2016: Year in Review

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To say 2016 was a great year of travel would be an understatement. While I didn’t take several individual trips like I normally do, I ventured instead on one epic road trip.

From a very young age, I remember hearing stories of cross-country road trips that both my parents and grandparents embarked on. It was these tales that left an indelible mark and made me decide that I too would someday set about on a similar journey. This was finally that year.

Here is a recap of my travel around the United States in photos and words!

The United States

Maybe I didn’t see the entire United States, but I came pretty darn close. May & June was occupied by my Say Hello To America 2016 tour, in which I traveled for 58 nights and found myself in a new destination for fifty of those. How often do you have two months to travel? I wanted to see as much as possible!

The road trip by the numbers: 15,610 miles driven, 36 states visited, 14 National Parks explored, and countless memories.

During my journey throughout this great country, I met a girl named Bianca on Bourbon Street, soaked in several hot springs, met up with friends new and old, nearly drove the entire West Coast, “got married” in Las Vegas, stayed in numerous KOA cabins, witnessed countless breathtaking sunsets, enjoyed a ballgame at Wrigley Field, encountered an 86-year-old woman with a sweet ride, basked in the beauty of our National Parks, and cried tears of sadness when I saw the ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign.

Relive my entire adventure through the official Instagram tag: #sayhellotoamerica2016

Clockwise from top left: Hippie Tree in San Francisco, Ruby Beach in Washington, White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, Winslow, Arizona

Clockwise from top left: KOA cabin in Montana, Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, Bird Rock in California, Sunset along the Oregon Coast

Clockwise from top left: Redwood National Park in California, Olympic National Forest in Washington, Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon


Needless to say, after a two month road trip I did not have any more vacation time available with my employer — so I had to get creative with short getaways. The first such instance presented itself when I found out a friend, who had moved to Costa Rica with her family a few years ago, would be in Denver at the end of August. A quick three day weekend had us catching up over drinks, exploring Denver, riding bikes around Boulder, and enjoying lunch in Golden.

River Road in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The short-getaway-fun continued in October with a two day drive down River Road in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This scenic road is a favorite among fall foliage enthusiasts and passes through many unique riverside towns. The leaves were just beginning to turn as I was treated to a beautiful drive, a wonderful stay at Wedgwood Inn in New Hope, and spectacular views from the top of Bowman’s Hill Tower.

River Road & Breakfast at Wedgwood Inn


The first weekend of December called for a visit to my 103-year-old grandma, the woman behind all of the travel journal entries for Past Present Project. We had a great time discussing travel, the project, and family. I also had the chance to see a friend who lives in the Orlando area and meet long-time Instagram friend, @jennastrawberry. All in all, a perfect trip to end 2016!