My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2018

2018 spoiled me with exciting adventures, delicious cuisine, and being blessed to meet so many wonderful people along my journeys. Every year writing my top 10 travel moments is one of my favorite articles to write and the most challenging.

Before I begin the countdown of my top 10 travel moment of 2018, I want to thank everyone who joined me in exploring the globe. From fellow journalists, bloggers, travelers, friends and loved ones you all helped to make each adventure richer by sharing it with me. Thank you so much!

 

10. Became Lady Stephanie Of Dunans Castle

 

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Surprisingly in 2018, I became Lady Stephanie White of Dunans Castle and Lady Stephanie White of Glencoe.

How it happened is for both locations they sell a piece of Scottish property in exchange for the right to use the title. For Glencoe, your funds go towards helping to plant trees in a nature reserve, while for Dunans Castle it goes towards restoring the 16th-century castle.

As you might have determined from following my adventures, I love visiting castles! So getting the title of Lady Stephanie of Dunans Castle made for a unique and memorable gift. I hope that soon I’ll be able to visit Scotland (especially as I discovered this year my ancestry is 26% Scotish), and eventually Dunans Castle.

 

9. Saw The Illusionist Live From Broadway

 

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Going to the theater is something I always try to make time for, and I love seeing a diverse range of productions from Broadway shows theater, dance, or even magic. While in 2017 I got to see the legendary Phantom of The Opera,  in 2018 my most memorable show would have to be The Illusionist Live From Broadway.

The show was incredible with several different magicians performing jaw-dropping tricks with my favorite magician being Colin Cloud. After seeing his act on America’s Got Talent, it was stunning to see Colin Cloud perform live. Especially as I got to take part in some of the tricks, he does to the entire audience, and of course, it worked on me. Without question, I loved the show, and if possible, I hope to see Colin Cloud perform again. I can’t get enough of watching magic shows.

 

8. Tried Dogsledding At Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello

 

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This year I was finally able to cross dogsledding off my bucket list! Huskies are my favorite dog, so this year I went for a relaxing winter getaway to the gorgeous Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, which is the world’s largest log cabin. Here I had the pleasure of going for a magical tour of the forest via dogsled.

Doing dogsledding is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a child, and having the chance to glide across the snow pulled by a team of huskies was terrific. I especially loved that I was able to get some time in to play with the dogs before and after my ride too.

 

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If you haven’t gone to Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello in the winter, I highly recommend it. In addition to the dogsledding, I also got to soak in the hot tub, relax next to their massive fireplace, enjoy a gourmet dinner, and even go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride!

 

7. Visited Haiti and Jamaica

 

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I very briefly got to explore Haiti and Jamaica this year as part of a Carribean cruise and loved the experience. In Jamaica, I got to spend a day exploring Falmouth while in Haiti I visited Labadee.

 

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After the quick tour of both countries, it left me eager to return and spend a much longer time exploring both to see their beaches, waterfalls, and try more of the local cuisine.

 

6. Relaxed In Mexico

 

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Mexico was another country that I have longed to explore, and in 2018 I finally made it to Mexico. For my visit, I was in Cozumel where I spent my time relaxing at the beach, learning about tequila and of course trying some tacos! It was fantastic, and I hope to return to see more of Mexico, and some of the Mayan ruins (i.e., Chichen Itza).

 

5. Lived The Good Life In Bermuda

 

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Bermuda was an absolute luxurious trip. Here I got to enjoy a relaxing massage in an underground cave, relax at pink sand beaches, take a yacht tour around the island, and sleep at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club which had a picture-perfect pool and hot tub.

 

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Also within the hotel, I got to dine at Marcus’ Bermuda, which is the only celebrity chef restaurant in Bermuda. For me, this was a memorable meal, as I remember watching Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson on Top Chef and winning Top Chef Masters, so it was a delight to try his menu.

 

4. Cruised On Second Largest Cruise Ship In The World

 

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Royal Carribean’s Harmony Of The Seas is like a floating city. Having a maximum capacity of 6,687 people and measuring 1,188 feet it is hard to believe how big this ship really is.

My voyage on Harmony Of The Seas was my first Royal Carribean cruise, and I really enjoyed my experience. For me, some the biggest highlights of my experience was The Fine aqua show, the ice skating show 1887, the sensational dinner at Wonderland Resturant, and finally having the chance to dine at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants as there was Jamie’s Italian aboard the ship.

Both of the meal experiences are something you need to pay extra for, but if you are a foodie like myself, they are highly worth it. While very different – Jamie’s is family style homemade pasta, and Wonderland is molecular gastronomy blind menu tasting both are sublime and worth every penny.

 

3. Hugged A Koala In Austalia’s Gold Coast

 

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When I found out, I was going to Australia’s Gold Coast, the two things on my must-do list were to see a koala and a kangaroo followed by trying local food.

 

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Not only did I get to hike around the Gold Coast, meet local Olympian athletes, try some of the foodie hot spots but I got to feed kangaroos and hug a koala. The female koala I got to snuggle was the cutest, and my experience at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary made it a trip I’ll never forget.

 

2. Participated In France Into The Vineyard Challenge

 

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This year was my second year participating in the France Blogger Challenge. This year the theme was France Into The Vineyard, and I was lucky enough to be teamed with Benoit Lefèvre (follow him on Instagram @vino2travel) to head to Cahors Malbec region of France.

Each year the challenge is you arrive at the airport and have no idea where in France you are going, or what you will be doing. As someone who plans every detail of her trip, and has a plan B just in case arriving at an airport and having no clue what I was doing was a bit terrifying my first year. One year later it was amazing to see how much had changed, sure I didn’t know where I was going, and this time I was partnered with someone I didn’t know, yet I wasn’t worried at all – I was excited about the adventure!

 

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I couldn’t be luckier to be partnered with someone who was a fantastic teammate. This year France Into The Vineyard challenge was more suited to me, as instead about being about nature it was exploring the Malbec vineyard – which is a wine I adore. Along the journey, I got to try superb wines and meet the vineyard owners, and try the exquisite local cuisine which includes truffles and foie gras.

What I love about this experience is not only the people I meet but that it gives my readers the chance to win a trip to France too so you can experience it first hand.

So far I’ve gotten the chance to see Bordeaux and Cahors Malbec, but next my top choice would be the castles of the Loire Valley (yes I really do love castles), followed by trying Champagne in the Champagne region, getting to further explore Paris, and seeing the glamor of The French Riviera.

1. Stayed At Chateau de Mercues

 

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So, this year spot one and two are from France Into The Vineyard Challenge, but I felt one experience was so tremendous that it secured the top spot.

By now on this list, we’ve established I love castles and good food. So it is no surprise my stay at Chateau de Mercues was my top experience of 2018. I remember when I found out this is what I was going to get to do, I literally jumped for joy.

 

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Chateau de Mercues is a fairy-tale like medieval castle that produces some extraordinary Cahors wine. My entire stay was like a dream, not only did I get to do a private wine tasting with the owner of the Chateau, but I got to dine a the Chateaux’s Michelin restaurant where I got to sit at the chef’s table and meet chef Julien Poisot.

 

Runners-up
As it is every year, it is hard to select only 10 moments from 365 days of memories. This year I didn’t include Cirque Du Soliel and my visit to Park Omega on the list, as I’ve added them in the past to my top moments of the year lists but both were lovely.

 

Final Thoughts

2018 indeed was a fantastic experience that took me all across the globe. I’m excited to see what wonderful experiences 2019 will bring. If you have any suggestions of where I should go next year, please let me know.

Finally, I wanted to say a huge thank you to you. Without you taking the time to read my blog and like my photos on Instagram (@stephaniewhitetravels) none of these adventures would be possible. I’m truly grateful for every comment you leave on my Instagram, and every time you email me. Thank you so much.

 

READ MORE:

My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2017

My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2016

 

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