Spoiled Abroad: A Year in the Life of a Traveler ✈️🌍🌏

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As a travel writer and photographer, the idea of reflecting on the previous 365 days seems nearly impossible. I’ve taken you along as I’ve eaten my way through Slovenia, road-tripped Iceland, went off the grid in Greenland, and heaps of other wild adventures. With 2017 now almost a 2-week memory, it seems apropos to take a moment to appreciate all that went down in the last twelve months. Because loads did.

There’s much more behind the scenes (quite literally), and before diving into a brand new chapter of endeavors, I’m sharing my 2017 reflection round-up.

There were tears, jaw-drops, mistakes, doubts, and accomplishments, naturally. They all come together as a bazillion travel moments, both giant and blip-sized, and everything in between; they are the story of my 2017 travels.

Numbers:

8 countries. 12 months. 23 different airports. 5 cans of Pringles (no judgement, ok?). 2 missed flight connections. 1 marathon run through an airport. 3 rental cars. 2 US National Parks. 15 hikes. 7 trains. 1 battle with Turkish airlines reimbursement department about missing bags lost (still bitter about that). 1 volcano eruption. 1 typhoon. 6 swings. Countless waterfalls and even more local beers.

Places:

Cuba, Barbados, Maine, Boston, Greenland, Iceland, Slovenia, Bali, and the Philippines, and California—LA, Big Sur, San Diego, El Centro, and Joshua Tree

Moments:

It’s not so much the places I’ve been, but the memories I’ve created there, the people I’ve connected with… and the animals I’ve wanted to take home. I’ve broken my year down into moments, and although there were several thousand more, I’ve hand-selected some gems:

My first: whale watching in Iceland.

girlwanderlist Going into the weekend like... . . @gentlegiantswhalewatching

Loneliest moment: Strolling the love locks bridge of Ljubljana under a canopy of an impossibly pink sunset. That’s a moment better shared with another, preferably hand in hand.

Most un-glamorous moment: “sleeping” in the back of an SUV in the Icelandic Highlands, and freezing my a*s off, one toe at a time.

Most underwhelming moment: Plane wreckage in Iceland. We walked 4 miles out there. There was a fake wedding photo shoot going on and people climbing all over the plane. What else can you do except plop yourself down, crack a beer, and watch the circus unfold?

Most WTF moment: horrid food poisoning and there’s minimum 5 Asian roosters directly outside your window.

Feeling small moment: standing next to the Sequoias in California.

girlwanderlist "I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." -Henry David Thoreau • • • #travel #california #visitcalifornia #californialove #bigsur #redwoods #tlpicks #hiking #dametraveler #outdoorwomen #wearetravelgirls #wildernessbabes #wetravelgirls #womenwhoexplore #neverstopexploring #quotes #goatworthy #forceofnature #friday #werehikers #likeamountaingirl #llbeanmoment #gopro #goprooftheday #adventureculture

Most powerful moment: taking this local’s photograph in Cuba and dubbing her ‘Lady Havana.’

girlwanderlist She posed like a boss, the stogie tipping her boldness scale. Her eyes held a million stories and I wanted to hear them all. • • • #travel #cuba #havana #portrait #strongwomen #cigar #tlpicks #beautifuldestinations #nikonphotography #natgeotravelpic #yourshotphotographer #lonelyplanet #intravelist #incredibledestinations #huffpostgram #travelstoke #globalcapture #traveldeeper


Get me off this plane moment: Shanghai to Detroit + one guy aggressively clearing his throat every 3-4 seconds...next to me.

Lose your breath moment: Icebergs in Greenland.

girlwanderlist I'm not always rendered speechless, but when I am, it's usually because I've just seen a giant iceberg for the first time ❄️💙 • @ilovegreenland • • @arcticboatcharter #travel #greenland #greenlandpioneer #colorfulnuuk #tlpicks #incredibledestinations #iceberg #roamtheplanet #ourplanetdaily #wildernessculture #wildernessnation #earthpix #gopro #goprotravel #gopronation #lonelyplanet #outsideculture #goneoutdoors #sublimewilderness #topdecker #intravelist #tbt #nakedplanet

Coolest moment: flying on a Dash-8 plane into Nuuk, Greenland.

girlwanderlist The flight into Nuuk was pretty much the coolest. Ever. 🛩 @ilovegreenland • • • #travel #traveltuesday #greenland #greenlandpioneer #colorfulnuuk #earthpix #viewfromabove #roamtheplanet #ourplanetdaily #guardiantravelsnaps #airplane #travelzoo #travelwithaninsider #discoverearth #lonelyplanet #bbctravel #nakedplanet #gopro #goprooftheday #goprotravel #goproworldwide #fjord #travelstoke

Wow Mother Nature moment: Being in Bali while Mt. Agung was erupting.

Crazy moment: seeing a guy get hit square on the head with coconut from a tall palm tree in Philippines. Coconuts are dangerous, people.

Fairytale moment: Late afternoon on the edge of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia.

girlwanderlist A Fall Food Fairytale...The Definitive Guide to Eating Your Way Through Slovenia 🇸🇮: https://spoilednyc.com/spoiled-abroad-slovenia-food-tour/ 🍷also, link in bio 😋 . . @ifeelslo @spoilednyc . . . . #travel #slovenia #ifeelsLOVEnia #article #foodie #foodporn #fairytale #fall #tlpicks #lakebohinj #beautifuldestinations #roamtheplanet #travelstoke #lppathfinders #iloveny #nyc #instagramnyc #igersnyc #nycdotgram #intravelist #ourplanetdaily #discovervacations #huffpostgram #stayandwander #modernoutdoors

Fell in ove moment: obviously involving animals. I think the Icelandic puffins won this one. They were just so happy to pose.

girlwanderlist Pretty puffin 💕

Food moment: Slovenian pumpkin soup. Wanted to drink ir by the vat.

Exceeded expectations moment: A hot tub on the edge of the eastern fjords of Iceland. I had no idea it would be LIKE THIS.

girlwanderlist And the award for 'Best Hot Tub View of 2017' goes to Iceland, methinks 💙 . . . . . . #travel #iceland #tlpicks #exploreiceland #everydayiceland #unlimitediceland #sunset #hottub #dametraveler #outdoorwomen #womenwhoexplore #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwomen #lppathfinders #femmetravel #nomadgirls #girlaroundtheworld #roamtheplanet #beautifulmatters #intravelist #shareyourparadise #sheisnotlost #bestof2017 #wildernessbabes #modernoutdoors #funlifecrisis #awakethesoul #bestvacations

Scariest moment: Navigating the windy mountain roads in the Western fjords of Iceland through the surprisingly dense fog.

Inspiring moment: hiking Lille Maline in Greenland. It was so untouched, wild, and remote. It felt like I was being let in on a secret.

Damn this is fun moment: a hair-whipping ride in an olde timey car in Havana, Cuba.

girlwanderlist Just back from Havana, Cuba 🇨🇺 where I let the wind whip my hair around from as many olde timey convertible cars as I could find 💕 loads more pictures to come! • • • #travel #traveltuesday #travelgram #cuba #havana #cars #oldcars #gopro #goprotravel #girlwanderlist #dametraveler #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwomen #tlpicks #bestvacations #discovervacations #ig_cuba #ladiesgoneglobal #timeoutsociety #huffpostgram #bucketlisters #takemoreadventures #intravelist #worldnomads #travelstoke #funlifecrisis

Saddest moment: all the stray dogs in Bali that my inner grandma wanted to feed and fatten up.

"Thought it would be cool but it actually wasn’t that cool" moment: sleeping in a treehouse in Bali. Uncomfortable and filthy.

Solo moment (positive): Finding solitude in a pure gold sunset moment. There are some things that are heightened when enjoyed solo. This was one of them.

girlwanderlist Struck gold in Greenland • • • #travel #greenland #colorfulnuuk #greenlandpioneer #tlpicks #sunset #incredibledestinations #roamtheplanet #dametraveler #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwomen #wetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #funlifecrisis #timeoutsociety #beautifulmatters #beautifuldestinations #nakedplanet #womenwhoexplore #likeamountaingirl #wildernessbabes #llbeanmoment #sundayfunday #girlsborntotravel #intravelist #lonelyplanet #radgirlslife

Embarrassing moment: purchasing a mosquito PALACE instead of just a head net for Greenland.

Badass moment: hiking up to an unnamed waterfall in Iceland after forging 5 rivers in the car, because I spotted it from the road the day before, obviously.

girlwanderlist I wanted to post something epic for my 1,000th post...I figured this would fit the bill.

Feel like a kid moment: happening upon a random swing in Bali.

 

Proud moment: fishing with my hands in Greenland.

Ridiculous moment: Running from a monkey that was screeching and chasing me because I tried to take his photo.

Homesick moment: being sick in the Philippines. Why do we always want our moms when we’re sick?

As I map out my 2018, I’ll savor these moments from the last year. I don’t know exactly what the new year holds, or where it will bring me, but I know I’m going to get out there, see more, do more, and push myself more, because travel makes me shine from the inside... even when it’s ugly, dirty, and money draining.

I plan on making more moments and sharing them with you.

Got a hot tip or correction? Drop us a line at tips@spoilednyc.com
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