As the streets begin to echo with people sighing “Can you believe how fast this year went?!”, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on what a year it was. 2017 was a big, transitional year for me, as you know if you’ve been following along.
I quit my union job to pursue a career in writing and marketing, one that isn’t location dependant or structured to allow for as much exploration as possible. I moved into a new apartment in Vancouver, BC with my other half. And my passport got quite the workout, traveling on 17 amazing trips to all corners of world.
At the beginning of this year, I made it a goal of mine to explore my province of British Columbia more, but also took a few trips overseas before my wanderlustin’ feet got too impatient.
I’ve rounded up my highlights from this year, with a few photos to inspire you to do some 2018 trip planning. Hopefully it will inspire you to visit a few of these destinations!
I kicked off the year with an amazing trip to Maui with Taylor. We sipped piña coladas, ate too many fish tacos, went whale watching, drove the road to Hana, laid on the beach and watched sunset after sunset counting our blessings and thinking about the year ahead. It was one of those trips that break your heart as you load up the car to return to the airport. I’m really hoping to get back there next year! If you’re thinking of booking a trip, check out my guide on where to stay here.
Apex Mountain, British Columbia
Apex Mountain isn’t as popular or well known as the bigger Sun Peaks’, Big White’s and Whistler’s of the province, but that just adds to the charm. We visited the mountain with some friends, went snowboarding, played board games, drank (a few) bottles of red wine and laughed so hard our abs (already sore from a day on the mountains) got a bonus work-out (which helped burn off the wine and late night pizza bagels).
La Fortuna & Monteverde Costa Rica
Costa Rica was the epitome of a bucket list trip for me. In March, myself, along with my sister and cousin, were transported to a lush oasis of greenery, coast line, and adventure. Costa Rica exceeded all of my expectations.
In La Fortuna we visited hot springs, hiked a volcano, and drank Costa Rican rum with the locals. Afterwards, we moved on to Monteverde where adventure seekers flock for a rush of adrenaline. We zip lined some of the longest and highest zip lines in the world over the cloud forest, and walked along suspension bridges set amongst hundreds of different plant and animal species. It was an experience of a lifetime (minus the whole putting my hand in monkey poop thing.)
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Okayyyy, Santa Teresa. We get it. You’re sensational. This little hidden gem on the coast has quite the reputation, but it took seeing it for myself to truly believe the magic that resides in this quaint surf town. I wrote all about my experience here. We ended our Costa Rican adventure relaxing on the beach, learning to surf, and practicing yoga with the ocean a few meters away (Oh, and hanging out with Tom Brady and Gisele. #Nobiggie). It was the definition of Pura Vida.
Palm Springs, California x 3
Palm Deezy! My home away from home. If I’m lucky, I visit Palm Springs at least 2-3 times a year. We have a condo there, and since it’s only a measly 2 hour and 15 minute flight away, it almost feels wrong not to visit. I spent a great deal of my childhood in the desert, and there is no feeling quite like stepping off the plane to that open-aired airport. In 2018, be on the look out for a lot more content related to Palm Springs, as I’d love to share more of my favorite place on earth with you guys!
My happy place ✨ ☼ Some of you may not know that I spent 6 months a year in Palm Springs growing up. Every year I’d go to two different elementary schools, make two sets of friends, and nod along pretending I wasn’t totally confused by kilometres versus miles or how to spell the word colour. ☼ I strongly believe that this unconventional childhood contributed to my ever growing wanderlust + desire to never stay in one place too long ☼ Now, whenever I come back, it’s so much more than an escape from the rain or day-to-day realities. It’s home 💕
Joshua Tree National Park, California
As mentioned, I’ve been going to Palm Springs my whole life and surprisingly had never visited Joshua Tree National Park until this year. We visited the national park with a few friends and I was blown away with the scenery. I highly recommend staying for golden hour as the park really comes alive at that time of night. We finished our trip with an meal at the iconic Pappy and Harriets restaurant and music venue. Click here to read my post on how to do a Joshua Tree Day Trip the right way.
Las Vegas, Nevada
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so I’ll leave this short and sweet. In June, 9 of us girls traveled to the strip for a bachelorette party to celebrate one of my best friends tying the knot. Britt is getting married in Mexico in May 2018, and this weekend getaway was the perfect send off and celebration. We danced, drank, and the rest can be left up to your imagination.
In February of this year, I applied to be one of 15 women to attend a blogging retreat hosted by The Blonde Abroad. I almost spit out my mushroom risotto when the e-mail buzzed through my phone telling me I had been chosen. The experience was one I won’t soon forget, and can be attributed to how far I have come with this little space on the internet here at Kaylchip.com.
Canggu itself is an incredible destination to visit if you love health and wellness, surfing, beach life, boutique fashion and need to unwind and relax. If you are visiting Bali, a trip to Canggu is a must. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Canggu here for everything you need!
I last visited Ubud in 2010, and to say it has changed since then would be an understatement. While I was a little disappointed to see the increase of infrastructure and tourist attractions, Ubud still holds it’s organic charm. It’s just visited by a fewwwww (thousand) more people each year. I knew it would be hard to keep this place quiet for long.
In July, I was so honoured to be a part of my soul sister Shannon’s wedding in the beautiful setting of St. Andrews by-the-sea. We flew into Saint John and drove to the East Coast of Canada, my first trip to this side of the country. I was blown away by the good energy, gorgeous scenery and incredible seafood available at every turn. The wedding was stunning, Shannon looked beautiful, and it was so lovely to celebrate such a special day with them! If you ever want to visit, staying at the haunted Algonquin Resort is a must!
Halifax, Nova Scotia
After the wedding, Taylor and I drove to Halifax. We explored the Tall Ships Festival, ate our way through every type of seafood on the menu’s, and took a few day trips to Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. I would highly recommend visiting all three of these places if you’re ever on the East Coast of Canada. If you do, check out my 3-days in Halifax itinerary.
Boston was probably the biggest surprise of all amongst my travels this year. My boyfriend Taylor has always been obsessed with Boston (he lives for the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox). I really didn’t have many expectations going into the trip, and I left wondering when I’d be able to put a down payment on a brownstone. I fell in love. We explored as many neighbourhoods as we could, went to 2 Red Sox games, frequented a few bars and made friends with the locals. It was the perfect trip and I really want to make a point of going back as soon as possible!! If you’re heading to Boston, this is a must-read.
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
As I mentioned, one of my goals this year was to explore my own backyard a little more. My sister, mom and myself wanted to take a trip together this year, and I sort of forced them to go to Salt Spring Island :-P. We stayed in an incredible Air-B-n-B right on the water, visited the local artisan shops, breweries, and wineries and took in a yoga class and an epic hike around Mount Maxwell. To read all my recommendations for an amazing trip of your own, check out my post.
Victoria, British Columbia
In October, Taylor ran a half marathon in Victoria, BC, our province capital. I drank wine and ate pasta. Same, same but different. I was so happy to have an excuse to visit the island as I hadn’t been there for a few years. One of my best friends used to live there, so back in the day you could bet on finding me there on a summer weekend at Upstairs, or drinking buckets on a rooftop. This time around, we explored the town, had high tea at the Fairmont, and took my first ever helicopter ride!
Penticton, British Columbia
I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Penticton over the last 5 years as Taylor has family there. This year, we toured wineries, spent days on the water boating, and made a point of spending some quality time with his family. I always love getting away from the city, and this quick 4 hour drive always feels like a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life.
And there ya go! 2017 in trips. This was such a fun post to write because it gave me a chance to reflect on all the experience I had this year. Looking at the horizon of 2018, I have some exciting adventures ahead! I will be starting the year in Palm Springs, going to Mexico for a wedding, traveling to Europe with Taylor for the first time (he has never been to Europe!) and you’ll just have to stay tuned for the rest!
Wishing you a beautiful end to 2017 and here’s to wandering this beautiful world in 2018.