Our Favorite Trips of 2018

2018 was a big year for travel, but not quite as big as we expect for 2019. We are clearly addicted to exploring new places and having new experiences. Here are our top 5 travel locations in 2018.geiranger-fjord-5

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World Highlights: Our Favorite Costa Rican Animal Encounter

Costa Rica is known for their wide array of fauna.  From crocodiles to sloths, birds of every color, bugs, frogs, etc., there’s so much to look at and appreciate.  While we were there, we went on numerous canopy tours and boat rides, all to catch a glimpse at the elusive wildlife.  And Costa Rica delivered.

But which was our favorite animal encounter?

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Top 6 Worldwide Photo Ops to Anticipate

As most of you know by now, I am a photographer.  (If you want to see more of my travel landscape photography, feel free to check it out over at www.lotsasmilesphoto.com.)  I love nothing more than a breathtaking scene and I get giddy immortalizing it and its associated memories in pixels.  In fact, while I can’t wait to experience some worldwide history and culture, while I long to stand atop some world-renowned trails, and while I’m an incurable foodie, I am most looking forward to the photography opportunities.  There’s so much to see; how could I not?

Here are the top items on my photo op bucket list.
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Our Favorite Restaurant in 2018

We like to eat out quite often, and we tend to splurge more than we should. There are so many good restaurants that it is hard to pick a favorite. For us a restaurant is more than just the food it serves; it is also the experience. To be a favorite means that we enjoy our time there even without the food. A great restaurant has staff that is present when we need them, food that is timely and well prepared, and there’s a good atmosphere. The taste and quality also matters. After our Favorite Japanese Meal post, our favorite food shouldn’t surprise you. And that leads us to our favorite restaurant experience in 2018. Drum roll please….seattle-1

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Early Retirement Achievement Unlocked: Put in Notice

The first major step has been taken on the path towards traveling the world. I just put in notice to leave my job on April 15th. The experience was quite nerve-wracking, but I did it. The reaction from my bosses was not quite what I expected.

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5 Months Until We Leave – Tasks Still Remaining for the Trip of a Lifetime

Welcome to 2019.  THE year.  We have finally arrived.  We have earned the right to say we are leaving to travel the world THIS YEAR.  That’s exhilarating and terrifying.  Being on this side of the year makes all the difference, as it’s finally beginning to feel real.  We’re doing this.  And there’s still so much to do!

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5 Months Until We Leave | BIG tiny World Travel | We're counting down the months - only 5 left! - until we depart.  But there's still so much to do!  Get the inside scoop on what the last 5 months look like before travelling the world! | #travel #worldtravel #travelcouple #tripplanning #aroundtheworld #tripofalifetime

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World Highlights: Our Favorite Japanese Meal

We’re toning back a bit on our blogging, as we’re now in crunch time before we leave for our big trip!  Therefore, enjoy full posts every other week, with quick travel highlights like these in the alternates.  Let us know what you think!  We’d love to know what your favorites are!


© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

We had so much incredible food in Japan; how could we pick just one favorite?  While we loved the comforting ramen and drooled over the extravagant ryokan breakfast, one restaurant rose to the top, and it still makes my stomach grumble at the thought of it.

World Highlights: Our Favorite Japanese Meal | BIG tiny World Travel | We only travel to eat! Japan had some of best food we've had, but one restaurant rose above the rest! Check out our favorite from our visit. | #travel #travelcouple #internationalfood #traveltoeat #travelfood

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Epic Mountain Viewpoint Norway

Route Planning – Changes to Our World Trip

As we continue to plan out the rough route of our trip and start hammering out the details, we find things we need to rearrange. Our first attempt had too much time in South America, had Europe during peak season, and more long-haul flights than we wanted to endure. We’ve cleaned up the timeline without sacrificing anything. Here are our changes and some examples on why the timing makes sense for each region.

Route Planning: Changes to our World Trip | BIG tiny World Travel | As we continue our planning, we found our original route needed an overhaul! See what we changed and why here! | #worldtravel #aroundtheworld #travel #travelcouple #travelplanning

Route Plan 2019-2020Check out our ever-evolving route on TripHappy.com!

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Christmas Abroad: Where Should We Celebrate?

As we break in our new toys and recover from our eggnog hangovers, Aaron and I are beginning to think about next year’s Christmas.  We depart for our crazy journey next summer, and we will be travelling for (at least) a year.  That inevitably means we’ll be in another country for my favorite holiday.  Where should we celebrate it?

© Brianna Shade 2014

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First Attempt – Planning Our Route Around the World

Planning a world trip can be daunting but we have to start somewhere. The route is something we have put a lot of thought into, and we’ve made some logical conclusions about how to approach it. It might even take our trip from 12 months to 17. But there is one little thing that could stop us from doing that.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015
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