All the Places I’ve Visited This Year: December Roundup
San Francisco, Grand Lake Colorado, Yosemite National Park, Multnomah Waterfalls Oregon,
I’ve always loved to travel. But lately, with my busy work schedule, my opportunities to experience new places were starting to become limited. So the one big decision I made at the beginning of 2019 was to substitute my annual beach holiday with a few shorter trips.
My plan was the following: take a short vacation every three or four months, prioritizing locations that would allow me to connect with nature. This was crucial, considering the fact that I spend most of my day in an office, staring at a computer screen. I also wanted to make sure I was getting plenty of time in the sun so that I could stack up on my natural supply of vitamin D.
To decide on the best locations, I took to TripAdvisor and my Pinterest board – and what I came up with was the following four locations.
San Francisco, California
The first trip I took in 2019 was actually to visit a friend. Considering that we haven’t seen each other for ages, we decided that I would fly out on Thursday after work, and stay until Sunday night. This gave us three days to catch up.
She had to work on Friday morning, so I explored SF on my own. It gave me the chance to be a real tourist, take in the sights and, of course, ride a cable car. We spent Saturday morning at the Golden Gate Park, strolling around and relaxing, and ended up at the Golden Gate Overlook just in time for sunset, which gave me the opportunity to work on my iPhone photography skills.
Grand Lake, Colorado
For an early summer vacation, my boyfriend and I visited Grand Lake, Colorado. We rented a small cabin through Airbnb and drove out for six days of nothing but relaxation. We decided to go in early June, mainly because we wanted to avoid the crowds, but it also turned out that the weather was just right for our taste.
My favorite part of this trip was definitely the hike to Cascade Falls. At just below 7 miles, it was the right difficulty for me – I was tired at the end of it, but not so much that I couldn’t move the next day.
Another great thing about Grand Lake is that it’s a great place to go stand-up paddleboarding, which we particularly enjoy. I did manage to get a tear in my inflatable paddleboard, but luckily, we were able to repair the damage and get back to our water activities the next day.
Yosemite National Park
Mid-September, I was ready for another adventure. But this one, I had been planning for over a year. Having booked in advance, I managed to secure a fair deal on accommodation in Yosemite Valley. Yes, it was more expensive than staying outside the park, but in the end, I was happy that I had made the decision to splurge.
To make the most of my time, I looked online for itineraries, which gave me a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do, and how much time it would take. The most challenging hike of the trip was that to Ostrander Lake (12.4 miles), and it sure made me glad I’d brought my good boots.
Overall, I don’t think I’m done with Yosemite National Park yet. I’ll definitely visit again in spring, which is the best season for seeing the waterfalls.
Multnomah Waterfalls, Oregon
My last trip for 2019 was to Multnomah Waterfalls, Oregon. Having planned our visit for early December, my boyfriend and I were aware that we wouldn’t be getting the best weather, but in the end, we decided to go anyway. And we definitely made the right decision.
Although the conditions were a bit rough (and slightly cold) for hiking, we did get to explore the area without all the crowds. In the end, it was the perfect way to relax before the holiday madness – especially considering the fact that we’re hosting Christmas dinner this year!
On the whole, my 2019 travel experiences were great, and I definitely believe I made the right choice to take a few short trips instead of one long one. My plans for next year? For now, they include a possible trip to Europe in September. But other than that, I’m open to anything – as long as it involves nature!
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