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My Top 5 Travel Highlights of 2016

This was a big year in travel for me, since it marked the first time I really traveled alone or with friends, and all after my divorce. I’d always traveled with my ex, and I worried a little that I wouldn’t travel as much without him, but I’ve found the opposite to be true (whew).

I’d like to start a tradition of sharing my sort of highlight reel of moments I treasure as the year draws to a close. Let’s get started.

1. Hiking to Rifugio Nuvolau in the Dolomites


The entire experience hiking from rifugio to rifugio was something completely new to me, and is a memory I’ll always keep close. But funnily enough, the memory that is sharpest is the day I had my panic attack as a storm chased us. That leg of the hike was the most challenging, and yet, when we arrived at Rifugio Nuvolau, it became the most rewarding. Why? For one, I acknowledged that was the hardest thing I’d ever done. And I survived. And two, the views from so high up were marvelous. Those are my favorite photos fromt he entire trip.

2. Making Yoga Friends in Tuscany


The Italy trip was filled with so many highlights, but I promise I won’t take up the entire list with them. While I went for some yoga and quiet healing on my retreat in Tuscany, what I came back with were lifetime friends who live local to me. They supported me as I shared my pain, and they’ve been there ever since we got back. In fact, most of us are planning to go to the 2017 yoga retreat in Provence!

3. Spending Time with My Family in Hot Springs


It’s not often that I get to see my two older brothers, so this summer was special because we all met (plus one’s girlfriend and two kids) in Hot Springs, Arkansas (where I grew up). We had such good, simple times, just sitting in the carport as it rained all week (a welcome alternative to the usual 95+ degree humid weather) and talking.  We enjoyed our requisite shrimp boil and even ventured out to a childhood favorite attraction, Mid-America Museum. A good time was had by all.

4. San Francisco with Max


This was our first mother/son post-divorce trip together, and I was a little nervous. He’s so much like me (stubborn, impatient) that I worried we’d bicker the entire weekend or he wouldn’t want to leave the hotel room. But instead, my lovely tween was uber appreciative of our meal in Fisherman’s Wharf, and we had some great laughs.

5. My Not-So-Silent Yoga Retreat


Shortly after things in my personal life fell apart last spring, I sought solace at the San Diego Spiritual Retreat Center near Julian, California. This was another instance where I had one set of expectations (to have a silent retreat and be alone with my pain) and I got something else, something better. I made instant friends with the owner, Jennifer, as well as the various global citizens who were temporarily calling the center home. I went back a few months later and made more friends.

Not a bad year, and this isn’t even all of my highlight reel! Here’s to even more adventures in 2017.

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