Up and Gone: 2019’s Year in Travel

While 2018 was packed with adventure, 2019 felt much more leisurely. There were work trips, pleasure trips, surprise trips. Beach trips and city trips. But most were short getaways, or trips back home to California. 2019 brought a lot of instability and curveballs—including one cancelled trip and one bout of severe travel sickness…but it reminded us to be grateful of what we have, where we are, and where we get to go. Here’s a recap of where I up and went during this year.

Up and Gone: 2019’s Year in Travel


Living abroad is great fun, but it’s also good to head “back home” for a stretch. I headed home alone in February to visit friends up and down California—beach hikes in San Diego, axe-throwing in LA, and hitting up a few of my favorite local San Francisco haunts.


While Tim and I had spent a week in Mallorca before (sometimes called the 17th German state before), this time I went for work. The adventure-outdoors of Vancouver were behind me as I switched client accounts from GORE-TEX to Zalando, a fashion retailer here in Germany. Luxury villas, beautiful models, and a room full of racks of the freshest styles—what a shoot!


I was very excited to head to Cannes for the “Oscars of Advertising” this year. While I didn’t have any work up for awards, there were some incredible talks, innovations, work, and…well, rosé…up for absorption—and absorb I did!


In case you missed all the Vienna posts—well, we went to Vienna! Mom met me in this gorgeous city and we got right down to making the most out of our Vienna Passes. While we didn’t see all the museums in Vienna, or go to every coffeehouse, we did see quite of lot. Including day trips to Salzburg and Bratislava, our 7-day itinerary was a cultural treasure chest. My favorite stop was the National Library, which was unbelievably beautiful.


Every year, Tim plans a surprise trip for our anniversary. This year we went to Sardinia, which was hands-down my favorite trip of the year. The clean beaches, delicious food, and laid-back vibes made it instantly clear why Sardinia is sometimes called the “Caribbean of Europe”.

2019 brought a lot of instability and curveballs—including one cancelled trip and one bout of severe travel sickness. Read how to deal with common travel problems here!


We finally made it down to Munich for Oktoberfest! If you think it a shame that I’d lived in Germany for nearly four years and never gone, you’ll laugh to hear that it was also Tim’s first time. Nowhere are the differences between Berlin and Bavaria more apparent than at the Wiesn—I learned a lot about what to know before you go to Oktoberfest the first time, and am already looking forward to next year’s Maß!


For us, Barcelona was all about beach, eat, sleep, repeat…neatly scheduled around the ideal times to visit Gaudi. We searched for the best tapas in Barcelona (and I do believe we found them!). Though not our first choice (Barcelona took the place of our cancelled nature trip to Switzerland), we had a relaxing time enjoying this laid-back, stylish Spanish city.


Given that my work trip lasted only three days, I barely scratched the surface of Dubai. But I found the city to be full of contradictions. Both traditional and modern, conservative and innovative, old and new…and funny enough…dusty and sparkling.

Cabo San Lucas

We planned to surprise my family for Thanksgiving, but given I’d already been home once already this year, we decided to hop from SFO down to Baja California for a week of fun in the sun in Mexico. It quickly became evident that the travel gods were not on our side. Not only was whale-watching cancelled because the whales hadn’t arrived, but we caught dysentery halfway through our trip. (Yes, Oregon Trail-style dysentery) It wiped us out for the rest of our trip, and several days back home as well. While it wasn’t the strongest end to this year’s travel, it did remind us to never take our strong bodies and good health for granted.


2019 was the year Germany really felt like home. For one thing, Tim and I really doubled-down on our efforts to explore the city, both through Berlin date nights, and food-themed explorations (check out my ever-growing list of the best places to eat Asian food in the German capital). With the rest of the country, we celebrated 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9. But most importantly, I got my German permanent residency, which gave a lot more stability to this volatile expat life.

Thank you for reading this year in travel! I wish you many happy adventures in 2020!