Wow, it’s already Christmas time, soon the fantastic year of 2016 will be over. Time to look back, analyze what the year has brought and all the great things that happened to me. It was not an easy year in terms of work/travel balance. Nevertheless, I managed to travel quite a lot – more than I usually do. All those wonderful memories found their way to my wonderful new blog – Tigrest travel blog. I’d like to wrap it up and just remember once more all the good stuff that happened. Welcome aboard! (PS – this post, unlike most of other my posts, will have a lot of pictures of me).
The birth of Tigrest
Perhaps I should explain where the name of my blog came from. Years ago it used to be my nick name. The word stuck in my head and had a very important meaning to me. It is connected to someone I deeply care for. So, when I was about to pick a name for my future blog, I had no doubt. The only problem is that it’s not really travel related. Still, I’m going to develop it as a brand and hopefully it will succeed.
Around February 2016 I bought a domain called Tigrest-dot-com. I already had some material on a page called Hubpages, so I moved most of the initial articles right over. As I was expecting to start travelling, the new posts came in around March. In April, I moved to self hosting and started to look at ways to monetize my blog. Today, I’m happy to see the traffic is growing and the blog is generating enough to pay the running costs. Yey!
Keeping a blog and posting regularly, spending time promoting and connecting with the audience has become an important part of my life. I can see myself doing this full time some day. Blogging gives you the freedom to express yourself, push yourself and develop yourself as a writer, photographer, graphic designer and much more. I’m glad to see it gaining followers and getting strong every day.
Travels of 2016
My first short trip in 2016 was to Riga, Latvia. It was a theater play we went to see. I wrote a short post about my experience in this cool city. February is perhaps not the best time of the year to visit, but it has it’s charm, plus the prices are really good!
Our next adventure was the long awaited USA road trip in March. I was planning that trip for almost a year, spent countless hours researching the best spots to visit, hotels to stay in and things to do. No matter how well I was preparing myself, it was still a huge surprise and a lot of unexpected, memorable things happened to us on the way. This trip is truly the highlight of this travelling season!
Most memorable places, that we visited: San Diego: Zoo, SeaWorld, whale watching cruise; Los Angeles: Venice Beach, Universal Studios, Hollywood; Las Vegas: the city and Cirque du Soleil show; Flagstaff and Grand Canyon; driving through the desert (for hours!) and finally arriving in Palm Springs. Of course, we enjoyed the food too. It was a wild ride!
St. Petersburg, Russia
In May, we took a short bus ride to Russia and enjoyed the spectacular Saint Peterburg. The city is stunning, with all the castles, canals and rich history. The weather was lovely and warm for early May – plenty of sunshine, which made our stay even more enjoyable.
Summer went like a breeze, and we only managed to get out of town to visit Eastern Estonia – Tuhamägi, Narva fortress and lake Peipus. The best part of it was actually getting out of the city, driving and enjoying the warm July sun, smoked fish and really warm lake. We found a fantastic little cabin on the lake with amazing hosts.
September was the month to discover a totally new destination – France. We split out trip into 2 parts – French Riviera and Paris. The trip was so much more than we could have hoped – breathtaking views, warm Mediterranean sun, picturesque train journey through the wineries of Southern France and finally the capital of Love – the most romantic city in the World! We ate things we never even though of (escargot=snails!), took a crazy ride with a bike-taxi (almost crashed), went all the way up to the Eiffel tower, walked alone in the dark along the coast of French Riviera (because the bus journey made us dizzy), shared a bottle of wine on the beach after sunset, watching the airplanes land and take off from Nice Cote’D Azur Airport and so, so much more!
Our last trip this year was in November – visiting friends in Moscow, Russia. Despite it being the ugly, cold and dark month, we still loved it. Our lovely friends took us to the best sights of this huge, unique, special city. We had a chance to taste some pretty cool local cuisine, went on a river cruise, passing all the important sightseeing’s (amazingly well lit by night), checked the Kremlin, Red square, Cathedral square, few famous metro stations, took photos of Ostankino TV tower, Worker and Kolkhoz woman (famous monument), and just simply had a great time with our friends.
Plans for 2017
Although it’s still a bit early to make huge plans, we have some places in mind already. First – the definitive plans. We have bought tickets to Rome in May 2017! This will not be an ordinary journey – we will make a bit of a road trip, similar to France this year. Our itinerary will take us from Rome to Florence, then to Verona, and flying back from Milano. We will be travelling by train and staying at some nice, budget places. So be ready for full, detailed reviews, tons of tips and useful insight, colorful Pins and delicious looking Instagram food pics! It’s going to be an amazing ride!
Second half of the year we will probably aim at getting to Canary Islands again (Gran Canaria or Tenerife). It’s just an idea for now, but might as well become reality. Stay tuned to find out!
These two being our main travel goals, we won’t limit ourselves in terms of shorter breaks. Europe has it’s charm of being so small and reachable – you can practically travel every weekend and still be back at work on Monday! It’s a shame not to be taking advantage of that.
To all our readers :
Tigrest Travel Blog wishes you ALL Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Many happy travels in 2017!