2016 was an unforgettable year of travel, and making a shortlist of the top 10 travel experiences that I blogged about this year was no simple task. Without further ado, here are my top 10 travel moments of 2016
10. Time at the beach | Turks And Caicos
I’m someone that loves hot weather and despises cold temperature, so whenever possible in the winter I like to escape to somewhere warmer. After endless days of -15C to -30C temperature here in Ottawa in the middle of winter I was excited to soak in the sun and spend time in the crystal clear water on the beaches of Turks and Caicos.
Find out more about my time at Turks And Caicos.
9. Relaxing in the hot tubs at Nordik Spa-Nature | Gatineau, Canad
As someone who loves to spend an evening relaxing a bath, or soaking in a hot tub spending the entire day relaxing in the various giant hot tubs at the largest spa in North America, Nordik Spa Nature was exactly what I needed to ease sore muscles and leave this workaholic feeling rested and recharged. The spa offered so many types of pools and temperatures, but the fun social pool with the huge infinity pool where you can sip cocktails while chatting with friends was by far my favorite spot to unwind.
Find out more about my day at the spa.
8. Sailing for to a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty | New York, USA
In May while in New York City I had my first experience on a sailboat, and it so happened to be on Clipper tall ship. Sailing around the coastline of New York with the tall skyscrapers in the background until we coasted up near the Statue of Liberty was a dreamy experience. It has been years since my last visit to New York, but having the close-up view of lady liberty without all the crowds of tourists was amazing, and to top it off I was able to toast the end of my time in New York with a glass of bubbly on the boat.
Find out more about my tall ship tour of New York.
7. Watching the mesmerizing talent of Cirque Du Soleil | Montreal, Canada
In the spring I went on a road trip with two of my friends for a girls weekend in Montreal and had absolutely the perfect weekend. For the longest time, I’ve longed to see Cirque Du Soleil show, a circus show that originated in Quebec but now the themed shows take place all over the world. Seated right in front of the stages I was left spellbound by the astounding talent and breathtaking set design which transported me to Mexico.
Find out more about my experience watching Cirque Du Soleil in Montreal.
6. Strolling around Chateau Frontenac | Quebec City, Canada
It is strange how some memories, of even mundane moments, stick with you for years. Back in grade junior high school, I recall spending what felt like at the time studying a book about Chateau Frontenac, a famous hotel, and landmark in Quebec City. In 2016, it was my first time exploring Quebec City and I had the pleasure of going on the trip with many of the females on my mother’s side of the family, whose ancestors happen to be first settlers of Canada and arrived in lived in Quebec City. Strolling the streets around the beautiful Chateau Frontenac you feel like your are transported to France, and are a delight to explore.
Find out more about my time exploring Quebec City and Chateau Frontenac.
5. Spending time outdoors at luxurious “cottage” | Chertsey, Canada
From high school onwards I would often find myself spending a week away at the cottage in the summer, or even at times in the winter months, to get away from it all and enjoy some peaceful time outdoors. This fall, I happened to have the privilege of visiting the most luxurious cottage I’ve ever seen which now is my favourite vacation rental to date. The cottage, which was more a luxurious modern house located in nature offered all the amenities of being at a cottage with all the luxuries of staying at a 5-star hotel, and it happened to have a hot tub with a view of the cottage’s private waterfall. It was just amazing if only the cottage was closer to a city I would love to live in year-round.
Find out more about how to rent the luxurious cottage with a waterfall I stayed at.
4. Visting vineyard in Napa Valley | Napa, USA
Meeting up with an old high school friend this Fall I got to go wine tasting in the world famous Napa Valley where I got to visit vineyards and try various types of wine for a perfect day I will cherish forever.
Find out more about the Napa Valley winery tour I took.
3. Learning the art of falconry | Mont-Tremblant, Canada
Over the summer I got to enjoy relaxing outdoors at Mont-Tremblant, an amazing ski hill in Quebec, that I discovered is equally fun to visit in the summer. While visiting I signed up for a raptor training class, which happens to be another name for falconry. Venturing into the forest I practice calling letting a falcon fly around the forest and then calling it back to me. These amazing hunting birds are used in hunting, or more commonly at airports to scare away other birds, I was impressed by the falcon’s intelligence. I know I’m certainly eager to try working with falcons again in the future, I adored my time working with a bird of prey.
Find out more about my experience learning falconry.
2. Flying in a helicopter over Ottawa | Ottawa, Canada
One thing that has been on my bucket list for a while now was flying in a helicopter, so to start my birthday celebrations this year I boarded a helicopter for the first time and go flying around downtown Ottawa to see the Parliament buildings up close.
Find out more about my time flying in a helicopter over Ottawa.
1. Feeling like royalty at Ashford Castle | Cong, Ireland
Even now thinking about my time visiting Ashford Castle will cause a huge grin to spread across my face. As someone who often spends her free time reading or watching historical fiction I was thrilled to view the castle I had seen in the TV show Reign, which is the perfect fairytale castle that ever child and even most adults dream about visiting. For my stay at Ashford Castle, I was delighted by how warm and friendly the staff was while I explore the grounds or chatted with a friend over high tea. For a day, I felt like royalty, and I know without question next time I’m in Ireland I’ll be returning as Ashford Castle is the perfect hotel for me.
Find out more about my time at Ashford Castle.
I’m certainly excited for 2017 and all the new travel opportunities it brings! What was your favourite travel experience in 2016?