Reflections On 2017 Travel

If you celebrate, I hope you had very merry Christmas spent surrounded by loved ones. If not, I hope you had a beautiful day, also spent with loved ones or doing what you love. We spent time with our families and it was so much fun watching Baby ISO understand Christmas and thrive being around so much family.


As the year winds down, I love reflecting on the local and international trips we took as well as taking a look back at my original travel goals and wishes for the year. In regards to travel, I named 2017 the "year of something different." And in some ways, it very much was. But not in the way that I had expected, with initial dreams of camping, hiking, and snorkeling. Instead, I bought a bike and started exploring Florence and Tuscany. We moved internationally with a toddler, a cat, and a lot of stuff from Vilnius, Lithuania to Florence, Italy.

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Trips from 2017

Overall, 2017 wasn't a year packed with travel, but I did take some wonderful trips. I loved figuring out how to make trips more toddler-friendly and even would consider traveling alone with Baby ISO again, despite the ear-pain barf episode.

This year, J, Baby ISO, and I had the chance to travel to:

Riga, Latvia --> Get out of the old town to visit Rocket Bean Roastery and Labietis Brewery.

Parnu, Estonia --> Stay at Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa, which is wonderful for families.

Florence, Italy --> Our new home!

Viareggio, Italy --> Tuscan beach day with my sister

Bagno a Ripoli, Italy --> Bike trip from Firenze for an olive oil festival!

Bari, Italy --> Relaxing trip in an under-rated city

Alberobello, Italy --> Italian town with historic homes that could be deconstructed quickly

Kaunas, Lithuania --> If in Lithuania, you must visit the 9th Fort.

Raudondvaris, Lithuania --> A beautiful castle that is just a short drive away from Kaunas.

 

Best Travel Memories from 2017

Lego Land Berlin:

Hearing Baby ISO recount his fun at Lego Land catapults this to one of my best travel experiences of 2017. We had such fun in Berlin, and Lego Land was actually our first stop of the trip. It set us up for a great visit to a city I'd been dying to see! I'll post more about fun things to do with toddlers in Berlin soon!

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Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa:

Before our move from Vilnius, we wanted to take one last road trip to visit favorite spots and see places we missed. During the road trip, we spent a few days in the picture-perfect city of Parnu. This under-rated resort town has so much to offer families. Our trip to Parnu was so relaxing, especially because of our stay at the Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa.

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9th Fort:

I was blown away by our visit to the 9th Fort, a memorial to a site of mass murder from 1941 to 1943. The memorial was very powerful and the on-site museums educated visitors on the horrific history from this site.

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Visits from Family and Friends

With our recent move to Florence, we've hosted so many visitors and I love being able to show them around. My sister visited just after we moved and we were able to have our first sights of the David, the city skyline, and the Forte Belvedere together. A couple of weeks later, J's parents came to visit, then Baby ISO's babysitter from Vilnius. Later, my old roommate from China and his son stopped by for a weekend and it was so much fun seeing his son, who I haven't seen since he was born, and him meeting Baby ISO, who he had never met. Then we had friends from Vilnius come and in January, my parents will visit! We've never had this many visitors, so it is wonderful to be able to host them and enjoy their company!

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Though this year was a bit thin on travel, it wasn't lacking on memorable experiences--especially those with a two-year-old in tow! What travels did you get up to this year?