In 2010, I moved halfway across the country, drove through six states, flew to many more, took two cruises, and visited eight countries in all. These 10 experiences encapsulated my year in travel:
1. Laguna Beach, California. I admit it: I watch too much of MTV’s reality TV. And while I avoided Laguna Beach in its early days, I eventually succumbed my senior year of college and have now seen every episode. So getting to stop by and sit at the same dinner table Lo was at when she had that terrible date while the rest of the gang was camping was way more exciting than it should’ve been. But exciting nonetheless!
2. The real Full House house, San Francisco, California. Continuing on my California and television theme, seeing the real Full House house (which is not one of the Painted Ladies across from Alamo Park) was the fulfillment of a dream of any good ’90s kid who loved TGIF.
3. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland. The icy blue water, the hazy mist, the volcanic rocks, a massaging waterfall — it all adds up to the Blue Lagoon, a mystical place that proved the perfect topper for my stay in Iceland.
4. Atlanta, Georgia. The only new U.S. state I made it to in 2010 (still 11 more to go!), Georgia has been on my list for a while now, and despite the sweltering July heat, I packed a ton into a less-than-three-day stay: Georgia Aquarium, CNN, The Colonnade, Centennial Olympic Park, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, The Varsity, The Flying Biscuit, and a cute vintage shop called My! My! My! Oh, and I made it to all my client meetings, too!
5. Dominica. Dominica is not an island I would drive around on. More than once, our tour bus came face to face with another on the narrow, winding roads, necessitating that someone backed up and just missed the edge of a cliff. But it’s said that Dominica is the only place Christopher Columbus would still recognize, and it was certainly beautiful in its rustic nature.
6. Seabrook, Washington. One of Washington state’s newest towns, Seabrook is a tiny beach community where the pace is a little slower. On a girls’ getaway with my family, we roasted marshmallows, hiked to the beach, cruised on old-fashioned bikes, and marveled at the adorableness that is this little village by the shore in the middle of nowhere.
7. The Celebrity Eclipse out of Miami. The latest ship from Celebrity’s Solstice class, the Eclipse, debuted this year, and it lives up to the hype. Elegant accommodations, fun entertainment, and more bars than you could visit in an evening make for a relaxing and classy floating escape.
8. Uppsala, Sweden. Learning about a different culture is one of the best parts of hopping a plane. I dedicated one day while in Uppsala to living like a typical Swede, which involved a traditional breakfast, recycling, fika, foraging for berries, and a trip to IKEA.
9. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. This may not count as traveling, given that I lived there, but as I was readying to depart Texas after four years, I fit in all my favorites and a few new things, plus I welcomed a steady stream of visitors. Strolling down Main Street in Grapevine, riding the mechanical bull at Gilley’s, reliving history at The Sixth Floor Museum, and entering the cowboy culture of Fort Worth will be missed.
10. The Winter Olympics, Vancouver, BC. I am a major Olympics buff who stays glued to the TV 24/7 during the Games every two years, so I was thrilled to attend my first one in person. After planning for almost two years, I couldn’t believe the time had actually come — and while it was exhausting, it was worth every sleepless minute.