The new year is almost upon us! Is it just me or did this year just fly by. With so many great adventures and stories to tell, I couldn’t mention everything, so I’ve compiled just a few of my favorite memories, photos, articles and more from this year.
Let’s take a look at Lost and Abroad’s year in review 2017:
I spent a relaxing month this summer exploring the north of the island. Before this trip, I never really thought about Sardinia, let alone plan on visiting. I’m really glad I did because there are so many different things to do. I went hiking, sailing, canyoneering, camping, and swimming in some of the most beautiful places. The water in some areas was so clear and the most amazing shade of blue.
The photo above is the trail and stairs cut into the cliff face that ends at Neptune’s Grotto, where it’s possible to take a tour of the cave’s many chambers. The cave system is estimated to be over four kilometers (roughly 2.5 miles) long and houses impressive formations and a very deep salt water lake. Many of the stalagmites and stalactites are over two million years old!
I trekked into Gola di Gorropu, said to be the deepest canyon in Europe, wandered the old city streets of Alghero, explored a never-ending sea cave, and tasted the rarest and most difficult pasta to make, su filindeu. These were all unforgettable memories to say the least. The diversity of things to do on the island completely caught me by surprise, especially since I love doing things outdoors.
Lucky for me, Sardinia also has some of the best food around. Every dish uses the freshest of ingredients and the seafood is especially impressive. I wrote all about it in my post: Sardinian Food: 8 Local Dishes to Try. Culurgiones are definitely one of my new favorite dishes.
Tour du Mont Blanc
With just my backpack, off I went to Chamonix, France, the starting point for my trek crossing three countries. Every single day of the Tour was different from the next with stunning panoramas of the snowy peaks and rushing waterfalls. One day the trail winds through a wooded forest, and the next it crosses a col with blizzard-like conditions.
It was definitely a tough hike because of the sheer distance that needs to be covered each day and the long hours on your feet. To me, it was worth all of the painful blisters to have those perfect views. Sitting on a rock eating a cheese and bread sandwich, I thought to myself, “I’ll never eat lunch with a view more beautiful than this”.
Camino de Santiago
If you don’t know, the Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage across northern Spain, and I walked it alone. It was more than just an unforgettable trip, but rather a learning experience that I took so much away from. All of the fellow pilgrims I met were great people, everyone doing the pilgrimage for specific reasons of their own. Even though I didn’t leave the trek with a bunch of answers to my life altering questions, I did gain a few things I didn’t expect like great friends and the realization that I don’t need much to be happy. I lived out of what I could carry on my back for weeks and even ended up tossing things along the way.
Much of the trek itself was picturesque, I climbed the Pyrenees Mountains, walked through tiny villages and meandered the vineyards of La Rioja. There was also the most amazing (and cheap) food!
Punta Galera, Ibiza
Trust me, Ibiza is much more than just a party island and getaway for the rich and famous. If you venture away from the party scene, it’s easy to find some gorgeous and relatively secluded beaches. There are yoga sessions, nude beaches, cliff jumping spots, camp sites and hippie markets galore.
Kaʻena Point, Oʻahu
All the views of Hawaiʻi’s mountains are amazing, but I fell in love with this shot from the west-side of Oʻahu. Now that I’m currently in Hawaiʻi, and will be ringing in the new year here, it was fitting to add one of my favorites. This was taken right at the beginning of the walk into Ka’ena Point State Park and the lighting was spot on.
La Rioja, Spain
I’m not sure why this photo was reposted so many times on Instagram and became so popular. I agree that it’s a beautiful place, but I saw this view for hours on end when I was walking the Camino de Santiago and since it was pretty flat, this definitely wasn’t one of my favorite parts of the walk! But, this shot has become the image of my time on the trek and I’m totally not mad about that. For more photos of the Camino de Santiago, click here.
In September, I was interviewed by the lovely women of Wander More, where I spilled some travel tips and stories. If you haven’t already, read the interview here.
Wander More aims to take the fear out of solo female travel by sharing inspiring stories, interviews, travel tips and ideas from adventurous women around the world. They have also compiled a great list of female run travel blogs that you can view here.
Everyday Postcards is a fun project created by Everyday Wanderer. People from all over the world share a digital postcard quickly explaining their adventures and stories. I couldn’t help but once again talk about my fun trip to the Algarve Coast in Portugal. Read the back of the postcard here.
Most Visited Articles
5 of the Best Beach Towns in Costa Brava
Being an outdoor and nature lover, I spent quite a few weekends in Costa Brava, going to the beach, hiking and of course eating! In 5 of the Best Beach Towns in Costa Brava I cover a little bit of everything. From a beach town with great nightlife, to a secluded and peaceful little town that draws artists and hippies, Costa Brava has something for everyone.
32 Things I Miss About Hawaii, and 3 Things I Don’t
I decided to write 32 Things I Miss About Hawaii, and 3 Things I Don’t right before I was planning to visit home. I was a bit sick of answering the question “You’re from Hawaii? Why would you ever want to leave?”. There is always the good and the ugly of any place and although Hawaii is heavily idealized by many, “paradise” is much different if you actually live there. Of course I missed so many things from home, but there were also things that are really annoying.
Free Things to do in Barcelona That Aren’t Museums
When I first moved to Barcelona, I was shocked at how many free things there was to do and see. This (and the large number of students and backpackers in the city) inspired me to write: Free Things to do in Barcelona That Aren’t Museums. I mean, everyone likes things for free! By far, my favorite on the list is discovering Catalan traditions such as castellers, and going to the events associated with Barcelona’s main festival, La Mercè. It’s like a weeklong free street party with activities for all ages.
I couldn’t write a year in review without mentioning Spain. I took a trip to Sevilla and also visited the ancient Roman city of Italica. The ancient city is well preserved, especially the amphitheater, which has become famous after being used as the Dragonpit in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Both times I’ve visited Sevilla, I loved it (maybe just a little bit less this time because of the heat). Plaza España was just as beautiful the second time around.
This photo was taken during my first trip ever to Portugal. I actually ended up visiting the country two times this year! Learning about Portuguese history and culture was really interesting and I finally got to see those famous Lisbon trams. Although it was Easter so I couldn’t go into Belém Tower, it was really neat to see it from a different perspective at low tide.
Everyone loves an ocean shot I guess, or should I say sea. This photo perfectly sums up my trip to Sardinia, crystal clear water, and lots of sunny days at the beach.
2017 was pretty unreal, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but let’s take this opportunity to look forward. Cheers to the new memories we’ll create, the friends we haven’t met yet, and the places we’ll go.
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