My Finest Journey Moments of 2022

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2022 was a yr of gorgeous journey moments. This yr took me to 9 international locations — Mexico, the US, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Iceland, the UK, Portugal, and Austria — and 9 new locations that I named one of the best of 2022.

Going by my month-to-month recaps to create this publish was an absolute pleasure. And it jogged my memory that numerous my favourite journey moments are round good surroundings, good meals, and good individuals. (Then once more, three of those are HIKING. When did I change into a hiker?!)

Additionally, you may discover that a number of of those moments — the tacos al pastor cooking class, Sardinia crusing journey, Xochimilco boat journey, and Lucha Libre wrestling occasion, have been Airbnb Experiences! Airbnb Experiences might be my favourite place to e book excursions and actions proper now, as a result of it’s principally small, unbiased tour suppliers moderately than massive firms.

That may change. In spite of everything, Airbnb lodging was once universally funky and different earlier than massive builders bought maintain of it. However the experiences are nice for now.

And with out additional ado — listed below are my finest journey moments of 2022.

Kate and Charlie taking a smiling selfie wearing sunglasses. Kate holds up one hand and you can see an engagement ring on her finger. Behind them, Renaissance buildings set on a lake.

Getting Engaged in Lake Como

Getting engaged after three years collectively was positively the spotlight of the yr! Charlie requested me to marry him in a backyard in Bellagio, Italy, near the shores of Lake Como.

Sure, I did know the proposal was coming. (Who proposes out of the blue? That’s insane!!) I knew it might occur someday on our three-week Italy journey this summer season. However I didn’t know he would reserve it for the final evening of the Italy journey!

He informed me he waited as a result of he needed it to be someplace particular to us. Lake Como was already particular for us as a result of it was the primary place we went away collectively, and it’s the form of place we might return to time and again.

After the proposal, we celebrated in our favourite fashion — wine and salume. Beginning with two glasses of glowing Franciacorta, adopted by Barolo for me and Amarone for him, and many meats and cheeses.

I really feel so fortunate that I discovered Charlie and we get to spend our lives collectively and can take many, many extra journeys to Italy!

Kate in a long gray dress with her arms around her sister, with blonde wavy hair and a white embroidered dress, and Matt in a white shirt and dark tie. They are on a dance floor at a wedding.

My Sister’s Marriage ceremony in Cape Cod

My sister and brother-in-law have been among the many {couples} who pushed again their weddings because of COVID. They determined to have a micro-wedding in 2020 and push again the large wedding ceremony till 2021. The next yr, their wedding ceremony venue was offered and the brand new proprietor canceled all of the weddings. I’m sorry, THE FUCK?!

Lastly, lastly, they’d their initially deliberate Cape Cod wedding ceremony in September. I used to be the maid of honor. And was this wedding ceremony EVER definitely worth the wait.

Not solely did the venue (Nauset Seashore Inn in Orleans) exhibit one of many Cape’s finest seashores, this wedding ceremony introduced so many individuals collectively and saved the great vibes going all evening. Lots of people stated it was one of the best wedding ceremony they’ve been to, and it’s in all probability one of the best one I’ve been to, too!

And I recognize that Sarah and Matt didn’t really feel like they wanted to incorporate all of the traditions. Speeches? HELL NO TOO BORING. First dance? ONLY 10 SECONDS THEN EVERYONE JOINS IN. Dramatic first entrance? NOPE WE’RE HANGING OUT BEFORE. Children? NOPE LOL. Cake? HOW ABOUT CAPE COD DIRT BOMBS INSTEAD?

So grateful that they have been capable of have their dream wedding ceremony.

Kate taking a smiling selfie in sunglasses in front of an active volcano spewing bright red lava.

Climbing to a Reside Volcano in Iceland

From time to time, you time a visit completely. That was the case for the Iceland street journey Amanda and I deliberate for August. On August 3, Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula started erupting. We have been scheduled to reach on August 12.

Immediately, we switched round our itinerary so we may hike to the volcano on our first day. We awoke early, parked within the very busy parking zone, and set out on our journey.

It took about two hours to hike to the volcano — first, we handed the hardened lava of the 2021 eruption, then climbed a steep hill with switchbacks, then hiked a newly cleared path throughout a lava discipline — then handed the development car doing the clearing! From there it was cautious stepping as we averted the lava clumps.

After heading downhill, we lastly noticed it: a volcano violently spewing vibrant pink lava within the air.

That second took my breath away. How fortunate was I to be in the identical place as this volcano?!

We sat down on the hill, had a protein bar and water picnic, and watched the lava dance, surrounded by lots of of our new finest mates.

By August 21, the eruption was over.

Scientists imagine that there will probably be a number of extra eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula over the following decade. When you’re capable of time your journey to see the volcano, DO IT. You’ll be so glad you probably did it!!

A plate with a tiny stand of meat on top of a pineapple slice, next to a small taco filled with meat, pineapple, and onions.

Studying to Prepare dinner Tacos al Pastor in Mexico Metropolis

Lots of people love to do cooking classes on their travels. Me, not a lot. I’d a lot moderately do a meals tour and sit back and revel in myself moderately than having to do the work. I’m a recipe-follower, not an ingenious prepare dinner by any measure.

However Charlie and I learn gushing evaluations of this tacos al pastor class in Mexico Metropolis and determined to do it. Tacos al pastor usually are not the form of dish you make for one particular person — the meet is usually shaved off a large trompo at a avenue stand.

From the second we have been welcomed into Chef Raja’s stunning courtyard, I knew we had met a kindred spirit. A sort and attention-grabbing man in addition to a culinary faculty teacher, he took us to a market, gave us a lesson on choosing the fitting produce, and taught us all the pieces from find out how to roast chiles to the correct knife abilities for every of the greens.

We every made our personal little trompo for one which day, utilizing a pineapple slice and a picket dowel, and roasted the pork to perfection. We made all the pieces we ate, right down to the tortillas and salsas.

This was only a charming day, begin to end, and Chef Raja and his spouse have been so pretty. Their dwelling just isn’t removed from Coyoacan, so it’s a pleasant exercise to pair with a go to to that neighborhood and Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul.

A half-empty basket of strawberries next to a round cake tin filled with tons of red, ripe strawberries.

Strawberry Season in Prague

This could be a bizarre factor to placed on this record, however I swear it was one in every of my favourite moments of the yr. Folks eat in-season produce within the Czech Republic for essentially the most half; good luck discovering asparagus in October or golden beets in April.

However June was when strawberry season hit. All of the sudden the farmers’ markets had strawberries popping out of their ears.

I purchased an enormous basket and took it dwelling. Then promptly demolished your complete basket. THESE WERE THE BEST STRAWBERRIES I HAD EVER, EVER, EVER TASTED. They usually’re from the Czech Republic!!

It solely lasted two weeks or so, however MAN, that was essentially the most scrumptious time of yr! Throughout that point I made just a few baked items and went by just a few extra baskets, standing over the sink as I ate so the juices may run free.

I have to hold June free subsequent yr so I don’t miss these magical weeks of strawberries!

Kate hiking down a dirt path set against tall bright green cliffs, the bright blue sea below.

Climbing the Path of the Gods in Italy

The Amalfi Coast is without doubt one of the most stunning locations on the planet — however you could be a bit upset while you go to in actual life. The cities are attractive to view from the water, however they’re crowded, troublesome to get round, and very costly.

However for me, the spotlight of the Amalfi Coast is climbing the Path of the Gods. From right here, you get to hike far above the cities of the Amalfi Coast, having fun with the unimaginable magnificence with none of the crowds (simply hikers and goats!).

You begin this hike within the city of Bomerano and proceed till you attain Positano. You’ll have a number of hikers on the path with you (which I feel makes it a sensible choice for solo feminine vacationers), and also you’ll wish to {photograph} all the pieces in sight. Every time you assume you’ve seen one of the best view, one other will unfurl behind you.

I’d think about it a average hike with just a few spots of scrambling. Not as unhealthy as I feared. Truthfully, the worst half was all the steps heading right down to Positano!

A road through a forest filled with bright red and orange leaves.

Good Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

Now that I’ve a New Hampshire web site, I write loads about fall foliage. It’s the busiest time of yr in New Hampshire, and just about the one time of yr that brings worldwide tourism.

This yr, I knew I needed to carry Charlie on a fall foliage journey after Sarah and Matt’s wedding ceremony. We headed as much as the White Mountains in early October and the timing couldn’t have been extra good!

Reds, yellows, and oranges have been exploding so far as the attention may see. I discovered absolutely the good day and vacation spot to be October 7 in Pinkham Notch, the place we drove the Mount Washington Auto Street all the way in which as much as Mount Washington, the best peak within the Northeast US.

We then drove to Glen Ellis Falls and Jackson Falls, having fun with extra foliage views with waterfalls earlier than leaving for Maine.

Rising up in Massachusetts, I actually had no thought how good we had it in New England till I left. When you’re fascinated about fall colours within the least, you MUST head to New England within the fall!

The front of a boat pointed out over a calm blue-green harbor surrounded by cliffs and another sailboat.

An Unimaginable Crusing Day in Sardinia

We took three boat journeys in Sardinia. A mediocre massive group tour in La Maddalena, a enjoyable speedboat journey in San Teodoro. However one of the best journey of all was our sailing trip in Alghero.

What made this journey nice? Probably the most stunning sailboat I’ve ever been on, helmed by Captain Andrea. An ideal-sized group: us, a younger German couple on their honeymoon, an Italian household of 4, and Andrea’s girlfriend. An open-ended itinerary: Andrea taking us to wherever appeared good moderately than making an attempt to knock off an inventory of spots. Paddleboards and snorkeling gear for us to make use of.

Nonetheless, months later, I’m desirous about the lunch Andrea served — it was easy Sardinian fregula pasta with tomatoes, meat, and cheese. Nevertheless it was SO DAMN TASTY, and it was served on that attractive boat, with a prosecco toast adopted by wine.

My favourite second? We pulled up subsequent to a different boat, and we noticed that there was a unadorned previous man on board. We began laughing, the Germans began laughing, the Italian children began laughing. “Welcome in Italy!” the Italian dad stated to us with fun.

This was one of the best exercise we did in Sardinia, and I can’t converse extra extremely of Captain Andrea, who made all the pieces look easy. Among the finest days in Italy this summer season. (Regardless that Charlie bought stung by a jellyfish.)

A brightly painted wooden boat on a forested canal in Mexico.

Xochimilco and Lucha Libre in Mexico Metropolis

Xochimilco had been on the prime of my Mexico Metropolis record ever since our deliberate tour was canceled in March 2020! This yr, we returned to Mexico Metropolis and I lastly bought to participate

Xochimilco (SO-chee-MILL-ko) is without doubt one of the finest cultural partying experiences in Mexico Metropolis. You get a spot on a brightly painted picket boat and also you meander across the canals, ingesting numerous alcohol and blasting numerous music.

When you come right here on a Saturday, it’s WILD. However in case you go in the course of the week, when it’s quieter, book a tour with Airbnb Experiences. We bought on our boat with a enjoyable mixture of vacationers and traveled across the canals, consuming good meals, ingesting numerous beer and tequila, even hiring a mariachi band on a ship to serenade us just a few songs!

A number of individuals on the tour informed us that in case you’ve accomplished Xochimilco proper, you don’t bear in mind getting dwelling that evening. Eek! However man, what a enjoyable party-tastic day!

And we saved that going. That night, we have been off to Lucha Libre — Mexican skilled wrestling! (One other pandemic-cancelled occasion in March 2020.) It was wild and humorous. However what made it most particular was this Airbnb Experience, the place our group really met a wrestler for drinks earlier than going to the present.

That was one of the best thought ever — as a result of abruptly we had somebody to cheer for! When he bought into the ring, we screamed like lifelong followers!

Each of those occasions have been SO MUCH FUN. However actually, I’d make Xochimilco the ONE occasion you do this day. We have been exhausted by night.

(Additionally superior? We met a cool couple from Atlanta in Xochimilco and satisfied them to affix us at Lucha Libre that evening. A number of months later, I used to be consuming a sizzling canine in Reykjavík, Iceland, and I heard, “Hey Kate!” It was that very same couple!)

A model pirate ship holding several afternoon tea pastries, including a fairy-shaped cookie, overlooking the London skyline.

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea in London

Charlie and I am going to London just a few instances a yr — to see his household, for our good friend’s bonfire occasion, for infrequent work occasions. And actually, we’ve form of gotten into the behavior of doing the identical issues each time we go. That’s such a waste for a metropolis as vibrant as London!

So we determined to make an effort to do new issues on our final journey. We noticed The Tempest on the Globe Theatre, had a dinner in whole darkness at Dans le Noir, went to the lads’s style exhibition on the V&A Museum.

However my favourite was the Peter Pan afternoon tea on prime of the Shard. I LOVE afternoon tea, however when it’s themed this properly, it brings it to the following stage!

I introduced my good friend Dylan and collectively we loved fairy mud cocktails, mushroom chimneys, Hook’s lime inexperienced cake, Tinkerbell cookies with gummy crocodiles, and SO far more. And we bought to get pleasure from all of it from the highest of the Shard, with a number of the finest London views on the town.

Subsequent time I’m in London, I’m reserving method forward for one more themed afternoon tea!

A misty green canyon filled with skinny waterfalls and a narrow river. Kate stands in the distance in a hot pink jacket, holding her arms up in triumph.

Climbing to Múlagljúfur Canyon in Iceland

I used to assume that Iceland was too overtouristed. I used to be unsuitable. There are components of Iceland which have numerous tourism — the Golden Circle, Lake Myvatn, and the South Coast are amongst them — however it’s well-managed and much from damaging.

However is it nonetheless doable to get off the crushed path? Undoubtedly. Significantly within the Highlands and the Westfjords.

Amanda and I have been sticking near the vacationer path for this journey. However we discovered a fully magical place — Múlagljúfur Canyon. Near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Múlagljúfur Canyon is on the finish of a really tough street, making it powerful for non-4WD automobiles.

We spent about an hour climbing up into the canyon — and have been rewarded with the view above.

It’s the finest place I’ve ever seen in Iceland. Think about the mist within the air, dashing waterfalls on both sides of you, a hen gliding low and straight by the canyon. Think about the recent scent, the spongy moss beneath your toes.

Better of all, we have been two of only a few individuals there and for awhile had that view utterly to ourselves.

This inevitably brings questions — “Why would you point out this place in case you don’t need individuals going there?” — however I’m assured that the fitting sorts of vacationers will discover their method there. The remaining will assume Jökulsárlón is the best factor they’ve seen.

What have been your favourite journey moments of 2022?