a year in travels

I was able to travel A LOT this year. I've seen some fantastic places and made some wonderful memories. last year I posted a "recap" post with a list of ways I was awesome in 2013. this year was no less awesome, but I'm trying something different- reviewing the year through my travels. I spent time in 5 different countries in 2014, including my first ever trip south of the equator.

this post will also be full of my favorite photos + links to posts I've shared on these destinations, so if you're new around here it might give you a chance to explore.

we started off our 2014 travels with a 10-day trip to Bali, Indonesia. while I was terrified by the monkeys and somewhat disappointed by the crowds at Tanah Lot, I fell in love with the gorgeous orange stone temples. it was also a delicious experience: we had fun at a Balinese cooking class, tried Luwak coffee [harvested from mongoose poop!] and ate Mexican every day at Taco Casa.

in April, I celebrated my 29th birthday with a trip to Taroko Gorge - maybe my favorite place in Taiwan. my friend and I hiked through misty mountain trails, explored colorful temples, and soaked in a roof-top hot tub. I had been a little upset about turning 29, but the experience was so enjoyable I decided I didn't mind. [I also went back to Taroko in October... I really do love that place!]

then Husband and I took a long weekend in Tokyo to visit Disneyland. I can only begin to describe how completely and utterly magical it was. I laughed, I cried, and I felt like my heart was 25 years younger. it was also a lot of fun to take a "touristy" kind of vacation. I think there's value in all kinds of travel, and losing yourself in acting like a kid/geek/nerd at Disney is absolutely a worthwhile experience.

in June, I flew back to the states and spent a few weeks recovering from jet lag on the shores of Lake Michigan. I soaked in sunsets and climbed lighthouses, hiked through the state park and lounged by the pool.

the next few weeks were a blur of weddings, packing and unpacking, amazing tacos and protein/animal In-N-Out. we traveled from Detroit to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan, to San Diego, California to Austin, Texas and then back to Taiwan.

Hong Kong wasn't an intentional trip. I had to zip over for a quick 2-day "visa vacation." it was my first time traveling solo [not for business in the US, anyway] and my experience wasn't altogether pleasant. but I did my best to make the most of the situation by indulging in some Mexican food and shooting photos from Victoria Peak.

in case you're curious, I flew at least 30,000 miles this year. my passport was stamped 10 times, and I had 3 new visas added. I had a wonderful year of travels, and I'm looking forward to exploring more of this world in 2015. [starting with New Zealand in a few weeks!]

where did you travel this year - which destinations were your favorites? and where do you want to go in 2015?

linking up with Bonnie, Courtney, Cynthia, and Yalanda for Travel Tuesday

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