2018 turned out to be one of our busiest years yet, with our travels taking us all across North America and Europe. Whether the trips were for friends, family, work commitments, or romantic escapes, it’s extremely humbling that we got to cross so many destinations off of our wish list or visit a place that we had never even considered before. While I am sad I did not meet my goal of making it to Asia this year, it is definitely still my number 1 goal for 2019. Keep reading for a recap of all of our travels of 2018 below.
1. New York
Our first destination of the year was to my former hometown of New York City. Before we were to fly with Finnair to Finland, we decided to spend a few days in the Big Apple checking out the Downton Abbey exhibition and meeting up with family and friends.
Posts from New York: How We Handle Long Distance / New York Travel Guide
Our first big trip of 2018 was to Finland in collaboration with Visit Finland, which turned out to be one of the most incredible trips we have ever done. It was a country neither of us had been to before, and immersing ourselves in with the Finnish culture turned out to become a favorite. Not only did we savor delicious Finnish cuisine, but we also got to stay in treehouse, we watched the snow fall from our glass igloo, I learned how to ski, and we also had one night of beautiful Northern Lights.
Posts from Finland: Finland Packing List / Helsinki City Guide / Day Trip to Porvoo / Winter Road Trip with Sixt / Arctic Treehouse Hotel / Skiing in Levi / Romantic Glass Igloo / Finland Itinerary + Vlogs / Finland Travel Guide
When Torrance booked a movie that was to film in Ireland, we were extremely lucky to realize the dates coincided with our second wedding anniversary. I joined up with Tor at a castle in northwestern Ireland before we moved on to another romantic castle in time for Easter and our anniversary. We then visited two more hotels on the east coast of Ireland before finishing our trip in Dublin, a city Tor and I have been lucky to frequent several times and love with all of our heart.
Posts from Ireland: Ireland Packing List / Romantic Irish Castle / Weekend Bliss in Dublin / Why I Love Afternoon Tea / Ireland Travel Guide
Work commitments brought Torrance and I to Rome in the spring, and I was extremely excited to visit as I had never been to Rome before. Winding our way through the streets of Italy’s capital, we couldn’t get enough of all the cacio e pepe, gelato, and red wine.
Posts from Rome: Our Roman Hideaway / Rome Travel Guide
After Tor’s work commitments completed in Rome, we ventured out to Tuscany for some R&R and wine tasting. Our first stop in Tuscany had us staying at a romantic castle in the misty, rolling Tuscan hills where we enjoyed some authentic Italian home cooking and local Tuscan wine. We finished our Tuscan adventure with a stay in a gorgeous, colorful villa set within one of the area’s most famous wine regions.
Posts from Tuscany: A Castle in the Clouds / Colors in Tuscany / Tuscany Travel Guide
In the spring, we knocked Wales off of our bucket list in collaboration with Visit Britain as we highlighted some of the best and perhaps not-so-well-known royal destinations within the country. We only had time to visit southern Wales, but our stops in Cardiff, Abergavenny, and Llangoed Hall (which has been a favorite spot of Prince Charles’ for years) made us with we could have stayed longer.
Posts from Wales: A Weekend in Wales With Visit Britain / What I Would Wear to the Royal Wedding / A Brief Summary of our UK Road Trip / Wales Travel Guide
6. The Cotswolds, England
Combining fairytale villages, gorgeous sunny days, and Downton Abbey filming locations left us speechless for our week in the Cotswolds. From touring Tudor palaces to horse riding through the most romantic towns I have ever laid eyes on, we are already planning another visit to explore more of what the region has to offer.
Posts from The Cotswolds: Royal Escape In The Cotswolds / Our Favorite Downton Abbey Filming Locations / A Brief Summary of our UK Road Trip / The Cotswolds Travel Guide
I cannot visit Europe without a stop in my favorite city in the world, plus we happened to be in town for the weekend of the royal wedding. Royal mayhem was everywhere and I couldn’t help but fall in love with London all over again for the 7th time. We stayed at a gorgeous hotel that overlooked Kensington Palace, and just for a few days I felt like I could be a royal myself.
Posts from London: Royal Luxury in London / A Classic Twist / London Travel Guide
Before work commitments brought Tor and I to Paris, we decided to extend our visit to France with a stop in the ever romantic Provence region in southern France. We first stayed at a magnificent hillside villa set amongst miles and miles of vineyards where we were cut off from the world for a few days. We then rented a magnificent Provençal home where for four days Tor and I pretended to live like a local by food shopping at the markets, cooking all of our own food, visiting local wineries, and touring neighboring towns.
Posts from Provence: A Weekend in Provence / A Provençal Haven
We got to spend six amazing days in Paris (our third trip together) just before Tor’s birthday as he was needed in the famous city for a convention at that time. Before he fulfilled his work commitments, we spent a few days wandering the city ourselves and having dinner at one of the most romantic spots we could have ever asked for. The trip only got better from there, as a lot of our friends joined up with us for the weekend which made our Parisian memories all the more exciting.
Posts from Paris: Paris Travel Guide
10. Santa Barbara
For our 8 year anniversary, Tor and I had a quick weekend escape to Santa Barbara where we focused on relaxing and enjoying our time away from Los Angeles. We got married in Santa Barbara county almost 3 years ago, so it was only fitting to return for the anniversary of what turned out to be our first date.
Posts from Santa Barbara: Anniversary Trip to Santa Barbara / Santa Barbara Travel Guide
Tor and I were lucky to visit Vancouver a couple of times this year, as it is where Tor was born and raised, as well as where his family still lives. Each time we come back, we love venturing out to spots that Tor has always considered longtime favorites as well as discovering new places to fall in love with together.
Posts from Vancouver: British Columbia Travel Guide
Whenever Tor and I are in Vancouver, we like escaping to Whistler for a few days to inhale some of the freshest mountain air to ever hit our lungs. Tor grew up frequenting Whistler, plus it’s the place where Tor and I truly fell in love in the beginning of our relationship.
Posts from Whistler: Whistler City Guide / British Columbia Travel Guide
13. San Francisco
In collaboration with Shopstyle and Alaska Airlines, Tor and I spent a weekend in San Francisco with work friends and new friends as we explored culinary gems throughout the city as well as some of the most picture perfect views that almost didn’t seem real.
Posts from San Francisco: Our 48 Hour Trip to San Francisco
14. Cayman Islands
For my bestie’s bachelorette bash, several of us trekked down to the Caribbean for a girls trip to the Cayman Islands in collaboration with Visit Cayman Islands. While we are not the crazy bunch, we did enjoy a lot of water activities as well as indulging in the Cayman gastronomy on Grand Cayman.
Posts from Cayman Islands: My Cayman Islands Packing List / Cayman Islands Recap / Cayman Islands Travel Guide
In celebration of Layer Cake Wine’s bourbon barrel cabernet sauvignon being released, Tor and I were flown to Nashville to try the wine as well as embark on whiskey and bourbon tastings. Prior to this trip, you couldn’t catch me holding a glass of bourbon. However, since that trip, I’ll surprise Torrance by asking him to pour me some Jameson.
16. Napa Valley
Ever since I began drinking red wine a year ago (I was solely a white wine drinker for many years prior), visiting Napa during cabernet season became a much desired goal. In collaboration with Visit Napa Valley, Tor and I spent 4 days hopping from vineyard to vineyard in search of some truly unique and delicious cabernet wines. We left with many bottles in our suitcases, so I’d say it was a successful trip!
Posts from Napa: Cottage Life / Chasing the Cabernet / November Napa Lookbook / Napa Valley Travel Guide
Montréal had been on our wish list for some time, so when we had the opportunity to travel to the city prior to our trip around the Québec region, we jumped at it. We mostly focused on Vieux-Montréal, which is the city’s picturesque older neighborhood that makes you feel like you stepped off of a plane in Europe rather than North America. If you’re looking for a culinary experience, Montréal boasts some of the best dining in Canada.
Posts from Montréal: A Weekend in Vieux-Montréal
In collaboration with Tourisme Québec, Tor and I traveled around southern Québec sampling Québec wine, trying multitudes of Québec cheeses, staying at some of the most romantic and luxurious hotels, and getting unexpected several feet of snow!
Posts from Québec: Winter Wonderland in Québec / Québec Travel Guide
Our final trip of the year was to Alberta, Canada, where we got spoiled by nature and gorgeous landscapes. In collaboration with Travel Alberta, we trekked into the heart of the breathtaking Canadian Rockies for some romance in the snow with activities such as stargazing, horse rides, ice skating, skiing, and nordic spas. It was the perfect way to end such an incredible year.
We are so grateful and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit each of these places in just one year. 2018 was extremely good to us in more ways than we could have ever imagined. We cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store!
Which trip from our travels in 2018 you enjoy following the most this past year?