2014 in Review: My Year of Travel
This was one of my busiest years for travel and that’s the way I like it! In 2014, I discovered some of my favorite new destinations, covered an international music festival, and wrote a cover story for one of the world’s largest travel publications (more on that coming soon). Not to mention the fact that I started Global Girl Travels!
New Zealand easily became one of my favorite places in the world (I’ve looked at apartments in Auckland). It’s got practically all the Earth’s ecosystems rolled into one and it’s incredibly clean, safe, and eclectic. I’ve hyperbolized about it, but so does everyone who goes there.
Even though I had already been there, I was pretty excited when United Airlines called to invite me on a media fam tour of Hong Kong. I revisited some of the must-sees like Ngong Ping 360 (cable car and Big Buddha statue), but discovered some new ones like The Grand Stage Western Market, a tres chic lunch spot in an old wet market.
My media fam tour with United Airlines also included a few days in Macau, which is just a ferry ride away from Hong Kong. I had no idea I could get to Portugal without going through Europe! Macau is so much more than a gambling destination. Its black and white cobblestone streets pour on the Euro charm and then there’s the Vegas-style Sands properties — an over-the-top slice of excess and glamour.
I keep going back to Tokyo. I never thought I’d say that having lived in the U.S. and never traveled to Asia until 2009. Tokyo is a frequent stopover from Guam, so I’ve learned how to enjoy the city during a long layover. Tokyo is easily one of my favorite food destinations, from Japanese to Italian to Indian.
I absolutely loved shooting Fuji Rock, Japan’s largest outdoor music festival. It was hot, muddy, and crowded, but the line-up was a nineties dream so I couldn’t not go. You can see all the glory and gore in my behind-the-scenes video.
What you don’t see here is the ‘after’ photo of my hike up Taal Volcano. Thank goodness for that. I was a hot mess. Better to see the ‘before’ above with me looking serene and so naive about what was to come. Curious about it? Read the full story about the world’s largest island within a lake on an island within a lake.
Dallas is my most recent U.S. hometown and as such it’s still one of my favorite big cities for the sheer number of shops and restaurants alone. I’m pictured above at the Dallas Museum of Art, but my other favorite stops in Dallas are Eatzi’s Italian deli, any Indian restaurant (seriously, they’re all good), and North Park Mall. You can take the girl out of Dallas (and I never thought I’d say this, not being a native Texan), but you can’t take Dallas out of the girl.
I grew up in Cincinnati until I was 11, so I get that warm and fuzzy nostalgic feeling strolling the streets of Clifton with my Dad when I return there. Clifton Avenue is my favorite street in the whole city. It’s small by big city standards, but is thoughtfully lined with an Art Deco theatre (The Esquire, pictured), hippie jewelry shops, and Graeter’s Ice Cream (the chocolate chip is still my favorite in the world). Okay, I realized I used a lot of superlatives there, but isn’t that how you’re supposed to feel about your hometown?
I have pictures of me eating Uno’s Pizza but they don’t do me any favors because I’m devouring the stuff more voraciously than I like to admit ever happens. Uno’s was and still is my favorite pizza anywhere ever. It was my first time in Chicago, so eating at the home of deep dish as I know it was pretty exciting for this foodie.
P.S. The BCBG jacket I’m wearing is my favorite moto jacket for travel. It’s back in BCBG outlets or shop similar styles here.
The Hubs’ hometown is Milan, Michigan so we spent time with family there as well as exploring one of my favorite college towns, Ann Arbor. We drank tea and ate scones at TeaHaus and worked our way through eclectic coffee houses and jewelry shops.
I added my hometown because I spent a lot of time writing travel stories and taking photographs for United Airlines in-flight magazine, Hemispheres (more to come on that!). That meant I was running around experiencing Guam as a tourist, which is great when you live on such a beautiful tropical island!
I’ve got one more island destination before 2015. Stay tuned!