R&R Adventure Addicts- A look back at 2017
2017 was an extremely special year for us. Not only did we get to celebrate our first marriage anniversary, but we decided to take the first step toward building a life we have always dreamed of. Living, for us, is seeing this amazing world and experiencing new cultures, and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones on a daily basis. But we also wanted to share our story in hopes that we can inspire others to do the same as well as give insight and ideas for people looking for their own adventures. This blog was a project that we started to give our travel and adventures some additional purpose. In complete honesty, we had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to start this thing, and we have much still to accomplish. We have been overwhelmed with all the support, comments, emails, and requests and greatly appreciate it. We are so motivated by how many old friends have reached out and how many new friends we have made and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for 2018.
So without further delay…. here is the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly of our 2017 adventures
Our first day of 2017 started out waking up in Nashville (Yes there’s even a song about it), TN after an entertaining New Year’s Eve in one of the coolest cities in the USA. If anyone wants to indulge in pure fun surrounded by unbelievable live music, Nashville is the place to be. We always say it’s like New Orleans but for country music and when you walk into a bar, don’t be surprised to see a famous country singer doing a cameo. From there we headed west to Los Angeles and then even farther to the Big Island of Hawaii.
Overall we traveled to 34 cities, 12 states, and 7 countries over the course of the year with a few islands mixed in between. We played in snow and in the ocean (3 of them), hiked up mountains and along beaches. We broke bread with people who spoke our language, and also with those who didn’t, and were inspired by the company. We concluded this unforgettable year back in the USA in the grandest of ways…. with family.
Bucketlist Items Checked off in 2017:
For a full list of our travel bucket list, click HERE
- See the Colosseum in Rome
- Hike a volcano
- Stand in the Sistine Chapel, Rome
- Visit a black sand beach
- Sea Kayak alongside ocean wildlife, Alaska
- Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway during the Fall
- Start a travel blog!
Our Favorite Trip of 2017
The single most asked question that we get is “what is your favorite place to travel to” or “which did you like the best”. It’s definitely the easiest question to ask, but the hardest to answer. There are so many factors that add different weight because every place we go is so unique. If you asked us our favorite beach, or favorite hike, this would be tough as well, but would be easier to narrow down. Asking what is better between a beach or a hike is harder because they are so different. We traveled to so many unbelievable places in 2017 and it’s hard to decide what formula would give us a reliable answer. Was it the beautiful turquoise water of Puerto Rico, the architecture in Vienna, Austria, or the glaciers and mountains in Alaska that were the deciding factor?
Although the aforementioned were spectacular trips, the place we fell in love with the most in 2017 was Italy.
In all fairness, we spent the longest amount of time there, and were able to travel to many different parts of the country, but what really won us over was the people. Everyone was polite, courteous, and helpful and the farther we got outside of the cities, the more people welcomed us in like family. People brought us in for dinner and shared their wine with us like they’d known us for years. We saw castles in Tuscany, the coastal towns of the Mediterranean, vineyards in Piedmont, the Alps in the North, and the romantic city of Rome. We can’t say enough awesome things about our time in Italy, and we can guarantee this will not be our last trip there.
Although we often focus on the fabulous parts of travel, we would not be painting the full picture if we failed to mention the travel troubles we have encountered during our year on the road. We had great luck for the most part, and it just comes down to simple math percentages…. the more you travel, the more chances you have for something to go wrong with travel plans.
- We had an issue with a low budget airline during the winter months at the airport in Denver, CO. After checking in and checking our luggage, we discovered that the employees were going on strike and all flights were canceled. Since there were no employees, we could not get our luggage back from the plane so we were stuck in the airport waiting for our bags. Based on the thousands of bags piling up, our confidence in the airline organizing and shipping our luggage back to us was very low so we spent 40 straight hours in the airport sorting through bags until ours finally came out. The airline did, however, refund our ticket and bag fees and also paid for us to fly another airline home and also paid for our rental car for the troubles.
- Delays and cancellations- Considering how many flights we took this year, we actually had good luck overall with delays. The only exception is during one flight to California, we had a delay and caused us to miss a connection and have to spend the night in Dallas (which did make us miss some prior engagements).
- Lost Luggage- We only lost one bag this year… and it’s still lost. On our way to Europe we flew AirBerlin and I will highly recommend avoiding this airline. Not only is the connection airport in Berlin, Germany going through a lot of construction, the airline is infamous for losing luggage. They also have no customer service department and are very hard to work with. Since losing one of our bags, they have since filed for Bankruptcy so they have informed us that we won’t be compensated for the loss. It was a pretty big bummer, but we didn’t let that put a damper on the remainder of our year. At least all of our camera equipment was in our carry on’s.
Even though traveling can be stressful, the best thing to do is stay positive and flexible and roll with the punches. The good times will always outweigh the bad and there has never been a time where we have regretted a trip due to anything we’ve encountered along the way.
What’s Coming in 2018?
As the sun sets on 2017, we are so extremely excited about what’s ahead this next year. We are starting 2018 off with our 2nd “Parents Trip” (if you recall our first one was last August to Alaska) to play in some of the softest sand and bluest water in the Caribbean. From there we island hop and by the end of August we will have done a full trip around the globe. We already have 9 locations on the books and plan to add many more as we continue to wander and explore and see where this year takes us. Our adventures will span from islands, to snow capped peaks, to savannas and deserts. We will stalk the big 5, and then seek out even bigger encounters. But most of all, we are excited about the new people we will meet, and the new partners and companies we will collaborate with. Thank you all for the support and for sharing our journey with us. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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