Last year I did a short summary of my 2015 adventures and I thought it’d be fun to share about my 2016 adventures. I’ve been slacking a bit on the blog posts, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been traveling! I didn’t get to as many places in 2016, but I spent more time in the places I did visit. I visited 3 new countries, countless new cities, one new state, and survived skydiving! You can read about each adventure below.
I started New Year’s Day off with a trip to the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, NJ. It was cold and windy, but it was a nice time spent with friends.
I went skiing for the first time in a few years. I managed to fall only once and was sore for days. I’m hoping I’ll get back out there in 2017!
And yes, that is me wearing a llama hat from Peru and eating a Chewy bar. #typical
March didn’t see much excitement, but I was busy planning for my upcoming Pacific Northwest trip.
April also didn’t see much excitement as I was busy studying for an exam I had the beginning of May.
I saw Cage the Elephant in concert in May. If you’ve never seen them live, I’d highly recommend going to a concert!
I had a work conference in Seattle, so I flew out a few days early and made my way to Vancouver, Canada. I spent the weekend exploring a city I’ve always wanted to visit. I was a little crazy and decided to hike several mountains in ONE DAY, but it was worth it. I then explored Seattle and after my conference, I made my way to Olympic National Park. I spent several days driving around the park visiting many of its popular spots, including Forks for all the Twilight fans out there. Out of all the national parks I’ve visited, Olympic is at the top of the list!
The above picture is from the top of Grouse Mountain looking down on Vancouver. The picture below is of the sunset I saw from the Seattle Aquarium.
In June I did something I never thought I’d do. I went to the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware. Surprisingly I wasn’t the oldest person at the festival and I had a really good time. I saw some great performances and got to spend time with some family as well as new and old friends. Sleeping in a tent, using a bucket to shower, standing in line at a phone charging station, and using a porta potty all weekend was a little rough, but all part of the festival experience!
I also went to Long Beach Island, NJ for the first time ever and saw the sunset at the Barnegat Lighthouse.
July was full of church camp and planning for my trip to New Zealand in August. I did manage to visit some friends that live in Virginia for a weekend. We made our way to Washington DC where I had the best ice cream sandwich smooshed between two cookies EVER at Captain Cookie & the Milkman.
I enjoyed a few local adventures and trips to the beach as well.
I also competed in my first ever mud bog race. If you’ve never heard of a mud bog race, please watch a YouTube video. Redneck Lauren was in full swing and I came in 4th place!
After a year of planning, 4 friends and I finally set out on our trip to New Zealand. The trip truly was incredible and I’d love to go back someday. We spent two weeks road tripping around both the north and south islands. Some highlights included visiting Hobbiton, black water rafting, white water rafting, skydiving, hiking a glacier, and seeing wild penguins. The views were incredible everywhere we went.
On our flight home from New Zealand, we had a long layover in Sydney, Australia. We left the airport just long enough to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. This was my first time in Australia and I really want to see more of the country someday.
I had a few “adventures” at home in September. I bought my first four wheeler in August and spent time with my friend fixing it up. I am now trained on the “lost art form of the carburetor” haha. I was also blessed to be part of my friend’s wedding day!
I spent a day with my sisters doing typical fall activities including hiking, pumpkin picking, and conquering a corn maze!
I went on my first four wheeling trip at Lost Trails in PA. It was certainly an experience!
I purchased two kayaks in September and went on a few kayaking adventures to end the fall season. I’m looking forward to more trips when it gets warm out!
October was also full of concerts with bands that I’ve loved since my childhood – Simple Plan, Relient K and Switchfoot. I may have had a little too much fun singing along to EVERY song!
I ventured to Harry Potter Day outside of Philadelphia, PA with some college friends. The festival was insanely crowded so we didn’t get to enjoy much Harry Potter fun. It was certainly an experience though seeing people dressed up as characters from the books.
In November, I crossed off my sixth continent. I visited Morocco for two weeks on the Best of Morocco tour with Intrepid. This was my first international solo trip and it truly was incredible. Some highlights included riding a camel in the Sahara Desert, waking up to snow in the mountains, riding a mule to the top of a mountain, trying the many different Moroccan dishes, and getting to know my tour group family.
I went to my first comedy show to see the Impractical Jokers. I’m not sure why I’ve never been to one before, but I certainly loved laughing the night away!
I ended 2016 spending time with family and friends over the holidays, something I cherish more and more as I get older.
What a year! It’s easy to focus on the negative things that happened in 2016, but this list is helping me focus on the positives. Here’s to hoping 2017 is even more adventurous than 2016!