2015 Travel Highlights And Reflecting On The Year

Emirates Business Class - Round The World Girl | www.rtwgirl.com
 
Wow….I can’t believe that 2015 is already coming to an end!

It felt like I blinked and here I am 12 months later looking back and 2016 is now upon us. A lot happened this year both incredibly amazing and devastatingly heartbreaking. I wanted to share and do a quick flashback of my 2015.

In January 2015, I went back to BC to have some “winter” time. I experienced a few new things on that trip. One was snowshoeing for the first time at Cypress Mountain.

Snowshoeing Cypress Mountain Vancouver

Then after a few days in Vancouver, I went on to Whistler. I was able to experience Whistler Blackcomb’s Ski/Snowboard with an Olympian program. I tried cross country skiing for the first time. My guide around the mountain was Olympian Julia Murray. So far 2015 was looking epic!

I wrote a Whistler Winter Guide here.

Julia Murray and RTWgirl

Olympian and Whistler local Julia Murray

Cross Country Skiing at Whistler

First time cross country skiing!

Whistler Bobsleigh

Getting ready to bobsleigh on an Olympic course

A bobsleigh video

In February 2015, I went to Dusseldorf with Air Berlin. It was last minute and I’m not huge into group media trips (you never know how a group dynamic will work out) so I was expecting the worst but then ended up meeting some really great folks. Our group was on the Visit Dusseldorf float so it was really amazing to experience their version of Mardi Gras.

I wrote about the experience for the Hundreds.

Air Berlin Wing Shot

Air Berlin wing shot over NYC

Air Berlin Business Class

Loving business class on Air Berlin. Hello, Tumi amenity kit!

Dusseldorf Karneval 2015

On a float. Karneval in Europe reminds me of Halloween!

And right after my Germany trip…this happened!

United Airlines Oscars Invite

I thought it was a joke but in fact, it was real. I have no idea why they picked me, to be honest, but I was and am still honored.

RTWgirl Arnette Oscars 2015

Wahhhh I’m at the Oscars!

Oscars Red Carpet 2015 Celebrity Collage

Just a handful of celebs I spotted!

I wrote about it here, and here.

I attended a few events with Emirates this year. The first was going to their first class lounge opening at LAX. Emirates definitely know how to do things well.

Emirates First Class Lounge LAX

Then I attended a movie screening of Nat Geo’s film, Living in the Age of Airplanes. We first mingled in the First Class lounge and then we boarded a 10 day old 737. We all sat in business and were able to tour the plane and check out their First Class section. It was fantastic. We met the director of the film as well as the late composer James Horner. While we watched the film, the plane flew above and around southern California. It was incredible!

Living In The Age Of Airplanes

Emirates Business Class Selfie Champagne

Someone’s a happy camper with her champer!

Emirates Bar

It’s all about the stand-up bar on the plane!

Emirates First Class

An Emirates First Class suite!

Emirates First Class

Don’t disturb me….I’m balling!

Emirates Business Class

I can’t complain about business class, though!

In April 2015, I attended an annual travel journalist conference and this year some of the attendees were invited to the James Beard House. The luncheon was held by Tourism Calgary, Alberta Culinary Tourism and Wines of British Columbia and the chefs were all women. It was an honor and privilege to attend. The event was top notch and opened my eyes to the culinary scene in Calgary.

James Beard house

A sampling of photos from the lunch

In late May, I did my what seems to be my almost annual road trip to Canada.

Avenue of Giants California

I always stop in the forest!

Bandon, Oregon Coast

Fell in love with Bandon

Adidas HQ Portland, Oregon

Doing a tour of Adidas HQ in Portland

After my road trip, I flew immediately to Toronto for one of my BFF’s wedding and to meet her son Max. I spent two weeks exploring and eating as much as possible in Toronto and added in a little side excursion to the Mighty Niagara Falls.

My Cutie Max

Here’s my cutie pie Max. We pintxo’d it up at Bar Raval

After driving up the West Coast solo, I didn’t feel like being behind the wheel much, so I took a day trip via bus and train to Niagara. It was amazing.

Niagara Falls

At then end of June, I flew back to Vancouver and based myself there for the summer. I took a bunch of trips in Western Canada but I wanted to be close to my elderly father.

I went on the Rocky Mountaineer and experienced a train ride of a lifetime! It traveled across BC and through the Rockies to Banff. In Banff, I explored for a few days and reunited with a travel friend who I met in Bali.

I wrote about my experience on the Rocky Mountaineer here and here.

On The Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer

In Banff, I got to see the sheer beauty of the Rockies!

Moraine Lake Canoeing

Lake Louise Kori and Me

Kori and I at Lake Louise

I wrote about Banff here.

Right after the train trip, I went on a trip with my friend Christy from Ordinary Traveler up to Whistler. I took her to a few spots to shoot photos with her.

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

A Lynn Canyon solo!

Sea To Sky Gondola

Apparently I love suspension bridges! At the Sea To Sky Gondola in Squamish

River of Golden Dreams Canoeing Whistler via http://rtwgirl.com

River of Golden Dreams in Whistler

Ultimate Glacier Tour Harbour Air | www.Rtwgirl.com

Ultimate Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Shannon Falls in Squamish | www.rtwgirl.com

Shannon Falls via my GoPro

Right after Whistler, I went on a quick trip to Sonora Resort. It’s a luxury resort on the coast of BC. It is by far the most amazing resort I’ve been to thus far and my first all inclusive. Everything was amazing and the staff was all so friendly and genuine. From the moment you depart, it was first class. Did I mention you have to take a chopper to get there?

Helicopter to Sonora Resort | www.rtwgirl.com

Sonora Resort Canada

Epic all around

Fishing at Sonora Resort

It’s no secret I love fishing!

Sonora Resort Fishing

YES!

After Sonora, I went to Victoria on a last minute trip to Victoria with a friend. I’m becoming more and more enamored with Victoria.

Breakwater Ogden Point

At the Breakwater at Ogden Point

Chairs in Oak Bay

Chilling out on the Chairs in Oak Bay

In late August, I left Canada to go back south and ended up hanging out in Portland for a few months. I was planning to go back to SoCal but something drew me to stay in the Pacific Northwest.

Lebron at Nike HQ

I may have seen Lebron James at Nike HQ !

In mid-September, I went on a quick trip to Calgary to check out a cool festival called Beakerhead. It’s a mashup of science, engineering, art, and music. I explored Calgary and it’s a lot cooler than I imagined. And there’s excellent food there in case you’re wondering!

Beakerhead Calgary

Going down the rabbit hole at Beakerhead

Beakerhead Calgary

Went to a Beakerhead molecular gastronomy event! It was tasty and fun!

Calgary Wonderland Plensa

Wonderland by Jaume Plensa in Calgary

Also in mid-September, my beloved father passed away suddenly. He was elderly but not sick to our knowledge. He had been heartbroken and distraught since the death of my mother in 2011. I’m devastated about losing him but know he’s in a happier place with my mother.

Pops

I miss him so much :(

After my Pops passed, I struggled with my grief. I took a bit of a break from travel and stayed in Portland with friends. I did a few trips back to BC; one to spread my father’s ashes and one up to Whistler for Cornucopia, a wine and culinary festival. Other than that, I turned down travel. I couldn’t bring myself to do much so I focused on catching up on writing on my blog and randomly picked up a copywriting contract with Nike.

ravioli Araxi

A delectable dinner at Araxi‘s dinner during Cornucopia

Cornucopia Whistler Oyster

Oyster overload at Whistler’s Cornucopia (Hello cute beard guy!)

This fall I crossed the 6 year anniversary of losing my husband Eric. I wrote about him on my blog here. It wasn’t easy but I finally felt like I was in a place to share my story. Randomly CNN emailed me and asked me to share a life changing moment from my travels. I felt like it was all connected.
CNN clip The story is linked here.

I finally left the PNW in early December and drove back to Southern California. I took the coast as per usual and made a handful of stops along the way.

Cooks Chasm Oregon

GoPro Redwood Forest

Did a few round ups for my road trip. One for California and one for Oregon.

I drove all the way down to San Diego I spent the holidays with one of my best friends and her family. I’m looking forward to the year ending. The year started out with a bang and my summer was epic. I’m so happy to have been able to spend a lot of time with my Pops. But then went downhill for me in the fall with my Pops passing away and also getting robbed the same week. If there is any consolation it’s that my Pops is in a better place and that I was able to write more and land a regular contract working with Nike.

I’m hoping that 2016 will bring happier days or at least, days without heartbreak and drama and of course, more travel and adventures. Goodbye, 2015!!!!

** For more photos of 2015, I’m sharing highlights on both my Instagram and Facebook as well! Say hello if you’re on either network!

happy new year!

Arnette

Round The World Girl is a blog by Arnette, a solo female traveler, lover of adventure, coffee, tropical islands, and unforgettable meals. She shares a retrospective of her 19 month, 19 country round the world trip, adventures both near and far, destination guides, helpful tips and tricks for travel, as well as tips and reviews of her favorite things.

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