Travel
A Year of Travel in Review – 2018
December 20, 2018
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Hierve el Agua

Another year has sped by and we won’t be taking a moment to catch our breath as we spend the holidays exploring Central America. While we are off adventuring, here are the highlights of our 2018 travel in review. This year marked our second big Caribbean adventure in Jamaica, more of North America and some South Pacific fun in Fiji. In celebration of this year in travel, here I share a pictorial of our 2018 global roaming including some never-before-published pics. Clicking the photos in this post will take you to the best posts about each destination.

Disclosure: I may earn compensation from the purchase of any product or service linked on this website, at no extra cost to you. I only link to products I use and love, therefore feel comfortable recommending.

Travel goals

If you’re new to Duende, you might not know that our goal is to travel once per month if only for a weekend. The last three years we’ve made this happen, and you can find some of our past destinations on our Year in Travel Reviews for 2016 and 2017. We hope to continue kicking globetrotting goals in 2019! If you want to travel more, I documented our planning process in a step-by-step FREE challenge that you can sign up to at 15×15 Travel More Challenge.

Expats at home in Australia

Our last few years have begun and ended with time at home in Australia. We are Aussie expats living in the Midwest U.S., and the holidays have drawn us back onto home soil to be with our families and friends. This year I spent some of that time getting reacquainted with the cities I’ve lived – Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne – so I could share my local knowledge with an international perspective. Living in Southeast Asia and North America have given me a very different angle to look back on my homeland and native culture, and I hope you will benefit from these Creative Corners city guides.

Jetlag cure: Lunch at Gazi, Melbourne
3-hours after landing in Melbourne, jetlagged as hell and presiding over a Greek meal by one of my favourite chefs - George Calombaris
Chinatown Melbourne on a quiet morning
Revisiting old haunts: Chinatown Melbourne
Art on the Street - Melbourne II
Sydney Harbour Bridge from Macquaries Chair
Always seeking the best views of my favourite bridge - Sydney Harbour Bridge from Macquaries Chair
Brisbane, Australia, viewed from Kangaroo Point
Brisbane viewed from the top of Kangaroo Point cliffs
Glasshouse Mountains viewed from Maleny
Glasshouse Mountains viewed from Maleny
Hot and humid Gold Coast - summer dresses and shorts for certain

Road trippin’ in Jamaica

After much research, we decided that we were going to tackle a self-drive road trip around Jamaica. We got most of it right, and a few things wrong – I wrote up our findings and mishaps in 5 Things to Know Before Planning a Jamaica Road Trip for anyone wanting to follow suit. Jamaica is a friendly place with a lot of natural assets and incredible cuisine.

Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Bamboo Avenue
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Dunn's River Falls
South coast of Jamaica
A south coast rest stop on our road trip around Jamaica
Jerk Chicken
A fancier Jerk chicken we co-prepared as part of a cooking class at Jake's Treasure Beach
Greenwood Great House, Jamaica
Greenwood Great House - an amazing colonial mansion in Jamaica

A long weekend in Toronto, Canada

We took in Niagara Falls for a second time, this time passing through on our way to Toronto. There was plenty of great food, public art, street art, museums and attractions to keep us on our toes for three days.

Casa Loma, Toronto
Casa Loma, Toronto
Skam wildstyle, 2012
Wild style street art by Skam in Toronto
CN Tower views of Toronto
CN Tower views of Toronto
Toronto skyline
Another perspective: the Toronto skyline from Toronto Island

New York City 3×3

That’s right, I made three, three-day visits to NYC this year for various reasons – namely meeting visitors from Australia. I managed to polish off most of the remainder of my NYC wish list including seeing the NYC Ballet and taking a Birth of Hip Hop tour through Harlem and the Bronx. Though there’s always something new to do in the Big Apple right?

Public art on the High Line
New High Line public art
New York City Ballet Spring Gala
New York City Ballet Spring Gala
Birth of Hip Hop Tour
Learning some hip hop moves in Harlem
Afternoon tea in The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel
Afternoon tea in The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel
Cocktails in tea cups at an original Prohibition-era speakeasy
Cocktails in tea cups at an original Prohibition-era speakeasy
New York Cheesecake in NYC
FINALLY! My favourite dessert - New York Cheesecake - in NYC
Fearless Girl and Charging Bull, NYC
Team Fearless Girl standing off with the Charging Bull on Wall St

Local exploration in Ohio

Visitors from Australia means we take some time to explore locally and show them around Northeast Ohio. It was high time we did more than just drive through Amish Country – and so we did a full-day trip to see what the culture was really all about.

Red barn at Yoder's Amish Home
Red barn at Yoder's Amish Home
Typical Amish Country road signs indicating horse and carts
Typical Amish Country road signs indicating horse and carts
Amish made soups and preserves
Amish made soups, pickles and preserves

New England summer road trip

From historic sights to foodie delights (lobster rolls, yum!) we covered a lot of ground in a week’s drive through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Not to mention, finishing up with a visit to the Museum at Bethel Woods aka Woodstock music festival museum in New York State.

Boston historic sights and architecture
Boston historic sights and architecture
Lime Green Icicle Tower by Dale Chihuly, 2011
Lime Green Icicle Tower by Dale Chihuly, 2011
Boston Cream Pie and Cannoli from Mike's Pastry
Boston Cream Pie and Cannoli from Mike's Pastry
Boston Tea Party Museum
Boston Tea Party Museum
Salem Witch Museum
Salem Witch Museum
York, Maine coastal walks
York, Maine coastal walks
Lobster rolls
Seaside lobster rolls
Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock
Former Vanderbilt summer residence - The Breakers
Former Vanderbilt summer residence - The Breakers
Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
The site of 1969 music festival, Woodstock
The site of 1969 music festival, Woodstock

Fiji

A family wedding in October took us to Fiji, followed by a flying trip back to Sydney, Australia to be with my grandmother in her final days. We spent a week catching up with loved ones and chilling on a small island resort in the Mamanuca Islands. The underwater wonders it had in store for us were incredible! See more of our Fiji trip and up to the minute travels over on Instagram.

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
Snorkeling in Fiji
Snorkeling in Fiji

Mexico

Just enough time at home to repack, and recover from jetlag before it was Thanksgiving week and we took off to warmer climates down in Mexico. I share what we learnt about trying to cram Mexico City’s best sights into 3-days here, and more about Chapultepec Castle and Frida Kahlo’s La Casa Azul. There’s more coming on our Oaxaca City leg of the adventure, so stay tuned – maybe even sign up to our monthly newsletter that delivers our latest posts to your inbox.

Torre Latinoamerica views of Centro Historico and beyond
Torre Latinoamerica views of Centro Historico and beyond
Teotihuacan
Seated on top of the Pyramid of Moon, looking down the Avenue of the Dead and at the Pyramid of the Sun
Stained glass halway added by President Díaz
Stained glass halway added by President Díaz
Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Agua
Colourful Oaxaca City streets
Colourful Oaxaca City streets

What are your 2019 travel plans? Tell us in the comments below. If you want to know the exact planning process we use to research and book our trips, why not sign up to our FREE 15×15 Travel More Challenge, to help you get more travel out of the new year?

Peace, love and happy holidays,

Madam ZoZo

2018 Travel in Review - from a road trip around Jamaica to exploring Fiji

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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