A Brief Review of Our 2016 Travels
2016 was another incredible traveling year for us. We spent the first six months in South East Asia followed by the second half of the year in the Airstream. In retrospect, this was a really great change to our traveling style. The mix of cultures and lifestyle we experienced preempted any feelings of travel fatigue that may have struck us and it convinced us that there needs to be more international travel in our future. See our next post about our 2017 plans.
Here are a few random thoughts as we look back on our 2016.
Best Travel Experience
By far and away the most amazing place we visited was Myanmar. We spent nine days in this incredible country and it was a truly memorable experience. We visited three amazing cities, but if we have to pick one adventure it would have to be seeing the temples of Bagan.
Most Disappointing Destination
We had high expectations for Bali, we had heard from so many people that it was their favorite place. But it just wasn't for us. We stayed in a fantastic villa with a private pool and we loved relaxing there. We also enjoyed the restaurant and bar scene. But this is a densely populated island and everything was way too touristy. It all felt a bit too Vegas for my liking.
By far the most scenic spot was Valley of the Gods in Southern Utah, but scenery isn't everything and lack of reliable cell coverage and a poor access road coupled with an impending storm cut our stay there very short. Given those drawbacks I think we'll award the winner to Martis Creek Campground in Truckee (aka Alpine Meadows). Beautiful views, expansive sites and minutes away from one of the best outdoor playgrounds in the country .....Lake Tahoe.
Windsor Wine Country RV park sounds so idyllic right? Wrong! With a lack of good options in the area, we stayed here for a few days while having some work done on the trailer. Within an hour of arriving we were evacuated due to a false bomb scare when the emergency services were called out to a fire in a beat up old trailer and thought they saw dynamite inside. We learned that a few months earlier two trailers had burnt down to the ground. Also during our stay the police were called to a dispute when our neighbor had trouble getting his motorhome started and couldn't get out of his spot on time. We were also chastised by the park vigilantes for driving at 8mph. The whole place just smacked of desperate people and a junkyard where RVs come to die. It's a shame because it's in a great location. If they would just be more discerning about who they let stay all would be good.
For a great brewery experience New Belgium Brewing was so impressive for both their tour and how they run the company. But from a beer point of view we have to pick Left Hand Brewing. Their Nitro Milk Stout is amazing and we could walk there from our campground in Longmont. Score!
Spending 3 months in Penang is a food lovers dream. We experienced all the delights on offer including Curry Mee made by the same sisters for 70 years and amazing street food at the morning Pulau Tikus market. For just a few bucks you can eat like a king, with a choice of Indian, Chinese and Malay dishes. Hard to beat.
Overall I think the best thing about 2016 was the variety. Mixing in travels around the US in cities and rural areas, mountains, desert and lake with inspiring Asian locations made for a magnificent year. We love our traveling life... long may it continue.