Since I feel like “everyone’s doin’ it,” I am hopping on the band wagon and posting my own travel recap of 2014. I’ve really enjoyed reading many posts from bloggers around the web recapping their year in travel, and since I am leaving for my trip to India in just 1 short week (AHHHH!!!) I figured this would be a nice way to reflect on the traveling I did in 2014.
I kicked off 2014 with a quick, but much needed, long President’s day weekend in Miami. I was a little skeptical of Miami, and thought there might be a posh party scene, and that I would end up spending too much money on an overrated night of dancing. But Miami’s vibe was totally different, and better than what I had expecting, making Miami the Most Surprising Location of 2014. Miami had a surprisingly European feel, mixed with Spanish flair, and a full laid back atmosphere. Plus, coming from snowy Washington, DC, the beautiful beach in the middle of January, made me love Miami even more! Ok Miami, I misjudged you, and now I am intrigued and ready to enjoy more of Miami the next time around.
2014 was a year of full time work for me in order to save for my trip to India, so until May, I didn’t do much traveling. But in May, I took a family trip to Europe, and visited a few new locations, and caught up with old friends.
I randomly booked a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland, and was floored by the beautiful scenery, the friendliness of the locals, and the efficiency of the tourist services provided. Knowing nothing about Iceland before going, I was surprised to find that the prices of food, drinks, and accommodation were pretty expensive, and after three days, I was ready to leave and go to a place with beer costing less than $10 a pint. But, the incredible terrain, and landscapes unique to Iceland make this country 2014’s Place to Revisit. Plus, I have yet to go north and see the Northern Lights!
After Iceland, I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit a friend. I didn’t have much time here, but I did enjoy finally seeing Scotland, and the city of Edinburgh was beautiful. I enjoyed lots of veggie food, there were options on every corner, including an amazing section of ethnic food.
Finally, I made it to Vienna, Austria, a place I have visited many times. Vienna was a reunion for me, I met up with several friends, my cousin from the Czech Republic, and my sister who happened to be interning abroad. So Vienna was about eating, and hanging out with friends, and I had a wonderful time in the city as always.
Then I traveled with my family to Salzburg, Austria. Thanks to the famous Sound of Music tour I took in Salzburg, I can’t help but get “the hills are alive” stuck in my head anytime I think of this place. Salzburg was quaint, with cobblestone streets and gorgeous views of the Alps making this destination 2014’s Best Natural Scenery for me.
Finally, I was off to Zurich, Switzerland, a country which was brand new to me. Despite the high costs of goods and services in Zurich, I was surprised by the city, and really enjoyed it. Zurich is very pretty, but also very German in many senses, which I always appreciate. My favorite memory from my time in Zurich was the boat tour on lake Zurich, where I viewed the city from a different angle, and witnessed all the recreation on the lake, from swimming, to boating, to jet-skiing. Next time, I am bringing my swim suit!
In August, I headed up to Chicago to visit a friend, and to attend the Chicago VeggieFest. I always have a great time in Chicago, and this trip was no exception. I was happy to finally check out the Chicago Art Institute, which is a world renowned art museum with an impressive collection. I was impressed by the sizable collection of contemporary art, making Chicago 2014’s Best Location for Art. If you are Chicago, don’t miss this museum!
The final trip I took in 2014 was a trip to Canada in November to visit friends. I am still not sure whether traveling to Canada in November was the best idea, since I got caught by a lot of snow, but I had fun as always, and most importantly was able to spend time with my friends.
I started off in Toronto, which I will call 2014’s Best Veggie Food Location. I ate so much here, with my friend, alone, and with Justin and Lauren, fellow vegan travel blogging friends! I had fun in Toronto, and I had even more fun eating there. There vegan, vegetarian, and options for those of all dietary needs all over the city. The food in Toronto alone could convince me to move up north and endure the cold!
Then, to Montreal I went where I recuperated from partying in Toronto and enjoyed the vegan creations provided for my by my very talented chef-friend! It’s always nice when someone cooks for me for a change. We also returned to the first vegan restaurant I had ever been to, and I was happy to see that it expanded and was doing well. Here I am exploring Montreal’s old town:
And finally, I headed off to Ottawa to visit one of my good friends from University. On the bus ride over, it started snowing, and didn’t really stop for awhile. So, my friend and I were a little chilly to say the least, and camped out indoors most of the time, except for the few times we decided to go out and brave the cold, me in a borrowed ski parka and about 4 layers of clothing, including two pairs of pants. Needless to say, the Canadians laughed at me for even thinking this weather was cold, but I proudly survived it, and was reminded why I can’t move to Canada. Regardless of the weather, I was there to see my friend and catch up, and that we did, so I had a great time there, and enjoyed more of Canada’s delicious veggie cuisine.
As for 2015, I will kick off my “indefinite” travels with a yoga program in India, and from there, see where the road takes me. I have never traveled totally without a plan, or without a return ticket, and honestly, while meeting others along the way who were taking such trips, the idea never completely appealed to me. But with what has unfolded in my personal life leading up to this trip, indefinite travel at this point is calling my name.
This is the first time in my life I haven’t had a plan to work, or to intern, or to attend school in the works for the upcoming year, and I am looking forward to simply traveling freely, and enjoy this invaluable period in my life that is solely for exploration and personal growth. I have learned so much from the traveling I have done thus far, I can’t even imagine what I will gain from traveling farther, and to more exotic, and unique destinations.
Of course, I look forward to sharing all of my adventures here with you! Stayed tuned for Indian recipes, photos, and veggie travel advice.
Where did you travel in 2014? What was your “best” location of 2014? What travel plans do you have for 2015?