I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. I can honestly say that this was one of my favorite years for travel. I got to go to some pretty cool places and hit off some items off of my bucket list.
I have highlighted my trips for this year below and some of my favorite parts about them.
Travel Highlights of 2018
Tulum, Mexico – this was probably my favorite place I visited this year and one of my faves overall. I cannot begin to describe the feel of this place because it is incredible. There is so much to do and every place is unique and gives you major gypsy vibes. The beach is beautiful and the food gets better at every place you eat.
Recommendation: make sure to check out Casa Malca which used to be Pablo Escobar’s house.
Wassau, Wisconsin – I went skiing at Granite Peak which is located in Wassau. The skiing here is one of the best in the Midwest and the town is super cute and charming.
Recommendation: book a ski and stay package for the weekend to save some bucks!
New York City – ahhh New York is always a good idea. This was my second time in NYC and I absolutely loved it. Last time I went around Thanksgiving and this time I got to go towards the end of Winter, so it was nice to see the city in a different season. I got to explore a lot more of the city that I didn’t get to see last time. There is so much to do there that it is impossible to see all of it but luckily I did go back in May which for sure won’t be the last time also 🙂
Recommendation: check out Catch for some delicious sushi
Dallas, Texas – this was a bit of an impulse trip because I went solely to see a soccer match. It was probably one of the most memorable experiences of my life because I got to meet some of the players of the Croatian National Team. Although, I did spend some time in Dallas, I cannot say a whole lot about it since I did not have too much time to explore. It is a big city but there honestly isn’t a whole lot to see, so I would only go for a weekend.
Recommendation: make sure you have some BBQ because you’re in Texas after all 🙂
Denver, Colorado – this was a bucket list destination for me for a long time and I can happily say that I was able to check that off in 2018. Denver is perfect for some good beer, great eats, and lots of outdoors. Although, I want to explore a lot more of Colorado, Denver was the perfect way to start off.
Recommendation: take a trip out to see Red Rocks Amphitheater. It is really beautiful and a great way to get some fresh air.
Hamptons, New York – another trip that gets me to New York, yes please! This was a bucket list destination that I did not even know I had. One of my friends celebrated her birthday there which is why I made out that way. It was the perfect place for a girls weekend or just trip with your friends. You get those east coast nautical feels all over the place and there is so much to see and do. Prepare to spend lots of cash because it is catered to the rich and famous.
Recommendation: if you plan on going with a group of people, rent out a house and cook a few days to save on some money; so you can spend it on boozy brunches and nights out instead.
Nashville, Tennessee – honky tonk central is a great time always and it is perfect for live music and some great southern food. I got the pleasure of coming here for the second time but this time got to enjoy the city a bit more. I spent a few days with my mom on our annual mother daughter trip and it was super relaxing and filled with lots of exploring around town.
Recommendation: make sure you visit the Gaylord Opryland Resort. It is huge and so well designed, that it is a must. It is like visiting a Las Vegas Hotel; there are shops, and restaurants and lots to see.
Chicago, Illinois – ok so this one is not necessarily a travel destination but it is definitely one of the biggest highlights of the year. I finally had made the big girl move and left my parent’s place to move to Chicago (something I wanted to do since high school). Now, this isn’t the first time I lived away from my parents. There was study abroad in Italy and of course college, but this move was different. This move was me spreading my independent wings and finally calling myself an adult…well kind of haha. The best part of the move is I can finally explore more of my new hometown and I cannot wait to share more with you guys in the next year.
Recommendation: try that Deep Dish Pizza! Lou Malnatis, Gino East, Giordanos and Pizzeria Uno are a few popular spots you can try it at.
Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina – this was such a heartwarming trip because I got to celebrate my grandpas 80th birthday. My dad and I went to surprise my grandparents and it was amazing to see my family. On top of all that, my mom’s side of the family drove down a few hours to surprise my dad and I, so it was just a very memorable trip to say the least.
Recommendation: if you are visiting Prijedor, make your way over to Kozara National Park. It is absolutely breathtaking and if you are going during winter, you can ski and snowboard as well.
Zagreb, Croatia – the capital of one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it was my first time seeing it as an adult. The weather was amazing so it made sightseeing that much better, but overall it was a great way to spend the weekend and enjoy some time in a beautiful city.
Recommendation: go during Advent to witness of the best ones in Europe. The Christmas markets will leave you speechless and make sure to try all the local food.
Galena, Illinois – the perfect weekend getaway was followed by my amazing European trip. This trip really gave me time to relax and have fun with my friends. Also, it snowed so it made the whole experience magical and got me ready for the busy season of December.
Recommendation: make sure you go into town to check out all the local shops. There are so many great finds from clothes to food to gift ideas.
This year was definitely one filled with lots of travel. I feel very blessed and thankful that we live in such a beautiful place and that we have the opportunity to see this world. As I look back on this year, it makes me excited to see where my future travels will take me.
Here is to 2018 and cheers to an adventurous 2019!
Happy Travels – xoxo Dre ❤