strip in Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas a number of times, and it was a fun time partying as usual. However, New Orleans was my first experience of southern hospitality and I was so impressed with this city. It’s definitely one of my favorites to explore and has delicious food options.
July – Alaska
The largest state in the United States is one not to miss. I got the chance to explore this massive piece of land and I loved every second of it. Alaska has a lot of misconceptions about it because of how much snow people believe it receives year round, which is not true. I spent this trip kayaking some of the many lakes in this state, exploring Denali National Park, and four wheeling the various trails. It’s the perfect state for those who seek adventure.
August – Watershed Music Festival
Watershed is an annual outdoor music festival that features various country music artists. It’s located in George, Washington along the Columbia River. This festival was one of the highlights of my summer. I had a good group of people with me and we spent the days swimming the river and the nights dancing to some great music. Thank you Darius Rucker, Lee Brice, and Luke Bryan for an amazing show.
September – Crater Lake National Park | Munich & Prague
September also happens to be my birthday month, and I prefer to spend my birthdays somewhere new. This year, I decided to do a road trip down the Pacific Coast to Crater Lake National Park in south central Oregon. We saw amazing sites along the way like Portland and Cannon Beach. I’m so blessed to live where I do, it’s gorgeous. The park surrounds a naturally formed lake inside the crater of a volcano.
I also spent the tail end of September exploring another European city. One of my bucket list trips has always been to attend Germany’s Oktoberfest. I took the plunge in search for some delicious beer in Munich and then trained up to Prague to explore the Czech Republic’s capital. It was an amazing travel experience with different cultures.
October – Mount Rainier National Park
October was the first month I didn’t have any plans to travel. Instead of failing my new year resolution, I decided to book a cabin trip to Mount Rainier National Park. Even though it’s not located very far from where I live, I had never actually been out to this part of Washington State before. It was a lot of fun exploring the mountain that I see during my commute to work every day and to get some needed tree time before the snow fully kicks in for the year.
November – Lummi Island
It’s now been ten months of the year that I was able to travel for. I wasn’t burning out per se, but I was definitely starting to scramble for ideas on how to travel for the next two months. The holidays make it harder to get away, so I decided to take my family with me. I convinced my immediate family to travel for the holiday instead of staying at home. We ended up booking a vacation home in Washington State’s Lummi Island, and it was the perfect family get away. We found a house right on the water and spent the holiday catching sun sets and walking the local trails.
December – Vancouver
The final month of my travels I decided to end with a bang. I drove up to Vancouver, BC for the Contact Winter Festival. Completing my year long journey with some quality music seemed perfect. This festival includes electronic dance music that allowed me to dance the year’s stresses away with good vibes all week long. I also made it up to the Sea to Sky Gondola for some mountain exploring in Canada. It was an amazing trip with the best of both worlds; great music and great views.
The year 2017 brought me to five different countries, six different states, and five mountain get ways. The year was one I will never be able to forget. I saw some amazing views, met some beautiful people, and explored new places. I can say I successfully met my resolution and traveled once or more per month for twelve months. Did this cure my travel bug? Definitely not. Am I done traveling? Absolutely not.
I have big plans for 2018, make sure to check out my other blog post about it. I may or may not be leaving the country. Let me know what your favorite trip of 2017 was in the comments below!