The year 2016 in review

Mood, Travel Stories, USA / Saturday, December 31st, 2016

2016 : The year in review

article by : Alice
I’m not going to be original here, this is the perfect moment to reflect on the past year. 2016 has probably been my favorite year in my life so far, and so many things happened it’s hard to make it short!

2016 in numbers

1 wedding
3 new cities in Europe
3 continents
6 countries worldwide
12 American States
17 bus rides (not including layovers)
31 cities in the USA
37 cities worldwide

Rennes: 2016’s New Year celebration

We took it YOLO and booked a train from Paris to Rennes on the evening of the 31st of December 2015, a train from Rennes to Paris on the morning of the 1st of January 2016, and no hotel. We had packed a bottle of wine that we opened on the train and finished as midnight rang. Then the whole night was spent popping in and out of bars to drink shots, making ourselves feel sick on the fair rides, and dancing at the big New Year Party at the city hall! It was fun and crazy, just as we like our life to be!
2016 starts in Rennes
2016 starts in Rennes

Copenhagen: January

Another new city on the map for us, and the first time we went abroad together as a couple. Truth be told, be were exhausted at the time and spent more time in our hostel room than discovering Copenhagen, but we enjoyed it nonetheless!
Copenhagen in January
Copenhagen in January

Rome: April

Simone needed to do some stuff and see friends in Rome, so he went back in April. I was working but I managed to join him for a long weekend. His family leaving in the States was there, so it was the perfect opportunity to meet them before our trip! The weather was incredibly sunny and we borrowed a scooter so Simone could show me some cool spots of his city that I hadn’t seen before! Rome is so huge there’s always something new to discover!
Rome in April
Rome in April

We got married! and partied in Paris and Rome: May

The most exciting day of the year was, of course, the day we got married! It was nothing big and nothing fancy, but I had my loved ones around me, Simone had some of his, and we had a great time. It was very hectic, but it was definitely “us” (we had avocado maki and pizza for the diner party) and it was lovely. It already feels so far away! We’ve done so much since then! It took place on a Thursday in Paris, and we flew the next day to Rome to celebrate with more of Simone’s friends. My best friend Coline, her boyfriend and my mother accompanied us, making it even nicer for me!
Our wedding day - Picture by our friend Elin
Our wedding day – Picture by our friend Elin

Roadtrip in the USA: leaving Paris in June

Not long after the wedding, we moved out of my apartment and I started working as some call a digital nomad. I’d been interning for some research linguistic work and they decided to hire me part-time from June to October. As this work can be done anywhere as long as I had access to a computer and an internet connexion, it was perfect. So we took off for our (honeymoon) road trip in the USA, the trip that launched this blog as our travel diary.
In June, this is the cities we’ve traveled to:
Hello New Yokk
Hello New York

Roadtrip in the USA: Eastern Part of the US until the 28th of July

From Boston, we continued our tour, traveling mainly by bus. We only took a plane from Chicago to Detroit and then from Houston to San Diego to start the Californian part of our road trip.
In July we went to the following cities:
Bethesda, MA
Ponte Vedra (& Saint Augustine), FL
Gainesville, FL
Street Art @ Philadelphia
Street Art @ Philadelphia

Road trip in the USA: California from the 28th of July to the 4th of September

Even though we had a great time before and I fell in love with Philadelphia, California was an outstanding part of our trip. No surprise there, we knew we’d love it. But I had no idea how much this state had to offer, and I just can’t wait to go back!
Our Californian expedition took us to these places:
San Francisco
Lake Tahoe, NE
Los Angeles
We made Top 3 of the places we’ve seen, but it’s very hard to not put all of California in the first position! Our favorite place ever is San Diego, but we had an incredible time pretty much everywhere, full of adventures and discoveries. Of course, the hardest part was to leave, even though we were pretty much tired of all of these bus rides!
West Hollywood
West Hollywood

Back to Paris, Verona & Rome: 4th September to 24th November

We have been killed by jet lag. It hit us incredibly hard once we got back to Paris, and it only got better around two weeks after we arrived. Fortunately, I had already decided to postpone my dissertation for another year, my job was extremely flexible, and we were doing some cat sitting for friends, so we had nowhere to be except home. Which was perfect. The next few weeks I spent working (my contract got extended until the end of the year), studying at the library, and seeing my friends. Then we left Paris with a night train going to Verona, where we stayed at Simone’s aunt place for a few days, before taking a bus to Rome. Once there, I took more time to work while Simone did what he had to do, and my dad and his wife eventually joined us for a few days of intense sightseeing and touristing! It was really nice to get some quality time with them and taking a moment to rediscover Rome’s famous gems.
With my dad in Rome. His wife Isabelle took the picture
With my dad in Rome. His wife Isabelle took the picture

Asia tour cut short – Hong Kong and Tokyo: 24th of November to 14th of December

We had planned to stay in Asia until I had to come back to Paris to hand out and defend my Master’s degree thesis. Simone was supposed to work in Hong Kong while I’d work remotely and studied. We had special stand-by tickets that were incredibly cheap to Tokyo and left on the 24th of November. A friend of mine let us stay at her place in the center of Tokyo, and Simone discovered a place I adored since the time I came for the first time 10 years before. After a few days, we flew to Hong Kong, only to be disappointed. So we took the decision to head back to Tokyo after 10 days, enjoy this place we both loved for a week, and go back to Europe.
Exploring Tokyo
Exploring Tokyo

Rome & Paris regrouping: until the end of the year

A friend of mine was going to see her family for Christmas, so she let us stay at her place in the heart of Paris. I’m talking 5th Arrondissement Latin Quarter rue Mouffetard. The location of my dreams! So after a couple days in Rome, we took a 23 hours bus ride back to Paris, where we still are for now, until our next destination!
Christmas time in Paris
Christmas time in ParisÂ

What’s next ? 

While I have no doubt that 2017 is going to be an incredible year, it seems be hard to do better than 2016! But we learned a few lessons from 2016, like:
There’s only so many night bus rides that you can take…: At the end of our US trip we were so tired of long bus rides when we wouldn’t sleep much that we decided to do the long Santa Cruz – Los Angeles leg by day. I think it was a good and wise decision. Maybe it cost us one day and didn’t save us the price of a night in a hotel, but at least we weren’t feeling miserable when we arrived! It doesn’t mean that night rides are bad, just that doing half a dozen of them in one or two months can take its toll…

There’s nothing like getting ahead of your work load: Sometimes, I’ve missed out on things because I had to work thanks to being too lazy when I had some free time… It can be extremely frustrating.Do your research better: Having done more research on Hong Kong probably wouldn’t have prevented us from going, because we like to make our own experiences. But maybe we’d have gone with a few less expectations…

Don’t expect your postcards to arrive to destination: Well… nothing to add!

So now, where to?
We don’t know yet, but somewhere English-speaking in Europe, where Simone will be able to work as a bartender and I will study!
*Edit* We ended up living in Belfast, in Northern Ireland!

31 Replies to “The year 2016 in review”

  1. This is such a beautiful post. The photo from top of the rock over new York is amazing. New York always delivers awe-inspiring views. You’ve done so much traveling the past year, I envy that! I also love the pictures in the woods taken in Tokyo.

  2. wow what a year!!!! I can easily imagine that 2016 was your favorite travel year so far; it almost can’t get better! And congratulations to getting married and starting to be a digital nomad! If you get back to Paris, I hope it won’t be too hard to find a new place…living in Paris as well, I know the struggle 😀

    1. You got it right, it’s going to be very difficult to top that! But hey, we can try! We’re back in Paris right now (staying at relatives’), but crossing our fingers that Simone we’ll get a job in Belfast! We’ll know soon!

    1. Hi Anne! I’m studying Medieval Studies, and my concentration is in Middle French Linguistics. It’s so challenging to fit in with the rest that I had to split my last year in two : validate all the classes last year, and this year I’m writing my dissertation! Detroit was a very interesting place, loaded with historical, cultural and social issues. I would not live there, but I’d love to go back and learn more about this city!

  3. Wow, 2016 was definitely a full year for you both! Like you, I am wondering what 2017 will bring – no doubt more adventure, more exploration and more discovery 🙂 I hope it is an awesome year for you both!

  4. I really enjoyed your 2016 in numbers. What a clever way to give a quick overview of your year. I cannot believe you’ve been to 36 cities in just one year! So impressive.

  5. Congratulations on your wedding in 2016! I live in the midwest in the U.S. and I agree- California is beautiful. It has everything, including a lot of people. I visited California in September and saw some of the same spots you did in Northern California. Mendocino and Yosemite were both beautiful. Happy travels in 2017.

    1. That we did! We already went to Belfast, and some going around Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland are on preparation. I’m really into going to Northern Europe, we’ll see if we can make it soon!

  6. Congratulations on getting married! Looks like you too went on some awesome adventures and saw some beautiful places. I would love to go to Rome!

  7. Wow, what a crazy exciting year. Congratulations on your wedding. Your California road trip sounds incredible, you hit up so many spots. I hope 2017 is full of just as much adventure for you.

  8. A seriously awesome year indeed! I love the view from above in your wedding photo, that makes for such a unique memory. Did you happen to try pizza in Chicago? I’m currently living in St. Louis so we frequently visit Chicago! You visited one of my favorite cities as well – Tokyo! I’m glad you were able to experience it more even though your plans with Hong Kong were messed up!

    1. I’m glad you like the photo, I’m fond of it too. I don’t think we tried pizza in Chicago, but we didn’t stay long. Is it absolutely worth it?! Tokyo is so amazing… I can’t wait to go back, it just feels like home!

  9. Such an awesome way to spend time together after the wedding by roaming the world 🙂 Looks like 2016 has been extremely fun and eventful for you. I really appreciate how you have highlighted your learnings from your travel during the year. I wish you both a wonderful year in 2017.

  10. Wow so much of travel in a single year and that also to so many fabulous places around the globe. I wish that your new year will be full of even more adventure and travel

  11. It looks like a great year, i also had a wedding, traveling, resigning my job, moving to another city haha i could continue . Congrats on your wedding , i wish you both happiness and pure love !!! Cheers 🙂

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