First Year Roundup: What A Year Of Travel Taught Me

In Confessions by Virginie2 Comments

 Last year, on this very day, I wrote my first blog post ever. (Come on, click. I know you want too. Go laugh at me!) And it was awful. Seriously, it didn’t say anything at all, haha! It was just a bunch of pretty pictures of my hometown, with maybe a 50 words description. I’ve grown a lot since then. Before, I used to write for my family and friends. Now, even though I still do, I also write for complete strangers so they can get the courage of being a digital nomad if that’s what they want to do.

Getting the life of your dream isn’t that hard, if you’re ready to fight for it. I hope I’ve inspired at least one of you, readers, into booking a flight and seeing the world. If I haven’t, well that’s my goal for my second year of blogging.

Here is a recap of the places where we lived and/or stayed for more than a few days! I added all my tips in it!

1. Quebec City, Canada (October)

Quebec 01

We spent a full month in my home city before starting our exploration of the world! Even though it rained quite a bit, it didn’t stop me from loving my time there! After all, who doesn’t love fall in one of the prettiest cities in the world? Quebec will always have a special place in my heart, with its castle, fortifications, and farmers’ market.

Quebec 02

The crisp air and the orange leaves made it the perfect time to be there! Plus there are so many birthdays during that time of the year, so we got to be there for a quite a few of them! When you know you won’t see the people closest to you for a while, it’s important to be there when it matters.

Quebec 03

So we took quite a few buses to the suburbs while staying in the city, either to do our laundry at my parents’ house or to go for a family dinner at my grandmother’s house. After all, family is the most important thing we’ve got!

I Learned that… Even home is a beautiful place if you look at it with new eyes.
2. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica (November to February)

PV 01

After saying goodbye to my family, we jumped on a plane and headed to Costa Rica! It was scary landing there, as the city wasn’t at all what I expected. And for a first trip, it was pretty scary. But all was good when we got off the bus in Puerto Viejo! The town charmed us instantly, even though it rained for days in a row!

PV 02

We trained our jeans and long sleeve shirts for tanks tops and shirt as we arrived in (probably) the most humid place in the world! Seriously, it was crazy. Even though I loved Puerto Viejo and loved living in the jungle, I couldn’t do that again. I got way too many infections of all kind, haha! Plus on top of that, our clothes were never dry, our cabina smelt like mold and our pillows were so lumpy it was hard to sleep.

PV 03

But to be honest, even though we had so many problems, I would go back to Puerto Viejo. BUT: I’d make sure to go during the dry season, as we were there during the rainy season. I would do that again.

Costa Rica was a hard place to leave, and that’s why we plan to go back soon! This time, on the other coast, where hopefully, it will be dryer…

I learned that… relaxing and taking things slowly is important. After all, there’s no fire anywhere!
3. Sayulita, Mexico (February to Mid-April)

MX (3)

We arrived in Sayulita at the beginning of the high season and were so lucky to find the apartment where we lived for the next two months and a half. After all, we hadn’t booked anything before getting there, so we needed to find a great place!

MX (4)

The second thing we did once we got there was buy Stand Up Paddleboards, which we tried to use every day. It was a lot cheaper than renting them! We had so much fun on the water, which was the only place where we could get away from all the tourists that were flooding the beach. Sayulita wasn’t very peaceful and quiet when we were there: there was a lot of music playing everywhere and children crying or yelling. After being secluded in the jungle for three months, we needed a place to escape, which happened to be the ocean.

MX (5)

I have to be honest. Even though I enjoyed tacos on the first few days in Mexico, I got sick of them pretty fast. The food wasn’t half as good in Sayulita as it had been in Costa Rica. The only reason I’d go back to Sayulita would be for the ocean and our paddleboards. I’d also go when there’s less tourist, and definitely avoid the Easter weekend.

I learned that… even though it seems fun to be doing everything, sometimes a little relaxing time is important.
4. Regina, Canada (Mid-April to Beginning of May)

Regina (3)

Getting used to Canadian weather after spending the winter in the south was hard. Like traumatizing (at least for Chris, who got a drop of cold rain water down his neck on the first day we got there). I enjoy cold (or at least cool) weather, so I didn’t have a problem adjusting. We spent around ten days on his farm, where I spent most of my time with cats and dogs as Chris helped his parents fix stuff.

Regina (1)

I mean, every farmer needs someone to give love and attention to their animals, right? Otherwise, they’ll be in your way all the time! So that was my job for the week and a half we were there, haha! (And trust me, I’ve got the best job!)

Regina (2)

Even though I grew up on the East Coast, I lived in the Prairies when I was just a baby, so I always felt connected to Saskatchewan. It was so good to be back!

I learned that… even if you can take the boy out of the farm, you can’t take the farm out of the boy 😉
5. Quebec City, Canada (Beginning of May to Mid-May)

Quebec (1)

Back already? I know! We didn’t spend as much time in Quebec this time, as we stayed only for a week and a half. And instead of renting an apartment, we stayed with my parents. I had a lot of time to catch up with friends and my family, which was much needed.

Quebec (2)

Quebec wasn’t at its prettiest when we got there, as it was the beginning of springs, but I wasn’t there to spend time looking at my home city. I was there to spend time with the people I love the most!

I learned that… coming home doesn’t make you less of an awesome traveler.
6. Sibenik, Croatia (Mid-May to Mid-July)

Sibenik (2)

When we decided to go to Croatia, Chris and I didn’t know much about it. We knew even less about Sibenik. We just knew it looked good in Google, so we were hoping it wouldn’t be a weird city… And it wasn’t! It was the best small city we’ve been in so far! It had the right size, lots of historical things to see, and it was by the water. We couldn’t ask for better than that!

Sibenik (3)

We had so much fun exploring the city and getting lost in its small narrow street, as well as discover all the nature around it. We rented a scooter and discovered the amazing Krka National Park, as well as rented bikes to check out the St. Anthony Channel.

Sibenik (1)

I would go back to Sibenik any time, as people were nice, the food was good, and the water was amazing! Okay, the beaches were rocky, but you’ll get that everywhere in Croatia. And compared to the other cities we visited, we loved Sibenik a lot more. So give it a chance! 🙂

I learned that… taking the path less traveled is worth it.
7. Athens, Greece (Mid-July to Mid-September)

Athens (1)

Finding a place to stay in Europe that isn’t crazy expensive is hard! Lucky for us, we found a great apartment in Athens that, even though didn’t have the best location, had everything we needed. It even had a dishwasher! But not being super close to downtown, we didn’t spend as much time enjoying Athens as I wish we did. If we didn’t have to walk for twenty minutes before taking a five-minute metro ride, it would have been easier.

Athens (2)

Anyway, we did enjoy our time a lot! It might have been crazy hot out there, but we had a cool apartment to stay in during those days (which was most of our summer, haha!) We also took a day off to visit Hydra, which was, I think, the highlight of our trip to Athens!

I learned that… cheap and delicious kebabs make you fat if you don’t work out.
8. Sofia, Bulgaria (Mid-September to October)

Sofia (1)

And finally, our last stop of the year! I didn’t have high expectations for Sofia, and it actually blew them away! It’s such a wonderful and pretty city! Okay, we didn’t have the best experience with our apartment when we got here, but it’s all sorted now―for the best. Our new place is great, and right in the city center! That cathedral? It’s like a minute away from where we live. Isn’t that great?

Sofia (2)

I need to spend more time exploring Sofia, but I think that for a first year of blogging and traveling, we’ve seen quite a bit of the world!

I learned that… appreciating the present and what you have in front of you is the most important thing.

I’m super excited for what’s to come during that second year of traveling and blogger. I have big plans for the future, like a new business (because I can’t sit still, apparently). I’m so happy I have the life I have, and I can’t be grateful enough. If there’s one thing I learned while traveling, it’s that you have to cherish every day. I’m in amazing places, and sometimes all I can think about is the next destination. That’s something I have to stop doing, and instead enjoy the moment I’m in. After all, I won’t get it back.

I had a wonderful year; I hope you did you!

Which of these places would you visit? What did you learn while traveling?

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First Year Roundup: What A Year Of Travel Taught Me First Year Roundup: What A Year Of Travel Taught Me