Visiting the Mayan Ruins of Chacchoben
January 16, 2017
Discovering Roatan’s Coral Reefs
January 24, 2017

Happy Birthday to Passports to Life!

Birthday cake with candles, bright lights bokeh.

Happy Birthday, Passports to Life! I can’t believe one year ago yesterday I made my first real post on Passports to Life. I’ve learned so much about website design, SEO, and writing in this past year. I’ve also learned a lot about photography and picture and video editing. Since the new year I haven’t been very good at getting new content up, but I promise there is some coming!

To reminisce about what I’ve learned and accomplished in the past year I’d like to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit my five favorite posts and trips from the past year.

My Favorite Plane ride

Me enjoying a glass of champagne in Etihad First Class

Without a doubt my favorite plane ride was the Etihad first class apartment. Since I’ve flown that it makes every other plane ride seem sub-par because the service, food, and amenities were so good! I booked that trip for just 80,000 American Airlines miles, which has since been raised to 110,000, but that still represents a good value since the flight from Abu Dhabi to New York would cost you about $10,000 meaning I got more than 12 cents per mile value when I booked. If you were to book using miles today you would get about 9 cents per mile. Both are extremely good value bookings considering most credit card points can only be used at a fixed value of 1-1.5 cents per mile if booking on the credit card’s travel site.

The Craziest Trip

When we were in Abu Dhabi we HAD to ride a camel!

One of my favorite trips from the past year was visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi with my friend Thad (follow him on instagram @lathad). The original reason for my trip to Dubai was to ride in the Etihad first class apartment mentioned above. We managed to squeeze a trip to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi in an extended long weekend. After it took about a whole day to get there, we were left with two days in each city, but we made the most of it by doing some of the ridiculous things Dubai had to offer, like indoor skiing when it was 100 degrees outside. We also did some of the touristy things like riding a camel and visiting the top of the world’s tallest building. Our trip to the United Arab Emirates was too short, so I am hoping to visit again soon!

My favorite destination

The view from our Bungalow

I gave you all some insight into why picking a favorite place is so hard for me, but in the end the Maldives is my favorite place I’ve been in the past year. Even though we were only there for 5 days, and it took forever to get there, its beauty and crystal clear waters made it worth it. Plus who wouldn’t want to spend their birthday in a tropical paradise! I had always wanted to stay in an overwater bungalow, and I got to check that off my list in the Maldives. I would love to go back and stay longer some time in the future.

My favorite hotel

Drinks by the Pool

We stayed in some killer hotels this year, and got some really great deals, but my favorite hotel in the past year was probably the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. We stayed there twice and they really took great care of us. From the amazing food, to the complimentary photoshoot with our dog Grace we loved the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island.

Grace Really Enjoyed the Ritz Carlton’s Bed

Most fun post to write

London Pubs

The King’s Arms

The post I had the most fun with was the 7 pubs you should visit if you want to sightsee in London. This post was fun because I actually participated! I was able to talk with locals and warm up with a pint on the cold and rainy day in London. I had fun planning out my day’s route because I was able to search and find places I would have normally just passed by.

While I can’t believe my first year as a travel blogger is over, I am excited to see what the next year has in store. I hope to get a couple really cool trips planned soon because my wanderlust is starting to set in.


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