If you couldn’t tell by the theme of my blog, I love to travel. I work a full time job as an accountant varying from 45-60 hours a week. Many would think that it’s nearly impossible for me to travel often. However, I manage to make it work because of my love (pretty much obsession) for it.
2016 treated me extremely well. I was able to visit 4 new countries, 4 new US cities, and 1 new US territory. This year was truly the stepping stone to my traveling adventures, which is why I decided to start this blog. I had always traveled domestically before and loved it, but after visiting Iceland in the winter of 2015, I knew I had to experience more than just my wonderful home country. So, I made sure that 2016 would be the year for me to begin my “go-getter” mentality when it came to traveling. I would seek more destinations, hesitate less, strive to experience more, and just do whatever my heart desired.
As the year is coming to an end, I wanted to reflect back on the amazing trips I was blessed to experience this year. I know looking back on this list will inspire me to further my travel goals as 2016 was just the beginning. I also hope it will inspire my readers to keep fighting to achieve their goals. As I mentioned, it seemed impossible with my schedule to travel as often as I did, but I was determined and made it happen. You can do the same. My inbox is always open to answer any questions you may have.
2016 Bunny Adventures
December 31, 2015 – January 3, 2016: I started of the year with a trip to Toronto with a group of close friends. We partied, explored, and tackled an adrenaline filled adventure. Check out my blog post here outlining my NYE trip!
Los Angeles, California
February 19-21, 2016: My sister and I scored inexpensive flights to LA from VA ($276 Nonstop RT). We never really need a real reason to visit LA…it’s one of my favorite cities in the US! So, we spent the weekend stuffing our face with delicious Cali eats. I was also able to finally hike Runyon Canyon. My outline for things to do in LA can be found here.
February 25-29, 2016: When I came across flights to Dublin, Ireland for only $362 RT, I didn’t hesitate to book it. My siblings and three friends got on board and we were off to this magical country. This trip was nothing short of amazing. We were able to explore so much in just 3 days. I still daydream about enjoying a nice pint of Guinness in an Irish pub with live music playing in the background. My travel guide on Ireland describes my trip in greater detail.
March 18-20, 2016: I attended SXSW in 2015 and absolutely loved it! So, I had to come back again in 2016. Unfortunately, I was only able to go for a weekend since I was saving PTO for future trips. However, it was still such a great time. I was able to see two of my favorite artists, BORNS and Troye Sivan. Be on the lookout for a future post on how to tackle the madness of SXSW (and inexpensively too, of course).
April 1-3, 2016: One of my good friends, Stephanie, moved down to Augusta, Georgia with her husband and new born baby. My friends and I decided it would be a great idea to drive down and surprise her for a weekend! We packed up a van and drove 9 hours down to Augusta to complete the ultimate surprise. The expression on Stephanie’s face when we walked through the door was absolutely priceless. It was such a fun filled trip with some of my favorite ladies.
May 4-11, 2016: My best friend, Daniella, always mentioned that a trip to Italy would be a dream come true. Italy had been on my list of must visit places as well. So, when I saw a deal on TravelZoo for a packaged trip including airfare, hotel, and car rental for around $750.00, I immediately sent the link to Daniella. We knew the deal was just way too good to pass up, so within a week we booked it even if it originally meant me third wheeling her and her husband, Joe. A few weeks later, my friend Raul mentioned wanting to go on a trip, so I extended the invite in which he accepted right away! So, the four of us explored Italy for six nights. Click here to check out how we were able to see 7 different cities in just 6 nights.
May 27-30, 2016: I used to frequent Denver due to football games (Peyton Manning fanatic over here). However, once my football hero retired, I decided to visit Colorado to really explore what it had to offer. This meant going on hikes and working out at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. I was really able to appreciate the scenery during this visit. I posted a vlog on YouTube from this trip, so be sure to check it out!
June 17-19, 2016: My siblings and I made a last minute decision to attend Firefly Music Festival this year. Located in Dover, this festival represents a variety of music genres. I was able to see artists like The Neighborhood, The 1975, Deadmau5, and Blink 182 (just to name a few). My best friend’s birthday also landed on this weekend and coincidentally her and her boyfriend had planned to stay in Bethany Beach, which is only about an hour outside of Dover. So, we were all able to hang out at the beach house together and they also joined us for one day at the festival! Although Firefly did not live up to my expectations (I’m ruined due to Coachella), I had a great time with great people.
New Orleans, Louisiana
June 24-26, 2016: One of my close friends (of 15 years!) moved to New Orleans in 2015 after joining the US Coast Guard. I promised him that I’d visit, which he never doubted that I would. So, I took a trip to NOLA last year and again this year. I hung out with him and his girlfriend all weekend just eating, drinking, and playing catch up. I truly love staying in touch with old friends. It’s especially special when I am able to do so even after they move away from Virginia. Thanks to him I was able to create some great memories in New Orleans. I absolutely love the culture, cuisine, and livelihood there.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
July 1-4, 2016: Independence Day landed on a Monday this year, which meant a 3 day weekend for me! That means it’s only necessary to plan a short trip without using any PTO. Puerto Rico was the perfect location to do so. The flight from DC isn’t long, so I was able to spend 3 nights there. Of course it would be ideal to have more time in PR due to the abundance of activities and sights you can take part in. But I was able to still do a lot with the time I had. My friend and I explored Old San Juan, hiked El Yunque, indulged in traditional Puerto Rican dishes, and relaxed on Luquillo Beach. The great thing about traveling to PR is that since it’s a US territory, you don’t have to worry about the time spent going through customs or finding wifi in every location. You still get the sense that you’re in a different country due to the changes in culture and atmosphere, but you don’t need any additional preparation like you do when traveling internationally.
New York City, New York
August 12-14, 2016: I love New York City. I also love that it’s only a 4 hour drive from where I live. NYC is filled with great vibes, food, bars, and people. I have visited way too many times to count and I can honestly say I never get tired of it. There’s always something new to do or check out. I hardly visit the same restaurant again because there’s just way too many spots to try before repeating. This trip truly was focused on food adventures. I created a vlog displaying everything I was able to consume in just a day and a half.
Charleston, South Carolina
August 26-28, 2016: I’ve heard nothing but good things about the town of Charleston. So, when one of my best friends, Marianela, planned a weekend getaway to this beach town, I was 100% down. The day I was scheduled to fly out, I actually got extremely sick and went to urgent care. I was so undecided on what to do. I woke up very dizzy and nauseas to the point that I could barely stand. I took medicine provided by the doctor, took a long nap, and prayed that I would wake up feeling better. Luckily my flight was at 10PM, so I had plenty of time before I needed to make a decision. Once I woke up from the nap, I realized that I could actually walk without feeling the need to throw up. I saw that as a good sign, so I packed my bags and headed to the airport. I am so happy with my decision because I had an outstanding time with my friends. I did wake up with a vigorous headache the next day, but I’ll be completely honest…the fried chicken pictured above made me feel 100% better! Laying out on the beach all day didn’t hurt either.
September 1-5, 2016: An early birthday treat to myself. I started off my birthmonth with a trip to Stockholm. This landed on Labor Day weekend, so I only had to use one PTO day! My sister and two friends also joined me exploring this amazing city. I really did fall in love with this place. The people we met were so genuine and friendly. The city itself was beautiful consisting of multiple neighborhoods all unique in its own way. We all created some wonderful memories that weekend. My full travel guide can be found here, which outlines almost everything you need to know when visiting Stockholm!
Los Angeles, California
September 16-18, 2016: My true birthday celebration. My siblings, cousin, and close friends took a trip to Los Angeles to bring in my 26th birthday. It was honestly the best birthday weekend I’ve ever had. Just writing up this summary is making me miss the good times my friends and I shared together. You can read about the entire weekend in the blog post I wrote.
New York City, New York
September 23-25, 2016: My obsession with football is ALMOST as extreme as my obsession with travel. One thing I love to do is travel to watch football games! Although the Redskins (HTTR!) play the Giants every year, I never actually traveled to New York to watch the game. This year I finally decided to visit MetLife Stadium and the Redskins came out with a win! My two friends and I were there for two nights, but my Saturday was pretty much wasted. I gulped that giant beer pictured above after partaking in a boozy brunch. The end result was me being way too tired to continue on for the rest of the day. The win on Sunday made the trip well worth it though.
Zion Park, Utah
October 28-30, 2016: I have a love/hate relationship with hiking. I am always looking to do new hikes, but midway through my legs begin to hate me. I start to question why I thought it was a good idea to go on the hike. Although my body is telling me no, I push myself and always complete the hike I started. I love that feeling of accomplishment and the views always make the suffering worthwhile. That’s exactly how I felt with Angels Landing located in Zion National Park. I dedicated a post to this amazing hike, explaining how challenging and scary it was. I also wrote up a post outlining how my friends and I spent 36 hours in the great state of Utah.
November 19-20, 2016: Sometimes cheap flights means unusual departure times or long layovers. This was the case for scoring our cheap flight to Seoul, South Korea. We had an overnight layover in Dallas, Texas before heading off to Asia. It actually worked out perfectly because I have family in Dallas! It was so refreshing to be able to see my uncle and aunts before leaving to Korea. I actually hadn’t seen my uncle in over 10 years, so I was more than ecstatic to be able to stay at his house for the night. We were all spoiled with huge meals and top shelf liquor. There’s seriously no better feeling than spending time with family.
Seoul, South Korea
November 21-28, 2016: Oh, Seoul. How you stole my heart. Everything about Seoul was incredible. Also, did I mention that I came across roundtrip flights from VA to Seoul for only $500?! Booked back in January, I was anticipating this trip all year. I will provide a travel guide to this amazing city soon, so be sure to stay tuned for that. As for now, you can check out how I indulged in the delicious street food and visited some cool cafes.
Jeju, South Korea
November 23-24, 2016: Jeju is an island in South Korea, which is only about an hour flight from Seoul. I was able to book tickets from Gimpo Airport to Jeju Airport for about $40 RT. This island was beautiful. It’s also easy to get around! I rented a car and although the GPS did not translate into English, I had no problems getting to the sights I wanted to see. There’s so much to check out on this island, one night definitely wasn’t enough for us! I will also post a guide soon on things to do in Jeju.
December 9-11, 2016: When Southwest was having one of their sales, I took that as an opportunity to snag an inexpensive flight to Houston. Coming in at $200RT, it was pretty much a steal. My cousin, Tony, and friend, Paul, both live in Houston, so I was so excited to be able to finally visit them. My siblings and I all had such a great time exploring this fun city. We were able to visit a brewery, eat late night ramen, have dinner and drinks while watching a burlesque show, and meet some great people.
And now with 2016 coming to an end, it would only make sense for me to end this year with a trip. I am heading to Zurich, Switzerland to bring in the New Year! Hope you all have a wonderful and safe celebration! I will be indulging in lots of chocolate and cheese.