My Greatest Journey Moments of 2022

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2022 was a 12 months of gorgeous journey moments. This 12 months took me to 9 international locations — Mexico, the US, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Iceland, the UK, Portugal, and Austria — and 9 new locations that I named the perfect of 2022.

Going by my month-to-month recaps to create this submit was an absolute pleasure. And it jogged my memory that lots of my favourite journey moments are round good surroundings, good meals, and good folks. (Then once more, three of those are HIKING. When did I turn into a hiker?!)

Additionally, you may discover that a number of of those moments — the tacos al pastor cooking class, Sardinia crusing journey, Xochimilco boat journey, and Lucha Libre wrestling occasion, have been Airbnb Experiences! Airbnb Experiences might be my favourite place to guide excursions and actions proper now, as a result of it’s largely small, unbiased tour suppliers moderately than massive firms.

That may change. In any case, Airbnb lodging was universally funky and different earlier than massive builders obtained maintain of it. However the experiences are nice for now.

And with out additional ado — listed below are my finest journey moments of 2022.

Kate and Charlie taking a smiling selfie wearing sunglasses. Kate holds up one hand and you can see an engagement ring on her finger. Behind them, Renaissance buildings set on a lake.

Getting Engaged in Lake Como

Getting engaged after three years collectively was undoubtedly the spotlight of the 12 months! Charlie requested me to marry him in a backyard in Bellagio, Italy, near the shores of Lake Como.

Sure, I did know the proposal was coming. (Who proposes out of the blue? That’s insane!!) I knew it might occur someday on our three-week Italy journey this summer season. However I didn’t know he would reserve it for the final night time of the Italy journey!

He advised me he waited as a result of he needed it to be someplace particular to us. Lake Como was already particular for us as a result of it was the primary place we went away collectively, and it’s the sort of place we might return to time and again.

After the proposal, we celebrated in our favourite fashion — wine and salume. Beginning with two glasses of glowing Franciacorta, adopted by Barolo for me and Amarone for him, and many meats and cheeses.

I really feel so fortunate that I discovered Charlie and we get to spend our lives collectively and can take many, many extra journeys to Italy!

Kate in a long gray dress with her arms around her sister, with blonde wavy hair and a white embroidered dress, and Matt in a white shirt and dark tie. They are on a dance floor at a wedding.

My Sister’s Wedding ceremony in Cape Cod

My sister and brother-in-law have been among the many {couples} who pushed again their weddings resulting from COVID. They determined to have a micro-wedding in 2020 and push again the large wedding ceremony till 2021. The next 12 months, their wedding ceremony venue was offered and the brand new proprietor canceled all of the weddings. I’m sorry, THE FUCK?!

Lastly, lastly, they’d their initially deliberate Cape Cod wedding ceremony in September. I used to be the maid of honor. And was this wedding ceremony EVER well worth the wait.

Not solely did the venue (Nauset Seaside Inn in Orleans) showcase one of many Cape’s finest seashores, this wedding ceremony introduced so many individuals collectively and saved the nice vibes going all night time. Lots of people mentioned it was the perfect wedding ceremony they’ve been to, and it’s in all probability the perfect one I’ve been to, too!

And I recognize that Sarah and Matt didn’t really feel like they wanted to incorporate all of the traditions. Speeches? HELL NO TOO BORING. First dance? ONLY 10 SECONDS THEN EVERYONE JOINS IN. Dramatic first entrance? NOPE WE’RE HANGING OUT BEFORE. Youngsters? NOPE LOL. Cake? HOW ABOUT CAPE COD DIRT BOMBS INSTEAD?

So grateful that they have been in a position to have their dream wedding ceremony.

Kate taking a smiling selfie in sunglasses in front of an active volcano spewing bright red lava.

Climbing to a Reside Volcano in Iceland

Now and again, you time a visit completely. That was the case for the Iceland street journey Amanda and I deliberate for August. On August 3, Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula started erupting. We have been scheduled to reach on August 12.

Immediately, we switched round our itinerary so we may hike to the volcano on our first day. We wakened early, parked within the very busy car parking zone, and set out on our journey.

It took about two hours to hike to the volcano — first, we handed the hardened lava of the 2021 eruption, then climbed a steep hill with switchbacks, then hiked a newly cleared path throughout a lava area — then handed the development automobile doing the clearing! From there it was cautious stepping as we averted the lava clumps.

After heading downhill, we lastly noticed it: a volcano violently spewing brilliant crimson lava within the air.

That second took my breath away. How fortunate was I to be in the identical place as this volcano?!

We sat down on the hill, had a protein bar and water picnic, and watched the lava dance, surrounded by a whole bunch of our new finest buddies.

By August 21, the eruption was over.

Scientists consider that there can be a number of extra eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula over the subsequent decade. In the event you’re in a position to time your journey to see the volcano, DO IT. You may be so glad you probably did it!!

A plate with a tiny stand of meat on top of a pineapple slice, next to a small taco filled with meat, pineapple, and onions.

Studying to Prepare dinner Tacos al Pastor in Mexico Metropolis

Lots of people love to do cooking classes on their travels. Me, not a lot. I’d a lot moderately do a meals tour and sit back and revel in myself moderately than having to do the work. I’m a recipe-follower, not an ingenious cook dinner by any measure.

However Charlie and I learn gushing evaluations of this tacos al pastor class in Mexico Metropolis and determined to do it. Tacos al pastor should not the sort of dish you make for one individual — the meet is usually shaved off a large trompo at a road stand.

From the second we have been welcomed into Chef Raja’s stunning courtyard, I knew we had met a kindred spirit. A sort and fascinating man in addition to a culinary college teacher, he took us to a market, gave us a lesson on choosing the precise produce, and taught us every part from roast chiles to the right knife abilities for every of the greens.

We every made our personal little trompo for one which day, utilizing a pineapple slice and a wood dowel, and roasted the pork to perfection. We made every part we ate, all the way down to the tortillas and salsas.

This was only a charming day, begin to end, and Chef Raja and his spouse have been so pretty. Their residence just isn’t removed from Coyoacan, so it’s a pleasant exercise to pair with a go to to that neighborhood and Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul.

A half-empty basket of strawberries next to a round cake tin filled with tons of red, ripe strawberries.

Strawberry Season in Prague

This may be a bizarre factor to placed on this record, however I swear it was certainly one of my favourite moments of the 12 months. Individuals eat in-season produce within the Czech Republic for probably the most half; good luck discovering asparagus in October or golden beets in April.

However June was when strawberry season hit. Abruptly the farmers’ markets had strawberries popping out of their ears.

I purchased an enormous basket and took it residence. Then promptly demolished the whole basket. THESE WERE THE BEST STRAWBERRIES I HAD EVER, EVER, EVER TASTED. They usually’re from the Czech Republic!!

It solely lasted two weeks or so, however MAN, that was probably the most scrumptious time of 12 months! Throughout that point I made a couple of baked items and went by a couple of extra baskets, standing over the sink as I ate so the juices may run free.

I must hold June free subsequent 12 months so I don’t miss these magical weeks of strawberries!

Kate hiking down a dirt path set against tall bright green cliffs, the bright blue sea below.

Climbing the Path of the Gods in Italy

The Amalfi Coast is without doubt one of the most stunning locations on the planet — however you may be a bit upset once you go to in actual life. The cities are beautiful to view from the water, however they’re crowded, troublesome to get round, and very costly.

However for me, the spotlight of the Amalfi Coast is mountain climbing the Path of the Gods. From right here, you get to hike far above the cities of the Amalfi Coast, having fun with the unbelievable magnificence with none of the crowds (simply hikers and goats!).

You begin this hike within the city of Bomerano and proceed till you attain Positano. You’ll have a number of hikers on the path with you (which I feel makes it a sensible choice for solo feminine vacationers), and also you’ll need to {photograph} every part in sight. Every time you assume you’ve seen the perfect view, one other will unfurl behind you.

I’d take into account it a average hike with a couple of spots of scrambling. Not as dangerous as I feared. Actually, the worst half was all the steps heading all the way down to Positano!

A road through a forest filled with bright red and orange leaves.

Good Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

Now that I’ve a New Hampshire website, I write lots about fall foliage. It’s the busiest time of 12 months in New Hampshire, and just about the one time of 12 months that brings worldwide tourism.

This 12 months, I knew I needed to deliver Charlie on a fall foliage journey after Sarah and Matt’s wedding ceremony. We headed as much as the White Mountains in early October and the timing couldn’t have been extra good!

Reds, yellows, and oranges have been exploding so far as the attention may see. I discovered absolutely the good day and vacation spot to be October 7 in Pinkham Notch, the place we drove the Mount Washington Auto Highway all the way in which as much as Mount Washington, the best peak within the Northeast US.

We then drove to Glen Ellis Falls and Jackson Falls, having fun with extra foliage views with waterfalls earlier than leaving for Maine.

Rising up in Massachusetts, I actually had no concept how good we had it in New England till I left. In the event you’re involved in fall colours within the least, you MUST head to New England within the fall!

The front of a boat pointed out over a calm blue-green harbor surrounded by cliffs and another sailboat.

An Unimaginable Crusing Day in Sardinia

We took three boat journeys in Sardinia. A mediocre massive group tour in La Maddalena, a enjoyable speedboat journey in San Teodoro. However the perfect journey of all was our sailing trip in Alghero.

What made this journey nice? Probably the most stunning sailboat I’ve ever been on, helmed by Captain Andrea. An ideal-sized group: us, a younger German couple on their honeymoon, an Italian household of 4, and Andrea’s girlfriend. An open-ended itinerary: Andrea taking us to wherever appeared good moderately than attempting to knock off an inventory of spots. Paddleboards and snorkeling gear for us to make use of.

Nonetheless, months later, I’m interested by the lunch Andrea served — it was easy Sardinian fregula pasta with tomatoes, meat, and cheese. However it was SO DAMN TASTY, and it was served on that beautiful boat, with a prosecco toast adopted by wine.

My favourite second? We pulled up subsequent to a different boat, and we noticed that there was a unadorned outdated man on board. We began guffawing, the Germans began guffawing, the Italian children began guffawing. “Welcome in Italy!” the Italian dad mentioned to us with amusing.

This was the perfect exercise we did in Sardinia, and I can’t communicate extra extremely of Captain Andrea, who made every part look easy. Probably the greatest days in Italy this summer season. (Despite the fact that Charlie obtained stung by a jellyfish.)

A brightly painted wooden boat on a forested canal in Mexico.

Xochimilco and Lucha Libre in Mexico Metropolis

Xochimilco had been on the prime of my Mexico Metropolis record ever since our deliberate tour was canceled in March 2020! This 12 months, we returned to Mexico Metropolis and I lastly obtained to participate

Xochimilco (SO-chee-MILL-ko) is without doubt one of the finest cultural partying experiences in Mexico Metropolis. You get a spot on a brightly painted wood boat and also you meander across the canals, consuming plenty of alcohol and blasting plenty of music.

In the event you come right here on a Saturday, it’s WILD. However in the event you go in the course of the week, when it’s quieter, book a tour with Airbnb Experiences. We obtained on our boat with a enjoyable mixture of vacationers and traveled across the canals, consuming good meals, consuming plenty of beer and tequila, even hiring a mariachi band on a ship to serenade us a couple of songs!

A number of folks on the tour advised us that in the event you’ve performed Xochimilco proper, you don’t keep in mind getting residence that night time. Eek! However man, what a enjoyable party-tastic day!

And we saved that going. That night, we have been off to Lucha Libre — Mexican skilled wrestling! (One other pandemic-cancelled occasion in March 2020.) It was wild and humorous. However what made it most particular was this Airbnb Experience, the place our group truly met a wrestler for drinks earlier than going to the present.

That was the perfect concept ever — as a result of all of a sudden we had somebody to cheer for! When he obtained into the ring, we screamed like lifelong followers!

Each of those occasions have been SO MUCH FUN. However actually, I might make Xochimilco the ONE occasion you do this day. We have been exhausted by night.

(Additionally superior? We met a cool couple from Atlanta in Xochimilco and satisfied them to hitch us at Lucha Libre that night time. A couple of months later, I used to be consuming a scorching canine in Reykjavík, Iceland, and I heard, “Hey Kate!” It was that very same couple!)

A model pirate ship holding several afternoon tea pastries, including a fairy-shaped cookie, overlooking the London skyline.

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea in London

Charlie and I’m going to London a couple of occasions a 12 months — to see his household, for our pal’s bonfire occasion, for infrequent work occasions. And actually, we’ve sort of gotten into the behavior of doing the identical issues each time we go. That’s such a waste for a metropolis as vibrant as London!

So we determined to make an effort to do new issues on our final journey. We noticed The Tempest on the Globe Theatre, had a dinner in complete darkness at Dans le Noir, went to the boys’s trend exhibition on the V&A Museum.

However my favourite was the Peter Pan afternoon tea on prime of the Shard. I LOVE afternoon tea, however when it’s themed this nicely, it brings it to the subsequent stage!

I introduced my pal Dylan and collectively we loved fairy mud cocktails, mushroom chimneys, Hook’s lime inexperienced cake, Tinkerbell cookies with gummy crocodiles, and SO far more. And we obtained to get pleasure from all of it from the highest of the Shard, with a number of the finest London views on the town.

Subsequent time I’m in London, I’m reserving means forward for an additional themed afternoon tea!

A misty green canyon filled with skinny waterfalls and a narrow river. Kate stands in the distance in a hot pink jacket, holding her arms up in triumph.

Climbing to Múlagljúfur Canyon in Iceland

I used to assume that Iceland was too overtouristed. I used to be mistaken. There are components of Iceland which have various tourism — the Golden Circle, Lake Myvatn, and the South Coast are amongst them — nevertheless it’s well-managed and much from damaging.

However is it nonetheless doable to get off the crushed path? Undoubtedly. Significantly within the Highlands and the Westfjords.

Amanda and I have been sticking near the vacationer path for this journey. However we discovered a fully magical place — Múlagljúfur Canyon. Near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Múlagljúfur Canyon is on the finish of a really tough street, making it powerful for non-Four wheel drive vehicles.

We spent about an hour mountain climbing up into the canyon — and have been rewarded with the view above.

It’s the finest place I’ve ever seen in Iceland. Think about the mist within the air, dashing waterfalls on either side of you, a fowl gliding low and straight by the canyon. Think about the recent scent, the spongy moss beneath your ft.

Better of all, we have been two of only a few folks there and for awhile had that view fully to ourselves.

This inevitably brings questions — “Why would you point out this place in the event you don’t need folks going there?” — however I’m assured that the precise sorts of vacationers will discover their means there. The remainder will assume Jökulsárlón is the best factor they’ve seen.

What have been your favourite journey moments of 2022?