Travel adventures: year 2016 in review

The past year was full of recompenses, good times and new discoveries. Who knew that by taking a promise to yourself you would be able to have so much more fulfillment in your life? This is my travel adventures year: 2016 in review.

One of my 2016’s resolutions was to travel more, but I didn’t even know from where to start. An idea was to take advantage of the promotions and discounted prices for transportation.

Furthermore, we have a project that I will reveal at the best moment. And because of that, we also needed to explore more of France.

In 2016 I started building my travel blog Travels of Plushy and I admit to you it’s not an easy task, especially when you don’t have that much time you’d need to work on such project. Anyway, I wanted to say Thank you! to all of my readers. Thank you for joining me in our travel adventures, thank you for your feedback and thank you for your encouragements and support!

Here it goes:

Year 2016 in review: My Travel Adventures

January

Venice (Italy) off season is very pretty and not crowded at all.

It was pure hazard how we ended up in Venice. The truth is we both wanted to go, but the prices were very high all the time (when we checked). But during Black Friday Ryanair promoted tickets from Paris to Venice (and some other destinations) for the ridiculous price of: 2 EUROS. Yes, you read that well; we paid 8€ for a round-trip to Venice for the weekend. And yes, we had to pay 70€ more for the shuttles, but still remained awesome deal.

 

And after Black Friday, Ryanair prices were still interesting, so we ended up buying some more tickets. Our next destination was Stockholm (Sweden), because… why not?!

February

And as one of our 2016 New Year’s Resolutions was to travel and explore more of France, our objective was to say yes more often to friends’ propositions too. Thus we went exploring Biarritz (France) in the low season. The ambiance was more than anything I’d expected.


March

But during all this time, job still happened. For me with my engineering job, and for my bf with his PhD. So meetings and conferences still happened. When I found out I had to go to a conference held in Toulouse, I said to my bf “That’s a good opportunity to explore Toulouse (France) during weekend. Wanna join me?”, “Yes, why not?!”, so BooM!, like this added another place on our travel adventures list.

And as it was close the another place that was already on my bucketlist, we went also to the Fortress of Carcassonne. Carcassonne is a little town at 1h drive from Toulouse, so this was the perfect occasion to visit.

Standing next to the battlements of Carcassonne fortress, with Plushy looking the wrong way

April

April was the month when we decided on a destination pretty close to Paris, but at which I have dreamed for many years in a row. I wanted to go in an adventure and explore Loire Valley, so we chose to go to Blois (France) and from there visit Chambord Castle by bike.

My tired bike and I in front of Chambord Castle on Loire Valley

May

Enjoying the Caribbeans on a black sand beach in Martinique

In May, something (else) unexpected happened: there were the National Games of Company Sports that were being held in Martinique. Our travel adventures lead us in Martinique. The condition to go to Martinique was to work in a company, be registered in their Sports Club, make a team (or as an individual) and chose a sport. My bf’s company had many teams participating, and I could join them too. I was in a beach volleyball mixed team of 4, and my bf chose to run the 50km Tchimbé Volcan trail of Martinique (with an elevation of +2000 m; he finished in 11h). Crazy!

Reflections of Amboise Castle into the Loire river

After that, we had another weekend on Loire Valley lined up. So we came back on a Thursday and on Friday evening we went camping at Tours (France). Tours is a town on Loire Valley, from which we could easily access Amboise Castle too.


And like this, our month became full, but that was not it. Those two were “surprises” I hadn’t plan in advance. Our planned trip was a city-break to Copenhagen (Denmark). I told you that Ryanair had pretty nice offers, well… for this one too.

Our Saviour Church Tower viewed from Christiania, in Copenhagen

June

After May I needed a break, but my bf went rock-climbing in Mallorca (Spain) and visited his members of the team in the other laboratory in Bordeaux (France).

Some bromance while rock-climbing in Mallorca. (C) Photo taken by my bf

July

Then, a conference came up on my bf’s schedule, so he had to go to during the week. And we also planned a weekend to visit Lorient (France), a not so touristic city in Brittany region. We walked a lot to see this city, went hiking on the Atlantic Coast and visited some museums when it rained.

Little hidden corner on the beach we’ve found while hiking the Atlantic Coast in Lorient

For the 14th of July, the French National Day, we had a 4 days long “weekend”, and we went to Alsace region, in France. Here we saw the fireworks in Strasbourg, visited the Castle of Haut-Koenisburg and the fairy tail town, Colmar.

                         

And as every year since we are together, one weekend in the summer, my bf and I went camping in Normandy, to see the extended family. Activities included BBQ, splashing games, exploring the area by bike and going to the beach, eat ice-cream and other summer-related activities.

Family enjoying their Sunday at the beach in Normandy

August

In August I fell in love with Lyon (France), a beautiful city that is worth your attention. A big city with many high belvedere points, crossed by two rivers, with many historic places to visit.

Best spot to enjoy quite the view in Lyon: La Croix-Rousse hill

Right after this city-break, I returned to Paris and Rémi went near Perpignan (France) for a week of rock-climbing session with his friend and colleague, as their lab was closed during summer break. His travel adventures include rock-climbing, so he doesn’t miss any occasions to do it.

Breath-taking rock-climbing spot near Perpignan, France

And he continued towards Grenoble, as he had to attend another conference. He would go to the conference every day, and after that, rock-climbing in the nearby area. Obviously, I joined him for a city-break in Grenoble (France).

Grenoble postcard, view from Bastille on Isere river and Via Ferrata

September

The next French city to explore was because some friends had proposed to go in a city-break there, but didn’t organized it and finally let it forget about it. But my bf and I wanted to go, because we’ve never visited before. So we ended up going by ourselves in another French city-break in Dijon.

Rooftop view over Dijon

In my office, everyone was talking about their summer holidays, places they had visit in August, and so on. I was jealous especially on a colleague who had been hiking in the Alps during a week, and had snow in August. I also wanted that, mainly because it was way too hot in Paris, so after some research, decided to go hiking in Andorra.

 

Several events and things such as delayed train in France, underdeveloped transportation system in Andorra and pollution made our travel adventures a bit bitter.

Exploring Andorra La Vella

October

Proud times came when my bf’s work has been accepted for a conference in the US. We visited the state of New Mexico, as his conference was being held in Albuquerque. Bonus point? It happened during the greatest hot air balloon festival: The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.

Enjoying the view on Abiquiu Lake in New Mexico, USA

And at the end of the month we departed for our greatest travel adventures in South Asia. Our first destination was Singapore, where we had a bad Airbnb experience, bad ATM experience and a bad weather experience. But we also discovered a new culture and city, and have met our Japanese friends.

Plushy enjoying the view in Singapore

November

So as you already know, Singapore was just a two-days layover before our travel adventures in Myanmar. I’ve been preparing this 3 weeks long trip for about the whole year, and glad I did it, because just popping up in a country without knowing anything about, even if you have a travel guide book, it can be stressful.

I also think we should educate ourselves about that country’s culture, in general, before visiting it. Myanmar is Buddhist country, and during this trip I have seen many girl tourists who would visit a temple dressed in a short skirt, or heavy revealing tops, at the limit of the decency. If your outfit is tolerated in your country, don’t wear it blindly everywhere! Buddhist people are just too kind towards tourists to come tell you to cover yourself. So cover yourself t.f. up!

Sunrise at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

December

As I’ve burnt all of my leave days in the last trip, in December we just spent the winter holidays in Paris. I met a dear friend of mine and visited the Christmas market in Champs-Elysées, we spent Christmas with my bf’s family and celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends. Actually, our friend who invited us celebrated also his birthday on 1st of January.

Spending winter holidays in Paris

Wishing you a Happy New Year, and hope you will have adventurous moments in 2017 too!

How was your year 2016? Share in the comments.  
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