Sunset in El Tunco

2015 was an incredible year, and where next (hint: pasta)

I’m bunkered down in deep winter hibernation in Berlin, with no upcoming travel plans until…well, actually I don’t know. I’ve got some tentative things in the works. For one, I really need to see more of Germany.

Last year, while travelling solo around the Balkans, I took tiny video clips everyday of my trip. Even the ordinary things, like picking oranges for fresh squeezed juice. I put together a video, and thus started a new annual tradition.

This year’s travel involved hours of footage whittled down to four minutes.

I love this practice—I always end up feeling so humbled by how far I’ve come/gone.

This year, though, I was amazed to realize how many new people have come into my life thanks to travel.

It’s YOU guys who make experiences so special to me, much of the time. I mean I do love a good retreat-into-my-room-alone-for-three-days session too. I like being a lazy slob.

I started out in Hawaii on another solo journey, and met some of the most amazing people in the process. Some of my happiest times were on Maui, meeting other travellers at the Banana Bungalow, loading up a car full of snacks and beers, and heading to the beach (any beach) to watch the sunset. I have never seen such dramatic hues like those in Hawaii.

Hiking on Oahu in Hawaii.

Then I headed to Jasper in Alberta for the Jasper Gay Pride festivities (yes, extreme opposite of Hawaii). It was good to get back into the mountains, and to see some old friends in Calgary and Edmonton.

Friends at Jasper Pride

On a whim, I booked a trip to Guatemala and El Salvador with my friend Shaun. My friend Leif from Runaway Guides and Kate from Adventurous Kate were running tours there. My little travel group quickly became ultra tight-knit. We travelled around volcanoes and bargained for textiles in Antigua and gorged on pupusas in El Tunco.

El Tunco, "Pig Rock"

Not long after Central America, I was a guest on a Trek America trip around Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Honestly, I hadn’t known what to expect with Utah. I fell in love with this corner of the United States somewhere between the natural arches and the La Sal Mountains.

Rock formations in Monument Valley.

Then I spent a week in Vegas with my friends Trish and Renee. And, um, it was incredible. In theory, Vegas is everything I hate—greed, gambling, chaos, and commercialism. What Vegas actually is, is a damned good time. Honestly, it was one of the most fun trips of my life. The city has fine-tuned its customer service to an art.

Vegas view from Vdara

I moved to Berlin in August. Yup! As if you didn’t know. It’s my first time being an expat. I’m loving my little community.

Living in Berlin.

I revisited my one true love, Sligo, for the Fleadh Cheoil festival. Nothing changed; it’s still my favourite part of Ireland. Possibly the world.

I booked The Yacht Week in Croatia on a whim with some strangers from the USA, Canada, and Sweden. We had a baller catamaran and partied like we were rock stars. I came home and hid from society for a week.

The Yacht Week Croatia

I went to Oktoberfest with Cailin. We hung out in Prague for ten days, which mostly consisted of eating and roaming around the castle. We found poutine.

Oktoberfest Munich

Then I flew to Mallorca to meet my pals there. First time in Spain!

Marketplace in Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca

So what’s coming up in 2016? I’ll tell ya.

I’m hoping to do some Germany travels over the next few months. Hamburg, Dresden, Nuremberg, and the area around the Saxony-Swiss border are at the top of my list.

I’m heading to Poland in March to do some volunteer English work at a hotel. I’ll be spending some time in Warsaw and Krakow. 

Then there’s walking Camino de Santiago, in France and Spain. This is by far my most ambitious endeavor to date, and I’m nervous/thrilled/excited/omgwhat about the whole thing.

May: Enjoying the hell out of Berlin spring/summer. That means parties on manmade beaches, hanging out on the canals, trips to the lakes to hang out with naked Germans. Everything.

June: A month-long Mediterranean trip starting on Greece’s Corfu and Paxos islands before heading across to ITALY! I’ll be in Italy forever, making my way north to the Dolomites for another 10-day hiking trip.

I figure it’s a good thing I’ll be doing Italy after walking Spain for 30 days. Because I’m bound to gain all that weight back.

I’m headed back to St. John’s in mid-July for a wedding. Not mine, duh. After that, I’m at a loss. I’ve imagined that the answer will come to me over the next few months. Australia for awhile? Backpacking  around Asia? Settling down and having triplets?

Do you have recommendations for Italy? Please share.

I already have a good idea of my rough itinerary, but I’d love tips and suggestions in between.

Here’s to more sunsets, more beers, and new (and old) friends. Thank you for being part of the ride.

  • December 08 2015

    You’ve had a crazy year! Can’t wait to read about next year’s travels as the Camino is high on my list. I have tons of tips for about every region in Italy. Let me know where you plan on going and I’m sure I’ll have some ideas :)
    Amanda recently posted…The Charm of Sicily Lies in the East

    • December 09 2015
      Candice

      Oooh thank you, I happily will! I’m gonna cover a fair amount of ground haha.

  • December 08 2015
    LC

    To be fair – Camino de Santiago + Italy + Dolomites hiking trip = breaking even?
    LC recently posted…Nothing Went Right in York, But That’s Okay

    • December 09 2015
      Candice

      Hahaha. You’re probably right. Gonna be so thin for summer. Pfft.

  • December 08 2015

    Wow what a year! Utah is the best :) I loved the little town of San Cassiano in the Dolomites! The Rifugio Nuvolau is a must. I’ll be there in June! I can hook you up with some friendly peeps if you’re interested :)

    • December 09 2015
      Candice

      You’ll be there in June?! Maybe we’ll cross paths! And yes! I’m hiking the Via Alta; I’m not sure what that covers yet exactly. Haha

  • December 08 2015

    guess I will see you in Warsaw then ;) if you need any tips or have questions just ask, I will be more than happy to help!
    kami recently posted…Visit Kosice – a perfect city break destination in Europe

    • December 09 2015
      Candice

      YES! You’ll be around in March? I definitely want to connect.

  • December 09 2015
    Sky

    Sounds like a pretty amazing year! I love that you booked the trip to Central America on a whim – I really wanted to go, especially after I hung out with Kate in Nicaragua, but the timing just didn’t work out.

    2016 sounds aamazing. Are you still going to keep a base in Berlin during all of your adventures?
    Sky recently posted…A Traveler’s Christmas List

    • December 12 2015
      Candice

      Aw man! Haha you missed out on quite a trip! Leif is still running tours though. I had such a blast.

      And yeah Berlin will be my base until I move back to Canada in mid July. After that, I have NO idea what I’m doing, haha.

  • December 10 2015

    I have too many recommendations for Italy so I will simply say, if you are in Rome, you need to stay at The Beehive Ho(s)tel, Steve and Linda are awesome hosts and their girls are great! Also, you should stay in Orvieto a few days to explore, there’s a lot of history there.

    • December 12 2015
      Candice

      Thanks for the tip! Someone else suggested Orvieto as well. SOOOO many places I wanna visit.

  • December 11 2015

    This is amazing Candice! Great to be following along, and looking forward to my own travels to Ireland and Scotland (mostly Highlands) in late may-mid June! I’m working at a tourist board currently, so the travel bug is just gnawing away!

    • December 12 2015
      Candice

      Awesome, thanks Alex! :) Ohhhh I LOVE the Highlands. And Ireland, of course.

      • December 14 2015

        Of course! Might have to check out Sligo after reading your posts.

        • December 14 2015
          Candice

          Ohhh I so hope you do :)

  • December 12 2015

    Love that you take little video clips every day that you travel! That’s such a fun ideas – and I’ll bet it was cool to go back through and watch them all! :)

    Kudos to you for all the hiking you have planned. Definitely not my thing (though the Dolomites ARE mighty tempting!).
    Amanda recently posted…Holiday Travel: The Coolest Places to Go

    • December 12 2015
      Candice

      Yesss, so fun! It makes me so grateful. I’m like whoa, I had a ridiculous amount of fun this year.

      You’ve been to the Dolomites I take it? I’ve missed hiking soooo much while being in Berlin

  • December 12 2015

    You have had quite an adventurous year Candice! I hope you have a wonderful time in Italy. If you have time, I definitely recommend that you spend some time in beautiful Portugal. There is so much to do and see there. If you end up scheduling a trip there please let me know and I would be more than happy to give you tips! :)

    • December 14 2015
      Candice

      I definitely NEED to spend some time in Portugal! If I can swing it, I’ll be in touch for sure.

  • July 04 2016
    Barbara Finamore

    Not sure if you have made your way to Italy yet BUT if you haven’t here are some places you could go:

    -“The Drunken Ship”, it’s a pub in Rome fairly close to the Trevi Fountain.
    -Salerno is a beautiful little city and it’s only an hour away from Naples and a 45 min bus drive from Pompeei(which is a must!). Hiking the Vesuvio Mountain was pretty awesome, plus it would save you some money since Salerno is not considered to be a tourist point.
    -The Amalfi Coast(get lost in the streets!)
    -Genova was amazing, I liked it better than Milan

    I love Italy, no matter how many times I go back it never fails to amaze me, so enjoy!

    • July 09 2016
      Candice

      Hey Barbara, I wrapped up my Italy trip in May and it was AMAZING! Such an incredible country. I definitely need to get back and continue exploring! I spent very little time on the Amalfi Coast.

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