My Greatest Journey Moments of 2022

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2022 was a 12 months of lovely 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 most effective of 2022.

Going by way of my month-to-month recaps to create this publish was an absolute pleasure. And it jogged my memory that numerous 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 would possibly 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, impartial tour suppliers somewhat than huge companies.

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

And with out additional ado — listed here are my greatest 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 positively 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 could 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 informed 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 type of place we’d return to again and again.

After the proposal, we celebrated in our favourite type — wine and salume. Beginning with two glasses of glowing Franciacorta, adopted by Barolo for me and Amarone for him, and plenty of 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 massive marriage ceremony till 2021. The next 12 months, their marriage ceremony venue was offered and the brand new proprietor canceled all of the weddings. I’m sorry, THE FUCK?!

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

Not solely did the venue (Nauset Seashore Inn in Orleans) showcase one of many Cape’s greatest seashores, this marriage ceremony introduced so many individuals collectively and stored the nice vibes going all night time. Lots of people mentioned it was the most effective marriage ceremony they’ve been to, and it’s most likely the most effective one I’ve been to, too!

And I respect 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. Children? NOPE LOL. Cake? HOW ABOUT CAPE COD DIRT BOMBS INSTEAD?

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

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

Mountain climbing to a Dwell Volcano in Iceland

Once in a while, 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.

Instantly, we switched round our itinerary so we may hike to the volcano on our first day. We awoke early, parked within the very busy 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 discipline — then handed the development car doing the clearing! From there it was cautious stepping as we prevented the lava clumps.

After heading downhill, we lastly noticed it: a volcano violently spewing shiny 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 greatest mates.

By August 21, the eruption was over.

Scientists imagine that there might be a number of extra eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula over the subsequent decade. In case 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 Cook 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 somewhat do a meals tour and sit back and revel in myself somewhat 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 aren’t the type of dish you make for one particular person — the meet is usually shaved off an enormous trompo at a avenue stand.

From the second we have been welcomed into Chef Raja’s lovely courtyard, I knew we had met a kindred spirit. A form and attention-grabbing man in addition to a culinary faculty teacher, he took us to a market, gave us a lesson on choosing the correct produce, and taught us every little thing from how one can roast chiles to the correct knife expertise for every of the greens.

We every made our personal little trompo for one which day, utilizing a pineapple slice and a picket dowel, and roasted the pork to perfection. We made every little thing we ate, right 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 house shouldn’t be 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 is perhaps a bizarre factor to placed on this record, however I swear it was one in every 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. All of a sudden the farmers’ markets had strawberries popping out of their ears.

I purchased a giant basket and took it house. 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 number of baked items and went by way of a number of extra baskets, standing over the sink as I ate so the juices may run free.

I must preserve 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.

Mountain climbing the Path of the Gods in Italy

The Amalfi Coast is likely one of the most lovely locations on the planet — however you is perhaps a bit upset while you go to in actual life. The cities are attractive to view from the water, however they’re crowded, tough to get round, and very costly.

However for me, the spotlight of the Amalfi Coast is mountaineering 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 believe makes it a good selection for solo feminine vacationers), and also you’ll wish to {photograph} every little thing in sight. Every time you suppose you’ve seen the most effective view, one other will unfurl behind you.

I’d take into account it a average hike with a number of spots of scrambling. Not as unhealthy as I feared. Actually, the worst half was all the steps heading right 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 web site, I write loads 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 convey Charlie on a fall foliage journey after Sarah and Matt’s marriage 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 best way as much as Mount Washington, the very 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 truthfully had no concept how good we had it in New England till I left. In case you’re enthusiastic about 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 huge group tour in La Maddalena, a enjoyable speedboat journey in San Teodoro. However the most effective journey of all was our sailing trip in Alghero.

What made this journey nice? Essentially the most lovely 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 somewhat than attempting to knock off an inventory of spots. Paddleboards and snorkeling gear for us to make use of.

Nonetheless, months later, I’m occupied with the lunch Andrea served — it was easy Sardinian fregula pasta with tomatoes, meat, and cheese. Nevertheless it was SO DAMN TASTY, and it was served on that attractive 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 previous man on board. We began laughing, the Germans began laughing, the Italian children began laughing. “Welcome in Italy!” the Italian dad mentioned to us with fun.

This was the most effective exercise we did in Sardinia, and I can’t communicate extra extremely of Captain Andrea, who made every little thing look easy. Top-of-the-line days in Italy this summer season. (Although Charlie received 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 high 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 received to participate

Xochimilco (SO-chee-MILL-ko) is likely one of the greatest cultural partying experiences in Mexico Metropolis. You get a spot on a brightly painted picket boat and also you meander across the canals, consuming a number of alcohol and blasting a number of music.

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

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

And we stored 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 really met a wrestler for drinks earlier than going to the present.

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

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

(Additionally superior? We met a cool couple from Atlanta in Xochimilco and satisfied them to affix us at Lucha Libre that night time. A number 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 am going to London a number of occasions a 12 months — to see his household, for our buddy’s bonfire celebration, for infrequent work occasions. And truthfully, we’ve type 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 high of the Shard. I LOVE afternoon tea, however when it’s themed this effectively, it brings it to the subsequent degree!

I introduced my buddy 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 received to take pleasure in all of it from the highest of the Shard, with a number of the greatest London views on the town.

Subsequent time I’m in London, I’m reserving method forward for one more 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.

Mountain climbing to Múlagljúfur Canyon in Iceland

I used to suppose that Iceland was too overtouristed. I used to be flawed. There are elements of Iceland which have numerous tourism — the Golden Circle, Lake Myvatn, and the South Coast are amongst them — nevertheless it’s well-managed and much from harmful.

However is it nonetheless attainable to get off the overwhelmed path? Positively. Notably 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 robust for non-Four wheel drive automobiles.

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

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

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 should you don’t need folks going there?” — however I’m assured that the correct sorts of vacationers will discover their method there. The remaining will suppose Jökulsárlón is the best factor they’ve seen.

What have been your favourite journey moments of 2022?