Favorite Travel Memories
This year my travel plans are lacking, because, well… because of a multitude of reasons. Mostly budgetary, but also because I started a new job with an unpredictable schedule and no vacation days quite yet. This has me looking to past trips and trying to live vicariously through travel memories. Appreciating all the places you’ve been is a huge part of travel, and I don’t think we do it enough. We, the collective we as travelers, seem so focused on getting to the next place and collecting more and more countries and experiences. When I get down about not being able to travel as much, looking through old travel photos and reading old posts cheers me up like nothing else. So without further ado, here are my favorite travel memories (s0 far):
1. Asheville, NC: My firs successful solo trip was to Asheville, North Carolina. I chose Asheville because I got some glowing recommendations from some of my friends, and sure enough, I loved it too. The scenery is beautiful and the people are so dang nice. The memory that stands out to me as my favorite is hiking to the top of Chimney Rock and getting there red-faced and triumphant. The view was one of the prettiest I’ve seen. Also. for a non-driver, I was pretty proud to have driven there and back without any accidents.
2. Seoul, South Korea: At the time, my cousin Katie lived in Seoul and had invited me to visit. I think it surpised us both when I bought my ticket. I stayed for nine days and it was the perfect combination of exploring by myself and having her as my guide. She lived right by Namsan Park, and I loved walking around and hiking up to the top to see Seoul Tower and the amazing view of the city. My favorite memory though was taking a train and a ferry to Nami Island and then getting the most delicious dinner of Dak Galbi afterwards and it was perfect.
3. Chattanooga & Gatlinburg, TN: My family used to go on a vacation every summer when I was growing up. Then, when my sister and then I went off to college, we stopped going so much. Last year, however, we finally got to take another trip as a family (plus two significant others and one baby) to visit my mom’s side in Chattanooga and hike in Gatlinburg. Both parts of the trip were amazing, especially visiting my family in Chattanooga. and then staying in a log cabin in Gatlinburg. Hiking in the Smoky Mountains stands out as a favorite memory, especially because the views were just perfect. I loved every minute of this trip, so much so that I cried for the first thirty minutes of the way home because I didn’t want this trip to end.
4. Iceland & Copenhagen: This trip definitely made my bank account take a hit, but it was so, so worth it. It was such an amazing thing to plan and execute this trip and not have any regrets when I came home. I’m not even sure what I’d call the highlight of the trip, because there were so many unique experiences. I will say that the Elding Whale Watching Tour and the South Shore Tour in Iceland took my breath away. And what I liked most about Copenhagen was just wandering around the city, popping into cafes and museums. It was the perfect balance of outdoor adventure in Iceland and city exploration in Copenhagen.
5. New Orleans, LA: This was the first trip Mike and I ever took together and though there have been many since, this will always be my favorite. We drove there and back, which was a real test for our five month old relationship. But, we survived without any crazy fights. The standout memory for me is walking around on our first day there in the pouring rain, running from awning to awning until we just didn’t care any more and got soaked. I also really, really enjoyed walking through the swamps and trying to spot crocodiles. I loved this whole trip and will forever remember it as the moment when I fell for Mike.
What are you favorite travel memories? Where have you gone that still holds a place in your heart?