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My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2019

It is hard to believe, but we are into the 20s! Last year went out with a bang, with so many incredible firsts for me. ​

As always, limiting my list of top travel moments of the year is something I struggle with doing as there are so many adventures I want to put on the list. But without further ado, these are the experiences that were the most memorable for me.

 

10. Cirque Du Soleil

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Everyone has their summer traditions; one of my summer traditions is seeing Cirque du Soleil. Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing Alegria, which was a mesmerizing show that left me spellbound and filled with joy. 💖 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The classic circus performance has all of my favourites like the giant hoops and aerial straps. But there were also new stunts like a fire performer who projected so much joy that you couldn't help but smile too. Every trick was fantastic, and I was riveted throughout the show. I could easily watch it again and again and still enjoy Alegria. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🎪If you don't have your tickets for @cirquedusoleil Alegria, get them now. There is something extra magical about watching the show under the big top. Here in Ottawa, you can see it at @zibican in Gatineau from August 1 to September 1, 2019.

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Going to see Cirque du Soleil is a tradition for me (I already have my tickets for 2020). In 2019, Alegria occurred under the big top, which is always the best experience. Seeing the dazzling performers under a classic circus tent always enhances the show. 

If you get the chance, make sure to check out Alegria, it won’t disappoint.

9. First Time In Slovakia

Slovakia was a country that previously had been off my radar in terms of spots to visit. I ended up having a short visit on my river cruise and had the pleasure of seeing the capital Bratislava. Here I visited Bratislava Castle, Michael’s Gate, Primate’s Palace and the Old Town.

8. Michelin Star Dinners

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Without fail where I go one of the first things I research are all the fantastic place to eat. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While in Carcassonne, one spot you won't want to miss is the luxurious La Barbacane. The 1 star Micheline restaurant is inside the oldest hotel Hotel de la Cite, and the dining room looks straight from the sets of Game Of Thrones. The medieval dining room has tapestries and banners and is a beautiful space to enjoy a good meal prepared by chef Jerome Ryon. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For dinner, when I visited, I got to try the duck foie gras, grilled turbot, and my personal favourite the dessert. It was light and airy Violette cream from Toulouse, local figs and the most flavour packed blackcurrant sorbet I've ever had. I loved every bite.🇫🇷 Who else travels for food? 🤤 . . #travelfood #bestfoodfeed #eatingforthegram #youreastalker #tastethisnext #tourismeoccitanie #explorefrance #airfrance @tourisme_en_occitanie @audetourisme #audetourisme #seecarcassonne @francefr

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I’m the type of woman who enjoys all kinds of restaurants, from street food to fine dining. That being said, as Canada doesn’t have any Michelin-star restaurants, it always feels extra special to dine at them abroad.

This year I got to enjoy dinner at the 1-star La Barbacane and Restaurant Le Cénacle in Toulouse.

7. Seeing Music City Nashville

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While donuts aren't something I typically get excited about, I adore cronuts. The buttery and flaky blend that is similar to a croissant but in donut form is a delightful indulgence. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In Tennessee, I checked out one of Five Daughters Bakery locations and was amazed to find the line out the door. Surprisingly it moved very quickly, and it only took a few minutes too before I was able to enjoy a sugary bite of pure bliss. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I went for the classic vanilla creme 100 layer donut, and while I couldn't finish it all, it was delicious. I'd suggest going and splitting with a friend. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I'm curious, are you on team donut or are cronuts more your thing?🍩🤗 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #fivedaughtersbakery #donutsofinstagram #nashville #nash #musiccity #nashvillefood #eatnashville #nashvilleeats #nashvillerestaurants #nashvillelocal #visitnashville #visitmusiccity #instanashville @visitmusiccity @geigerpr #Nashville

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when heading to ‘Music City’ for the first time. I admit I’m not into most country music, so I didn’t know if I would enjoy my experience. But did I ever love it! Even if you aren’t into music, this party city has a foodie scene that is just exploding right now. I loved going on a food walking tour and seeing the historic homes in the area. 

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Oh, look the Parthenon! The last thing I expected when walking around Nashville, Tennessee was the Parthenon! But sure enough, there is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. Built-in 1897 for a world fair, it is now a beautiful landmark in Centennial Park. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Inside is just as impressive; you can find a 42-foot tall statue of Athena covered in gold leaf. On one hand, she holds a six-foot tall statue of the goddess of Nike and on her chest and shield the face of medusa to scare away her enemies. (Check out image 2 to see her) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you happen to visit when it is warmer, Centennial Park could be a cute picnic spot. There is nothing like seeing the Parthenon behind you as you relax in the sunshine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . . #visitnashville #visitmusiccity #instanashville @visitmusiccity @geigerpr #Nashville #travelblogger #instatravel #travelphotography #travelblog #travelaroundtheworld #passionpassport #travelgirl

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I hope to return soon to try some more of the southern cooking, and perhaps learn how to make some proper biscuits.

 

6. Returning To Southern France – Toulouse And Mirepoix

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I’ve had the pleasure of returning to France yearly for the past few years. This fall, I visited the L’Occitane region of southern France again. Last time my visit was focused on wine tasting as part of France Into The Vineyard Challenge.  

This time I visited new cities and villages to see the historic ruins and charming towns. As part of the adventure, I also got to see the lovely city of Mirepoix, which feels straight out of Beauty and the Beast. It is a ‘charming little town’ with a lively nightlife scene.

Another big highlight was the short visit I had in Toulouse. It is a vibrant city with endless shopping, restaurants and tons to see and do. I feel like I barely scratched the surface, and would like to come back to see everything. One of the highlights here was I got to see the spot the robot monsters that walked across the city in Ottawa were made.

5. Feeling Like I Stepped Into A Fairytail In Carcassone

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Who else has played the board game Carcassonne? Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the medieval city in southern France. Visiting Carcassonne feels like stepping back in time into a fairytale. The walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts millions of visitors each year, and it quickly won me over with its charm. Inside you'll be able to learn about the rich history, but I was drawn immediately to the beautiful architecture and abundant restaurants and shops that line the streets. For all you don't speak French, you'll be happy to know many of the sights, including tours of the medieval city, are available in English. ✌ #tourismeoccitanie #explorefrance #airfrance @tourisme_en_occitanie @audetourisme #audetourisme #seecarcassonne @francefr #sheisnotlost #gogirlsguide #wearetravelgirls #travelgirl #instatravel #femmetravel #damestravel

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The biggest highlight of my France adventure was visiting the breathtaking walled city of Carcassone. It looks straight out of a fairytale. Here you can walk through the medieval citadel and enjoy the breathtaking views from the 12th-century castle. While here, I not only got to enjoy some spectacular meals but go wine tasting too.

4. Unforgettable Carriage Ride Of Vienna

The most memorable tour I did in 2019 was an over-the-top luxurious carriage ride in Vienna. No visit to Vienna is complete without taking a tour with Riding Dinner.

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What do you eat when you are on a fairy-tale worthy carriage ride where you visit castles? Well delicious food of course (and perhaps a glass of champagne too)! ⠀🐴🥂🍴 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So many of you have been DMing me to ask about what I ate while on my @ridingdinneraustria carriage tour. To eat there was an assortment of fantastic sandwiches and 6 petit fours all from Zum Schwarzen Kameel – one of Vienna’s old restaurants! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . . #ridingdinner #makefiakerfahrengreatagain #fiaker #viennacity #viennasightseeing #welovevienna #wien #seemycity #horseandcarriage #vienna #austria #dametraveler #foodie #travelinladies #wanderlustlife #jetsetlife #luxuryispersonal #luxurytraveller #luxurytravel #damefoodie #discoverglobe #discovereurope #viennacity #viennafood

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For their tours, you get to enjoy a posh carriage ride around the city, where you can sip champagne and enjoy a delicious dinner. All the while, the guide will point out the sights and inform you about the rich history.

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Thanks @ridingdinneraustria for making me feel like a queen for the day! 💖 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Recently I had the pleasure I doing a tour with Riding Dinner in Vienna which was one of the coolest things I've ever done. As someone who loves horses, castles and good food it combined all my favourite things into a super dreamy experience. 🐴🍽🥂 . . . . . #ridingdinner #makefiakerfahrengreatagain #fiaker #viennacity #viennasightseeing #welovevienna #wien #seemycity #horseandcarriage #vienna #austria #femmetravel #wearetravelgirls #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #travelinladies #wanderlustlife #jetsetlife #girlsthatwander #girlswhotravel #lifewelltraveled #europe_ig #luxuryliving #luxuryvacations

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It was fairytale worthy and made me feel like a queen for the day. There is nothing like seeing Vienna’s famous white horses up close. I’m still dreaming about how I got to enjoy a glass of bubbly and see castles. It was pure bliss.

3. First Time Seeing Hungary

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I'm so excited to share with all of you over the next few weeks my experience aboard @croisieurope_official! It was my first river cruise, and I loved the experience so much.🚢 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For an entire week, I woke up in a new city. On the river cruise, I visited Austria, Hungary and Slovakia! 🇦🇹🇭🇺🇸🇰 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For those of you dreaming about exploring Europe, a river cruise is an easy way to do it. Not only does it take care of your meals, transportation, tours, and alchohlic drink package. For a 5 day tour on the Danube River you can find prices starting at $1000, which is a great deal consider everything is covered. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Over on my blog I've just shared more details about my cruise (link in profile). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❓Have you ever gone on a river cruise? If so how did you find the experience. . . . . #croisieuroperivercruises #croisieurope #cruise #travelgram #beautifuldestinations #wanderlustlife #jetsetlife #luxuryispersonal #luxurytraveller #luxurytravel #topeuropephoto #europetravel #europe_greatshots #europe_IG #discovereurope #sheisnotlost #dametraveler #darlingescapes #forbestravelguide #budapest #hungary #travelphotography

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I was delighted to scratch seeing Budapest off my bucket list (though I want to return to try the thermal baths). I got the chance to most all the top sights like the breathtaking Parliament Buildings, Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion.

While I haven’t gotten the chance to share my adventures yet, I also visited Esztergom and Kalcosca too.

2. Touring Europe On A River Cruise

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If you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you might have realized I love cruising. I’ve done two ocean cruises in the past, and this year I made a huge switch. Instead of sailing on the largest cruise ship in the world like I did last year, I boarded a little river cruise.

The boat was cozy, with just a handful of rooms and only one dining space. But I adored the experience, as unlike the giant cruise ships, the small river cruise could park directly at the ports of major cities. So you could walk off the boat and be a few minutes away from all the top sights.

Both are very different experiences, so it all depends if you want to see more on the boat, or more in the city.

1. Feeling Like Royalty In Austria (Dinner At A Palace)

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I swear I'm always on the hunt for beautiful castles. 🏰💁‍♀️Over on my blog (link in profile), I just shared my experience of exploring Belvedere Palace in Vienna. Curious what there is to see when visiting this castle? One must see sight is the famous The Kiss painting by Klimt! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . . . #traveladdict #ilovetravel#worldtravel #wunderlust #discoverglobe #igtravel #wounderful_places #travelblog #travelblogger #travel_ddestinations #vienna #austria @belvederemuseum #belvederemuseum #femmetravel #wearetravelgirls #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #travelinladies #wanderlustlife #jetsetlife #girlsthatwander #girlswhotravel #lifewelltraveled #europe_ig #luxuryliving #luxuryvacations

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I’m sorry, France and Japan you two are still some of my top places in the world – but Austria captured my heart too. In particular, the capital Vienna felt like it could be ‘home.’ I loved everything about the city, from the food (and all the desserts), the coffee scene, the art scene, the classical music. 

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Plus, there are castles everywhere! I spent a few days visiting the local castles like The Hofburg, Belvedere Palace and Schonbrunn Palace.

My absolute top moment in Vienna would have to be my visit to Schonbrunn Palace. It looks similar to Versaille in France, complete with a hall of mirrors. But what made my stay genuinely unique was not only did I get to see the elaborate gardens, tour the castle, see the zoo, but I had dinner at the castle!

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Typically Schonbrunn Palace is closed to the public in the evenings, but I purchased dinner and concert tickets to hear the palace orchestra play in their Great Gallery. It was a magical night where I got to see the castle without all the crowds and feel like I had the palace all to myself. It is a moment I’ll never forget.

Final Thoughts

I realize some of the moments above I haven’t had the chance to write about yet. I will be sharing those stories soon.

Thank you to each of you who continue to read my blog and interactive with me on social media. It means the world to me, and I hope I can help inspire you to plan your next adventure.

READ MORE:

My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2018

My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2017

My Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2016