Personal Stories

2016 in Review & My 2017 Travel Plans

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Yep, I’m joining in the fun… it’s time for my “year in review” post!

It’s hard to believe yet another year of my life has come and gone. 2016 was by far my “most traveled” year ever, which is wonderful. At the same time, I’ve learned that “time flies when you’re flying all the time,” and it seems to have passed in a flash.

Before I dive into my plans for 2017 and all the travel I hope it will hold, let’s look back. This isn’t one of my big SEO-heavy travel guides to some amazing place in the world – it’s a peek behind the scenes at my life as a traveler this year. Enjoy!

My 2016 in Review – In Film

Sometimes, I write too much; it’s been a while since I shared a video post. To make up for this, I took some of my favorite clips of destinations I visited, and cut them together into a fun 3-minute recap. It covers a lot (but not all) of the places I visited this year, and I think you’ll agree: I was way better at filming by the end of the year!

Click below to watch for yourself:

My 2016 in Review – In Text & Numbers

In case that wasn’t enough fun for you, here are some other fun ways we can summarize my year of travel.

First, there’s this image that shows all the flights I took. You can click here to head over to an interactive map:

I mean, I didn’t cover everywhere in the world, but I feel like I did a pretty good job exploring both the U.S. and Europe in 2016, right? 2016 even included my first journey into the Middle East, with my mid-year trip to Jordan!

I also collected some fun statistics about this year. This is based on some of the data from that map, as well as some other nerdy things I keep track of each year. In 2016, I:

  • Took 34 flights that covered 44,878 miles
  • Stayed in 16 Airbnbs for 150 nights
  • Visited 11 countries (plus layovers in 3 more) resulting in 19 new passport stamps
  • Worked with 51 amazing partners: Encircled; ExOfficio; Long Beach Peninsula, including The Depot Restaurant, Streetside Tacos 2.0, 42nd Street Cafe & Bistro, the Sou’wester, the Breakers, the Shelburne Inn, North Jetty Brewing Company, and the World Kite Museum; Experience Anacortes, including the Majestic Inn & Spa, Rockfish Grill, and Brown Lantern Ale House;  Evergreen Escapes; Gig Harbor, including the Inn at Gig Harbor, the Maritime Inn, the Harbor History Museum, Netshed No. 9, Brix 25°, Devoted Kiss Cafe, Tides Tavern, 7 Seas Brewing, and Heritage Distilling; Local Expeditions; Visit Philly, including the Sonesta Hotel; Elizabeth Becker; Visit Indy, including The Conrad; A Dot in the Blue; Mr. Tripp; the Amba Hotel Marble Arch; The Hoxton Shoreditch; FG Properties; Stadt Regensburg, including the Hotel Jakob and Donauschiffahrt Würm & Koch; Rothenburg, including the Gasthof Goethe, Nightwatchman Tour, and Käthe Wolfhart; Freiburg, including the Stay Inn Freiburg and Historix-Tours; Ophorus Tours & Excursions; Mr. Jones Watches; Experience Grand Rapids; and Visit Saint Paul.

Can we just say whoa! ? No matter how you cut it, 2016 was a busy year for travel. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my partners along the way – but these partnerships also gave me a chance to explore some parts of the world I would probably never have visited otherwise!

My 2017 Travel Plans

Let’s keep this post short and sweet (for once!).

In 2017, my travel plans are somewhat limited – especially when you consider that this time last year, I was planning a seven-month foray through the U.S. and Europe that helped me make all those flights and stats and video clips happen!

Right now I have a lot of work travel planned, which is strange for a freelancer like me. I’ll be traveling to Berkeley (California), Portland (Oregon), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Salem (Oregon), and Huntsville (Alabama) for work conferences, partnerships, and other events. I am working with a partner in Nicaragua, and have another opportunity to visit Argentina – it seems 2017 may be the year I finally visit Latin America!

I also have one fun trip planned so far (don’t worry – that will change!). Mr. Valise and I will be spending the last weekend of May in Anchorage, Alaska. I’m super excited to show Mr. Valise the city and state where I grew up, and to share that journey with you too! I’m also hoping to save up to take a cruise in October – my first ever cruise! I’m also hoping to make at least one trip to London in 2017, as well as potentially spend time in Croatia if the stars align… but right now it’s all just dreams!

Other than that, my travel calendar is pretty open! Where should I put on my list this year?

Help others discover this post too!

I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.


  • Michelle Goodwin

    Wow your year looked amazing. I got to visit lots of England, but thats only because I live there lol. I will look forward to seeing your other travels throughout the year

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