Travel Adventures in 2015: A Retrospective

Looking back at my travels this past year, I’m flabbergasted that I’ve been on the road this long. When Martin and I first left our Minneapolis home July 2014, we had hoped to travel for a year. It’s been nearly 1.5 years now. 

In 2015, I visited 11 countries. I spent the night in 90 cities. Nearly 40% of 2015 were one night stands (meaning I spent only one night at that accommodation). Typically (80% of the time), I spent less than a week in each city. While we ended up spending 79 days in Minnesota, we rarely stayed at one place for more than a week. In fact, the longest consecutive days I slept in the same bed was 29 – at my current house in Brisbane, Australia. Before that, it was Antigua, Guatemala back in January with 21 days.

Our longest home. Brisbane, Australia.

Our longest home. Brisbane, Australia.

I do want to travel again, but right now I need a break.

It’s like I’ve been out all night dancing and now after just a few hours of sleep I’m being asked to go out dancing all night again. It is fun and I could do it, but my heart wouldn’t be in it.

While in Brisbane, I have attended a few meet-up groups, one in particular we have attended 3 times. It’s a luxury to attend an event and actually know the people who are there. I took a seafood cooking class. I’m learning how to swim at a lap pool. I look for jobs in Malaysia and make smoothies in my blender. (I bought a blender!) I wait for the stress fracture in my foot to heal. I read a lot of books. We go to the movies. I know this is temporary, and yet it is the most permanent place we’ve been in all year. 

Jill on crutches Brisbane Ferris Wheel

Markets like these are plentiful in Brisbane. Can you spot me? Hint: I'm wearing green.

Markets like these are plentiful in Brisbane. Can you spot me? Hint: I’m wearing green.

The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast

Tallebudgera Creek: our favorite place to swim at the Gold Coast.

Tallebudgera Creek: our favorite place to swim at the Gold Coast.

Stopping allows for reflection. As I search for our next destination, my next job, I remember the places I’ve seen and things I’ve done over the past year with awe. I can’t believe this is my life. So, come with me down memory lane and go on a virtual traveling odyssey with me.

We began 2015 in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico.

We spent the first two months of 2015 in Mexico and backpacking through central America. We spent most of our time in Antigua, Guatemala and San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. I took a Spanish class. I climbed a volcano. We saw so many sunsets.

Then, at the beginning of March, we flew to South America and kicked off our new continent with a vacation with my cousin in Cartagena. We spent all of March in Colombia. We randomly found our new camera one night in Bogota. 

Map of 2015 Travels

Peru was love at first sight.

From the end of March to the middle of May we travelled around Peru. Most of our time was spent in Lima (18 days) and Arequipa (14 days). In Peru, I found my traveling rhythm. We visited Machu Picchu, hiked the Colca Canyon, explored the desert coast, and swam with dolphins in the Amazon River. And who could forget the cat park in Lima. Peru is a magical place. I miss it every day.

Map of 2015 Travels

Summer meant returning to the United States.

In the middle of May, we flew from Lima back to Bokeelia, Florida, to my in-law’s house. We borrowed their van and began a 10 week summer road trip along the south and west of the United States. We visited friends and family along the way. We visited five National Parks. We took a 10-day silent meditation course. I was exhausted by the end of this road trip and grateful for the rest at my parent’s house in Minnesota at the end of July. 

We stayed in Minnesota from August-October, bouncing around from one family or friend’s house to another, never staying at one house for more than 10 days. We worked every day at the Minnesota State Fair. We got to attend our friends’ wedding. I got restless and we tried to hike the Superior National Trail in October. It was too cold for me and my thin sleeping bag! I was still restless and we took a five day road trip back to Bokeelia to return the van. We flew to New York City for a week and then had to return to Minnesota due to some health issues I was having. Once those got sorted out, we jetted out of there to Australia!

Map of 2015 travels

We had just three days to plan our trip to Australia.

We spent November visiting Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. At the beginning of December, we started our current 2-month housesit in Brisbane. 

When we arrived in Brisbane, I needed a break from everything. I was frustrated that I couldn’t walk anywhere due to a stress fracture in my foot. I took some time off from blogging.

Now, I feel more refreshed. I still don’t have a plan for February and beyond, but I have the luxury of 30 more days to figure it out. Until then, I’ll make the most of my time in Brisbane, starting with attending a big New Year’s Eve party tonight with fireworks at midnight. Bring on the crowds!

My sincerest wish is that you have had a fulfilling 2015 and continue to find your bliss in 2016. 

Map of 2015 travels

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