2018: A Year in Review

Ah 2018. Another year of travel in the books with a number of firsts along the way. Looking back at the very beginning of 2018, we had no idea the experiences we would have and the new places we would visit. No doubt the year went by fast, however if you take the time to sit back and reflect on what you have accomplished and experienced, it makes the year seem more meaningful and richer than just living day to day. Without further ado, here was our 2018:

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

As an avid avgeek, I use OpenFlights to track all of our flights, which comes in handy when you need to look back at where you’ve been. 2018 was our most travelled yet, as we travelled to new countries, new continents, and marched futher towards our goal of visiting all 50 US states. Both working in finance, we love some great statistics, so here we go:

Miles flown: 124, 261 over 88 separate flights (full disclosure, this does include about 25,000 miles flown for work)

Time flying: 12 days, 4 hours, and 9 minutes

Longest flight: 6,529 mile San Francisco to Auckland, NZ

Shortest flight: 24 miles Stiegler’s Gorge Airstrip to Mtemere Airstrip in Tanzania

Countries visited: 12

New countries visited: 2

US states visited: 27 (+5 Canadian provinces!)

New US states visited: 10 (+4 Canadian provinces!)

 

Kyle’s Favourite Trip

 

For a number of years I had been dreaming of doing a camping trip through the San Juan mountains of Colorado, and completing the famous Alpine Loop, which you can read about here and here.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

This past August we made the long trek from Chicago out to Colorado and were able to complete that dream. The high alpine views were spectacular and better than I had imagined.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

We also experienced the Great Sand Dunes, which you can read about our scary first night tenting here and Denver (read about our day in Denver here) on that trip and had an absolute blast!

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

Bettina’s Favourite Trip

 

Although we were only in Cancun for less than 48 hours, it was the most relaxing trip all year (get my full review here).

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

Having heard other people rave about Mexico and the temperature in Chicago still freezing cold in April, I couldn’t wait to spend some time at the beach and enjoy the sun.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

Staying at the Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun, the trip was everything you could imagine – pristine beaches, warm water, a beautiful pool area, and more guacamole and chips that I could eat.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

Should winter be just as long as last year, we might escape to Mexico for a weekend again!

 

Other Highlights

 

Tanzania

One of our most recent, and most exotic, trips was to Tanzania which was also amazing. Going on safari was a definite highlight and better than we could have imagined! We thought we’d be lucky to see one giraffe far in the distance running away, but instead, we saw hundreds far and wide. You can read about our safari here and here and our exploration of Dar es Salaam here.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

New Zealand

Of course, how could we forget our first trip venturing into the Southern Hemisphere! Heading down to New Zealand (for only four days no less), was a trip we will not forget about anytime soon, and is a place that we have pegged to visit again in the near future.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

We had a great time exploring the beautiful countryside, which you can read about here, as well as Auckland (read about here), and everything in between (Geothermal Wonderland and Lake Taupo).

 

Eastern Canada Roadtrip

Lastly, we spent the fourth of July on a great American road trip – to Canada – and explored the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

The weather was great, the people were friendly, and we covered a lot of ground, however we are most proud to have eaten seafood and ice cream on each day of the trip! You can read about our trip here, including Prince Edward Island, historic Peggys’ Cove and Lunenburg Nova Scotia, and the impressive Bay of Fundy here.

 

2018: A Year in Review

 

We also thoroughly enjoyed a weekend in Paris, a few days in Bruges, a family get together in Venice and the Dolomites, visiting Montreal, exploring Charleston, and eating our way through New Orleans!

 

The Next Trip in 2019

 

We’re not wasting any time in 2019, starting the year off in Switzerland our first flight will be heading back to Chicago on January 2nd. Shortly after, we will be heading back to Iceland for a weekend in January hoping to catch some Northern Lights. Looking further into the future we hope to round out all 50 US states, so that means trips to hotspots like Hawaii, Alaska, and North Dakota (?), as well as Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, and New Mexico. We will likely also have a small handful of trips to Europe and hopefully somewhere else warm and sunny! Stay tuned for more adventures on The Next Trip in 2019 and thank you for being here!

 


 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

After a day of driving, we were ready to tour Canada's most densely populated province: Prince Edward Island. Manhattan this is not, as its capital Charlottetown, is home to about half of the 150,000 people that call this island home. Most people arriving in Prince Edward Island will begin their sightseeing about 12.9km away as they cross the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

We stopped at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre just before you begin the drive across the bridge to get the best views and can highly recommend it.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

From here you can walk around on the sandy beach and dip your toes in the (frigid) waters of the Northumberland Strait. Fun fact: The Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge in the world over ice-covered waters, and it even cuts cool patterns in the ice! (see these pictures here).

 

Confederation Bridge - A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Confederation Bridge - A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Driving around PEI we were immediately at ease and got a sense of the relaxed pace of island life.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

The province is mostly rural, containing lots of sprawling fields and farms. Summertime is a great time to visit PEI as lupins are in full bloom around the island in vibrant colours of purple, pink, and white!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Of course, Bettina couldn’t resist a picture or two amongst the flowers (while trying not get to stung by a bee)!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Shop Bettina's Look

 

Her necklaces are from GLDN and she wears them almost every day.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Arriving at to the entrance gate of Prince Edward Island National Park, we were getting our wallets out to pay the entrance fee, where the friendly park ranger informed us that *unfortunately* due to it being Canada Day, the entrance was free!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

We quickly spent all the money we saved though as we came across Richard’s, an island-favourite fish shack serving up delicious lobster rolls and fish and chips.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

It was possibly the freshest fish and chips we had ever eaten and we would go back any time!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

We strolled around the beach a little bit but left for Charlottetown soon as the dark clouds rolled in.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Charlottetown is a very quaint, historic town, and easily walkable. We really enjoyed wandering the streets,  checking out the many boutiques, historical houses, and waterfront path.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

As we were walking along, minding our own business, we came across a formed crowd around a blue waterfront building. It was Cow's Ice Cream!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Cow’s has been scooping up old-fashioned ice cream with some very clever names for decades and is considered one of the world’s best places to get ice cream. On a summer day by the ocean who can resist ice cream? This was the second day of our road trip and so far we were two for two on having seafood and ice cream each day.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

How about some Wowie Cowie, Caramel Moocchiato, Cowconut Cream Pie, or a classic Cownadian Maple? There’s just too many good ones.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Bettina couldn't resist spending some time talking and posing with the locals also.

 

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

After exploring the old town, we made our way to the Beaconsfield Historic House but were a bit late to check out the museum.

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Instead, we followed the crowd and walked over to Victoria Park to take in some live music, views and festivities before heading out of the city to our next hotel. It was Canada Day after all!

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

A Scoop of Prince Edward Island

 

Have you been to Prince Edward Island and sampled some Cow’s ice cream?