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My 2016 Travels

In many ways I am glad to see 2016 gone, many of these are for negative reasons, as there were many things to lament about what took place last year, from the tragedies, deaths, the decline of tolerance, etc. I’m sure we can all think of less than great things that happened. Then again, a year is a substantial amount of time, and there is space in there for good things to take place. As I look back to 2016, one aspect that puts a smile on my face are the travels we were able to take part in. Below is a summary of these travels:

Southeast Asia
The latter part of 2015 was a whirlwind of travel from safaris in Southern Africa to seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. This continued on into February as a long-awaited trip materialized: Southeast Asia. I had never been to this area beforehand, and had long fantasized about visiting this region. Utilizing a stash of American Airlines miles, we were able to fly Cathay Pacific 1st class to Hong Kong. From there, we spent a day, and flew on to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had always wanted to visit Thailand, based on all that I had heard up until that point. However, as I learned more about the region, Chiang Mai became a must even moreso than Bangkok. Ultimately we decided to forego Bangkok altogether. We spent a few days in Chiang Mai, and then flew down to Malaysia to spend 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, and then Penang to wrap up this amazing journey. We returned home via another 1st class flight on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong straight to Boston. This trip will forever be a “life highlight”, one of the things I am forever grateful for the experience. I hope one day to be able to return to this region.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple

 

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

After this amazing trip, due to the fact that we had done a couple similarly amazing trips as well at the end of 2015, we decided to take a little break from long haul air travel, and I took this opportunity to take care of finances, which turned out to be a good thing.

Memorial Day Weekend in Burlington, VT
After a few months of taking it easy, we decided to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend and head up to Burlington, VT. Being from New England, and based in the Boston area, it’s a shame that we had not visited more of our own region! Thus, we decided to correct that by venturing up to Vermont, a region that had come into prominence, thanks to Bernie Sanders’ running for President. We found it to be an interesting place, though not as overly friendly as we were expecting. Though it was as quirky as we were expecting (case in point: world’s tallest file cabinet!)

Beach Sundial

 

That’s me next to the World’s Tallest File Cabinet!

July 4th on the North Shore, MA
In the road trip spirit, we spent the 4th of July up on the North Shore of MA in the towns of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, and Rockport. The past few years we have made a habit of driving to a local interesting town to celebrate the 4th and see how it is done in that town. We enjoyed ourselves on past trips to Marblehead for example, and 2016 was no different. We were able to see a nice parade in the morning in Manchester BTS, and then did a whale watch and lobster roll lunch in Gloucester, and then closed it out with an evening parade in Rockport, with a bonfire in the evening (my first ever bonfire!)

July 4th Parade in Manchester-By-The-Sea

 

Watching Whales in Gloucester

 

My 1st ever bonfire! In Rockport, MA

 

Labor Day Weekend in Alexandria, VA
My next airplane ride was to meet up with a college buddy of mine in Alexandria, VA for the Labor Day weekend. The main purpose here was to attend our Fantasy Football League draft, which operates as only a live draft, not an online queue, so it behooves one to be in attendance! One year I tried calling in via the phone and skype, and it was an unmitigated disaster. Last year I was away in Africa, and did leave a queue list with the commissioner, and he drafted for me. Luckily, I made the playoffs, but lost in the first round. If I can help it, in the future I want to be present at the each of these upcoming drafts.

Our Draft Board

Philadelphia, PA
My birthday weekend (end of the September), we hopped on a short flight to Philadelphia, and spent some time with my girlfriend’s best friend and her family. We actually spent more time outside of Philly than inside it (they are out in the ‘burbs), but we were able to get a picture with the elusive Liberty Bell, which we missed out on our last Philly trip a couple years ago. We got to see the new addition to their family, which was pretty cool.

Cousin’s Wedding in St. Thomas
My cousin had a destination wedding in the lovely island of St. Thomas, and many of the extended family were in attendance, which made this an amazing time. My family is a very entertaining one, so this definitely increased the fun factor. Aside from the wedding and reception, we got to take in a couple beaches, as well as a day trip to nearby island St. John. This is another trip to be files under “Not soon forgotten”

December Weekend Getaway in Ft Lauderdale
To complete the year, we were itching to get away during the cold of December to a warm weather beach spot, so we got our tickets to Fort Lauderdale for a weekend in mid-December. This was pretty cool, with the exception of the weather. Instead of sunny and warm, it was rainy and windy for most of the time, and so there was some disappointment. However, as the saying goes, a bad day in Florida is a good day anywhere else…We managed to have a good time at the Winterfest Boat Parade during one of the nights, and then also take part in a boat tour of the waterways, as well as walk around the downtown afterward. Even with the less than stellar weather, we had a good time, and I would love to return when it is warm and sunny to have a proper beach getaway.

Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft Lauderdale

 

View from the back of the boat during the boat ride

 

A look at how windy Ft. Lauderdale was

New York City, NY
Actually that did not complete the year. I am reminded of a road trip I took to NYC to help my father run an errand in the last week of December. While he took care of his errand, I took the opportunity to walk around near Wall St. and do some sight-seeing.

New York Stock Exchange

 

Charging Bull near Wall St.

So those are our travels for the year gone by. At first glance, it didn’t seem like much, but after writing it down, it still was a busy year, even for one where we were supposed to be slowing it down.

2017 plans are not crystallized yet, but 2 big trips we are eyeing are Cuba and Peru. The rest we will fill in as inspiration hits!

What great places did you go to in 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments

  1. beautiful destinations and nice adventure. l wish I coud have time to travel too. Thanks for sharing with us

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