2021 Travel Recap

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2021 brought many fun times, laughs, and even some tears. The boys started a new school and got to play football this year. I checked two new countries off my bucketlist and went on a fabulous wellness retreat. We welcomed a new kitty to our family and my daughter spread her wings and moved to the East Coast.

It was also a busy traveling year for our family. Lots of memories were made. Here’s a recap of where we traveled to this year and our favorite things about each of the places we visited.

January 2021: Central Florida

We have visited this area every year since my parents became snow bunnies. Because our visit was during the height of the pandemic we didn’t get to do much but relax in the pool and soak up the vitamin D.

Must-See: Parkesdale Market

Parkesdale Market in Plant City, Florida is home to the famous strawberry shortcake. We visit every time we’re in the area. Make sure to take your picture on the strawberry throne.

Parkesdale Market Plant City, FL

April 2021: Southwestern Kentucky

Although our time here was short, we really enjoyed this area. We stayed two days and visited Cumberland Falls. Lots of friendly faces and beautiful scenery.

Cumberland Falls, KY

Must-See: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum (temporarily closed)

Cumberland Falls is also known as the Niagara of the South. Take time to explore here if you can, don’t just visit the waterfall. There is so much more to see. Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is home to the original KFC. It’s temporarily closed but if and when it re-opens this is a must-see.

Cumberland Falls, KY

April 2021: Eastern Tennessee

This trip was cut short due to illness but I can’t wait to go explore this area again. The Smoky Mountains is one of my favorite places on Earth. The beauty of the “smoke” rising up against the mountains takes my breath away. We’ve been here several times and each visit brings new adventures and things we haven’t seen before.

Mountain Mall Gatlinburg, TN

Must-See: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We could spend days here exploring hiking trails and visiting the numerous waterfalls. Don’t skip Cades Cove Loop Road. This area in Cades Cove was once a remote valley community and is now one of the most photographed locations in the park. It’s also a great area to spot wildlife like the popular black bear. If you head into Gatlinburg make sure you make a stop at the Mountain Mall to do some shopping.

Smoky Mountains National Park

August 2021: Tamarindo, Costa Rica

This was a trip I took with my mom and met up with several of our friends for a wellness and mindfulness retreat. It was the first time I navigated a large airport and customs by myself. I took several connecting flights which was confusing but it was all worth it. I really connected with nature and found myself here. I got to experience the city and the countryside of Costa Rica.

Must-See: La Senda

La Senda is a farm near Tamarindo, Costa Rica that focuses on health, wellness and sustainability. It’s in the middle of nowhere and took us by surprise. This secluded and quiet magical place is home to the worlds largest labyrinth. Explore the maze and enjoy the delicious organic Farm to Table dinner. The water at La Senda is very high vibrational. Make sure you fill your water bottle.

La Senda, Costa Rica

December 2021: Exuma, The Bahamas

I visited The Bahamas with my friend Nikki this month. It was just the two of us. We rented a car and were able to explore Great Exuma, Little Exuma and even some of the cays via boat. Instead of staying at a resort we wanted to have the true island experience. Hands down, one of the most breathtaking places I’ve visited thus far. Pictures don’t do it justice and the water is even clearer in person.

Tropic of Cancer Beach, Exuma

Must-See: Pig Island, The Famous Swimming Pigs

This was a hard pick because we packed so much into a week. You wouldn’t want to leave without visiting the famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas though. Pig Beach is their home also known as Big Major Cay in Exuma. The pigs were brought to the island by farmers decades ago to get rid of the smell on Stanley Cay Island. The pigs began swimming to the shore to be fed by the farmers and thus the swimming pigs became a thing. They are now a major tourist attraction and even have their own veterinarian.

Pig Island, Exuma

And that’s a wrap! Have you visited any of these places? I’d love to hear your must-sees. Leave me a note in the comment area below!

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