2022 – Recap
And… that’s a wrap. When I was opening the year in the beginning with my annual travel bucket list, I was overly excited about what was ahead. The COVID-19 Pandemic was still ongoing (Ironically, I just had over New Year myself), but more travels and fewer restrictions were on the horizon. Little did I know that the US would literally stop all measurements a couple of months later (including masks on airplanes!?) and give the green light for all travels possible. To make up for the lost two years of travel, Daniel and I kicked the year off by booking as many trips as possible.
And ended at a point where I felt truly exhausted from all the traveling and, first and foremost, flying, which is why we took the car for a trip, for once, anticipating that the year would end just as busy. Here are the trips we made this year.
BTS comment: I was surprised myself and should seriously consider partnerships with all these airlines that I throw my money at so frequently, or–at least–get their credit card, lol (looking at you, Alaska Airlines!)
January, February, and March:
We spent most of January exploring our new home state California further and finally made it to Napa Valley for the first time. For a second, we were considering a trip to New York, which we eventually postponed to later that year. Instead, we flew to Phoenix for a long weekend to checkmark a new state (Arizona). I truly enjoyed Phoenix and its artsy scene, but especially its great cuisine and excellent bars that may or may not have set the foundation for my love for Martinis…
In April and May, we had a fun trip planned. Our first actual vacation in years, and for that, we mainly had envisioned going to one of the Caribbean Islands. We quickly had to realize that San Francisco is more remote, or offsite, than we thought, so a stop was incredible. That’s why we decided to combine the trip with a three-day leg in Austin, where we spent a beautiful, sunny weekend and hit off another US state at the same time. From there, we flew to Puerto Rico, where we did not check out one but two areas within one week and were finally able to relax.
Since the way back to San Francisco came with another stop somewhere, we decided it was time to visit our favorite city in the world again. We hadn’t been to New York since 2019 (!); before, it was our annual May trip after some time in Miami, the Caribbean, or Mexico, so it felt natural to go back and spend some days in Manhattan.
In June, we had our first family visit abroad. Daniel’s parents came to San Francisco and spent a week in the Golden State. They explored more of San Francisco in a week than we had made in almost a year, so we were spurred to explore more too. We also drove down the coast and spent a weekend in Monterey / Carmel by the Sea and another weekend in San Diego, where we had to say goodbye for now. It shouldn’t be for too long, though.
At the end of June, we had our wedding anniversary coming up, and we spent it in the place Daniel had proposed in 2017: Hawaii. Since we had visited O’ahu and Maui already, we opted for Kauai this time, which we both agreed came close to Maui. It was just magical, and we enjoyed our time in the central pacific.
Right after we came back from Hawaii, my parents came to visit and spend the entire month of July in the US.
In August, we finally hit another country: Canada. We spent a lovely weekend in Vancouver (only 2 hours flight time away from San Francisco), ate great food, and met amazing people. We also flew to Las Vegas for another weekend to meet my cousin, who was visiting from Germany. Together, we had an awesome weekend bash in Las Vegas Beach Clubs and drank a lot of champagne. We made it just in time to recover, as we had an extensive trip just a couple of days later in September.
Mid of September, Daniel’s brother was getting married in Italy. Since we still had our return flight from San Francisco to Berlin, which we had initially planned for Christmas 2021, we didn’t fly straight to Italy but added a stop in Germany on the first weekend of September. Albeit short, it was incredible to see friends and family that we hadn’t seen for another year and explore how hometown in Berlin in summer one more time. From Berlin, we flew to Rome—as we couldn’t trust Ryanair with all the flight chaos that had happened in Europe during the summer— and spent one night in Rome without missing out on the opportunity to visit Vatican City (which makes its state in our favorite been app).
From Rome, we drove north to Tuscany, where we spent the next week in various hotels (which was not planned and honestly rather exhausting than relaxing). We obviously attended a beautiful family wedding with lots of friends and great people.
To avoid Ryanair once again, we made the decision to fly from Florence to Paris, from where we had booked our next return flight itinerary Paris <> SFO, anticipating we could go home for Christmas 2022. In Paris, we had two awesome days with lots of French wine, mousse Au chocolate, and extensive shopping speed (tax-free shopping olé!).
After an extensive summer of travels, we returned to San Francisco mid of September, anticipating some rather relaxing months when we could hopefully set aside a little money and explore our home state more.
This is why when the travel bug hit again, we opted for a little Road Trip to South Lake Tahoe rather than booking another flight. Frankly, flight prices have increased so much (I’ve read somewhere that some airports charge 40% more than last year, holy!) that we didn’t bother to go somewhere just for the sake of hitting another state. South Lake Tahoe was a beautiful, relaxing weekend getaway that we spent in a charming boutique-style motel.
Although we had planned to slow down traveling a little, we could not not book a trip on the US holiday weekend – Thanksgiving. This time, we opted for Denver. I had heard great things about Colorado’s Capital. First and foremost, it was also frankly just the cheapest option for that particular weekend (other ideas included Boise and Salt Lake City). And since we planned for 2022 to explore as many US States as possible, Colorado seemed to be one of the most reasonable to go over a long weekend.
The month of December pretty much started as extensive as our summer had been. We kicked it off with a birthday trip to Austin, where our American friends that we had met in Singapore had just bought a house. There, we spent some lovely and relaxing days together, had a Champagne free flow, and did lots of sports. Since we had recently learned that we wouldn’t be able to take the return flight that we had booked back in August, as we currently can’t leave the United States, we promptly booked another trip to Austin for Christmas, as Matt and Ali graciously invited us to spend the holidays with them as well. From Austin, we flew to the one-and-only New York one more time to spend the rest of the year with Daniel’s parents in our favorite city of the world.
That’s a wrap
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would travel to Austin three times (!) this year, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here I am, right now, in my favorite city of all time at the end of the great year of 2022, full of travels, family, fun, and champagne. I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in stock for us. Little hint: we will hit the year with another trip to a place we just had been to…