Looking back at this past year, I'm quite satisfied with having squeezed in travel in almost every free moment from school and work I've had. Which, you know, is kind of important, as my blog is about encouraging others to incorporate travel into their regular life, and act on their travel dreams!
I know at times I look at some of my favourite bloggers websites, and wonder where the heck they've been/for what/where they are now. So, we're going to reflect back on the posts and travels of this past year, and look forward to the trips I have planned coming up!
(Pssst, click the links to see the posts associated with each trip!)
January:: Toronto, Canada + Boca Raton, FL, USA + Mississippi, USA
I rang in the New Year at home in Toronto while on winter break from grad school. In January a friend asked me to head down to Boca Raton, Florida together. After a mix up with winter break work plans, I actually had no school or work holding me back from accepting, and so we took off on a road trip down to beautiful Boca, FL. For a week we enjoyed lounging and relaxing from work and school, before flying back north for a friend's birthday. After a week at home, I was off traveling back south again to school in Mississippi.
Love this? Then check out Traveling Solo & Photography; Getting The Perfect Shot (With You In It)
February:: Mississippi, USA
All of February was spent in MS for second semester. Homework, papers, working, dreaming up my next trip, and reflecting back on others with posts like There Are 5 Types Of People You Always Meet In Hostels.
March:: Lower Saxony Germany - Hannover, Goslar, Göttingen, Harz Mountains
Spring Break was spent visiting the boyfriend at his home in Germany, and touring the local area. We visited the adorable little town of Goslar, which, if you have any classical German dreams in your mind, Goslar will fulfill them! In every place we visited, we frequented the local restaurants and bars, which led to the post Eating Through Germany.
Something I didn't mention in my posts was the absolute nightmare that occurred when traveling to Germany. When a shocking snowstorm hit Mississippi, a place that is very unfamiliar to snow, I was concerned that it might affect my flight out. I arrived at the airport in Memphis, TN early to ensure I'd make my flight, to find out every flight with my airline was cancelled, and I wouldn't be able to get out of Memphis for at least 3 days. As my trips was just over a week in length due to the school holiday, I opted to head to Little Rock, Arkansas to fly out the next day. I was put up in a hotel, and spent the night booking taxis and buses to get to Little Rock.
That morning, the nightmare continued. I woke up at 6 AM to book a taxi as I had been advised the night before to book EARLY as the wait would be long with all the snow. With still no sign of a taxi at 8 AM, I called again to be told the person hadn't written my reservation down two hours previously. By a miracle a taxi arrived soon after, and took me to the bus stop. If you didn't know, Memphis, TN is often listed high on the list of America's top most dangerous cities, and a lone female traveler waiting at a bus stop in the bad areas of Memphis is not advised (lesson learned). Along with being massively out of place, the bus to Little Rock never arrived, and with a flight to catch, I bit the bullet and called up my same cab driver to take me on the 2 hour ride to Little Rock. An extremely expensive 2 hour cab ride later, I caught my flight, and will never again attempt to take a bus in Memphis again.
April:: Mississippi, USA
Back again at school in the South I created the series Life Abroad, in anticipation of finals and preparing for upcoming travels. I interviewed many friends who had studied abroad to give their personal experience and advice on the area they lived in. Kristen spoke about Thailand, Mellie about France, Beverly about Wales, Sophie about the USA, and myself about England.
May:: Lower Saxony, Germany + Mallorca, Spain + Toronto, Canada
My trip home started with a 16 hour straight through the night drive to Canada, 6 hours spent at home running errands, napping and showering, and then off to the Toronto airport to head to Germany. A few days were spent with the boyfriend in Germany before we took off together to Mallorca, Spain. Spain is one of the Western European countries I haven't visited yet, and the culture was pleasantly surprising; everything is very artistic!
Mallorca is a perfect little romantic getaway, and I always look so fondly back on the time spent on the secret beach we happened upon.
Summer:: Toronto Area
While working, I was kept to the Toronto area, and enjoyed traveling around on weekends. I told you about Toronto's Top 10 Summer Events, the Top 10 Trips Outside Toronto, and while at home I also spent time launching The Paige Studio, my website design shop! This endeavor did keep me from traveling around often, but I am so glad I took the time to dedicate to launching it, and taking on clients. More on the Paige Studio, and it's success below!
September:: Mississippi, USA + Las Vegas, NV, USA
Back down to the South I went for my LAST year of university. (Hell yeah, damn right!) My 6 years of higher education are almost over ... can you tell I'm excited to be freed from student life? There's only so many frozen pizzas you can eat, and coffees you can down before you're ready for the Master's degree to be completed.
With a conference associated with my degree happening in Las Vegas, I hopped on the flight, and went to explore all the famous Vegas sights ... and went to some conference sessions too of course. I shared with you the Top 10 To Do In Las Vegas, and also brought you along for the trip in my Snapshots; Las Vegas post, where I hit almost all of the Top 10 sights. My favourite being the famous Sprinkles Cupcake ATM... Guilty, pop-culture pleasure fulfilled.
October:: Mississippi, USA
In October the boyfriend completed his M.A., and came to join me in Mississippi after a long summer apart. In blog news, the site underwent a complete makeover to be what it is today! I did the redesign myself... in a weekend, after accidentally destroying the style of my last blog. Whoops... It happens. Take the tour in this post here!
It wasn't just the ascetics of the blog that were changed, but the change happened first from within (aweeee). The blog became more focused upon helping others travel well and travel often, and assisting others in incorporating travel into their regular life. (Because not everyone wants to sell all their possessions and live out of a dirty backpack. I hear yeh!)
The blog also hit 35,000 page views in the month, to which I was rather excited about. Sorority girls really seemed to be in need of costume ideas, and a post from last year The Perfect Halloween Costumes For Sorority Sisters took off!
November:: New Orleans, LA, USA + Los Angeles, CA, USA
This coming weekend the boyfriend and I are road tripping it down to Louisiana to get the full NOLA experience. New Orleans was on my list of must-visit locations while in the south, and with just over a semester to go, I needed to get on setting a date for my trip!
In Los Angeles we'll be getting the authentic local experience when staying with a friend. Suggestions on must see or do activities and sights in LA and NOLA are always appreciated. (Psst, leave me a comment below!)
Expect lots of NOLA , and LA snapshots to come, as well footage from my fancy new Go Pro. (I was a complete child on Christmas when it arrived the other day, and sent it swimming in our freezing cold pool to test out shooting under water). Full review on the Go Pro Hero4 Silver to come once I put it through it's paces.
In The Paige Studio news, business has taken off! While it's a lot to juggle with a job and school and a blog, I'm so excited to have the opportunity to create sites for others! Want a look? My latest projects included www.hudsonhouseofplay.com, www.princetonplayspace.com, www.birkinsintheboardroom.com, and www.creativesoulcoaching.net. I'm now booked through the New Year, and have some more website projects I'm quite excited to get creative with!
December:: Charleston, SC, USA + Washington, DC, USA + New England Area, USA + Toronto, Canada
Always one to find an opportunity for a trip, the boyfriend and I decided to turn our otherwise boring drive back north to Canada for Christmas into a proper sightseeing opportunity of the cities that have been on our lists for some time.
We'll be experiencing all the famous southern charm in Charleston, keeping our eyes peeled for Obama in Washington, and pretending we were genius enough to get into Yale while in the New England area before arriving home in Toronto, just in time for the holiday festivities!
2016 :: To infinity & beyond
Come the start of the year I'm hoping to hit the slopes in Mt. Tremblant, my favourite ski area in the East. Then it will be back down to the south for my last semester of grad school, and come May... FREEDOM! I remember when finishing undergrad thinking about the giant blank space of time at the end of school with nerves. What would I do with my life?! Would I make it?! Now, after a few more years of school, there's less nerves, and more excitement. I can finally choose what I want to do with my life, not constrained by the semesters of university. Wahooooo!
What will I do after that? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm toying between the ideas of getting a position in my field, traveling, becoming a blogger/website designer full time, or a squeegee (my childhood dream profession for some odd reason).
Regardless of what I do, you can bet Page by Paige will follow it, and continue to encourage YOU to also take advantage of any opportunity to get out and travel.
Want to get in on my travels? The Priority Post Suite is the exclusive list of readers who are sent post cards from my travels! Yep, I like doing some things the good old fashioned way.
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Have you been to any of the destinations I'll be visiting this month and next (New Orleans, Los Angeles, Charleston, Washington, New England)? I'd love your suggestions! Suggestions on what to do after graduation will also be considered ;). I'm all ears! Leave 'em in the comments below!