Julie Travel Inspiration 1 Comment

Just like that, another year comes to an end. As we get ready to flip the calendar over into 2018, it’s nice to look back and reflect on the past year.

For us, 2017 was all about balancing work and school and sports with as much travel as possible. It was a hectic year, but we all think that, don’t we?

A Quick Recap of Our Year in Travel

Number of new countries visited:  6 (Aruba, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, San Marino, Poland)
Favorite new destination:  The American Southwest…simply WOW!
Worst travel moment:  Tim getting a mild case of food poisoning our first night in Sarajevo
Best travel moment:  Standing on top of Half Dome in Yosemite

Here are our favorite photos and favorite travel moments of 2017. We hope they inspire you as you make your 2018 travel plans.

The Best of 2017

Our year started off with a quick trip to Aruba. We escaped the cold winter temperatures for a brief visit to the Caribbean. Tyler gets credit for taking this photo with our drone.

Favorite Moments of 2017


We spent a lot of time this year exploring the National Parks in the United States. This is view from the  John Muir Trail in Yosemite.

Hiking Yosemite


There were a bunch of places that took us by surprise this year. San Marino was one of them. What an underrated country to visit in Europe. Have you been?

San Marino


Kotor, Montenegro was another place that blew away our expectations. There is so much to see and do in this small European country.



Exploring the American Southwest was a huge highlight of the year for us. Tim and I were thrilled to finally see this iconic view of Monument Valley.

Forrest Gump Point


We spent one day wandering the canals of Venice. The Grand Canal at night is magical.

Grand Canal


Tyler and Kara rode a cable car for their first time in San Francisco.

San Francisco Trolley


They also got to see the largest tree in the world, the General Sherman Tree at Sequoia National Park.

General Sherman Tree


I think all four of us would agree that our favorite moment of 2017 was climbing the Half Dome cables. What a thrilling experience! If you are a hiker, this is definitely a good one to add to your bucket list.

Half Dome Cables


And what a view once you are on top of Half Dome.

Top of Half Dome


In 2017, we visited several fairytale destinations. This is Rakotzbrucke in Saxony, Germany.



And this is the Bastei Bridge, located just a few hours away from Rakotzbrucke. You can visit both of these places in a cool little day trip from Berlin.

Bastei Bridge


Mostar, located in Bosnia & Herzegovina, also looks like it belongs in a fairytale.



Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of Europe’s great small cities to explore. What a view!



Bryce Canyon amazed us with its hoodoos, crazy rock formations, and short, scenic hiking trails.

Bryce Canyon


Not too far away from Bryce is an awesome hike through Zebra Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Zebra Slot Canyon


Antelope Canyon is also amazing.

Ladder Antelope Canyon


A big moment of the year for me was crossing the finish line of Ironman Italy.

Julie Rivenbark


This picturesque street was taken in the small town of Bertinoro, located on the bike course of Ironman Italy.



Zion has been on our bucket list for quite awhile. The view from Angels Landing was one of the highlights.

View from Angels Landing


Climbing Angels Landing was awesome, but we also really loved Hidden Canyon (also in Zion).

Hiking Zion


I spent several days on my own, photographing the waterfalls and fall colors around Asheville, North Carolina. This is Catawba Falls.

Catawba Falls


Watching the sunset at Horseshoe Bend was amazing.

Horseshoe Bend


While exploring Montenegro, we also visited this pretty place, Pavlova Strana, at Lake Skadar National Park. It looks like a greener Horseshoe Bend, don’t you think?

Skadar Montenegro


Here we are in Boston. This photo was taken just a few months ago, when I was still (barely) taller than Tyler. How quickly things change!

Julie and Tyler Boston


Here is a street cafe in gorgeous Verona, Italy.

Verona Cafe


Teardrop Arch offers a unique perspective of Monument Valley. I’m so glad we decided to do this lesser known, “unpopular” hike. It was another one of those unexpectedly awesome surprises of 2017.

Teardrop Arch


Here’s another unexpectedly awesome place…Milocer Beach in Montenegro.

Montenegro Beach


Our favorite part of exploring San Diego was leaving the city and hiking Torrey Pines State Reserve and kayaking at La Jolla Cove.

Torrey Pines


Yes, Dubrovnik is in this post twice. It’s such a cool city that just one photo was not enough.

Dubrovnik in April

Finally, we are just finishing up a trip to Las Vegas and Death Valley. At the time I am writing this, we are still in Las Vegas, getting ready to join the crazy crowds on the Las Vegas strip for New Year’s Eve.

For the past week, we have been touring Las Vegas and the surrounding state parks of Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire. But our three days in Death Valley was definitely the highlight of this trip. Death Valley is gorgeous, desolate, and filled with never-ending vistas and strange but beautiful landscapes. We had a blast exploring this place, with off-road adventures and lots of hiking.

I haven’t had much time to go through our photos yet, but here are two of our favorites from Death Valley (plus the header photo for this post, taken at the Racetrack).

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Sand Dune Death Valley


Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Can you find Tyler and Kara?

Death Valley Landscape

So, there they are, our favorite moments of 2017. We hope they give you ideas on where to travel to next. And just maybe they become some of your favorite travel moments also!

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Favorite Travel Moments of 2017


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Comments 1

  1. Avatar for writemyessay

    I Was in San Marino two years ago. it’s a wonderful place, I also managed to visit the tower-fortress of Guaita, which you have in the picture. On top of Monte Titano there are three fortresses: Guaita, Cesta, and Montale. The most majestic and the oldest of these is the tower of Guaita. It was built in the 11th century. For a long time, there was a prison in the fortress. It is still home to cannons donated by the kings of Italy, which are used to fire blank cartridges during national celebrations/ I wish we had seen those shots, but maybe we will be lucky next time)))

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