End of Year Travel Review: 2021 In a Nutshell
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Wow, can you believe it’s the end of 2021 already? I just want to give a massive shoutout to everyone out there, myself included, for making it through another challenging year with COVID. It has not been easy but we all managed to get through it. For me, I was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit this year and this post is all about my end of year travel review.
Utah: April 2021
Starting off the year in April 2021, I planned my first ever solo trip to Utah. I stayed for three days in Salt Lake City and drove three to four (or more) hours a day to some national parks. I managed to visit Zion National Park and Arches National Park.
Now, things did not go according to plan. I arrived at Zion NP a bit too late and couldn’t find any parking. Instead of doing the trails, I just drove through the whole park and made multiple pitstops to look around. The same thing happened with Arches but the park was actually closed because there was no parking. So, I waited for about three to four hours to get in.
I even managed to visit the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park after I drove through Zion. A perfect little unexpected stop to a state park I’ve never heard of before. If it wasn’t for a local in a little souvenir shop outside of Zion NP, I wouldn’t have stopped to explore the park.
Overall, I don’t regret my experiences and I would do it all over again. Just in a different way so I could ensure I got to the parks early.
Jamaica: May 2021
This is the one and only international trip I took in 2021. Ideally, I would’ve loved to have done more international trips but because of COVID, I figured one would be good enough. For this trip, it was meant to be a family trip. Due to my work schedule, I was only supposed to be with my family for 3 days in Jamaica.
However, that did not go according to plan either. Something happened with my parent’s phone where they couldn’t open up their COVID test results at the airport. So, they didn’t make it on their initial flight. This delayed them and they weren’t able to get another flight for a couple of days.
On the other hand, I was forced to check my carry-on backpack. This was the only item I had on me, because I was only going to be gone for 3 days so I didn’t need a checked bag. What the airline failed to tell us was that those who had their carry-on items checked at the gate, their items were left in the states while the plane left for Jamaica.
So, for about two days, I didn’t have my backpack. I literally arrived in Jamaica with the clothes on my back. I bought expensive tourist clothes to last for the duration of my trip. Thankfully, at around midnight (technically it was Saturday), my backpack arrived.
I managed to go to the beach and chill for a day. Prior to that, I couldn’t really go and explore or do much because I didn’t want to be absent when my backpack arrived at the resort. I had to sign off that I received my backpack and I was worried about what would happen if I missed that chance to sign for it. Worst of all, as I was leaving Jamaica, my parents just arrived and we completely missed each other and never got to have our family vacation.
Texas: June 2021
The next month was a bit better for traveling. In June, my boyfriend and I went to Texas to visit his older sister and their family. I spent three days with them. I didn’t vlog much because we were spending time with family. What I did manage to film was our little day trip to San Antonio.
San Antonio is where the River Walk and The Alamo are. I’ve always wanted to visit The Alamo and so did my boyfriend’s sister. It was a perfect little day trip and we enjoyed every minute of it. Be sure to have lots of sunscreen on, a hat, and water on hand. That Texas heat is no joke during the summer!
Las Vegas: July 2021
Sin city, who doesn’t want to visit Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime? For this 4 day trip, I went with my best friend. It was very interesting because she still had to work from home. With the time difference, she had to wake up at like 5am to start “working” at 8am EST.
Besides that, we managed to enjoy our time here. We walked the strip quite a few times, went to a few shows, and even took a day trip to the Grand Canyon! There’s so much to see and so in Las Vegas, both in the immediate area and outside it as well. You can visit Vegas multiple times and still find something new to do each time.
It was scorching hot, practically over 105 degrees each day. But it was so cool to explore Las Vegas! We both had a wonderful time.
Related Post: 4 Day Itinerary: Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon
Miami Beach: August 2021
Continuing on with my summer travels, I met up with another friend to visit Miami Beach for 5 days. My friend wanted to visit Miami Beach for her birthday this year, so that’s where we decided to travel to this time. The one downside to this trip was the rain. It was hurricane season in Florida, so the weather and rain weren’t always on our side.
Despite the weather, we managed to have a great time! From the beach (of course) to the Everglades, Key West and a sunset cruise, it was an awesome time! We both had a wonderful time and my friend enjoyed her birthday.
Related Post: 5 Day Itinerary in Miami Beach
New England: October 2021
Last but not least, my road trip through New England. This was my last epic travel trip of the year. I decided since it was fall, I’d travel through some New England states to see the beautiful fall foliage. I left out a few states due to time restraints since I planned to do this whole trip in 9 days.
Altogether, I visited Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine (in an unexpected turn of events). I was very proud of myself for managing to visit three new states this time around. When I return to New England, I have to thoroughly explore Maine and add Rhode Island to the itinerary.
It was absolutely wonderful driving around, exploring new places, and finding hidden gems in these states. I was thoroughly happy with my experience overall. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cut my trip short. I managed to do my road trip in about 7 days instead of 9 days. Still, that’s not too bad.
I’ll have to return someday to finish my road trip and hit up parts of Vermont I didn’t get the chance to see this time around.
Related Post: THIS WAS AN ACCIDENT: How I Ended Up In Maine
Overall Review of Travel in 2021
Overall, this was a very good year for travel for me. I would have loved to do more international trips but with COVID, it’s hard to plan ahead and follow through with anything when new variants and things prevent us from doing that.
I must say, I’m very proud of myself for visiting so many new states. Besides places like Jamaica, Florida, and Massachusetts (I’ve already been there before), I visited 7 new states! That’s insane to me! Even if I didn’t managed to spend a whole lot of time in those places, I made the most of my time there.
There were a lot of fun and exciting moments, and there were many bad moments. Arriving in a country with nothing on hand is never fun, it’s very irritating and can give anyone anxiety. Having to cut a trip short, or driving 4+ hours to a national park only to have it closed because it’s full, is not fun whatsoever.
But that’s all part of the experience and challenge of traveling. Sometimes, things don’t always go according to plan. You simply have to be flexible, challenge yourself, and make the most out of your situation. That’s what I did and I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve gained while traveling this year.
I wouldn’t change it for the world. For better or for worse, I learned something about myself and my capabilities while traveling. I’m looking forward to 2022 and what that year will bring with travel!