MariaAbroad 2016 – A Year in Review

December rolls around, and we tend to reflect on our accomplishments and successes. Now, after the Holidays are over, we have some time to sit down and take a closer look at the past year. We analyze and compare if we reached our goals and come up with new ones for the coming year. 2016 has been a great year for MariaAbroad and a fascinating journey.

But first things first! I could not have achieved any of my goals without you. You are the ones that make all of this possible. Every comment, every share, every minute you spend on my blog is very much appreciated, and I can’t thank you enough. I am happy that you find my content interesting and I hope I can polish it even more with more insightful articles and photos in the coming year. 

Here are some of my milestones that I achieved this year. It may be small compared to other bloggers, but I am very excited about the progress I made and can’t wait what 2017 has in store for me. And if you keep on reading, I will share my biggest surprise yet with you 🙂

January: Trip to Washington DC, where the husband and I were surprised by Snowstorm Jonas and were stuck in the hotel for a whole weekend. CNN featured my photo of the empty subway, so that was pretty cool as well!

February: I relaunched MariaAbroad, after a blogging sabbatical of almost 5 years. I know… shame on me. I also became a US Citizen that month. Very exciting!

April: Trip to Washington DC with the husband. We had a great time checking out some off the beaten path places like the Arboretum and some fantastic restaurants

May: Fathom Cruise to the Dominican Republic. My first sponsored Press Trip and it was such a wonderful experience 🙂 We volunteered and helped a non-profit that builds water filters for low-income areas in the Dominican Republic. Also, Huffington Post published my first article was published!

July: Road Trip to San Diego with a quick day trip to check out some breweries in Tijuana.

August: Road Trip from San Diego to Zion and Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park Utah, on to Colorado, Denver and through Oklahoma (32nd state! YES!) back down to San Antonio. 

September: The husband and I flew to Iceland for 6 days. We explored the Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the South Coast. What an amazing country!

September/October: Germany – Finally back home with the family after almost 2 years. We also made a quick trip to Munich for Octoberfest! Cheers 🙂

October/November: Philippines for Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) – met some amazing people and learned so much about travel blogging. I was also part of a Familiarization trip to Palawan with TAO expedition, another one to check out some Craft Beer Breweries in Pampanga and finally I set out to explore on my own for about 2 weeks. 

November: San Francisco – On my way back from Asia, I stopped in San Francisco for a few days. A friend of mine got married and I attended her amazing wedding. The bride is Indian and the Groom American, so they had two stunning weddings. What a blast!

December: And now to the big surprise – I bought another Travel Blog. The name is EuropeUpClose and as the name suggests focuses on travel to Europe. I am looking forward to running a well-established niche website and hope I can boost its reach in the coming months. So if you are interested in traveling to Europe soon, head on over and check out my new site. We are currently in transition mode, so you might not find a mention of me there yet. 

I still have a ton of material to share from my trips, and I can’t wait to do that after the holidays.

What is coming in 2017?

2017 is going to be a year of changes. With a little bit of anxiety and a whole lot of excitement, I can now officially announce, that the husband and I are moving to Washington DC this spring. We have been in San Antonio for almost six years then and are looking forward to this change. We’ll be closer to Europe, and I am looking forward to hopping over to see my family more often and explore more of my old continent. Flight prices are ridiculously low from Washington to Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. Even flights to Asia are much cheaper than from San Antonio. 

I am also participating in a challenge to go on a Press Trip to India in March. It would mean the world to me if you could vote for me. It only takes 1 minute, I promise! Thanks so much <3!

In May, I will be going to TBEX in Alabama and in September to TBEX Europe in Ireland. TBEX is a great conference, and I can’t wait to go back and make more connections, learn about ways to improve my blog(s) and get inspired. 

I am in the process of working out details for a couple of more trips, and I can’t wait to share the details with you soon. 2016 has been a fantastic year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for me 🙂 

Do you already have any travel plans for 2017? Where are you heading next year?