One year, 10 travelers, tons of memories: Our 2015 in travel

Welcome to Cheapflights

The simple way to find cheap flights and hotels from all your favorite travel companies

Well, here we are. Another year in the books, another stamp in the passport (or two, or three…).

At Cheapflights, we all have one thing in common: We’re passionate about travel. Whether we’re talking about all the places we dream of visiting or sharing photos from our latest trip, we’ve all got the travel bug and the only cure for it is, well, more traveling. So, we enlisted the help of 10 members of our North American team to reflect on a 2015 well traveled. Here are some of their travel highlights, favorite memories and takeaways from the past year, and some travel hopes and dreams on the horizon for 2016.

Here’s to a new year of earning passport stamps, making plenty of new travel memories, and of course, enjoying all the company along the way…

Melisse

Our travel experiences of 2015 1
Melisse in Costa Rica (Image: Melisse)

My 2015 in travel…

2015 was a busy travel year for me: 16 trips. 36 flights. 5 new countries I had never been to before. 1 new continent. 1 new state. 7 new cities… I feel like I was on the road (er, in the sky!) most of the year. I visited my boyfriend’s family home in Ireland; experienced Oktoberfest in Munich (prost!); traveled to northern Botswana where I could see herds of elephants from the plane as we landed in Kasane; watched a lion walk up to a watering hole about 40 or 50 feet in front of me as I was eating dinner in South Africa; and saw a couple get engaged on a flight from Boston to Toronto. I’ve made some amazing travel memories this year and I don’t expect 2016 to be any different.

My take on traveling…

I love a good adventure and there are so many awesome things to see, and people to meet in the world. Instead of looking back on my life and saying “Oh yeah, I heard about that,” I want to look back and be able to say, “I was there.” Traveling breathes new life into my day-to-day and I value that new perspective.

I also think traveling makes me a better person: more thoughtful, more open, more spontaneous and resilient, more courageous, more informed, more creative and hopeful. It’s a reminder to me of how small the world is and yet how different life is for people in all its corners. I make traveling a priority over a lot of other things in my life – both in terms of time and finances – because it’s important to me to constantly step to the edge of my comfort zone and experience as much of the world as possible.

My 2016 in travel…

Every year, I like to explore some new places – see a new corner of the world – so that’s definitely one of my goals again. I’d like to eventually make the trip down to southern Argentina and then over to Antarctica from there. That will be my last continent to check off, but that one is going to be quite an undertaking, I think, so I’ll probably have to save it (and save up some more money!) for 2017.

Mike L.

Our travel experiences of 2015 2
Mike L. and his wife in Italy (Image: Mike L.)

My 2015 in travel…

In August, my wife and I decided to check off one of the top destinations on our bucket list and traveled to Italy. We went from Venice to Florence, then down to the Amalfi coast (saving Rome for a future trip), traveling mostly by high-speed train between cities. Along the way, we also did a brief tour of the ancient ruins of Pompeii, which were much more vast than I could have imagined. Throughout our 12-day trip, we actually decided to skip all of the museums in favor of walking the cities and experiencing the culture first-hand. We ate at small local restaurants, took a pizza-making class and got to enjoy many conversations with both Italians and other travelers that we met along the way.

My take on traveling…

The best thing that we did during our trip was take a Vespa tour through Tuscany, which ended at a villa for a four-course lunch. The views were breathtaking and the meal was one of the best we had on the trip, but the thing we’ll remember the most is the people we met that day. For me and my wife, this is what we love about traveling. We’d much rather spend our time finishing a delicious meal and talking to the owner of the restaurant than walking through a crowded museum for several hours for the sake of saying we did it. We need to do what the locals do in order to feel like we’ve truly experienced a new place.

My 2016 in travel…

We hope to continue traveling to new places and meeting new people in 2016. We don’t have anything booked just yet, but the inspiration and the travel bug are both there. If Boston has another winter like last year, we’ll probably opt for someplace warm.

Stephanie

Our travel experiences of 2015 3
Big Ben (Image: Stephanie)

My 2015 in travel…

Out of all my trips in 2015, I’d have to say my trip to London definitely stands out the most. It was my first time in this beautiful city and I was able to experience new things and create amazing memories. While I was in London, my friend took me up The Shard and it was unlike anything else I experienced. It was incredible to see the sights, like the Tower Bridge, from the top!

My take on traveling…

It’s new experiences, like visiting London, that really prove traveling trumps material objects. I’ve always heard people around me say, “collect moments, not things,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s the reason I love to travel. I love to explore and see the world from a different perspective. I’ve also learned that the best cure for feeling restless is booking an impromptu getaway — even if it’s just a weekend away with friends or family.

My 2016 in travel…

In 2016, I hope to visit even more cities in Europe!

Chris

Sunset in Nantucket (Photo: Chris)
Sunset in Nantucket (Image: Chris)

My 2015 in travel…

I was pretty busy in 2015 traveling all across the U.S. and parts of Europe.

My take on traveling…

I remember watching the sunset over Nantucket Harbor as the Boston Pops played on the beach and thinking about how each town, city and country has something uniquely its own — a fingerprint or DNA unlike that of anywhere else. It leaves me feeling like it’s my responsibility to see and experience as many places as I can, and explore the planet exhaustively in the short time I’m here. I find that I am more at home on the road than I am at home. To me, traveling is like unwrapping the biggest most complex and beautiful gift. Knowing the world has all of these gifts out there waiting for me to rip open and tinker with is a driving force in my life.

My 2016 in travel…

My hope is that in 2016 I can start bringing my two daughters to all of the wonderful places I’ve been and to new places, too. Life is a blessing and to sit still is a slap in its face.

Brittany

Our travel experiences of 2015 4
Brittany at Platform 9 3/4 in London (Image: Brittany)

My 2015 in travel…

2015 was a busy year for me. I visited many places and while they were all great, I’d have to say my favorite trips were to London and Colorado. I had never been to either place, but I explored each destination in a different way. In London, I was a total tourist. I took a ride on the London Eye at night (spectacular), I lived out my childhood dream and went to platform 9 3/4, and I walked around the city for miles just taking it all in with my camera in one hand and a Harrods bag in the other. People might make fun of “tourists”, but they’re having fun!

In Breckenridge, Colo., I spent most of my time talking to locals and visiting mom-and-pop shops and restaurants. Every single person I met had a different story, but they all had one thing in common: They truly love Breckenridge. Many came for a vacation and never left. That kind of passion is easy to see and feel, and made for a very moving experience. I even got to interact with another type of local: sled dogs (154 sled dogs to be exact). As an animal lover, this experience was incredible. Like the people of Breckenridge, you can tell these dogs love where they are and what they do. I got to spend three-plus hours learning about their way of life in the mountains from the owners and interacting with them in their habitat.

My take on traveling…

Many of my other trips this past year were to visit friends and family, which is very important to me. Along with exploring new places, I love to travel to see people. Whether it’s traveling to them or with them, building and maintaining relationships are an important aspect of my life, which is why I will always travel. There are always old and new friends to meet.

My 2016 in travel…

In 2016, I already have plans to visit friends and family in North Carolina, California, Texas and Florida, along with another trip to London. I hope to add some new destinations to that list as well such as Italy or Iceland.

Ryan

Our travel experiences of 2015 5
Ryan on Monument Mountain in the Berkshires (Image: Ryan)

My 2015 in travel…

Each place I traveled to in 2015 taught me something different, but regardless of the place, they all reinforced my love for travel and how much it can be worth to personal growth. My travel to the Berkshires and to Jay, Vt., gave me an appreciation for disconnecting from technology. In an era where we post, tweet and update everything we do while making ourselves available to anyone at any time for immediate communication, it can be difficult to truly disconnect and I sometimes struggle to do so. However, disconnecting allows you to reflect, remember who you are and what you really want. These trips also helped me further appreciate nature. My trips to Portland, Maine, and Burlington, Vt., taught me that sometimes slower is better. The cultures of both cities are very laid back and coming from a larger city that moves quickly, I was forced to slow down. Once I had embraced that I was able to enjoy the food and the shops around these cities. My experience in Chicago was a bit skewed as I was at a festival for much of the time, but it was a very friendly place (I am still in touch with people I met there) and I definitely want to return.

My take on traveling…

All in all, travel has taught me to appreciate people from many walks of life. I love to travel for the experience. I try to live by the idea that life is nothing but a collection of experiences, so experience as much as you can to live a full life.

My 2016 in travel…

I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings as I already have plans to visit Budapest, Prague and San Diego, Calif.

Amanda

Our travel experiences of 2015 10
Amanda in Barbados (Image: Amanda)

My 2015 in travel…

One of my favorite and most memorable experiences in 2015 was traveling to Barbados for the wedding of two of my best friends. Not only was it such a fun and meaningful trip because I got to see two of my favorite people get married, but Barbados has been on my bucket list since I was way too young to have a bucket list. I saw a commercial when I was a kid and I was sold. So, to be able to go, and also share the experience with a group of friends from all over the U.S., who I don’t have the opportunity to see often, made it that much more memorable.

Barbados had a lot to live up to, considering I’ve spent the last two decades referring to a commercial I saw in 1997. And it was just as beautiful as I had imagined — even more so. We took a catamaran cruise, where we spent the day on the water, with stops to snorkel alongside sea turtles and shipwrecks. Being in the middle of the ocean, with the sky and water both so blue, it felt very surreal and magical. I could have spent a week on that boat.

My take on traveling…

This year, a lot of my travels had to do with spending time with friends. While I love to travel in general, sharing the experience with some of my favorite people really highlighted for me how important that is, and how travel can be made even more memorable when you’re alongside the right people. Sharing a new experience with people you care about is amazing, and one I am sure we will be reminiscing about in the years to come.

The world is such a huge place and there is so much out there to experience. Being a really curious person, I’ll never stop traveling. I am always looking to experience something new and travel lets me do that in such an exciting and fulfilling way.

My 2016 in travel…

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 is to travel as much as possible. I am planning to explore London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Prague at the start of the New Year, which I am really excited about. I also hope to travel a bunch in the U.S. as well. I have a list of cities I’d love to see, two being Chicago and Nashville, and I hope to start checking a number of them off the list this year.

Mike T.

Mike T. and his family in Bermuda (Image: Mike T.)

My 2015 in travel…

I’d have to say my favorite trip this year was taking my family to Bermuda for the first time. I was able to celebrate my 10th anniversary with my friend, partner and wife (same person) and explore a new, exciting place as a family. I really enjoyed Bermuda, it reminded me of my homeland, England, expect for the pink beaches and white-roofed pastel cottages.

My 2016 in travel…

I can’t wait to explore new places in 2016. There is so much to see and only so much time to see it, but travel is in my blood. Next year I hope to return to Cape Cod to visit family, and travel to England and Florida.

Emily

Our travel experiences of 2015 8
Fresh Czech beer (Image: Emily)

My 2015 in travel…

My favorite experience of all this year was traveling with my extended family. It’s a much better way to connect than texts, emails, calls and such. Real, face-to-face time and experiences where the focus is on doing things together, even if it is just sipping a coffee or a beer, are what count to me, especially if that beer is from an authentic beer hall and you’re tasting fresh Czech beer together – it’s delicious!

Along with discovering great beer, I was amazed to see the layers of history in Prague, from ancient Jewish cemeteries and fairytale-like castles in the old town to the very stark architecture of the communist era to the franchises of American brands peppering the city. People move easily from one to another, showing the way we adapt and evolve with the times.

My take on traveling…

I think traveling is an awesome way to take a break from the every day. It keeps me from getting bored and makes me appreciate my time here at home, too. Even if it’s a local trip, like Portland, Maine, was for me, it reminds you that you don’t always have to go far to get a real break. Exploring a new place, no matter how near or far is still an adventure. Also, beaches and oceans don’t have to be tropical to be beautiful, trust me. Traveling is a way to get a glimpse into how others see and experience the world. It’s easy to get tunnel vision if you don’t change your perspective from time to time, which is why I will continue to travel so I can keep from getting into a rut.

My 2016 in travel…

Hopefully, in 2016, I will hit the 30-country milestone. I have a few to go, but maybe this is the year I get there!

Ann Marie

Our travel experiences of 2015 9
A Key West sunset (Image: Ann Marie)

My 2015 in travel…

This year, I visited Key West, Fla., for the first time. It was a trip to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary and it was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be. One day we took a boat out to a coral reef to snorkel then kayaked around a mangrove island – it was perfection. I had forgotten how much I love snorkeling. We saw hundreds of fish, schools of yellowfin tuna and a (baby) nurse shark. I’d also never been in a kayak in my life up until that point but loved that as well – the wildlife we saw (and heard) in the mangrove was amazing. On the boat, we met people from all over the world – other parts of the U.S., Uruguay, Sweden, Iceland, and Ireland. It was great to get to know them and chat about their travel experiences. Along with meeting people from all over the world, I got to experience Key West’s rich history and great food. It may have a reputation as a party town, but there is definitely a mellow side — perfect for a relaxing trip.

My take on traveling…

I love to get away and relax; it’s one of the reasons I travel. I also travel to connect with friends and family and to experience something new.

My 2016 in travel…

In 2016, I’ll be visiting London and Florida again — I can’t wait.

Main image: istock.com/g-stockstudio

One year, 10 travelers, tons of memories: Our 2015 in travel was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brittany Dietz
Author: Brittany Dietz (39 posts)

Brittany has travelled to London, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, The Caribbean, Canada and all over the U.S. She's passionate about travel and has big plans for future trips! Brittany is a Content and Social Media Executive at Cheapflights.