Best Travel Moments of 2015

Alright, so in the previous post I wrote about the worst travel moments we had this year, but who wants to end on the negative? We’re ending our year by talking about our best travel moments of 2015. And here they are!

5. Beauty of Cappadocia

Our first night in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, we wandered through the town of Goreme after eating a delicious dinner. As we walked, we were awe struck by the beauty of the rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, as they were lit by both artificial light and beautiful moonlight. It was incredible, and was one of the happiest times on our trip this summer.

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Fairy chimneys at twilight.

4. Thermal features of Yellowstone

Yellowstone has an incredible number of thermal features, including geysers, bubbling mud pots, and hot springs, among others. In our hiking and exploration of different geyser basins, we saw many beautiful colors in these thermal features. Nature can truly be the best artist’s palette.

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Opal Hot Spring

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Multiple colors along the hot water run off from a geyser.

3. Exploring ancient ruins in Europe

Z and I have always enjoyed going to archaeological sites when we travel, and this summer, we visited quite a few. Exploring some of the famous locations, like the Colosseum and Forum, Pompeii, and Ephesus was a wonderful way to step back in time and imagine what the world might have been like in these massive cities. I really enjoyed the opportunities we had to be by ourselves in lesser traveled sites, like Ostia Antica and the Forum in Istanbul. We were able to climb, investigate, pretend, and play in these places without being inhibited by seas of other tourists or roped off areas. That is where I really have the opportunity to imagine life in ancient times, and wonder about the history carved into the stones.

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Exploration in the underground part of the Forum in Istanbul, Turkey.

2. Meeting people in Italy, Greece, and Turkey

I’ve written about how much I value meeting people during our travels. It’s one of my favorite aspects of travel; interacting with people, having great conversations, and making new friends. So not just one specific moment, but a small collection of the times we spent with people as we traveled this summer. When we spent an evening eating fresh fruit, drinking wine, and having a wonderful conversation with our hosts on Crete. Having a philosopher discussion about the origin of people with our host in Izmir, Turkey. Watching our host in Naples, Italy play with D, even though they didn’t have a common language. Talking with a family from Belguim on the train to Pompeii. D playing with other toddlers in the parks. Spending time with people who have different languages, beliefs, experiences, and cultures, and learning about all of those things. It makes our travel experiences so much richer. Those moments are some of my favorites.

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Making friends at the park in Istanbul.

1. Experience of extended travel as a family

The best travel moments for me in 2015 were the moments that we got to spend traveling as a family, especially on our extended trip this summer. When Z and I had D two years ago, I was somewhat afraid that our traveling would end, or be greatly inhibited. I mean, who travels with a small child? Especially the way we usually travel, which is as cheaply as possible? But, we have made travel a priority, and since we do it as often as we can, D is just a part of it. He has flown almost 20 times in two years, and usually he does fine. Travel is a part of our lives, and I am so grateful for it. We get to have amazing (and sometimes challenging) experiences as a family.

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Halfway through our trip, and we were still smiling. Temple of Poseidon, Sounio, Greece

What were some of your best moments from 2015?

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