What We’ve Been Up To: December 2017 ReviewMonthly Reviews
From a travel perspective, December has been one of our quietest months since leaving the USA for full-time travel–so quiet, in fact, that I almost didn’t write this post.
Ultimately, though, I love having this month-by-month record of our travels to look back on, and I know that future-me would be less than pleased with current-me if I skipped it.
Sadly, we also took approximately zero photos this month, so I’ll be getting a bit creative with photos for this post!
That being said, here’s our quiet December review–I imagine it will be quite some time until we have a block of time with so little travel again.
Where We’ve Been:
San Antonio, Texas
Beaufort, North Carolina (Kate)
Indianapolis, Indiana (Jeremy)
Edmond & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Highlights of December 2017:
Almost all of our highlights this month centered around family: my cross-country road trip to help my mom and her three cute terriers move from San Antonio, Texas to Beaufort, North Carolina, seeing all of our extended family in Edmond, Oklahoma for Christmas, playing endless tabletop games with my grandparents.
The only real traveling we did this month was my road trip (which was wonderful, but also interesting–see challenges below), and Jeremy’s work trip to Indianapolis, which naturally didn’t leave a lot of time for sightseeing!
Challenges of December 2017:
My mom and I were caught in a freak snowstorm in southern Louisiana on the first full day of our road trip from Texas to North Carolina–we almost couldn’t believe our eyes.
That day saw snow all across the southeastern USA, and we ended up having to pull over and stop driving for the day well before we intended to.
The next day, we were driving through Alabama and ended up hitting two separate hour-long detours due to road closures (which we don’t think were due to the weather, as it had cleared up by then), along with several places that had backed up traffic.
All in all, what should have been a 2-3 day road trip ended up taking a solid 4 days!
Luckily, we had lots of fun along the way–it was great to have so much one-on-one time with my mom, and I loved getting to snuggle with the dogs–but the actual driving was a mess!
Featured Travel Product of the Month:
We’re hoping that this year will include more travel in regions where tap water isn’t safe to drink, so we’re getting ready to break out our Steripen again!
We love being able to create safe-to-drink tap water wherever we go, and love the money and environmental waste we’re able to save by not buying water bottles as we go.
This thing was a lifesaver during our travels to Mexico and Central America last year… we will see where it takes us next!
Most Popular Instagram Photo:
This photo of one of Semuc Champey’s less-photographed spots was loved on Instagram–and by us.
We found this spot by walking just a few minutes away from the crowds and spent some time relaxing here without another tourist in sight.
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Imagine a rural destination that is 8 hours in an uncomfortable shuttle van away from any other tourist destinations, and yet is still worth the hassle to get there. That's Semuc Champey. * Deep in the jungle of Guatemala, this series of crystal clear interconnected pools is waiting for anyone who makes the trek to get there, and we are so glad we made the effort. * Shots of people swimming in the beautiful pools and the gorgeous overhead view available higher up on one of the cliffs tend to get all the Instagram love (and you can scroll down to photos from earlier this year to see our shots of those points), but we also loved this more rustic view a short hike away from the bulk of the tourists: this spot just speaks to the magical otherworldliness of Semuc Champey. * Who knows if or when we'll ever make it back out here--but if you're headed to Guatemala for the first time, it is definitely worth the trouble. * * * * #semucchampey #guatemala #ig_guatemala #visitguatemala #perhapsyouneedalittleguatemala #exploreguatemala #centralamerica #waterfallsfordays #chasingwaterfalls #guardiantravelsnaps #takemethere #traveldeeper #awesome_earthpix #timeoutsociety #getoutstayout #keepitwild #earthvisuals #landscape_lovers #welivetoexplore #beautifulplaces #neverstopexploring #doyoutravel #lonelyplanet #optoutside #rei1440project #adventureculture #departedoutdoors #wearewild #liveyouradventure #staywild
December 2017 Posts:
2 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Itinerary — Everything you need to know about where to go & what to do during two days in Florence! I start to miss Italy like crazy every time I write about it, and this post was no exception.
3 Days in Venice in November: Was it Worth it? — Venice took us completely by surprise, in the very best way! We went in thinking that we would feel neutral about the city, and left determined to visit again one day.
Ghent or Bruges: Which One Should You Visit? — The two most well-known Flemish cities are both popular with tourists–here are their similarities and differences, and how to pick which one to visit (if you must).
We Have to Go Back: Our Favorite New Destinations of 2017 — We decided to make both of our year-end posts from last year traditions, starting with this one! Destinations in Mexico, Central America, the USA and Europe made the list this year.
Travel Stories of 2017: Our Year in 9 Vignettes — Of all the wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting, frustrating, and joyful travel moments of 2017, here are nine that stick out the most.
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Without a doubt, spending the month of October living in Tuscany was one of the major highlights of our year. * From watching the foliage slowly change, to horseback riding through vineyards, to riding a Vespa for the first time, to wandering the streets of Florence, to indulging in all the pasta, wine, gelato, and cheese we could get our hands on, it was an absolutely incredible month. * Even the weather cooperated: during the month we spent living in Florence and visiting other spots around Tuscany, we had roughly 28 sunny days, and it was almost always around 75 degrees. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. * We miss Tuscany already--here's hoping we'll get a chance to visit again sooner rather than later. * * * * #tuscany #toscana #discovertuscany #arezzo #italy #italygram #italytravel #ilovetuscany #italy_photolovers #iloveitaly #visit_tuscany #italy_vacations #gltlove #wearetravelgirls #ig_europe #living_europe #photosinbetween #theprettycities #sheisnotlost #thatsdarling #thatauthenticfeeling #flashesofdelight #openmyworld #globelletravels #femmetravel #unlimitedparadise #abmlifeiscolorful #abmtravelbug #traveldeeper #letsgoeverywhere
It feels weird to say this, but I think that 2018 might be even more of a blank slate than 2016 or 2017 were at the start of the year!
I have no idea exactly where our travels will lead us (other than to amazing places), but I do have a first destination to share: New Orleans!
In less than two weeks, Jeremy and I are packing up our bags and heading south to the Big Easy for the very first time.
New Orleans has been on our list for ages (we’ve planned and canceled several trips there), and I suspect we’re going to love it. We love traveling in the American South, and Savannah ranks as one of our favorite US cities.
While New Orleans will no doubt have a flavor all its own, I think it will fit in very nicely with our tastes.
We’re looking forward to eating our way through the city, enjoying some jazz, and checking out all the tourist highlights on our first trip!
This will also make Louisiana the 23rd US State we have visited together. Once upon a time before our full-time travel life, we set a very reasonable goal of visiting all 50 US States together before our 50th wedding anniversary–at this rate, we may need to move that up by a few decades!