2016 – My travel year in review: 15 trips in 12 months

Raluca Loteanu January 1, 2017
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travel year in review

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At the beginning of 2016 one of my most important goals for the new year was to travel more. Now, at the end of the year, I am looking back and I am glad that we traveled a lot and we gathered a lot of wonderful memories. My travel year in review is a list full of wonderful destinations we enjoyed over the year and I hope it will inspire you for planing your future travel destinations.

In 2016 we focused on road trips through Romania (my home country), but we also planned some nice trips outside the country. We wanted to show to our little boy all the wonderful places in his country. At the beginning of the year we had no idea that we will move to the USA, but now I am really happy we traveled in our country before moving abroad.

If you don’t know Romania, I hope to discover it through my photos and maybe they will make you want to travel there and enjoy it on your own. 🙂

I gathered all our 2016 trips in this post and as I cannot include here details about each trip (there is a lot to tell about each destination), I will let the photos guide you through our adventures. If you like one of the destinations and you want more details about it, just let me know and I will be glad to share with you more information.

I made here a list of the destinations we visited in each month of the year and looking back at all of them I feel like we had a wonderful travel year! We really had the chance to travel to a lot of places, from little farms in Romania to wonderful cities in Spain and amazing destinations in the USA. I can only hope that 2017 will be as generous from the travel point of view, I am looking forward to discovering new destinations.

January

Our first road trip in 2016 took us to the Carpathian mountains, in Busteni, Sinaia and Brasov (1). We enjoyed the snowy days and we visited the attraction in the area.

My favorite part of the trip: the visit to the Cantacuzino palace, an old palace hidden between the mountains

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The end of the January brought my first trip alone since I am a mother. I went on a short road trip to Constanta (2), the biggest Romanian city at the seaside. It was the first time I slept without Bogdan since I gave birth, so I was a little bit nervous, but all went very well.

My favorite part of the trip: the walk on the empty beach, enjoying the sound of the wave

February

At the beginning of February, we went on a road trip to the Bulgarian mountains, in Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo (3). It was the first time I traveled to Bulgaria and I was glad to discover the nice hotels and the friendly staff.

My favorite part of the trip: the Bulgarian food was amazing, a very nice surprise for us

In February we also drove to a wonderful hotel near the Carpathian mountains: Potcoava Mountain Hideaway (4). The hotel is hidden behind the hills and the whole area is very quiet and beautiful, so we enjoyed the stay. Bogdan had a cold as we were there, so the nights were a little bit hard, but besides that we really liked the trip.

My favorite part of the trip: the horses from the hotel, they were so wild and beautiful

March

My gift on Mother’s Day (8th of March) was a road trip to a big farm in the southeast of Romania, named Ferma Dacilor (5). They surprised us with delicious meals, but the weather was very rainy and the whole yard was full of mud, so it wasn’t as great as I imagined, but we still had a nice time.

My favorite part of the trip: Bogdan’s joy when he discovered all the animals from the farm

March also brought us a wonderful trip to Madrid, Spain (6). We traveled there to watch a football game between Real Madrid and Wolfsburg, but we combined it with some additional days for enjoying the town and it was one of our favorite destinations in 2016.

My favorite part of the trip: the day we spent at the zoo, it was full of joy for all of us

May

We spent the first days of May in Brasov (7), one of the most beautiful towns in the Carpathian Mountains.

From Brasov we made a wonderful trip to Viscri, a very special village that the part of the UNESCO inheritance. The inn where we stayed totally conquered us with its charm and we had the chance to be almost completely “disconnected” from the daily hustle as the telephone signal was very weak.

My favorite part of the trip: the time spent at Viscri 125, the place where we stayed in Viscri, where we enjoyed the huge yard and the fresh mountain air

At the end of the month, we made a trip to the Black Sea and enjoyed the seaside in Eforie Nord (8). The small town is not considered a very popular destination on the Romanian seaside, but our stay there was really nice, especially because it was during the off-season and it wasn’t crowded at all.

My favorite part of the trip: the time we spent on the beach, it was a lot of silence and I loved to hear the waves

June

In June we made the biggest road trip from 2016 and we discovered a lot of great places in Transilvania (9). We went to a different place every day and we were surprised to find so many amazing things. It was the most challenging trip of the year and it required a lot of planning but it was. totally worth the effort. I could write a lot of posts only about this trip, we saw a lot of special places and we had the chance to get to know Transilvania as it is: beautiful, special and still not so popular within foreign tourist as it should be.

My favorite part of the trip: the two days we spent in Cluj, the biggest city in Transilvania

August

In August we made a road trip to Madara, in Bulgaria (10) and it was a very nice combination of walks in the mountains and time spent on the beach. The Madara area is very beautiful and not so well known by the tourists, so we enjoyed the silence of the place and all the attractions of the area.

My favorite part of the trip: the Ovech fortress and the amazing views from the top

At the end of the month, we made a trip to Pastel Chalet (11), a unique hotel in the Carpathian mountains. The hosts from the hotel made a very nice program for the guests, so we made a lot of interesting things during our stay, including a walk through the National Preserve in the Ciucas Mountains.

My favorite part of the trip: the visit to the bison reservation

September

In September we went Corfu Island, in Greece (12). This trip was meant to give me and my husband more quality time together, so we used all the facilities for kids of the resort and we enjoyed wonderful moments at the pool and on the beach. The island has a lot of wonderful places to discover, so we drove to some of them and enjoyed the great weather and the special charm of the island.

My favorite part of the trip: the special couple time we spent in the resort, at the pool and on the beach

November

November brought us the most “brave” trip of the year, as we flew to New York (13).  I went to New York only with Bogdan, so the flight over the ocean with a small child was a real challenge and the days spent in the town were a combination of famous attractions and child-friendly places. I will write more about New York on the blog, I can’t wait to tell more about our trip there, it was really amazing!

My favorite part of the trip: the Macy Parade on Thanksgiving Day, it was really impresive and I enjoyed it a lot

In November I moved to California, so my travel plans changed a lot and I began to look for destinations close to our new home. (I wrote here about the story of our move to California)

December

In December I started to discover California and to go to short trips around our home.

My favorite destination is San Francisco (14), a town that I wanted to discover more in the next months. We made some weekend trips there, but we still have a lot of places we want to visit.

The end of December brought us a trip to Las Vegas (15) that we planned in a very short notice. We enjoyed the drive and also stopped at a nice farm along the road, so the long distance wasn’t so hard to manage. The town was very shinny and glamourous, exactly how I imagined it.

My favorite part of the trip: the evening walks on the Strip, admiring the lights


This is my list, I was very glad to remember all the trips from over the year and they really made me want to travel even more in 2017. I only hope this wish will come true! 🙂

I am curious to find out about your travel destinations from 2016, I am looking for some inspiration for my future travel plans, so I would be glad to find them out.

What was your favorite travel destination in 2016?

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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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Comments (44 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Alexa

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, all of your traveling is so inspiring to me! I didn't go anywhere major in 2017, but I am going to Italy in April to visit my sister who will be studying abroad there! :)
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Wow, Italy is amazing! There are a lot of wonderful places to visit! I hope you will enjoy your trip there! :-)
  • avatar image

    Ruthie Ridley

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    What a year! I love that your little guy got to experience so many amazing places!r
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      He is really happy to travel with us and I think this is great for him because he has the chance to visit some amazing places!
  • avatar image

    chrissyzang@gmail.com

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, so many amazing travels! I wish I had the time to travel that much! 2016 was a year of career building for me, so we only traveled to the Baltic Sea for our summer vacation. We really hope to travel a lot more this year!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      I wish you a lot of wonderful travel time in 2017! :-)
  • avatar image

    Adrienne

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! you are a family after my own heart! I love traveling, seeing different places meeting new people this is definitely a cultural awareness builder! Great pictures!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Adrienne! :-)
  • avatar image

    Erica Valentin

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow gorgeous photos! I hope I get to travel like this someday!
  • avatar image

    Lisa Elaine

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    You went to so many amazing places. This is my goal for this year. More traveling and less spending money on things. This was inspiring. Glad I came across it! Lisa Elaine
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      I wish you a year full of amazing travel experiences!
  • avatar image

    Ruth

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! That was quite a year! I am glad I was able to learn more about Romania through your post. I did my first trip to Eastern Europe last year and fell in love with the region. Where in California you moved? I live in the Los Angeles area. #MondayEscapes
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Romania has really amazing places to visit, maybe you will get there someday, I think it is worth the visit! :-) I life in San Jose now, we moved here in November.
    • avatar image

      Lynda

      April 21, 2017 Reply
      I'm imrsesped. You've really raised the bar with that.
  • avatar image

    Rachel G

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! 15 trips in a year! That's a big year of travel! I traveled a little more than usual this year, but definitely not 15 trips, maybe 6 or 7. Hope your 2017 is splendid!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you! I wish you a wonderful new year! :-)
  • avatar image

    Meghan

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    So cool and such an eventful year of travel! Well wishes and more travel for you in the new year! Cheers!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Meghan! :-)
  • avatar image

    Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, I'm so impressed with the number of places you visited! I've heard about Romania from some of my friends and they've told me it's beautiful.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Yes, it's a really beautiful country with a lot of great places to visit! I'm glad that your friends liked it!
  • avatar image

    Holly

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    It looks like you went on so many great adventures. The pictures you took are so pretty.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you! :-)
  • avatar image

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)

    January 3, 2017 Reply
    a lot of great trips! and a move! #mondayescapes
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Yes, it was a full year for us! :-)
  • avatar image

    Sarah Christie

    January 4, 2017 Reply
    Oh wow what an incredible year you have had, and what a huge move! I love NYC and Vegas and Romania look stunning I have always wanted to visit Transylvania. Thanks so much for linking up and have a great 2017 #MondayEscapes xxx
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Sarah! I wish you a wonderful year with a lot of amazing travel experiences!
  • avatar image

    Punita Malhotra

    January 5, 2017 Reply
    That is a a lot of travel to a lot of varied places in one year! Just curious, do you ever worry about travel inertia? Personally, I wouldn't be able to keep up such a pace. But, kudos to you. Wishing you more travels...
  • avatar image

    Mimi

    January 6, 2017 Reply
    You had an amazing year! Wouw Brasov! Went like 4 years ago and absolutely loved it! I se eyou went to Veliko Tarnovo too, I did it just before takign the train to Romania from Bullgaria! What a trip!
  • avatar image

    blair villanueva

    January 8, 2017 Reply
    You are very inspiring travelling to many places with your kid He's adorable :) We are thrilled with yiur adventures and we can't wait to read more!
  • avatar image

    Veronica

    January 8, 2017 Reply
    2016 seems to have been full of happy moments and adventures! This is quite embarrassing but I have never been to Bulgaria and Romania even though I live in Ukraine. I should fix it in 2017. You shared some amazing moments from those places.
  • avatar image

    Ami

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Lovely recap. I loved your Jan and August the most. Here is to more of travels and exciting adventures in 2017, Cheers.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Ami!
  • avatar image

    EG III

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    You had an awesome year. Even better that many of your travels included your entire family as well. Romania has actually flown under the radar for me for quite some time, but I think I definitely need to add it to the list of places I need to make it to soon.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      I hope you will get to visit Romania, it's really a nice country!
  • avatar image

    Elena

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    2016 was quite a year for you. I hope you enjoy California for now. When you get bored with it (it might sound strange but, at some point, you will :) ), go up North to see majestic mountains of Pacific Northwest, visit Seattle and Portland. Cheers!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Seattle is on my travel wish list for this year, so I hope to get there and enjoy the city!
  • avatar image

    Shane

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Wow, I haven't yet heard of some of the places you ventured! Would love to look more into visiting off the beaten path destinations.
  • avatar image

    suanlee

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Those horses you came across in February were so cute! What an incredible year you have had. I am glad you managed to maintain your goal for the year. Your child is so lucky to be able to visit and travel to all of these beautiful places with you! I think that makes it that much more special. I hope your new year allows for much adjustment and more good memories in California.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you!
  • avatar image

    Ana Ojha

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Wow! Looks like you had a wonderful 2016! I wish you have a better 2017 full of more travels and adventures!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Ana!
  • avatar image

    Davide uTravelShare.com

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Sooo many places and wonderful experience you have done in your 2016! My year was brilliant too with 6 months travelling around South America departing on November 2015 and ended on April 2016! I don't think to travel a lot on this year; thanks for sharing your beautiful experience and your nice pictures :-D
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      What a great trip you had! I hope to visit South America someday, it's really an amazing place with a lot of wonderful countries!
  • My travel wish list for 2017 - Playful Notes

    January 26, 2017 Reply
    […] wrote about my travel year in review and I realized that 2016 brought us a lot of wonderful trips and I want to continue with even more […]

Leave your comment

Comments (44 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Alexa

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, all of your traveling is so inspiring to me! I didn't go anywhere major in 2017, but I am going to Italy in April to visit my sister who will be studying abroad there! :)
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Wow, Italy is amazing! There are a lot of wonderful places to visit! I hope you will enjoy your trip there! :-)
  • avatar image

    Ruthie Ridley

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    What a year! I love that your little guy got to experience so many amazing places!r
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      He is really happy to travel with us and I think this is great for him because he has the chance to visit some amazing places!
  • avatar image

    chrissyzang@gmail.com

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, so many amazing travels! I wish I had the time to travel that much! 2016 was a year of career building for me, so we only traveled to the Baltic Sea for our summer vacation. We really hope to travel a lot more this year!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      I wish you a lot of wonderful travel time in 2017! :-)
  • avatar image

    Adrienne

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! you are a family after my own heart! I love traveling, seeing different places meeting new people this is definitely a cultural awareness builder! Great pictures!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Adrienne! :-)
  • avatar image

    Erica Valentin

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow gorgeous photos! I hope I get to travel like this someday!
  • avatar image

    Lisa Elaine

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    You went to so many amazing places. This is my goal for this year. More traveling and less spending money on things. This was inspiring. Glad I came across it! Lisa Elaine
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      I wish you a year full of amazing travel experiences!
  • avatar image

    Ruth

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! That was quite a year! I am glad I was able to learn more about Romania through your post. I did my first trip to Eastern Europe last year and fell in love with the region. Where in California you moved? I live in the Los Angeles area. #MondayEscapes
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Romania has really amazing places to visit, maybe you will get there someday, I think it is worth the visit! :-) I life in San Jose now, we moved here in November.
    • avatar image

      Lynda

      April 21, 2017 Reply
      I'm imrsesped. You've really raised the bar with that.
  • avatar image

    Rachel G

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow! 15 trips in a year! That's a big year of travel! I traveled a little more than usual this year, but definitely not 15 trips, maybe 6 or 7. Hope your 2017 is splendid!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you! I wish you a wonderful new year! :-)
  • avatar image

    Meghan

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    So cool and such an eventful year of travel! Well wishes and more travel for you in the new year! Cheers!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Meghan! :-)
  • avatar image

    Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, I'm so impressed with the number of places you visited! I've heard about Romania from some of my friends and they've told me it's beautiful.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Yes, it's a really beautiful country with a lot of great places to visit! I'm glad that your friends liked it!
  • avatar image

    Holly

    January 2, 2017 Reply
    It looks like you went on so many great adventures. The pictures you took are so pretty.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you! :-)
  • avatar image

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)

    January 3, 2017 Reply
    a lot of great trips! and a move! #mondayescapes
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Yes, it was a full year for us! :-)
  • avatar image

    Sarah Christie

    January 4, 2017 Reply
    Oh wow what an incredible year you have had, and what a huge move! I love NYC and Vegas and Romania look stunning I have always wanted to visit Transylvania. Thanks so much for linking up and have a great 2017 #MondayEscapes xxx
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 5, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Sarah! I wish you a wonderful year with a lot of amazing travel experiences!
  • avatar image

    Punita Malhotra

    January 5, 2017 Reply
    That is a a lot of travel to a lot of varied places in one year! Just curious, do you ever worry about travel inertia? Personally, I wouldn't be able to keep up such a pace. But, kudos to you. Wishing you more travels...
  • avatar image

    Mimi

    January 6, 2017 Reply
    You had an amazing year! Wouw Brasov! Went like 4 years ago and absolutely loved it! I se eyou went to Veliko Tarnovo too, I did it just before takign the train to Romania from Bullgaria! What a trip!
  • avatar image

    blair villanueva

    January 8, 2017 Reply
    You are very inspiring travelling to many places with your kid He's adorable :) We are thrilled with yiur adventures and we can't wait to read more!
  • avatar image

    Veronica

    January 8, 2017 Reply
    2016 seems to have been full of happy moments and adventures! This is quite embarrassing but I have never been to Bulgaria and Romania even though I live in Ukraine. I should fix it in 2017. You shared some amazing moments from those places.
  • avatar image

    Ami

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Lovely recap. I loved your Jan and August the most. Here is to more of travels and exciting adventures in 2017, Cheers.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Ami!
  • avatar image

    EG III

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    You had an awesome year. Even better that many of your travels included your entire family as well. Romania has actually flown under the radar for me for quite some time, but I think I definitely need to add it to the list of places I need to make it to soon.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      I hope you will get to visit Romania, it's really a nice country!
  • avatar image

    Elena

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    2016 was quite a year for you. I hope you enjoy California for now. When you get bored with it (it might sound strange but, at some point, you will :) ), go up North to see majestic mountains of Pacific Northwest, visit Seattle and Portland. Cheers!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Seattle is on my travel wish list for this year, so I hope to get there and enjoy the city!
  • avatar image

    Shane

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Wow, I haven't yet heard of some of the places you ventured! Would love to look more into visiting off the beaten path destinations.
  • avatar image

    suanlee

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Those horses you came across in February were so cute! What an incredible year you have had. I am glad you managed to maintain your goal for the year. Your child is so lucky to be able to visit and travel to all of these beautiful places with you! I think that makes it that much more special. I hope your new year allows for much adjustment and more good memories in California.
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you!
  • avatar image

    Ana Ojha

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Wow! Looks like you had a wonderful 2016! I wish you have a better 2017 full of more travels and adventures!
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Ana!
  • avatar image

    Davide uTravelShare.com

    January 9, 2017 Reply
    Sooo many places and wonderful experience you have done in your 2016! My year was brilliant too with 6 months travelling around South America departing on November 2015 and ended on April 2016! I don't think to travel a lot on this year; thanks for sharing your beautiful experience and your nice pictures :-D
    • avatar image

      Raluca

      January 20, 2017 Reply
      What a great trip you had! I hope to visit South America someday, it's really an amazing place with a lot of wonderful countries!
  • My travel wish list for 2017 - Playful Notes

    January 26, 2017 Reply
    […] wrote about my travel year in review and I realized that 2016 brought us a lot of wonderful trips and I want to continue with even more […]
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