The Casual Travelist Turns 3-Yet Another Year of Adventure Near and Afar
As we all celebrate the start of a new year January 1 also marks the anniversary of when I first hit publish here at the Casual Travelist. I started writing three years ago as part of the healing process after my Mom passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s and every day I’m amazed and grateful for all of you that have chosen to stop by my little corner of the internet. The past three years have been filled with opportunities and adventures that I couldn’t have imagined when I started writing but what I cherish the most is all of the new friends, both in person and online, that I’ve made along the way. You guys really are the best.
Professionally it has been a banner year. Back in March I was interviewed by NPR to discuss, of all things, a Czech pastry traditionally known as the trdelnik. Also known as a chimney cake, this is a cheap yet tasty dessert found throughout the Slavic countries that has recently found Instagram fame as the “doughnut ice cream cone”. I professed my love for this pastry in one of my very first blog posts making me a defacto trdelnik expert. Check out my interview here.
I was also honored to be be included among a select group of Virginia bloggers to be asked to contribute to Southern Living’s blog, The Daily South. The project started with a fantastic weekend at the illustrious Keswick Hall near Charlottesville celebrating the best of Virginia and over the next few months I shared some of my favorite coastal Virginia experiences with Southern Living.
Due to family and work obligations I didn’t get to go to as many travel industry conferences as I would have liked but I did manage to spend some time on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at MATPRA, the Mid-Atlantic PR Association Conference. I met up with some of my favorite blogging buds while making some great connections with new friends and destination reps from the mid Atlantic region that will certainly feature prominently in my travels for the coming year.
Last year I had set a goal to travel at least once per month and I’m happy to report I did just that! My travels took me to three countries on two continents as well 7 states. From ice hotels in Quebec to volcano hiking in Ecuador and a cooking school in Mexico I packed in a ton of adventure this year (check out my favorite moments here).
By far the best surprise of the past year was the birth of my nephew Paul. I love spending time with this handsome little nugget and I’m looking forward to all kinds of adventures with him as he grows up.
So what’s on the horizon for next year? For starters Steve has landed a new job that he is super stoked about but while he settles into his new groove we’ll keep our travels close to home for the first few months. I’m hoping to get up to Connecticut and Rhode Island, the last two states on the east coast I have yet to visit. I’m also long overdue for a return to the Southwest and I’ve got both Arizona and New Mexico on my radar. This year I also have a milestone birthday, you know, one of those that ends in zero (gulp!) so that definitely calls for something epic. Bermuda, Banff, and South Africa are all possibilities but I’d love to hear some suggestions from you guys!
Whatever the next year brings I welcome the opportunity for exploration and growth and I wish all of you another year filled with love, happiness and adventure.