2016 was one of our most low key travel years. In fact, we didn’t even travel for a good 4 months of the year (which is unusual for us)! Yet, somehow, we managed to go to a plethora of places. We are truly blessed and never take our travel adventures for granted. Here’s a recap of all the destinations we navigated to in 2016.
Cruise Ships: 2
Disneyland Hong Kong
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney
Getting to yet another Disney park was on one of our wishlist, two guesses who!
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Main Street Station
Mickey Greets at Entrance
The best part of Hong Kong were the markets! So much fun strolling, bargaining and snagging great deals! Everyone thinks of Hong Kong as a big city and while that’s certain true, there are some beautiful countrysides to explore as well. Be sure to check out Ngong Ping 360 on Lantau island and visit the Big Buddha. It’s such a serene place.
Man Mo Temple
Known as the Spring city of China, Kunming is a mild tempered city in the Yunnan province and not easy to get around if you don’t know Chinese or aren’t traveling with someone who knows Chinese. Fortunately for us, we have Saadia’s brother who lives there to help us navigate the city.
Chinese Street Food
Great Wall of China
Hiking the Great Wall of China has been one of the most exhilarating life experiences! Getting to hike two more sections this year was the icing on top of an already enormous cake. Can’t wait to continue to add more sections of the Great Wall to our travels!
Beijing is a city full of incredibly history and culture. Having been there twice, we still haven’t explored most of what the city has to offer. Forbidden City alone can take half a day to explore; be prepared for a lot of walking. Don’t forget to pack your comfortable shoes!
Temple of Heaven
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Boston is one of our favorite US cities. Home to the top universities in the nation, major historical sites, and landmark buildings, it’s charm, history, and coziness brings us back to it over and over again.
Massachusetts State House
Boston Public Library
Austin, Texas, USA
Our favorite thing about Austin is the delicious food scene! Every single meal we had was extraordinarily outstanding. If you’re ever in need of a good dinner spot, head to Lenoir. The ingredients are almost exclusively from Texas’ community of farmers and food artisans. The menu changes according to the seasons of the state and is an absolutely delight of a spot. Be sure to make reservations in advance, but if you have to wait, trust us when we say it is worth it.
Dinner at Lenoir
Congress Bridge View
A beautiful island with beautiful people. Unfortunately, our most memorable moment (not in a good way) will always be Saadia’s moped accident where she wound up with a fractured foot. Despite that, we cannot deny the beauty of the island’s beaches. Next time you’re in Bermuda, be sure to visit all of these beaches.
Tobacco Bay Beach
One of our favorite trips this year was our road trip through Arizona. The landscape was intense, dramatic and mystically inviting. There is so much more to Arizona than the Grand Canyon (not that we would ever take away from the wonder of that). Here are some shots from our favorite places in the Copper State.
Glen Canyon Reservation
From Page, Arizona, Utah is just a few miles away. Naturally, we extended our road trip over the border for some breathtaking sites! We can’t wait to revisit Utah and explore the rest of the Beehive State.
Zion National Park
We attended the first ever SnapHappen in September; it was such a wonderful experience! And while out there, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous Autumn weather quintessential London sites.
Double Decker and Underground Station
One of the goals of visiting England was to get away from London and see the countryside. So we headed to the Cotswold for a weekend of relaxation in the English countryside.
A free layover in Reykjavik is one of our favorite reasons to fly IcelandAir. Whether you have a long or short layover, there is something for you to see and do to get you out of the airport.
View from Hallgrímskirkja
Denmark is consistently listed as one of the happiest countries in the world. When you visit Copenhagen and meet the Danish, it’s very easy to see why. One of our favorite discoveries during this second trip to Copenhange was the Papiroen (indoor Copenhagen street food vendors). With an overwhelming amount of options to choose from, this place begs repeat visits.
Copenhagen Street Food, Papiroen
The next time you’re in Copenhagen, if you have 4 hours to spare, hop on a train and head to Malmo, Sweden. It was a quiet town when we went on a midweek midday trip, but for 9€ each way, it’s worth seeing another city in another country.
Malmo Central Station
St. Peters Church
Berlin is one of Kapil’s favorite cities in the world and he’s been there about a half a dozen time. This was a first visit for Saadia and she was super excited to see what Kapil loved so much about the city. Do not be fooled, Berlin is HUGE and takes repeat visits to really take everything in.
Berlin Wall, East Gallery
A day trip to Dresden from Berlin can take anywhere from 3-4 hours by bus (depending on traffic), but even though it was quite rushed for us, we were glad to have visited this elegant historic city. Take a guided tour if you’re short on time, you’ll learn so much!
Kapil attended TBEX Asia Pacific this year and had a brilliant experience in Manila. The city is full of incredibly gracious locals and makes you feel welcome at once. So touched by their generosity and kindness.
Unique memories: The time he accidentally ate pork floss and of course his first jeepney ride.
Pork Floss or Candy?
Life of the Electric Wires
Inside the Jeepney
Mall of Asia
One of the most iconic sites in Bavaria is the Neuschwanstein castle. So stunningly beautiful that no matter what time of the year you visit, you are sure to be treated to sensational views. It’s easy to see why Walt Disney fell in love with it and used it as inspiration for the Sleepy Beauty castle seen in many of the parks.
Kapil was incredibly sick when he made his way to Neuschwanstein. Enjoy the gorgeous and unique shots!
Nature in Hohenschwangau
Even with just a couple of hours in Salzburg, you can take in some of the main sites. Be warned though, to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress you’ll need quite a few hours on hand to really enjoy the 900 year old, completely preserved castle.
In the autumn, we don’t have to travel too far for some spectacular foliage sighting. A relatively short and handicap accessible path leads you to the views of both the Silverhead Falls and Dingman’s Falls, making it a great little outing that everyone in the family can enjoy. For those who’d like a bit more of a challenge, you can go up approximately 280 steps to get closer to the Dingman’s Falls.
Key West, Florida, USA
The southern most tip of the Continental USA, Key West, is a 3 hour drive from Miami. It’s a lovely spot for some weekend R&R and if key lime is your thing, then you won’t find a more authentic place to try all things Key Lime.
Key West Museum of Art & History
We’ve been to the Bahamas before and the water is a bright turquoise, but it wasn’t until we got to Half Moon Cay, Carnival Cruise Line’s private island, did we see the most vibrant hues of turquoise blue we’ve ever laid our eyes on! The water is crystal clear and this island/beach totally makes our top 5 list!
Half Moon Cay
Nassau Cruise Port
California is hands down our favorite state in the country – ok ok, ONE of our favorite states. We go there about once a year, but this year Saadia went on a short trip to attend one of her long time friend’s wedding in Cambria. The drive up the Pacific Coast Highway was perfect on this beautiful autumn weekend.
Cambria Pines Lodge
We did it! We made it to Rome! It wasn’t an easy trip at all (see our worst moments of 2016). But despite that, and the complexity of this city, we have some epic photography from our travels to this historic and grand city. Here’s a quick preview of some of our favorites.
Our 42nd country! We spent an entire day and we still didn’t manage to see everything! Mind you, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world at .44 square km. So how did we not manage to see it all? Because the Vatican museums alone takes HOURS to explore. So needless to say, we’ll be back!
St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Square
New York City, New York, USA
This December we spent the holiday season at home, when New York City is at its finest. The city is lit up in decorations, filled with Christmas markets, topped with spectacular live shows and adorned in Christmas trees at all the iconic sites (not just at the Rockefeller Center). Holiday magic is everywhere!
And that’s a wrap for us in 2016!
Where did you travel to this past year? What are your plans for 2017?
Share below, we’d love to hear from you!
Till next time, Happy and Safe Travels!