Hard to be believe we’re about to close the chapter of 2016! We’re taking some time to reflect on our 2016 memorable moments during our travels. We were lucky to visit 4 new countries this year while still progressing in our corporate careers! We hope these memorable moments inspire you to make the most of life outside the office. Check out our moments in chronological order as they happened this year
#10 Welcoming 2016 in Valparaiso, Chile
We started the year in Chile! We spent NYE in Valparaiso with the most spectacular firework display we have seen. Across the bay was simultaneous displays. We chose to stay at Casa Higueras, which is a luxury hotel high on the hill. They offer a NYE package which included accommodations, dinner, champagne and firework view from the rooftop and an after party. It was the perfect way to welcome in the new year in this colorful city!
#9 Desert Extreme Sports in Atacama Desert
We loved the Atacama Desert region of Chile! But combining a killer terrain with an extreme sport? That makes for quite a memorable moment! Sandboarding was a fun challenge and a new adventure activity for us in 2016. The Atacama Desert blew us away with all the variety of activities including hiking, hot springs and salt flats.
#8 Texas Hill Country Escape
Sometimes work is too busy in a month to break away from the office during the week, so we take advantage of weekend get-a-ways for the times we need to recharge without using a vacation day. This year our memorable moment came from our weekend stay at Sage Hill in Texas Hill Country outside of Austin. Lots of wine, nature and relaxing made for the perfect weekend break!
#7 Easter in New Orleans
Another way that we maximized our time off this year was traveling during holidays. This year we spent Easter in New Orleans with a stay at the Ritz Carlton. We love the live music, oysters and bloody marys when we stay there. The Easter Brunch at the Ritz had a candy display like none we had seen before!
#6 Summer Water Sports
To celebrate Amanda’s birthday, we decided to try a new adventure activity on Lake Conroe in Texas. Hydroboarding! We had always thought it looked fun! Brian got the hang of it quickly while Amanda took quite a few nosedives and mouthfuls of water creating a memorable moment for the year! We hope to try it again this summer, it’s an incredible leg workout.
#5 Costa Rican Cooking
To maximize our time out of the office, we typically travel over 4th of July week as it gives us an extra holiday and many people are out of the office therefore work is typically a bit slower. This year we went to Costa Rica. We visited both Manuel Antonio and Arenal areas. We instantly fell in love with the Gallo Pinto, we loved it so much we learned how to make it as well as ceviche, fresh tortillas and empanadas!
#4 El Nido Beach Tours
When the opportunity presents itself, we always take advantage of combining business trips and personal travel as ways to maximize our vacation time. This year Amanda had the opportunity to go to the Philippines for a business trip therefore we added a personal week on the front end. We had been drooling over photos we saw of the beaches in El Nido but seeing them in person exceeded our expectations. We will have more to share in the new year of our trip there.
#3 The Underwater Corals in El Nido
We certainly made sure we snorkeled nearly every day we were in El Nido. The colorful corals made it a memorable moment for us in 2016! We really enjoyed it and have added scuba certification as one of our goals for 2017!
#2 Exploring the untouched beauty of New Zealand
Our last international trip of the year was to New Zealand. We spent 1 week on the north island and the second week on the south island. Keep checking back, we have so much to share with you regarding our time here in this amazing country. We were blown away by the beauty of these islands and can’t wait to go back. One of our favorite spots was Te Waikoropupu Springs found just outside the Abel Tasman National Park
#1 Our 1st Helicopter Ride
We fulfilled a travel bucket list activity by taking our 1st helicopter ride. We loved it so much we took 2 while in New Zealand. Our first one was taken from Rotorua to White Island. It’s an active volcano that we flew to and then had a tour of the island/volcano. The view from above was incredible but then learning about what was under our feet as we walked along the volcano was incredible!
Thank you to all of you, our wonderful readers, for your support of EatWorkTravel. We are passionate about ensuring we maximize our time outside the office and are hoping we inspire you to make time for yourself as well. We wish you all health, happiness and TRAVEL in the new year!
Brian & Amanda