2017 was an eventful year, filled with lots of adventure. So much adventure, that it was difficult to decide my favorite experiences of the year. I really want to shout, all of it, but there were some great highlights, so in no particular order, here are my favorite travel experiences of 2017.
Snorkeling Granito de Oro Island, Panama
Snorkeling around Granito de Oro Island was a fantastic experience. Being my first time ever snorkeling, I was grateful for Liza from Uncruise, who patiently instructed me and the other novice snorkelers.
We saw colorful fish, a sand shark, and one of favorite moments of the year, watching a hawksbill turtle swim to the surface.
Read More At: Snorkeling Granito de Oro Island-Panama
Guesting on a Travel Podcast
I have a bit of a podcast addiction. I love podcasts and podcasters. They are my life-lines during my long, cubicle filled, days, so I was ecstatic when one of my favorite podcasts, Travel Stories, asked if I’d like to be a guest on the show. I still have a hard time believing that this actually happened.
It was a wonderful experience. I had a great time chatting with Travel Stories host, Hayden Lee, during recording, and for a long time after we were finished recording. He is a cool, fascinating guy, with a calming, hypnotic voice. Right now he is motorcycling around Europe, so I recommend checking out the podcast to hear all about his latest travel experiences.
Read More At : Guesting on a Travel Podcast
Paragliding in Cape Town
Paragliding was on our bucket list for a while, and the experience did not disappoint.
We went with Cape Town Tandem Paragliding, and we are now hooked. It was such a relaxing, peaceful, and eye pleasing experience. I look forward to paragliding in our future travels.
Making New Friends
Being an introvert, I was nervous about the prospect of having to spend a week trapped on a boat with strangers, during our Uncruise. Not only was there nothing to be worried about, all of the crew and fellow guests were amazing, interesting,travel enthusiasts. We disembarked with lots of new friends, that thanks to social media, we’re able to remain in contact with.
I think making new friends is one of my favorite parts of traveling.
Sunset on Table Mountain
After postponing paragliding, due to the wind, we scrambled to find something to do on Friday night in Cape Town. We decided to go Table Mountain to watch the sunset, and it was amazing!
Cruising through the Panama Canal
Cruising through the Panama Canal is on a lot of people’s bucket list. I feel eternally grateful that we were able to check it off of ours.
We were in sheer awe of the massiveness of the structure and the intricacies of the operation.
I highly recommend cruising through the Panama Canal.
Read More At: Cruising Through the Panama Canal with Uncruise
South Africa Wine Tour
Not just one of the best wine tours, but one of the best tours we’ve ever been on. We went on a wine tour while staying in Cape Town, with Wine Flies.
Mark, our guide, was awesome. We got to visit five beautiful wineries, each with its own, unique vibe.
A lot of food was included, from cheese, to our yummy braai lunch, to a chocolate and wine pairing.
It was a marvelous day.
Wild Life, Wild Life, and More Wild Life
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A Private Dinner on a Boat in Africa
After our sunset cruise commenced, we found out that we were the only people to book dinner after the cruise, so we ended up having a private, lantern lite, delicious dinner, on a boat, on the Zambezi River in Africa.
It was a dining experience we will never forget.
Read More At: Zambezi Sunset and Dinner Cruise – Zimbabwe
Creating an audio tour for VoiceMap
It was an excellent travel writing experience and I felt very accomplished, and was very proud to represent my home city, after completing my audio tour, Art and Controversy in Philadelphia
The project was made even better, when I got to meet Gary and Ian from VoiceMap when I visited Cape Town. There are a lot of great audio tours on VoiceMap, so definitely check them out.
Read More At: Creating an Audio Tour for VoiceMap
Kayaking Around Isla Tortuga
All of the kayaking that we did during our Uncruise to Panama/Costa Rica was impressive, but kayaking around the rock formations near Isla Tortuga was my favorite.
The sky was perfect, the water clear and blue, and the scenery was stunning.
Read More At: Kayaking Isla Tortuga – Costa Rica
Good Friday Procession in Casco Viejo, Panama City
Because of how our Uncruise was scheduled, we spent the day in Panama City on Good Friday. We discovered that on Good Friday, the thing to do is to walk a particular route, and visit all of the historic churches in Casco Viejo. We picked up a map, and decided to join in.
The churches were beautiful and it was a lovely, moving, experience.
It was my favorite unplanned activity of our travel year.
Read More At: Good Friday Procession-Casco Viejo-Panama
The Penguin Experience at Two Oceans Aquarium
I was going to lump this in with wildlife, but Shannon insisted that Hopper the Rescue Penguin get his due, and I agree.
At the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, you can spend an hour with rescue penguins in the penguin enclosure (the proceeds go towards penguin conservation).
They don’t guarantee that the penguins will want to interact with you, but we barely sat down, when Hopper waddled over to us and jumped up on our laps.
He loves attention and he hung out with us the whole time, letting us pet his head and scratch his belly.
He was the coolest. We were overjoyed by the experience.
We were fortunate to be able to take two trips of a lifetime during 2017 and we knocked quite a few things off our travel bucket list. We can’t wait to see what travel experiences 2018 brings.
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