Updated! Scroll toward the bottom for all the cities I visited for the entire year of the series and some quick commentary on each spot.
When this year started, I took some time out of that first week or so to really think about what I wanted to accomplish in the next 12 months. And one of the things that kept popping up was a (huge) desire to travel more in the upcoming year – with Jeff, with friends, etc.
After our trip to Europe last year, I finally realized that my need for travel is more than just a desire to get away to regroup, recharge, etc. Although that’s cool too. The real reason why travel has become so important to me comes down to one word: inspiration!
So…long story short, I’ve decided that this year I’ll be hopping on a plane…
or road tripping someplace new at least once a month for all of 2017! Each month will be a new trip(s) – whether it’s a long weekend or a week-long adventure.
Exploring a different state / country / continent contributes immensely to feeling inspired for future work and life in general. And that kind of inspiration isn’t really something you can recreate without actually getting out of your comfort zone (in my case the city I’m currently living in) and doing the damn thing.
I’ve already crossed the first month off the list, with a quick trip to Charleston this weekend with Jeff and a Texas trip earlier in the month. And with February through April pretty much planned out already as well, I only have 8 more months of travel to plan. Not bad at all! Any suggestions for me on where I should go? If so, let me know.
I’ll be sharing more details about each trip as they roll out, and with each trip I’ll also be sharing a travel guide of sorts as well, just like I’ve done in the past…starting with a cool girls guide to Charleston! Let me know if there are any travel guides you’d like to see or suggestions for amazing places to visit. I’m pretty much up for anything and I’d love to book a few places that you suggest, if I can.
Update! Everywhere I Went for the 12 Trips in 12 Months Series
Now that the 12 trips in 12 months series has wrapped up, I wanted to share all the places I visited in one central spot, so you can check out all the travel guides and get the scoop on how it all went down. The original plan was to go on as many trips as possible with Jeff just for fun. Since he was working a ‘normal’ job with limited vacation time though, I quickly realized that some months, I would have to go on the trips by myself. Some of those trips were to see family and friends for fun and others turned into work trips that were mostly business. BUT I did it! Some months I traveled way more than once and some months I ended up in a city I had already been before, but again…I did it…traveling at least once EVERY single month for an entire year.
Toward the end, it started to get a little taxing, I’ll be honest. Overall though, I was proud that I was able to accomplish the gist of what I set out to do. It may have ended up a tiny bit different than I planned, but it was a year that I’ll never forget and I have so many memories from it that I’ll take with me always. Funny enough, in January right after this series had fully wrapped up, I found out I was pregnant (our long overdue pregnancy announcement is here in case you want to read it) and I was SO happy that I had done so much travel before getting pregnant. I felt like I had done so much in the year prior that I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out at all to slow down during my pregnancy and stay home more (though I did still travel a decent amount before Hayes was born). Anyway, here’s the full list of where I went for this year long series…
Charleston, South Carolina: I had never been to Charleston before this trip and it was a surprisingly cool way to kick off the 12 trips series. I found so many cool shops and cute restaurants with Jeff on this trip and put together a travel guide here: the cool girls travel guide to Charleston.
Ben Wheeler, Texas: A weekend at The Wilde House.
White Sands, New Mexico: This was a quick trip to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends Ashley and Jared from Sugar and Cloth. They were married in White Sands and Jeff officiated their wedding. If you’ve never been to White Sands, I highly recommend it…I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. Just a completely magical place.
New York City (Lower East Side): Wasn’t in New York too long for this one…it was a business trip for an event I was co-hosting with 3M. The timing was funny because it was during a snowstorm, but it was a fun trip and I managed to squeeze in some cool spots around the Lower East Side to make a travel guide of the places I loved most.
Austin, Texas for SXSW: I didn’t do a travel guide for this one. But I have a little proof that I was there…speaking at Create and Cultivate Austin.
Chattanooga, Tennessee: Apparently there are lots of outdoorsy things to do in Chattanooga…but I didn’t do any of them. Haha. Instead I spent my time doing everything on this list: the non-outdoorsy travel guide to Chattanooga, TN.
Catalina Island, Dominican Republic: What a magical place to boat to. It’s soooo pretty (and photo-worthy) with clear water, cool cliffs, and white sandy beaches.
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos: In May, we went on a cruise and visited several islands, one of which was Turks and Caicos. Grand Turk was a cruise stop that literally docks right there at the beach. But we jumped in a car and found an amazing remote beach that made us feel like we were the only ones around.
Richmond, Virginia: I was surprised by how much I liked Richmond. The vibe was cool and easy, the shops were good, the food was good…you can bike around a lot of the city. And also…the hotel we stayed at was soooo good. All the details and the full guide can be found here: cool Richmond, VA travel guide.
Chicago, Illinois: Quick work trip! I did an event with KI Furniture and Pallas Textiles at Neo Con in Chicago. There wasn’t any time for exploring, but I love Chicago.
Providence Canyon (just outside of Lumpkin, GA): This place is about two hours outside of Atlanta, so definitely off the beaten path. But WOW…if you’re a nature lover, and you live in Georgia, you should really check it out. I went back for the second time a while back, this time to help out with a photo shoot and shared some more photos here. My only suggestion for visiting would be…Maybe don’t go during the heat of the summer months unless you LOVE to sweat because it’s quite the hike to get down there and back up.
Harbour Island, Bahamas: A quiet beach trip with friends. We walked around the island (it’s pretty small so you can pretty much walk everything by foot – or take a golf cart), hung out on a sand bar, went cliff jumping (very memorable), and floated in the pool.
Round Top, Texas: This was a work trip / retreat with friends and fellow bloggers. And I shared a handful of things that we did on the trip (including hanging out with horses) here: Things to do in Round Top, TX.
Winter Park, Florida (part of the greater Orlando, FL area): I lived in Orlando when I was a teenager and Winter Park is by far the best part of the greater Orlando area. We had a quick stay in Winter Park for the 12 trips series and I was able to put together a travel guide with some really great shops! It’s a pretty charming little place.
London, England: I didn’t share a travel guide for London when I went for the 12 trips series BUT I did share one after the third time I visited London that is way more in-depth than I would have been able to share before. You can read my city guide here: Cool London Travel Guide. London is one of my fave cities…and it is Jeff’s absolute favorite city (he would move there in a heartbeat if we had a chance to).
Paris, France: We needed up in Paris for a couple of days to break up our stay in London. It was kind of a last-minute thing…but we stayed in the most amazing hotel. I did a travel guide for Paris the first time we visited (a year before the 12 trip series), so I didn’t do one for the 12 trips visit but everything is still relevant now. Here’s the Paris guide I wrote: Cool Paris Travel Guide.
Los Angeles: Work trip! I was in LA filming for a project I did with Evite and then spent a couple of days with family and friends.
Las Vegas, Nevada: I didn’t get around to a travel guide for this one because I was really just there for a quick work trip. BUT it still counts, right? I hope so! I’m going to be honest, toward the end of the year, travel started to feel like a little bit of a burden. And I realize it’s a total privilege to be able to travel and FAR more privileged to start to think of it as a burden…but I wanted to be honest and share what I remember feeling at the time. Being away from home so much takes a toll after a while, especially for a homebody like me.
Austin, Texas: Looks like I went to Austin a few times for the 12 trips series and didn’t realize it until I started putting this final recap together. We were here this time for Thanksgiving with my brother and it was a pretty laid back trip. We managed to squeeze in a bunch of shopping still though, don’t worry. Haha.
Jacksonville, Florida: Sure, we’ve been to Jacksonville countless times because we used to live there and Jeff’s family is still there. But I’m including it in the 12 trip series because we were in Jax in December and while it wasn’t a place we had never been before, we went none the less. I put together a pretty extensive travel guide for Jacksonville as well, with lots of cool spots that you wouldn’t expect to find there if you’ve never visited: cool things to do in Jacksonville, FL.
And that sums up the series! I left out a couple of trips from the list that weren’t really relevant…mainly some additional trips to Houston and Jacksonville. But everything else is in there. When you add it all up (including the miscellaneous stuff), I went on more than 20 trips in 2017. Which felt like A LOT, but it was worth the adventure.
If you have any questions about the 12 trips in 12 months series or are planning something similar of your own, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave any questions you have below.