2018 was packed with adventures—for both business and pleasure—and milestones. 29 years of my life passed by without me ever visiting Africa, but in 2018 I went three times. Other firsts included: riding a snowmobile, surfing, exploring a ghost town, seeing wild elephants, and getting my dog a passport. Going to the top of a mountain, climbing desert dunes, and completing the 30×30 challenge. Here’s a recap of where I up and went during this crazy year on the go.
Up and Gone: 2018’s Travel Year in Review
We kicked off 2018 in Cape Town, nearly halfway through our three-week tour through South Africa and Namibia. I loved the color and energy of the Mother City, and was swept away by the rugged beauty of South Africa’s national parks.
One visit to South Africa was planned, the other a pleasant surprise. I worked a shoot back in Cape Town in November, full of waterfalls, parrots, puddles, and wine.
Tim and I are big fans of epic road trips, and our drive through the wilds of Namibia was no exception. It was so freeing to be so far off the grid—with no service, no people, and nothing to see but the undulating landscape.
I’ve got a ton of photos of Namibia here, but of my favorite shots from that trip is one of the stars. Given that it was shot on a GoPro by a relative photography novice, it’s not the most insanely beautiful photo ever, but I think it’s still an incredible capture of the starlight.
Working as an ad creative lets you do some pretty epic things. I worked a two-week-long shoot in Vancouver that was the very definition of grueling, but it led to some simply stunning moments.
My favorite moment (possibly of the year), was a snowmobile ride down the back of Blackcomb Mountain. I’ve never done snow sports or gone to the mountains, so I was completely unprepared for the pristine, almost unspeakable beauty of such a place.
Our road trip to Kraków was our first adventure with Heidi. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was to travel with a dog—and how dog-friendly much of Europe can be.
Though I’m typically in charge of the travel planning and logistics, there’s one trip every year that Tim takes on completely on his own. This year, he arranged a surprise trip to Greece: starting in Athens, and ending in Naxos.
I couldn’t get enough of the sun, sea, and salt air—so maybe it’s no surprise that my favorite part of the trip was the ferry journey out to our Greek island destination.
There’s nothing quite like sharing a place you know and love with someone who’s never been there. Tim and I spent a long weekend taking a bite out of the Big Apple back in September—spending time with friends, eating all the bagels, and being unapologetic touristy at every spot from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.
The year got so hectic I haven’t even gotten to complete a lot of the posts I had scheduled! While visiting Jamaica during rainy season wasn’t the best idea we’d ever had, it did give us some epic moments—like this drive through the Blue Mountains:
Again, so much to process, so little time! We headed out of our comfort zone on a weeklong exploration of this ancient and wonder-filled place—without a guide, tour, or package. It was thrilling in every sense of the word. There’s a ton more posts in the pipeline on this trip—I hope you’ll bear with me as I get through writing them!
While we went far and wide (6 countries in one year!), I also made Berlin more of a home. Tim and I adopted our Heidi, and brought her from the U.S. to here. We spent the summer rooting for Deutschland in the World Cup (well, part of the summer), went on a day trip to Potsdam, saw Beyoncé perform at the Olympiastadion, and fêted the opening of Germany’s first rye whiskey distillery. And last but not least, I applied for my German settlement permit.
It was a jam-packed and often-times chaotic year, but I’m grateful to have spent so much of it on the go. I’m even more grateful to have shared it with a travel partner who pushes my comfort zone, protects me from any freakish insects we encounter, generously indulges all of my photo breaks, and never fails to be there when I need him.
Tim deeply encouraged and supported me in putting more effort into blogging this year—and sharing all these stories, experiences, and lessons learned with you has made every trip so much richer.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you many happy travels in 2019!