My Best Travel Experiences of 2019 • The Blonde Abroad


Best Travel Experiences on 2019

2019 was one amazing year, jam-packed with new adventures. From some incredible TBA Escapes trips in Jordan and the Galápagos to an epic two-week road trip through Ireland!

One of my favorite trips was Egypt—a place that’s been on my bucket list for so long…and a number of my adventures were all about taking time to slow down and experience places with loved ones.

Places Traveled To: The Bahamas, South Africa, Egypt, London, Ireland, Boston, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Galápagos Islands, New York City

Here are the highlights of my 2019 travels!

The Bahamas

I welcomed the year in the tropics, where I intentionally unplugged for some quality time with my boyfriend, Meyer, and close friends. I’d previously traveled to the Bimini Islands and the Atlantis Resort, but this was my first time visiting Cat Island—a more off-the-grid island destination void of any big resorts and with hardly any tourism.

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South Africa

While I traveled to a number of places in 2019, I was able to stay close to home and explore more of South Africa…which I’ve now been calling my “home base” for three years! Time flies!

I started my journey on South Africa’s Garden Route with my parents where we spent a week canoeing, hiking, making furry lemur friends, soaking up some time at the ocean, and watching the sunrise from one of the best surf breaks in the world. The whole journey is absolutely breathtaking…just take a look at these photos!

I then got the chance to stay at Cheetah Plains in Sabi Sands—a villa where you can experience a wide variety of wildlife right outside your front door.

During my stay, a giant herd of elephant came through as I was changing! Talk about unforgettable.

Back in Cape Town, we camped as much as possible, took some road trips in Luna, and I spent as much time as possible with Meyer and our new puppy, Bailey!

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The Pyramids of Giza

Egypt

After holding off on Egypt for years, I finally planned a solo trip. I had heard a lot of negative stories from other female travelers and it scared me out of pulling the trigger.

But then I realized that everyone has different experiences and one person’s experience doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be the same for everyone else.

I’m so glad I didn’t let it hold me back because I was able to experience seriously friendly locals (someone literally handed me their baby) and I was able to finally see the creations of the Ancient Egyptians with my own eyes. The Pyramids of Giza are really that spectacular!

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London, England

London

I kicked off 6-weeks of summer travel with a trip to London for a Spice Girls concert! My 12-year-old self was freaking out, to say the least!

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Ireland

After over 10 years, I finally made my way back to Ireland for a road trip through southern Ireland down the Wild Atlantic Way. Highlights included the Cliffs of Moher, Mizen Head, the Guinness Storehouse, Kilkenny, Hook Lighthouse, Blarney Castle and more…you’ll have to see the beauty for yourself, but in the meantime check out these photos!

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Boston

Though my trip to Boston was very brief (only 3 days), I was fortunate enough to attend TravelCon and give the keynote speech, “The Million Dollar Blog.” I got to meet some super lovely fellow travelers and people who are passionate about the industry as well as connect with old friends!

It was really cool to give this keynote speech as one of the things I’m most passionate about is building others up and providing them tools to grow their business and blog. In fact, I’m launching my Blogging Master Class this year with everything I wish I knew when I first started and so many things I’ve learned from my career as a travel blogger!

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Greece

On my first trip to Greece, I visited Mykonos on a backpacker’s budget and spent most of my time party hopping with my friends. Nearly seven years later I got to experience Greece in a whole new light—taking it much, much slower and soaking it all in with my boyfriend.

Every sunrise and sunset was spectacular and the pools…my goodness, the pools!

While on Mykonos we stayed at the Myconian Collection and then made our way to Santorini where we stayed at the Andronis Boutique Hotel and the Andronis Arcadia.

Santorini was as pretty as a postcard! We wined and dined, explored the island by ATV, and soaked up some sun on the island’s Red Beach.

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Venice & Trieste, Italy

Italy will forever be one of my favorite places to visit and I spent 3 weeks traveling (and eating) my way through Northern Italy. Starting in Treviso, we stopped in Venice, Burano, Florence, Jesolo, and a few little towns in between…while my friends expertly navigated a houseboat!

Meyer actually lived in Treviso for 5 years—before we met!—so it was really neat to see a place that’s so near and dear to him.

One of my favorite stops was the Prosecco region where I curated my own cheese board, grabbed some wine from the Prosecco Vending Machine (that’s right, a vending machine that dispenses bubbly!), and enjoyed a picnic overlooking the rolling hills.

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Jordan TBA Escapes Tours

Ever since starting TBA Escapes, I’ve been able to travel the world with lovely ladies—from South Africa to the Galápagos to Morocco to Jordan. The TBA Escapes “Ancient Wonders Tour” through Jordan focused on capturing the beauty of the country while teaching the ladies more about photography, which we got to do in partnership with Fujifilm!

We ventured through Amman, hiked up the Wadi Mujib river, enjoyed a float in the Dead Sea, soaked up the history of the ancient Petra, dived the Red Sea, and explored the ancient Roman ruins in Jerash…to say it was jam-packed is an understatement.

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Bartolome Island, The Galápagos

Galápagos TBA Escapes Tour

After my first visit to the Galápagos in 2016, I knew I wanted to go back which is why I created the TBA Galápagos “Luxury Yacht Eco Expedition.” Our 7-night trip was epic, to say the least. We partnered up with GoPro and got some incredible footage of our journey…see the highlights here!

We swam, snorkeled, kayaked, paddle boarded, saw some marine iguanas sunbathing, witnessed the Giant Tortoises of Santa Cruz, and more.

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New York

To cap off the year I took a trip to New York City during the holiday season. Is there anything more magical than NYC during the holidays? While my visit was quick—for the Points Guy Awards—it was super fun to experience the city with Meyer!

I can never get enough of all the twinkling lights…and bundling up for a proper winter (it must be the Southern California girl in me—give me all the coats, scarves, and beanies!).

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What were some of your top travel moments from 2019? What places are you traveling to in 2020? Let me know down below!





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