2015 was a year of exploring new places and trying new things, here are a few of our travel highlights.
I started the year off by traveling around Western Turkey with my friends. I really had no expectations of how I would find Turkey, and I was so captivated by the history, architecture, and delicious food. The people of Turkey are very warm and welcoming and they truly wanted us to have an amazing experience in their country.
Highlights included: Visiting Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Ephesus. I also enjoyed dancing at the Gypsy Festival and taking a Blue Voyage on the Aegean Sea.
In June my husband Scott and I traveled to El Salvador and Nicaragua, where we backpacked and did some hiking. We found the people of El Salvador to be so welcoming, as well as concerned for our safety. They are working hard to make their country a top tourist destination. We loved the beauty of El Salvador, with the rolling green hills and volcanoes. We always tried papusas in each new town we visited.
Highlights included: Hiking the Santa Ana Volcano, meeting interesting people and sampling delicious foods.
As we made our way to Nicaragua, we discovered how different it was from El Salvador. The landscape varied as we would see ranchland and then we would see a volcano! Nicaragua is very diverse with colonial towns, vast Lake Nicaragua and the Island of Ometepe. We were lucky enough to spend time on the Pacific Coast, as well as visit the Corn Islands. The locals were always sweet and helpful and we always got good tips on where to eat the best food.
Highlights included: Hiking, exploring Leon and Granada, volcano boarding, exploring Corn Island by horseback, and eating plenty of affordable shrimp, lobster and different fruits.
Later in the summer, and much closer to home, we were able to spend a week at Lake Tahoe with our kids. We cherish these times so much. Now that they are adults, we don’t get as much quality time with our girls.
Highlights included: Lots of hiking, Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park, celebrating Scott and Shae’s birthdays and relaxing days on the beach.
Our final adventure of the year was a road trip to Utah and Zion National Park. We did some crazy, amazing hikes! It was a beautiful road trip and I can’t wait to return to Utah so we can explore more.
Highlights included: Hiking Angel’s Landing and The Narrows, seeing a desert tortoise and a road runner in the wild, and ending it all in Las Vegas, just in time to celebrate my birthday.
As I look back on this year, I appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to take these trips. Being self- employed gives us the freedom to live life the way we want to. We are thankful for our supportive family and our good health, which makes it all possible.
I can’t wait to see what detours and adventures 2016 will bring!